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In the New York Times bestseller Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, Drew Karpyshyn painted a gripping portrait of a young mans journey from innocence to evil. That man was Darth Bane, a twisted genius whose iron will, fierce ambition, and strength in the dark side of the Force made him a natural leader among the Sith until his radical embrace of an all-but-forgotten wisdom d In the New York Times bestseller Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, Drew Karpyshyn painted a gripping portrait of a young mans journey from innocence to evil. That man was Darth Bane, a twisted genius whose iron will, fierce ambition, and strength in the dark side of the Force made him a natural leader among the Sith until his radical embrace of an all-but-forgotten wisdom drove him to destroy his own order . . . and create it anew from the ashes. As the last surviving Sith, Darth Bane promulgated a harsh new directive: the Rule of Two. Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody the power, the other to crave it. Now Darth Bane is ready to put his policy into action, and he thinks he has found the key element that will make his triumph complete: a student to train in the ways of the dark side. Though she is young, Zannah possesses an instinctive link to the dark side that rivals his own. With his guidance, she will become essential in his quest to destroy the Jedi and dominate the galaxy. But there is one who is determined to stop Darth Bane: Johun Othone, Padawan to Jedi Master Lord Hoth, who died at Banes hands in the last great Sith War. Though the rest of the Jedi scoff at him, Joshuas belief that there are surviving Sith on the loose is unshakeable. As Johun continues his dogged pursuit of the man who killed his master, Zannah, faced unexpectedly with a figure from her past, begins to question her embrace of the dark side. And Darth Bane is led by Force-induced visions to a moon where he will acquire astonishing new knowledge and power, power that will alter him in ways he could never have imagined. . . .


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In the New York Times bestseller Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, Drew Karpyshyn painted a gripping portrait of a young mans journey from innocence to evil. That man was Darth Bane, a twisted genius whose iron will, fierce ambition, and strength in the dark side of the Force made him a natural leader among the Sith until his radical embrace of an all-but-forgotten wisdom d In the New York Times bestseller Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, Drew Karpyshyn painted a gripping portrait of a young mans journey from innocence to evil. That man was Darth Bane, a twisted genius whose iron will, fierce ambition, and strength in the dark side of the Force made him a natural leader among the Sith until his radical embrace of an all-but-forgotten wisdom drove him to destroy his own order . . . and create it anew from the ashes. As the last surviving Sith, Darth Bane promulgated a harsh new directive: the Rule of Two. Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody the power, the other to crave it. Now Darth Bane is ready to put his policy into action, and he thinks he has found the key element that will make his triumph complete: a student to train in the ways of the dark side. Though she is young, Zannah possesses an instinctive link to the dark side that rivals his own. With his guidance, she will become essential in his quest to destroy the Jedi and dominate the galaxy. But there is one who is determined to stop Darth Bane: Johun Othone, Padawan to Jedi Master Lord Hoth, who died at Banes hands in the last great Sith War. Though the rest of the Jedi scoff at him, Joshuas belief that there are surviving Sith on the loose is unshakeable. As Johun continues his dogged pursuit of the man who killed his master, Zannah, faced unexpectedly with a figure from her past, begins to question her embrace of the dark side. And Darth Bane is led by Force-induced visions to a moon where he will acquire astonishing new knowledge and power, power that will alter him in ways he could never have imagined. . . .

30 review for Rule of Two

  1. 5 out of 5

    Khurram

    This is sequel to Path of Destruction: A Novel of the Old Republic (Star Wars: Darth Bane) it continues immediately after the first book and then jumps 10 years. The book follows Bane's apprentice from an innocent 10 year old to claim her own Darth title. Zannah can be even more cold blooded then her master. This book is enjoyable and it is a credit to the author that he finished this book in 6 months. This book is the second step in the 1000 year plan that became Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge This is sequel to Path of Destruction: A Novel of the Old Republic (Star Wars: Darth Bane) it continues immediately after the first book and then jumps 10 years. The book follows Bane's apprentice from an innocent 10 year old to claim her own Darth title. Zannah can be even more cold blooded then her master. This book is enjoyable and it is a credit to the author that he finished this book in 6 months. This book is the second step in the 1000 year plan that became Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (Star Wars (Random House Hardcover)). In the first book Bane showed some humanity when he felt remorse and even crippling guilt over his first force murders, but Zannah does not seem to have a conscience at all. As a reader I was drawn into Zannah's point of view. During the book Bane makes himself nie-indestructible which presents an interesting problem to his apprentice who is destined to kill her master.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Markus

    "There must only be two, No more and no less." - Darth Bane Rule of Two is a wonderful continuation to this amazing saga. Ten years have passed since the Seventh Battle of Ruusan, and Zannah's apprenticeship under Bane has been blooming for years, hidden in the shadows. The Jedi believe the Sith extinct, but a state visit from the Supreme Chancellor has the potential to unshroud the mysteries of the Dark Side. This second book of the Bane trilogy is probably the weakest one, but it does have what i "There must only be two, No more and no less." - Darth Bane Rule of Two is a wonderful continuation to this amazing saga. Ten years have passed since the Seventh Battle of Ruusan, and Zannah's apprenticeship under Bane has been blooming for years, hidden in the shadows. The Jedi believe the Sith extinct, but a state visit from the Supreme Chancellor has the potential to unshroud the mysteries of the Dark Side. This second book of the Bane trilogy is probably the weakest one, but it does have what is hands down the best lightsaber duel in Star Wars history. And that is probably its biggest strength.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    "Darth Zannah, you are my apprentice. The heir to my legacy" After greatly enjoying Star Wars. Darth Bane - Path of Destruction (PoD), I delved into part two. Bane begins his training of his heir, Zannah, in the Dark Arts and continues to add confusion to the Republic and the Jedi Order. Can't really expand more on it than that, to be honest. What I Liked: One of the best things about this book is how it deals with such an under-explored area: the Sith. I enjoyed reading more about Bane, what hap "Darth Zannah, you are my apprentice. The heir to my legacy" After greatly enjoying Star Wars. Darth Bane - Path of Destruction (PoD), I delved into part two. Bane begins his training of his heir, Zannah, in the Dark Arts and continues to add confusion to the Republic and the Jedi Order. Can't really expand more on it than that, to be honest. What I Liked: One of the best things about this book is how it deals with such an under-explored area: the Sith. I enjoyed reading more about Bane, what happened immediately after the events in PoD, and seeing Zannah grow in the Dark Side. Speaking of Zannah, she was one of those few female characters in the Star Wars universe (particularly recently) that I truly enjoyed without wanting to cry "MARY SUE!" after each scene she was in. I felt Karpyshyn did a superb job writing her as a child, balancing between her extreme skill for the Force and her naiveté. Also, I loved learning in flashbacks about her training and how they tied in to the current events (e.g. her first mission to draw the neek towards her was a great highlight and was perfectly placed with her mission to draw Kel into a confrontation with the Republic). She is a cunning woman, but yearning still for emotions, leading her to relationships with men, such as Kel. I enjoyed this view, showing that Sith cannot get all their fulfillment solely from the Dark Side. Karpyshyn did, in my opinion, a good job moving from Bane's point of view to Zannah's. In PoD, Bane did most of the narrating; here, it is Zannah. We still see inside Bane's mind, which is great, but I do enjoy seeing the events from the apprentice who will carry on the legacy. I also enjoyed the numerous Sith vs Jedi arguments in this book. I felt that they really brought both Orders to a new level of understanding, one that can't be shown in a movie or explained in most other books. The pacing is quick. The characters don't spend much time sitting back, chattin' up the situation. They are out there, doing something. Yes, they have deep conversations, but they are perfectly blended into the surroundings so you don't feel like all they do is talk or they stop to talk about politics in a middle of a battle scene. Karpyshyn also outdoes himself in the lightsaber duels. The latter one is particularly brilliant with five Jedi against two Sith. Won't tell you how that turns out, though I am sure you can guess. What I Did Not Like: I spent six years in college studying physics, chemistry, and engineering. I say this, because one of the biggest problems I have with this book is the following scene: Bane flies on a reptilian avian from the moon, Dxun to the planet, Onderon. Yes, you heard me, from a moon to a planet. Across the reaches of space. With only the Dark Side to encase him in a bubble of oxygen. What the...??? Where do people come UP with these ideas? I like to think that I can turn my brain off and enjoy things, but this is too much!! First off, does anyone know the density of the atmosphere in the Earth's upper layers? A cursory check will show that the ionosphere is not very dense...much less than the troposphere, where we live. For our daring duo, this means that FLIGHT would be nearly impossible for a reptilian bird! Flight for a bird is contingent on having a higher pressure on the underside of the wing than on the upperside. Since birds fly by flapping their wings and do not have an external fuel source (which is how rockets are able to fly), they would flap furiously and fall like dead flies. Not to mention, that this layer is "where many atoms are ionized (have gained or lost electrons so they have a net electrical charge)." If this is true on other Earth like planets (and at this point, we can't confirm or deny, but it seems to be more typical than not), then our riding duo are breathing IONS!!! This is crazy, you can't breathe ions!!! I don't care what weird Dark Side shield Bane puts around him (and note that it's only after they "leave the atmosphere" of Dxun that he does this!), that's gonna hurt!! Okay, so the next point is: so let's say the planets are pretty darn close to each other (like they fudge in the book). Okay...if that's true, how do the gravitational powers inherent in both planets keep from ripping everything to shreds? Technically, no life should be on either planet, not if they get this close to each other, as the moon will pull at the planet and vice versa. Tidal waves here on Earth show a very small idea of what gravitational forces can do. Now imagine that the moon is close to the size of the Earth (as it stands, it is approximately 1/4 of the diameter and 1/10 the surface area) and both are rotating about their combined center of gravity (the combined center of gravity of Earth and moon lies within the Earth's diameter, ensuring that the Moon orbits the Earth). We got some damn nasty tidal forces at work, that would have ensured that no flora and fauna would have made this their home. Not to mention, I have no clue how Dxun would get such a highly elliptical orbit to be INSIDE Onderon at its perigee and far away at its apogee. Add to that heap of incredibility the fact that the two planets are near the same size. They ought to be orbiting around their combined center of gravity (like Pluto and Charon), not around Onderon. Something is going wrong in this galaxy... Okay, back to Rule of Two. Bane and avian went INTO vacuum (since there apparently was a wee bit of space--har har--between the two). So now we have the problem of traveling through space with absolutely NO external fuel drive in addition to NO oxygen and pressure (but we'll say that somehow Bane can accumulate enough of both to last him...well, don't want to spoil the surprise). So do Bane and avian spend the next 5 years floating to Onderon? Because it took the Apollo crafts THREE DAYS to reach the moon, traveling at about 3,000 meters per second and the distance between the Earth and the Moon is 384,403 km. Even given that Dxun and Onderon are closer than this, it would take Bane days traveling at a modest 60 mph (based on Earth birds of course) and this DOESN'T include that Bane can't accelerate or decelerate. FURTHERMORE, he is pointed haphazardly at Onderon, which means he could, quite possibly, MISS the planet all together! And FURTHERMORE, how can he keep enough oxygen and pressure in his bubble to sustain him and his ride all this way?? People use a lot of oxygen, particularly when working. A human takes in about 500 cm3 in one breath with anywhere between 10 and 20 breaths a minute if there is no movement! So in one minute, if Bane is completely at rest, he is using 5000 cm3! This is no small area! I would love to see how he keeps enough oxygen in his bubble for TWO beings, one that is (or was) flying, how he keeps from his body fluids flying out of every orifice as he hits vacuum (does his bubble also provide pressure?), and how they continue to MOVE after they leave the atmosphere! I mean, they will have leftover momentum/inertia, but if Bane thinks that by flapping, the reptilian bird will still fly, he has NO KNOWLEDGE of Newton's Laws of Physics, particularly the third. I will admit, as soon as I read this scene, I simultaneously wanted to laugh my a$$ off and throw this book at the wall. I can suspend a lot of belief--I read Star Wars for God's sake!--but this is more than I can handle. There are a million other things seen in the movies that never happen in real life. Laser bolts being dodged, hyperspace, sounds in space...the list is endless. I can handle those. But this? Nuh uh. No way. Nit Pick Section 1.The character of Johun. I understand why he is there: to contrast with the Sith. However, I found his character bland and really treads that Marty Stu line (i.e. sneaking onto the planet despite orders and being, in one sense, promoted for it). A far more interesting character to have seen would have been Farfalla. 2.Zannah is described as the prerequisite stunningly attractive woman (though this isn't too hard to stomach, as she would need to be in good physical shape anyway). Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence: Language is Star Wars typical. Bane mentions that Githany was his lover. Zannah takes her own lover, Kel. They share a bed and a few kisses, but their relations are restricted to that. Violence is the heavy portion. A reptilian avian rips out the throat of another. Bane goes on killing sprees, as does his young prodigy. One body is cut into pieces. And Karpyshyn doesn't hold back on the gory description. Overall: Minus a serious scientific faux pas that made me question all subsequent science related events in this book, this is an amazing novel. It beautifully expands on what began in Path of Destruction and carries it to the next level. Highly recommended for those who enjoyed the first.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Malum

    This trilogy is still going strong in volume 2. One thing that I like about it is that every character is interesting (in fact, a few are almost more interesting than Bane himself). There is never a moment when the book moves on to another character's perspective that I am disappointed.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sud666

    It seems that "Rule of Two" is book two. No worries I am familiar with Darth Bane and his early days. This takes place after Kaan's Dark Brotherhood was wiped out after the Thought Bomb on Russan. While the cover is off putting since Bane looks like a KISS groupie striking a pose and Zannah his apprentice, who looks like an angry gnome. Ignore the cover. First off I'd like to point out the character of Zannah. Without a wiff of SJW tropes, she has truly fit my image of a "strong female character" It seems that "Rule of Two" is book two. No worries I am familiar with Darth Bane and his early days. This takes place after Kaan's Dark Brotherhood was wiped out after the Thought Bomb on Russan. While the cover is off putting since Bane looks like a KISS groupie striking a pose and Zannah his apprentice, who looks like an angry gnome. Ignore the cover. First off I'd like to point out the character of Zannah. Without a wiff of SJW tropes, she has truly fit my image of a "strong female character". She's ruthless, lethal and merciless. At the age of 10 she kills a family trying to save her, so that she could go to Bane to learn the Dark Side. She's ten. *sigh* If I ever had spawned and had a daughter..I'd want her. This is the story of how Bane came up with the idea of the Rule of Two. A Master to embody the Force and an Apprentice to covet that power, only to be gotten by removing the master and then repeating the process again with their own apprentice. Freaking awesome! To Bane being a Sith Lord wasn't enough. Kaan's Brotherhood was full of Lords. But he wanted to be a "Darth". That's what the title means. DARK Lord of the Sith. This is a great primer on the ins and outs of the Dark Side without the mewling judgements of the hubristic Jedi. The orbalisk armor of Bane is an interesting concept (one only a Sith would utuilize) and we also learn how Bane created holocrons. The best part if the epic duel where 5 Jedi (3 Masters and 2 Knights) go to assassinate Bane. Awesome fight! But since there is a book three..I think we know how the fight went. :) If you love Star Wars (real Star Wars, not Disney's SJW Wars) then you will love this book. I do like my Sith Lords.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John McDermott

    Fun (and violent! ) Star Wars entertainment. Excellent light sabre duel at the end. Darth Bane is my new favourite Sith Lord !!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    Good story, but predictable and juvenile. As I mentioned for the first book of this series, it's video game origins are readily apparent. Avoids the usual fan fiction limitations by including none of "the usual [Star Wars] suspects" by being set longer ago than even "long,long ago." Speaking of which . . . it's interesting how the technology of the Star Wars galaxy seems frozen. There's no appreciable improvement in anything--medicine, weapons, transportation--in the thousands of years spanned by Good story, but predictable and juvenile. As I mentioned for the first book of this series, it's video game origins are readily apparent. Avoids the usual fan fiction limitations by including none of "the usual [Star Wars] suspects" by being set longer ago than even "long,long ago." Speaking of which . . . it's interesting how the technology of the Star Wars galaxy seems frozen. There's no appreciable improvement in anything--medicine, weapons, transportation--in the thousands of years spanned by the SW stories.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrés

    First, there should be more stars that have something to say about bad books, because out of the five-star system above, only one says that I "didn't like it." Well, just as there are degrees of "liking" there are degrees of "not liking" and this one would probably be at the bottom of the latter. The first book, "Path of Destruction" was actually pretty good. The best part of that book was probably reading about Bane's training in Korriban, and how he went from a despised trainee to a cunning war First, there should be more stars that have something to say about bad books, because out of the five-star system above, only one says that I "didn't like it." Well, just as there are degrees of "liking" there are degrees of "not liking" and this one would probably be at the bottom of the latter. The first book, "Path of Destruction" was actually pretty good. The best part of that book was probably reading about Bane's training in Korriban, and how he went from a despised trainee to a cunning warrior. Plus, it's a unique opportunity to see how Bane comes up with the new vision for the Sith as opposed to the Brotherhood of Darkness. There can be no brotherhood in the Sith, it's a ludicrous thought, and Bane knows this. There can be only two. This paves the way for "Rule of Two." So many things went wrong with this one that I don't know where to begin. Let me start by saying I don't mind bad guys. In fact, Thrawn is probably my all-time favorite bad guy up there with Palpi and Vader. That's perhaps my point, BAD GUYS CAN BE SMART TOO. There's no need to cheapen their actions by making the good guys seem even dumber. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens in Book 2: THE JEDI ARE MORONS. There's nothing to it, every one of their actions seal their fate, you can see it coming from light years away. A couple of tips: 1) If you're a Jedi about to undertake some sort of secret, and unsanctioned, mission, LEAVE A FAILSAFE to alert the Council to your actions in case you never get to see the light of day again. 2) If there's a battle going on in a room and you want to try your hand at battle meditation, FIND A DIFFERENT ROOM, preferably one far, far away from the main battle. I'm sure walls won't dampen your psychic powers. If they do, find a different line of work. 3) A person waving around a lightsaber like a raving lunatic is not likely to be, nor to have ever been, a Sith. Most probably, he or she is just deranged and you can most certainly force push him out of the way or any of the dozens of non-lethal actions a Jedi can undertake. And I'm just mentioning a few. Bane is nowhere near the Sith I wanted him to be, but the Jedi are irrevocably, unabashedly, unbelievably, stupid. And don't give me any of that, "It's because they don't want to believe the Sith could have returned" crap, because even if I didn't want to believe an asteroid was about to hit my homeworld, chances are I would once I see it plummeting through the atmosphere. Enough with the Jedi, let's talk about Zannah. I probably hate her character, there's nothing about her that screams, "I really am a Sith, you know?" I've seen stronger female characters in Mara Jade, Ysanne Isard, and Admiral Daala to mention a few. I hope somewhere along the way comes some sort of better disciple, I'll take anything at this point. Give me a Chiss, please! In short, the plot behind this book, among others, was about hiding from the Jedi. The new Sith need to operate in secrecy if they're to survive and overthrow the Jedi. There's nothing wrong with that, Palpi's plot was nothing short of amazing, particularly that he could've pulled it off without a hitch, but, hey, it's Palpatine. Bane and Zannah blunder through the entire length of Book 2 and have no-one but the Force to thank for the dimwittedness of their pursuers. As you can expect, I'm extremely reluctant to move on to "Dynasty of Evil." In my experience, books that get worse after the first one tend to follow that trend into new and uncharted territories. Unfortunately, I'll probably read it just to give Karpyshyn a chance to prove me wrong. Fat chance of that, I think. PS: Just because you can kill with the Force doesn't make you a Sith. Sith who favour more subtle approaches are number one in my book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    3.5 stars, but I rounded up. A good read, though not as well told as the first book. I liked book one for Drew's impressive handling of Darth Bane's transition from a miner to a Sith lord. Rule of Two was more about the story of Zannah's own transition to become Darth Bane's apprentice, but I didn't find her journey nearly as dramatic, since we do skip ahead 10 years in the novel from the time Bane first takes her on. The ending, however, was superb. It's one of those where you know that somethi 3.5 stars, but I rounded up. A good read, though not as well told as the first book. I liked book one for Drew's impressive handling of Darth Bane's transition from a miner to a Sith lord. Rule of Two was more about the story of Zannah's own transition to become Darth Bane's apprentice, but I didn't find her journey nearly as dramatic, since we do skip ahead 10 years in the novel from the time Bane first takes her on. The ending, however, was superb. It's one of those where you know that something awful's going to happen but you just can't wait to see how things play out, and when they do you think to yourself, "Wow, I totally saw that coming but dammit, it's still so awesome." Like most Star Wars books, the plot is completely predictable but Drew Karpyshyn always does such a good job of tying everything together nicely and making it all make sense, so I just learn to go with it. That said, you have to be willing to root for the "bad guys" to really enjoy the story, but then again, if you're picking up a Darth Bane book you probably already knew this well before you even cracked the cover. Reading this, I also inevitably thought about combat in the upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, especially when reading about the different force and lightsaber abilities used by the characters when they fight independently or in groups. This novel takes place way after the setting of SWTOR, but considering Drew's background in video games and the influence of BioWare's Knights of the Old Republic RPG, I can't help but think many of the abilities I read about and their mechanics will make it into the MMO.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    The second entry in Karpyshyn’s Darth Bane trilogy kept me turning the pages, but like its predecessor, seemed like it didn’t live up to its potentially-awesome potential. Bane is a seriously neat character, but the novels themselves just never seem to rise to the challenge. I had really hoped that with the coming-of-age stuff completely out of the way we’d ditch the YA vibe the first one had and get into some deeper, darker territory. Well, these novels certainly are dark for Star Wars books, b The second entry in Karpyshyn’s Darth Bane trilogy kept me turning the pages, but like its predecessor, seemed like it didn’t live up to its potentially-awesome potential. Bane is a seriously neat character, but the novels themselves just never seem to rise to the challenge. I had really hoped that with the coming-of-age stuff completely out of the way we’d ditch the YA vibe the first one had and get into some deeper, darker territory. Well, these novels certainly are dark for Star Wars books, but the plot continued to be shallow and undercooked. I don’t know if I’m spoiled by Timothy Zahn or what, but that same YA feel remained...it’s weird, because these books are pretty goddamn violent for Star Wars but they just seem aimed at impatient, angsty teenagers. Once the overarching plot of the novel was revealed it was utterly predictable. (view spoiler)[Even the most gullible, clueless motherfucker had to know Johun was gonna get carved into big pieces of meat at the end. (hide spoiler)] I’m gonna finish the trilogy ‘cause I already bought the third one but at this point I’m not expecting great things. One last thing, what the fuck is up with the total lack of technological progress in these books? Everything is the exact same as it is literally over a thousand years later when the movies start. It’s kind of bizarre.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    3.0 stars. A good, if predicable, follow up to Path of Destruction that continues the story of Darth Bane and his creation of the current "Rule of Two" among the Sith. A fun, fast read that was perfect for when I was in the mood for something light to read. 3.0 stars. A good, if predicable, follow up to Path of Destruction that continues the story of Darth Bane and his creation of the current "Rule of Two" among the Sith. A fun, fast read that was perfect for when I was in the mood for something light to read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Greer

    Definitely the middle book of this trilogy. Enjoyable for some sections when talking about how different creations happened, completely creepy in others when talking about the Orbalisks.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andre Lazar

    This book is actually an improvement on the first book in the series. The new main character, Zannah, is the apprentice that Darth Bane took at the end of the first book, and unlike Bane, she has some depth and complexity. While he is purely powered by white male rage and the angst of not being recognized as the alpha male he thinks he is, she experiences doubt, makes difficult choices, and outmaneuvers her opponents. Her character actually develops, and it's clear that there are more difficult This book is actually an improvement on the first book in the series. The new main character, Zannah, is the apprentice that Darth Bane took at the end of the first book, and unlike Bane, she has some depth and complexity. While he is purely powered by white male rage and the angst of not being recognized as the alpha male he thinks he is, she experiences doubt, makes difficult choices, and outmaneuvers her opponents. Her character actually develops, and it's clear that there are more difficult choices ahead of her in the third and final book in this series. That said, Zannah's character design suffers from two major failings. The first is that she, like apparently everyone else in this series, is a very attractive human. Somehow the casting directors for the CW decided to make a Star Wars fanfiction. This isn't the biggest deal, but it just made me roll my eyes several times throughout the book. The second and larger problem I have with this author's version of the Sith, which is further detailed in her powers. Zannah is apparently a Sith sorcerer. She can apparently use dark energies to fuck with her opponent's heads. I'M NOT HERE TO READ A LOW GRADE FANTASY NOVEL LIGHTLY DISGUISED AS STAR WARS FANFICTION. ENOUGH WITH "ARMY OF THE LIGHT" AND "SITH SORCERERS". IT'S LAZY, UNINTERESTING, AND HAS BEEN DONE BETTER BY OTHERS. Also, Darth Bane being infested with a colony of crabs that eat his flesh and give him an impenetrable armor and increased strength in the force? Are you fucking kidding me? That's the best you can do? I'm still going to read the third book in this series, 1. because apparently I hate myself and 2. I want to see Darth Bane die and make way for more interesting Sith characters.

  14. 4 out of 5

    D

    Drew did an excellent job at overlapping character arcs - a solid mix of perspective and emotion. He also mixed in a good deal of lore, which immerses you in the story. I gave it three stars because while I thought it was a strong EU novel, I just didn't love it. The middle book of a trilogy is, in my opinion, is the most difficult to write. The balance of keeping the reader interested and advancing the overall plot is a tricky dance. I'm onto the third book now and hope it ends on a strong note.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael *Windrunner*

    This book contains the best light saber battle I have read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    Ah...is it wrong of me to say, I wish I lived in the world created by 'STARWARS'?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pete Eisenhauer

    Just as good as the first of the Darth Bane books. I like the author's style. He does an excellent job of humanizing characters that would likely be stereotypical one-dimensional "bad guys" on the big screen. It was a glimpse into the mindset and the viewpoint of the Dark-Siders. It offers an intriguing alternative philosophy of the nature of the Force, filling in some of the gaps left between the cryptic quotes of Darth Sidious, Darth Maul, and Darth Vader. You will be hard-pressed to consider Just as good as the first of the Darth Bane books. I like the author's style. He does an excellent job of humanizing characters that would likely be stereotypical one-dimensional "bad guys" on the big screen. It was a glimpse into the mindset and the viewpoint of the Dark-Siders. It offers an intriguing alternative philosophy of the nature of the Force, filling in some of the gaps left between the cryptic quotes of Darth Sidious, Darth Maul, and Darth Vader. You will be hard-pressed to consider the Sith as 100% evil after reading, but rather will see them as humans with many of the same motivations and thought-processes of the Jedi, even if the experiences and the paths they follow to power are quite different.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    It's official: I liked "Rule of Two" considerably better than its predecessor, probably because (ironically) it features a lot less Darth Bane and a lot more action and development of secondary characters like Zannah, Johun Othone, and so forth. For a Star Wars novel it goes to some pretty dark places, but I guess that's to be expected when dealing with a book primarily focussed on the dastardly Sith. I'm looking forward to seeing how Bane and Zannah's relationship develops into the deadly cat-an It's official: I liked "Rule of Two" considerably better than its predecessor, probably because (ironically) it features a lot less Darth Bane and a lot more action and development of secondary characters like Zannah, Johun Othone, and so forth. For a Star Wars novel it goes to some pretty dark places, but I guess that's to be expected when dealing with a book primarily focussed on the dastardly Sith. I'm looking forward to seeing how Bane and Zannah's relationship develops into the deadly cat-and-mouse we all know must be to come!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Obrigewitsch

    This was alright. I started losing some interest toward the end, but it is probably still one of the better Star Wars books.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kai Charles(Fiction State Of Mind)

    Coyer Summer Bash Since I got the Libby App I have been listening to a lot of audio books. And Star Wars audio books are the best! This is the second book in the Darth Bane trilogy. This is a Legends book meaning it doesn't fit into the new canon books that have been released since the sale of the franchise to Disney. Ban is the darkside user who decides that for the Sith to survive their must only be two of them in existence. Bane has a young apprentice named Zanna and in this volume we see her Coyer Summer Bash Since I got the Libby App I have been listening to a lot of audio books. And Star Wars audio books are the best! This is the second book in the Darth Bane trilogy. This is a Legends book meaning it doesn't fit into the new canon books that have been released since the sale of the franchise to Disney. Ban is the darkside user who decides that for the Sith to survive their must only be two of them in existence. Bane has a young apprentice named Zanna and in this volume we see her continue to learn the ways of the Sith and all the sacrafices it entails. The audio narrator for this book is fantastic, there is also some really great audio effects in this volume. I'm so excited for the finale of this series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    A.

    The second Star Wars novel by Drew Karpyshyn set in the Old Republic, Darth Bane: Rule of Two picks up immediately after the climactic events of the first book Darth Bane: Path of Destruction. The detonation of former Sith leader Lord Kaan's thought bomb has devastated the Jedi and Sith remaining on the planet of Ruusan. Darth Bane has survived and has just chosen a new apprentice, a girl named Rain who has recently killed two Jedi in a fit of rage. Her cousin Tomcat, who was brought to Ruusan w The second Star Wars novel by Drew Karpyshyn set in the Old Republic, Darth Bane: Rule of Two picks up immediately after the climactic events of the first book Darth Bane: Path of Destruction. The detonation of former Sith leader Lord Kaan's thought bomb has devastated the Jedi and Sith remaining on the planet of Ruusan. Darth Bane has survived and has just chosen a new apprentice, a girl named Rain who has recently killed two Jedi in a fit of rage. Her cousin Tomcat, who was brought to Ruusan with her originally to help the Jedi war effort, is also still around; turns out his Force powers were too weak for him to be greatly affected by the thought bomb. These events were originally told in the Dark Horse comics series Jedi vs. Sith. In the first book, Karpyshyn retold part of that comic series, giving it a more realistic and grittier feeling (i.e., unlike the comics, Lord Valenthyne Farfalla wasn't literally a satyr in the novel and his ship, while described as like an ancient sailing vessel, still didn't sound as ridiculous as the actual imagery of it in Jedi vs. Sith was.) Apart from altering the feel of the comic series, though, Karpyshyn stayed largely faithful to its events. He completes the re-telling of the comics in Rule of Two, quickly sweeps in his own version of the older short story Bane of the Sith, and around one-third of the way into this novel finally has the opportunity to cleanly tell a brand new story of his own. After some setup, the story takes a ten-year leap forward, so that Rain, now known as Darth Zannah, can become the young adult apprentice of Darth Bane and we can see how his plans for the new Sith Order of two individuals are progressing. Karpyshyn does not linger over Zannah's training; some is told in flashbacks but from those short sections, I believe he made a wise decision to jump forward. The few flashbacks he does include are powerful and give a potent sense of what Zannah's training has encompassed. I find it interesting with Bane's character that as power-hungry as he clearly is, he is willing to sublimate his immediate desires for a longer-term view of building a Sith legacy. Instead of scheming to rule the galaxy a la Darth Sidious, Bane focuses on building holocrons, acquiring forgotten Sith lore, and training Zannah in the ways of the Sith. I'm unsure as to whether Palpatine represents the culmination of the order Bane was trying to build or not; he certainly metes out revenge to the Jedi Order, but Palpatine was consumed by his own power and ambition, showing little concern for empowering the Sith that should come after him. Rule of Two may be the goriest and most violent Star Wars novel published to date. Telling a tale focused on a Sith Lord and his apprentice will naturally require a certain amount of this, but there are some scenes that may surprise readers who are used to the heroic tales of Luke Skywalker and his friends. The orbalisks covering Bane, taken from the Bane of the Sith short story, are a grotesque but fascinating concept, and Zannah's scheming to convince her master to remove them and the protection they grant is quite interesting. The worlds featured in this novel are largely unused in other Expanded Universe stories and make a welcome change from the norm. The devastation on Ruusan underscores the impact of the Jedi and Sith battles waged there; we briefly visit Dxun and Onderon, introduced in the comic series Tales of the Jedi; there's a stop at Serenno, future home of Count Dooku; and there's a fascinating and intense sequence on Tython, a Deep Core world legendary for being the supposed birthplace of the Jedi Order. My concern with Rule of Two is it feels like the middle novel in a trilogy. There is less resolution than I had hoped for, and while the characters evolve some, there's not nearly the progression that we saw in Bane in Path of Destruction. If Karpyshyn gets the chance to write a third Darth Bane novel, it may make me view this one a little more favorably as a transition; however, if this is the conclusion of Bane's saga, I had expected to learn more about him and the eventual handoff of his power to his successor. Rule of Two is an entertaining novel but I hope there is more to come.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lance Shadow

    Welcome back to my long overdue review series for the Darth Bane Trilogy! It has finally happened- I have read Darth Bane, Rule of Two for the very first time! Before we continue, lets recap my thoughts for the first book, Path of Destruction- after a reread, I liked it more than I did the first time. The first five chapters were absolutely brilliant, and Darth Bane was a solidly written character with an identifiable personality and compelling reasons to descend into evil and ultimately reform t Welcome back to my long overdue review series for the Darth Bane Trilogy! It has finally happened- I have read Darth Bane, Rule of Two for the very first time! Before we continue, lets recap my thoughts for the first book, Path of Destruction- after a reread, I liked it more than I did the first time. The first five chapters were absolutely brilliant, and Darth Bane was a solidly written character with an identifiable personality and compelling reasons to descend into evil and ultimately reform the sith order. That said, I still consider Path of Destruction to be overrated and I don't get why it is considered a masterpiece by many fans. The subplots with the secondary characters are not only boring and flat out unnecessary to understanding Bane's character, the storyline centered around the war between the Republic and the Brotherhood of Darkness actively undercut the validity of Bane's reasoning behind creating the Rule of Two. So that brings me to this book. Based on discussions I've seen surrounding the Darth Bane Trilogy, there seems to be two camps when it comes to Rule of Two and its followup, Dynasty of Evil. Almost everybody seems to agree that Path of Destruction is amazing (hence why I consider it overrated)- some people believe that the entire of trilogy is fantastic, while others feel that Rule of Two and Dynasty of Evil are noticeably not as good as Path of Destruction. I fall somewhere in the middle. On the one hand, I actually think Rule of Two is not just a worthy sequel to Path of Destruction, I think its even better. But on the other hand, that's coming from somebody who doesn't like the first Bane novel as much as other people do. While Rule of Two is quite good, it still has problems. THE STORY: Darth Bane has found himself an apprentice in Zannah, a young girl talented in the force that he found on Ruusaan shortly after the fall of the Brotherhood of Darkness. He teaches Zannah to prepare her as his successor, while at the same time placing the rusted cogs within the Republic government and the Jedi order that will eventually lead to their downfall. Zannah assists her master in eliminating any potential rivals that could get in the way of their plans. Meanwhile, Chancellor Tarsus Vallorum enacts the Ruusan reformations, demilitarizing the jedi order and dismantling General Hoth's Army of Light. But while the Republic and the Jedi believe that the sith are gone forever, Hoth's padawan, Johun Othone, believes that at least one sith lord could have survived. THE BAD: There's only one significant problem I have with this book, but unfortunately its a big one. I hated the Orbalisk Armor. I get that Drew Karpyshyn had to integrate it into the story due to it being a previously established element of Darth Bane's story, but Karpyshyn didn't handle it that well. Because of this armor, Darth Bane is overpowered to a ridiculous degree, and to the point where it becomes detrimental to Bane's story. Most of the action scenes lack any tension because Bane is practically invincible. I got the sense while reading this novel that Karpyshyn wanted to give readers a dark side power fantasy with Bane's character, but while it was admittedly pretty cool in the first action scene with the armor, it got tiresome after that. (view spoiler)[ the climactic fight sequence between Bane/Zannah and their jedi pursuers was particularly disappointing. Instead of relying on the established characters that were well developed leading up to this showdown, Karpyshyn introduces a trio of bland jedi masters who are only there to make the sides look somewhat even and to increase the number of jedi Bane and Zannah get to slaughter. He also makes Valenthyne Farfalla go through a rushed change of heart just so he can have Bane kill off a familiar character, and again to even the sides in the final fight (hide spoiler)] . The extra power that the orbalisks give to Bane also took away from a potentially fascinating character arc for him. (view spoiler)[ ghosts of Kaan and Qordis appear early on in the book, criticizing Bane for his actions in Path of Destruction. But then Bane gets his orbalisk armor and obliterates them for good. (hide spoiler)] . I would have loved to see Bane challenged on his belief in the Rule of Two, which would have been a brilliant way to address my problems with the war subplot in the previous novel. It also would have been a brilliant way to set up an internal conflict within Bane as he works to pass on his knowledge of the Sith to Zannah as well as become a good teacher to her. But instead, much like the tension in the action sequences, this potentially fascinating character arc is abandoned for an overpowered Darth Bane more focused on power fantasies and fan service. The only other problem with this book that I have is with how quickly Bane's network of underworld contacts is set up, and I think this would have been better if it were saved for the third book. I just didn't like how glossed over this part of the story was, and it made Bane look even more like a Gary stu than he already was throughout this novel. It felt unnecessary with all the compelling storylines going on and the interesting characters we were already following. This is mostly a nitpick, however, as this aspect is only touched upon and not a big part of the story. My last problem, and this really is a nitpick, is how Bane gets from Dxun to Onderon (view spoiler)[ a force bubble around him and a big beast, and they literally fly through space (hide spoiler)] . Over the top sequences are commonplace in the Old Republic era, but that's part of the unique feel that I like about it. This though, is pushing it- and there was such an easy way to make it more palatable. He could have just utilized an established piece of lore about Onderon and Dxun from the Tales of the Jedi Comics (view spoiler)[ in that Dxun and Onderon sometimes are so close together that their atmospheres connect, allowing the flying beast species that Bane rides to travel between the two planets (hide spoiler)] - but instead, Karpyshyn decides to push sound logic to the breaking point just for yet another scene of overpowered Darth Bane fan service. THE GOOD: Despite the glaring issues introduced by the silly orbalisk armor, this book maintains a good portion of what I liked in Path of Destruction, as well as fix a good portion of its flaws. I may have complained a ton about how ridiculously overpowered Darth Bane is in this book, but I still liked his character. Karpyshyn manages to give Bane enough of a personality that I can somewhat forgive his nonsensical power levels. I also really like his relationship with Zannah, and how well developed it becomes throughout the book. Speaking of which, Darth Zannah was a great character in this. Karpyshyn does a great job portraying her both as a believable child character and as a young woman eager to challenge herself- as well showing how a vulnerable, impressionable young girl like her can be tempted and twisted by someone as evil as Bane. Whenever the book's POV shifts over to Zannah, it was interesting to read, and her nuances really shine through. She's not overly sexualized, but also able to indulge occasionally, making her easy to identify with despite being evil. She may be quite a badass, but is not invincible- making her sides of the action scenes featuring her fairly riveting. Finally, her character arc is nuanced on a contextual level and compelling in execution. I like how she doesn't just go from one archetype to another- she starts out as a vulnerable child, turns into a savage killer, and then someone more calculating in her evil deeds by the end. This is of course strengthened by the strong master-apprentice relationship she has with Bane. The one aspect of the orbalisk armor that works is shown in the closing chapters- this part of the book actually is filled with tension and strong character moments for both Bane and Zannah. It made the book actively better for me and was a big decider in my final rating for this novel. Easily the biggest improvement that Rule of Two makes over Path of Destruction is with its secondary characters and their storylines. Unlike Path of Destruction's poorly handled war subplot and the pointless and/or bland characters surrounding them, Karpyshyn does a great job connecting the subplots involving the non-sith characters with the main story focused on Bane and Zannah. On top of that, he manages to make these other characters surprisingly layered. Starting with Johun Othone, I found him quite compelling as a character and was invested in his story. I like how he doesn't immediately just assume the sith haven't completely been defeated- he starts out with other motivations before coming to such a conclusion later. But even then, it's not like he stubbornly fixates on his beliefs about the sith- he listens to the reasoning of others and keeps an open mind. This makes his storyline and his character more nuanced and believable. Darovit, aka Tomcat from Jedi vs. Sith plays an important role in this book too. And I have to say, his character was quite a pleasant surprise here. I can't state enough how much I hated Tomcat/Darovit in Jedi vs Sith- he was an obnoxious gary stu with an overdone rehash of a story arc. Here though, Karpyshyn recontextualizes his story from the comics, explaining every stupid moment and inconsistency from them, making his story feel more unique and compelling, and then continue his story through Rule of Two in an even more compelling way. Like with Johun Othone, Karpyshyn gives Darovit an interesting character arc and does a good job interweaving Darovit's story with that of Bane and Zannah as their stories help build up to the climax. I also liked the worldbuiling in Rule of Two quite a bit. The Ruusaan Reformations were not just a fantastic way to bridge the Old Republic era and the prequel era, they also serve as a compelling explanation for the discrepancies between the Old Republic lore and the line from Attack of the Clones establishing that the republic has stood for 1,000 years and that the sith have been gone for that long. Karpyshyn also does a great job making this newly introduced lore an important part of the story, increasing the stakes for Johun's quest to uncover what he thinks is the last of the sith. You also get some connective sith lore from other star wars stories, as well as interesting elements that make worlds like Ruusaan and Tython more lively and dynamic. Finally, the action scenes, despite some shortcomings, still allow Drew Karpyshyn's talents to shine through. Even though they often lacked the tension and grit from Path of Destruction, the action scenes are still well choreographed and well paced. The first big action sequence with Bane is still quite a fun display of dark side power (again, I just got tired of this power display after the first time). And the action scenes with Johun, Darovit, and Zannah are still as exhilarating as any other Karpyshyn fight sequence. Despite my problems with Bane, the climactic showdown was still thrilling when it cut to the other characters involved. THE CONCLUSION: Final rating is 4 stars. Don't get me wrong- the orbalisk armor is a major shortcoming for this book. But aside from that, there's more than enough good things to be found in Rule of Two to balance it out. The story is well constructed, the characters are interesting, and it introduces vital worldbuilding and lore that helps define the transition between the Old Repubic era and that of the films that made it all possible in the first place. Just like Path of Destruction, Rule of Two is a must-read for legends enthusiasts who haven't gotten to it, as well as a worthwhile revisit for those who have read it before. Likewise, as long as Darth Bane's story remains unexplored, I'd say Rule of Two is still worth checking out for fans more focused on the newer Star Wars canon, especially if they enjoyed its predecessor. If you just want to read about Darth Bane being as powerful as possible, there's plenty of that here to keep you satisfied. But even for those who prefer their stories and characters to have tangible stakes and noticeable tension, there's enough of those elements with Darth Zannah, Johun Othone, and Darovit to be serviceable. Check this one out if you haven't already.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lanko

    Ten years have passed from the previous book and Bane's apprentice is growing, specially her power. Right in the beginning she is manipulating her lover for both pleasure and power. There is a massive lightsaber battle, probably one of the best one in the entire saga. Bane continues his studies, which is something I like characters to do. Also, the two Sith get in a lot of trouble as well. So much for secrecy, but it that fails, nothing that cunning and brute force can't solve. The Jedi were a bit Ten years have passed from the previous book and Bane's apprentice is growing, specially her power. Right in the beginning she is manipulating her lover for both pleasure and power. There is a massive lightsaber battle, probably one of the best one in the entire saga. Bane continues his studies, which is something I like characters to do. Also, the two Sith get in a lot of trouble as well. So much for secrecy, but it that fails, nothing that cunning and brute force can't solve. The Jedi were a bit lacking, though. They seemed stupid at times, like going on a critical secret mission without telling anyone where it was, for example. And the dude in battle meditation who needed to be right in the middle of the fight? In the previous book there was someone using that skill from numerous battleships away. Sometimes Bane and Zannah also put too much their ideals before anything else, which sounded a bit surreal as well. I know it's Star Wars, but I actually expected them to at least flirt a little. You know, young hot woman in her best age and loner power hungry guy. But this didn't do anything to diminish my rating of the book. The ending is also great, that feeling something big and bad is gonna happen in the near future.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    Darth Bane: Rule of Two was an intense and very dark tale in the Star Wars Universe, about 1000 years before the Star Wars films. Although I enjoyed it, I had to stop often to absorb the grim and rather depressing nature of the Sith story. As this is a sequel, it follows directly after Darth Bane: Path of Destruction. However, unlike its predecessor, it does not focus primarily on the story of the title character, Darth Bane. This book is mostly about Bane's apprentice, Darth Zannah. This did no Darth Bane: Rule of Two was an intense and very dark tale in the Star Wars Universe, about 1000 years before the Star Wars films. Although I enjoyed it, I had to stop often to absorb the grim and rather depressing nature of the Sith story. As this is a sequel, it follows directly after Darth Bane: Path of Destruction. However, unlike its predecessor, it does not focus primarily on the story of the title character, Darth Bane. This book is mostly about Bane's apprentice, Darth Zannah. This did not present any problems for me as I had no preconceptions about where the story was going, but I am sure some readers will find that an annoyance. Overall, this adds another chapter to the massive Star Wars Expanded Universe and gives a heap of explanations and back story to events that occur in the films and other novels set later in the timeline.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katrin von Martin

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The second of the "Darth Bane" trilogy, "Rule of Two" is a great follow up to the first book ("Path of Destruction"). I immediately devoured this book after finishing the first one, and I was not disappointed. It has its flaws and at times feels rather rushed, but the writing quality is good, the story is never slow, and the characters are dynamic and interesting. Spoilers follow. The story picks up almost immediately where the first book ended. Three plot lines are set up in the first hundred The second of the "Darth Bane" trilogy, "Rule of Two" is a great follow up to the first book ("Path of Destruction"). I immediately devoured this book after finishing the first one, and I was not disappointed. It has its flaws and at times feels rather rushed, but the writing quality is good, the story is never slow, and the characters are dynamic and interesting. Spoilers follow. The story picks up almost immediately where the first book ended. Three plot lines are set up in the first hundred pages. Darth Bane and his new apprentice, Zannah, find an old text that directs Bane to Freedon Nadd's tomb. Darovit (previously known as Tomcat) enters the cave where the thought bomb was detonated and crosses paths with Zannah and her master, losing his right arm in the ensuing conflict, but left alive. Bane travels to the tomb, where he comes across an unwelcome surprise in the form of the orbalisks, parasitic crustaceans. Zannah is left on Ruusan and is given her first task: to find her own transport to rendezvous with Bane. The third story is that of Johun, General Hoth's apprentice. After disobeying orders, he returns to Ruusan and hears rumors of the surviving Sith Lord and his apprentice. His new master, Farfalla, dismisses these whisperings, wanting to take steps toward ending the war politically. The plot then jumps ahead ten years. Zannah is well learned in the ways of the dark side of the Force, and Bane uses her to put his various plans into motion. Darth Bane has been working for years to build his own Holocron, but has not yet succeeded, a failure that greatly irks him. Through a separatist group, Zannah obtains the location of Belia Darzu's fortress; important to Bane because Belia discovered how to create the Holocron he so covets. While Lord Bane goes to the fortress, he sends Zannah to the Jedi archives in disguise to find more information on the orbalisks that now encase his body. It is at the temple that this story converges with the others. Johun, now a Jedi Knight, has been Chancellor Velorum's protector for ten years. After successfully thwarting an attack on the chancellor, Johun returns to the Jedi Temple to inform Farfalla of a statue they plan to build on Ruusan to commemorate General Hoth's bravery and role in ending the war. On Ruusan, he runs into Darovit, who stayed on the planet and became a healer. From him, Johun learns of Darth Bane and Zannah and insists that Darovit come to Coruscant to inform the Jedi Council of the Sith. Zannah and Darovit cross paths in the Jedi Archives. Wanting to protect his cousin, Darovit leaves with Zannah to find Bane. Farfalla, Johun, and three other Jedi follow them to Belia's fortress and a desperate, epic battle ensues. The Sith ultimately win, but Darth Bane is wounded. Zannah enlists the help of Caleb, the healer from the first book, who only agrees to heal the Dark Lord if Zannah disables her ship and informs the Jedi of their location. Bane is healed, Darovit and Caleb are disposed of, and the Sith leave, Zannah promising that she will kill Bane someday, but only after he has taught her everything he knows. Much like with the first book, there's a lot going on with the story, making it difficult to sum up. However, the book itself seems pretty short and the story moves quickly. In fact, sometimes, it feels rather rushed. The author's note in the beginning of the novel confirms that it was a rush to get it finished in time. Considering the short amount of the time Karpyshyn had to write the novel, it turned out really well, it just feels a bit hurried in places (and there are some editing errors: Johun is sometimes misprinted as "John," for example). It's also worth mentioning that despite having "Darth Bane" on the cover, the book focuses more on Zannah than Bane. This isn't necessarily a problem. Had the novel focused as much on Bane as the last one did, the character likely would have grown tiresome, too powerful, or otherwise undesirable to read about. It seems natural that the focus would shift slightly, especially since it is expected that Zannah will someday surpass her master. The sections that deal with Darth Bane are probably the most interesting and intriguing, as the author likes to weave Sith history and lore into Bane's findings. The characters are mostly interesting and dynamic. Zannah, as mentioned above, is the focus, and she's an interesting enough character to warrant so much attention. It personally irked me that she, like every other Star Wars female lead, was described as physically beautiful and garnered male attention everywhere she went, but that's an issue I tend to have with a lot of female characters. Personality-wise, Zannah is interesting. She initially seems devoted to the dark side, but it can be seen through her interactions with her cousin and her connection to Bane that she still harbours feelings and emotions toward others. However, despite this, she's still clever and conniving enough to be a Sith, though she manages to be a very human character, too, in that she makes mistakes and displays qualities beyond simply being a Sith. Her decision to not kill Bane at the end speaks of her maturity and devotion to learning all she can of the dark side before becoming a master herself. Bane is as twisted and evil as ever, but he's not quite as strong as he was in the previous novel. Karpyshyn successfully gave Bane a crippling conflict without making him seem weak with the orbalisks. Here, we see the same obsessed Dark Lord as we saw in the first book, but his focus this time is on making a Holocron and ridding himself of the orbalisks. He's still physically strong and powerful in the Force, and he grows as a character through his conflict. Somehow, even with his twisted ways, he manages to be a sympathetic character. I personally appreciate that even though Bane and Zannah are supposed to be strong Sith, they still show weaknesses and grow as characters. Darovit and Johun are less interesting than Bane and Zannah. Darovit provides insight into Zannah's character, but doesn't show any particularly strong character traits himself. Johun, in my opinion, didn't really stand out from being a typical Jedi with the exception of the fact that he's more open about his opinions than the ideal Jedi. Though they weren't standout characters, they weren't terrible, and their parts were enjoyable to read. On a random note, it was shocking and, in a sense, refreshing that Karpyshyn was willing to kill off a few characters that were prominent in this book (and in one case the first book) without much buildup or fanfare. Most authors seem to either keep their original characters alive or have them die as martyrs. That isn't the case here. The author isn't afraid to eliminate his characters, making who will live and die less certain. The real treat here, as was expected after the first book, was the insights to the dark side. We get more information on the twisted nature of the dark side of the Force and all that it can accomplish. Also included is history of both the Sith and the origins of the Jedi, something that makes this book and trilogy stand out. It is also nice to have sympathetic Sith characters and to have the Jedi exposed as not being the perfect Order. I have a couple of complaints with "Rule of Two," none of which decreased my enjoyment of the novel, but are worth mentioning. I found it a bit unrealistic that Zannah was able to hide her dark side powers from the Jedi Temple. She impersonated an apprentice that was still alive and working with her master; it seemed a bit odd to me that everyone with whom she spoke within the temple was so accepting of her without doing some sort of check. Also, Zannah may be a talented apprentice, but that's all she is right now: an apprentice. She was entering a building teeming with experienced Jedi Knights and Masters. Regardless of how good she may be for an apprentice, I would think that some of the more experienced Jedi would be able to see through her ruse. This is definitely the middle book of a trilogy. It has a good story and the characters continue to grow, but there isn't much resolution here and the book wouldn't be able to stand on its own. When I finished the novel, I felt like it had set up for the third book more than told its own story. This seems to be a problem with middle books, and it was apparent here. In general, "Rule of Two" just felt weaker than "Path of Destruction." It would be really hard to top the first book, as it was something unique and unseen before in the Star Wars novels, but I feel a little let down when I compare it to its predecessor. That doesn't mean it isn't a good book (because it certainly is), just that it isn't as good as the first book. Overall, "Rule of Two" is a good, though flawed, follow up to the first book. The dark side insights and intriguing characters are still present. The story moves quickly, but ultimately feels like a middle book meant more to set up the third book than tell its own story. I give it 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for being a little too much of a middle book instead of a strong second book. This review is also posted on Amazon.com.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Yes yes yes yasssss! I can't get enough of this series, and I can't remember the last time I've torn through a book series so rapidly. The complexity of the characters continues to get better, and the writing just has this way of hooking you from chapter to chapter. (view spoiler)[The end fight scene between Bane & Zannah with the Jedi Masters, and Johun was phenomenal. I'm glad he finally ditched the Orbalisks, and I'm curious what the potential consequences (aside from the poisoning) are going Yes yes yes yasssss! I can't get enough of this series, and I can't remember the last time I've torn through a book series so rapidly. The complexity of the characters continues to get better, and the writing just has this way of hooking you from chapter to chapter. (view spoiler)[The end fight scene between Bane & Zannah with the Jedi Masters, and Johun was phenomenal. I'm glad he finally ditched the Orbalisks, and I'm curious what the potential consequences (aside from the poisoning) are going to be. It seems like Bane relied on them a bit too much. I'm shocked that Zannah drove her cousin mad to keep the secret of the sith, but really in the end it wasn't all too surprising. (hide spoiler)] I can't wait to tear through the final book! Highly recommend to anyone who liked KOTOR

  27. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Kukwa

    It's an easy enough read, but I find it to be the least interesting of the Bane books. The opening sections dealing with the aftermath of the Thought Bomb are first rate, but once it turns to Zannah's machinations, I found myself wishing we could get back to Darth Bane and his obsession with Sith holocrons, and removing the Orbalisks. I also found the Jedi to be, for lack of a better term, pretty pathetic in this novel. Luckily, two much stronger novels bookend this one...and this one is certain It's an easy enough read, but I find it to be the least interesting of the Bane books. The opening sections dealing with the aftermath of the Thought Bomb are first rate, but once it turns to Zannah's machinations, I found myself wishing we could get back to Darth Bane and his obsession with Sith holocrons, and removing the Orbalisks. I also found the Jedi to be, for lack of a better term, pretty pathetic in this novel. Luckily, two much stronger novels bookend this one...and this one is certainly not in the "Attack of the Clones" purgatory.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marcos

    Started off slow but finished with a bang. Looking forward to the third book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Poole

    Not as good as the first book in my opinion but I still very much enjoyed the progression in the story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shane Dale

    Great continuation of an absolutely enthralling and brilliantly written trilogy!

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