The Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith series by John Jackson Miller will be releasing its eighth and final free eBook, Secrets, in all eFormats on March 5, 2012. The entire collected series will be published in paperback July 31st. As with all the previous stories, it will also include an excerpt from the Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi series – this time, from its final installment, Apocalypse.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this series of short stories is the way each one focused on an individual’s point of view, yet together they form a narrative describing the historic rise of a Sith world. The idea of being able to see the Sith as real people with real lives and understand their motivations was what initially drew me to this series, and Lost Tribe of the Sith did not disappoint.
In Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith #1 Precipice, the story begins with the Sith engaged in a losing battle with the Jedi. Though this made for an exciting beginning, I wasn’t sure how wise it was to start a story this way when the characters were still unknown by the reader. However, their motives and personalities are revealed by how they handle their adversaries and each new challenge.
Their badly damaged ship, Omen, along with its precious cargo, crashes on the remote planet Kesh. Without the resources to repair their craft or means of contacting the other Sith, Commander Yaru Korsin must find a way for his people to survive on this strange new world.
Lost Tribe of the Sith #2 Skyborn shows the primitive culture of Kesh through the eyes of Adari, one of its own people. She encounters the stranded Sith, who take on a new role to survive.
In Lost Tribe of the Sith #3 Paragon, Seelah, now married to the man who killed her first husband, has waited fifteen years for her revenge. When disaster strikes a Keshari village, her opportunity to strike back finally comes… and we finally know what is really meant by ‘Lost Tribe of the Sith.’
In Lost Tribe of the Sith #4 Savior, Twenty-five years after the original crash of the Sith ship Omen, old scores are settled when tension leads to a revolt between the Sith and Keshari. Main characters die while power shifts to a new leader.
Lost Tribe of the Sith #7 Pantheon takes place after almost another thousand years. The Sith civilization of Kesh has let their great cities deteriorate while they squabbled among themselves. However, their high holiday is still a time when Sith get together, without fear of annihilation, to listen to the words of their founder – Yaru Korsin. Only this time, a long kept secret is revealed – with devastating consequences to everyone living on Kesh.
This series was exceptionally well done. The Sith portrayed throughout the series were believable characters – not some nameless evil set on dominating the galaxy. Conquest and the search for power are dominating goals throughout their lives, but there are both heroes and villains among the Sith themselves. The stories compliment the outlook of the Jedi – elevation of self versus selflessness, domination versus guidance. Sometimes people need to be selfish, just as at others they need to sacrifice themselves for a greater good. The Sith, without a doubt, are largely villains; but they are understandable villains in the context of their own society. In them, we see all the evils that exist within ourselves, as well as some admirable traits such as strength and courage.
The first four books use multiple points of view to follow the original crew of Omen, together forming the backdrop for the larger history. Book five begins to show the wider historical consequences of the Sith’s isolation on Kesh, and book six features the same characters. Book seven begins an entirely new character’s story. Each story basically stands on its own, though if they were read individually, they would seem to end in odd places. They work better as a complete series, read as you would read a novel.
While I try to look for both pros and cons in every story I review, I really loved the entire series – which is available for free download. My only complaint would be that book seven ended as a cliffhanger, but – again – the final installment will be out in a couple months. I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.