- Spoiler Review -
I have been a fan of the Old Republic era ever since playing both Knights of the Old Republic games. To me, there’s so much mystery in this era and so much to discover, and I also like the fact that the Old Republic era feels raw and primitive. And it is full of Jedi and Sith battling each other while the galaxy suffers. Fun, right? Well, fun to read about. A recent entry in this era is the novel The Old Republic: Deceived, written by Paul S. Kemp. This was, of course, a must for me to read.
The book begins with a devastating attack on the Jedi Temple in Coruscant, led by the fearsome Sith Lord Darth Malgus. Malgus and an assortment of attackers including fifty Sith warriors lay siege to the building and the Jedi within, including Jedi Master Ven Zallow. Zallow is eventually killed by Malgus along with the rest of the Jedi, and much of the Temple is reduced to rubble. The attack turns out to be a prelude to a massive sacking of Coruscant itself, led by Sith forces. If that’s not enough to capture your attention, the events that follow surely will.
Deceived also tells a story of both a Jedi and a Sith dealing with inner conflict. The Jedi, Aryn Leneer, is thrown into turmoil, because Ven Zallow was her Jedi master, and she felt when he was killed. The pain becomes too much to bear, and she vows to avenge Zallow no matter the cost. This will lead her on a path that veers away from the Jedi Order, and toward Darth Malgus. Malgus is himself dealing with conflict inside. Not only is he at odds with his Sith superiors because of their dealings with the Jedi, but he actually has a love interest on the side, which at times clouds his judgement.
Now add to the mix a smuggler named Zerrid Korr, who is also dealing with his own struggles in life. Forced to work for the criminal organization called The Exchange, he finds himself juggling at least three concerns: Run illegal spice to pay off old debts, dodge a rival organization led by the Hutts who are bent on stopping him, and keep his handicapped daughter a secret from everyone, for fear that she may at some point she may be used as leverage against him. Not only is Korr an interesting character with an interesting story, he also becomes an integral part of the overall plot itself, as he is a former acquaintance of Aryn Leneer. She enlists his help to get to Coruscant so she can get one step closer to who killed her master, who she eventually discovers to be Darth Malgus.
All of these plots and much more are what make up The Old Republic: Deceived. In my opinion, Paul S. Kemp has delivered a winner, for this novel started with a bang and kept me engrossed until the very end. As far as the ending, it is one that I did not expect at all. Reading this book was like riding a roller coaster blindfolded: I began with eager anticipation, the ride itself was awesome and entertaining, and the end knocked my socks off! And I really like that the main characters were vulnerable in some way. Clear cut, black and white good Jedi vs. evil Sith with a bad smuggler on the side is NOT what plays out within these pages. My only complaint: I wanted more Deceived! This was a book that I did not want to end.
Pick up a copy of Deceived today; I think you’ll agree.
“Our time has come. For three hundred years we prepared; we grew stronger while you rested in your cradle of power. . . . Now your Republic shall fall.”
A Sith warrior to rival the most sinister of the Order’s Dark Lords, Darth Malgus brought down the Jedi Temple on Coruscant in a brutal assault that shocked the galaxy. But if war crowned him the darkest of Sith heroes, peace will transform him into something far more heinous—something Malgus would never want to be but cannot stop becoming, any more than he can stop the rogue Jedi fast approaching. Her name is Aryn Leneer—and the lone Jedi Knight that Malgus cut down in the fierce battle for the Jedi Temple was her Master. Now she’s going to find out what happened to him, even if it means breaking every rule in the book.