"Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody power, the other to crave it." - Darth Bane
The story of the rise of Darth Bane is a compelling one. The history of the Sith is greatly interesting to me, and this book tells of how the rule of two - a master and apprentice - for the Sith came to be.
The beginning of our story sees Cortosis minor Des biting off the thumb of a drinker coworker. Des is having glimpses of the future, but does not yet attribute this to the force. Instead, the resulting suspension from his work sees him playing Sabaac with republic officers who have landed on Apatros on a recruitment drive. Des's use of the force during these matches, as well as the back and forth between officer and worker is extremely tense and exciting to read, with a slick page turning pace. We see further glimpses of the force bubbling to the surface within Des.
After his victory at the Sabaac table, Des leaves the cantina after closing, only to be attacked in the dark by who he senses to be the republic officers he's just beaten at cards. Through use of the force, Des is able to eliminate them.
Following this, his good friend and owner of the Cantina points Des in the direction of the Sith as a way to avoid imprisonment. He accepts and ends up in a squad of Sith troopers.
Des indirectly becomes a commander of an elite Sith trooper squad. After a poorly issued order comes through, Des is forced to mutiny against the actual commander, which, after an incredibly exciting and well written battle, gets him noticed by a Sith Lord.
He is taken then to Korriban, to study to be a Lord of the Sith and eventually become a member of the Dark Brotherhood, a new Sith ideal proclaiming all to be equal to avoid infighting. It is now Des takes up his father's hateful nickname for him as his title and becomes Bane.
The journey of his studies is interesting, and Bane quickly advances in his command of the force. He begins to question the new ways of the Sith order, and we follow Bane on a journey of discovery and self realisation, visiting some familiar destinations from the story of Darth Revan.
Becoming infatuated by the title of Darth, bane seeks to reinstate the title of old and restore the Sith order through his own rule of two. By having one commanding Sith Lord and one apprentice to avoid infighting, until apprentice is ready to overthrow the master. This will increase longevity of the Sith and ensure only the strong prevail.
Through manipulation and cunning, Bane revisits the brother of darkness during a seemingly endless battle with the Jedi, and ensures it's downfall. The only question remaining - who shall be his successor?
I enjoyed reading this book immensely, and have completely inhaled it over a couple of days. It's always tense, well paced and intriguing. Bane is an excellent example of a true Sith Lord, and his successful attempt to restore the Sith to their former glory, with his rule of two, is extremely enticing. If you have any interest in BBY stories and the Sith, read this book. As good as Darth Plagueis.