At last in one volume the eight original installments of the epic Lost Tribe of the Sith eBook series . . . along with the explosive, never-before-published finale, Pandemonium—more than one hundred pages of new material!
Five thousand years ago. After a Jedi ambush, the Sith mining ship Omen lies wrecked on a remote, unknown planet. Its commander, Yaru Korsin, battles the bloodshed of a mutinous faction led by his own brother. Marooned and facing death, the Sith crew have no choice but to venture into their desolate surroundings. They face any number of brutal challenges—vicious predators, lethal plagues, tribal people who worship vengeful gods—and like true Sith warriors, counter them with the dark side of the Force.
The struggles are just beginning for the proud, uncompromising Sith, driven as they are to rule at all costs. They will vanquish the primitive natives, and they will find their way back to their true destiny as rulers of the galaxy. But as their legacy grows over thousands of years, the Sith ultimately find themselves tested by the most dangerous threat of all: the enemy within.
Rebirth of the Sith
Before starting this review, there are a few things I would like to address about this book. Lost Tribe of the Sith: the Collected Stories was meant to be backstory for the Fate of the Jedi book series introducing this “Lost Tribe” and revealing its history leading up to its eventual meeting with Luke Skywalker. This book covers the tribe’s history between 5000 and 2975 years before A New Hope, condensing roughly 2000 years of time into one novel. Given these facts, it’s easy to tell Miller had huge creative constraints when writing this book: the ending is already set, the history has to be rushed to fit it all in, and it had to be written as a collection of short stories. Ultimately, however, I can say he still delivered.
After crash landing on the remote planet of Kesh, the Sith mining ship Omen is left marooned in unknown territory with no hopes of being rescued. As a result, the ambitious Sith are left to create their own society and survive off the desolate land. Fortunately, the natives have already fashioned several cities and are more than happy to submit to the Sith, believing them to be deities. Unfortunately, every Sith has his or her own agenda and will stop at nothing to achieve it. Some want to find a way to return to the Sith Empire. Others want to live in luxury in a stable society on Kesh. This conflict of interest is the main selling point of this novel and was what kept me turning pages. It becomes very clear this Sith civilization was built off betrayal, alliances, and manipulation.
With many different agendas it makes sense this book would have a diverse array of characters as well. The first major story arc revolves around Yaru Korsin, the captain of the Omen before it crash landed. Yaru comes off as a reasonable and clever man; he, very smartly, tries to learn everything he can about this new land while also eliminating threats to the stability of the tribe. He even had the foresight to know how fragile their society was and established backup plans for when all hell breaks loose. Another important character, Varner Hilts, also tries to keep the tribe together later in the story. Although as a twist, Hilts isn’t a warrior but rather a historian and looks to the past to help shape the future. Rather than fight battles with lightsabers like Korsin often did, he fought battles of knowledge which made for a great contrast. I could go on all day about each and every character’s motivations and personalities but 2000 years of history includes a lot of people. Suffice to say, this book has a cast of great characters that complement each other well.
There were a few problems I had with the book and all of them had to do with the creative constraints Miller worked with. Covering 2000 years of time in one book sets it up for rushed pacing from the get-go and I felt the events of the book zoomed by too quickly. There wasn’t any time to stop and think about the events happening and thus the book sacrificed depth for breadth. This even rubs off on the characters as one moment they’re large and in charge while the next they’re dead and the book makes way for the next story arc. It’s was hard for me to get attached to a character when, by the next arc, 100 years have passed and that character has faded away to make room for the next batch. However, if you’re a fan of fast-paced plots rather than deep characters, this shouldn’t bother you.
Lost Tribe of the Sith is good an example of a book one must read with the right mindset. Being a prequel of sorts made up of loosely-unified short stories prevents it from achieving a high level of depth and having to condense two millennia worth of time doesn’t help much either. Nonetheless, given those constraints the book does an excellent job of working with them by crafting a story with a diverse cast of interesting characters and a fast-paced plot.
ALTERNATE BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS: Fool’s Bargain by Timothy Zahn (short story/novella that came with Survivor’s Quest) and Darth Plagueis by James Luceno (novel). Both stories revolve around oftentimes uneasy alliances between different parties and their attempts to work around their hidden agendas. The former is more action-packed while the latter is more political thriller.
It’s fantastical. It’s personal. It’s epic. And yet it’s still very Star Wars.
Lost Tribe of the Sith is much more than an interesting experiment in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. It’s more than a collection of short stories about villains. It’s more than the historical background on the antagonists for the Fate of the Jedi series. Lost Tribe of the Sith, much to my surprise, is an extremely well-crafted and knit-together fantasy epic set in the Star Wars universe. It’s as mythological as any Star Wars literature I’ve ever come across, and I loved every second of it.
I would easily rank this volume among my very favorite reads in the galaxy far, far away. That being said, I don’t think you can walk into it blindly. First, you’ll need a decent knowledge of Sith history, and at least a general idea of the plot direction for Fate of the Jedi. Don’t overlook this one just because it’s now “Legends,” because Sith backstory short stories is a weird concept, or because you aren’t planning on reading Fate of the Jedi.