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Deceived (Star Wars: The Old Republic, Vol. 2) Hardcover – March 22, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: LucasBooks; 1st edition (March 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345511387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345511386
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (817 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul S. Kemp is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Star Wars: Crosscurrent, as well as nine Forgotten Realms fantasy novels and many short stories. When he’s not writing, he practices corporate law in Michigan, which has inspired him to write some really believable villains. He digs cigars, single malt scotch, and ales, and tries to hum the theme song to Shaft at least once per day. Paul Kemp lives and works in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, with his wife, twin sons, and a couple of cats.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

FATMAN SHIVERED, her metal groaning, as Zeerid pushed her through Ord Mantell's atmosphere. Friction turned the air to fire, and Zeerid watched the orange glow of the flames through the transparisteel of the freighter's cockpit.

He was gripping the stick too tightly, he realized, and relaxed.

He hated atmosphere entries, always had, the long forty-count when heat, speed, and ionized particles caused a temporary sensor blackout. He never knew what kind of sky he'd encounter when he came out of the dark. Back when he'd carted Havoc Squadron commandos in a Republic gully jumper, he and his fellow pilots had likened the blackout to diving blind off a seaside cliff.

You always hope to hit deep water, they'd say. But sooner or later the tide goes out and you go hard into rock.

Or hard into a blistering crossfire. Didn't matter, really. The effect would be the same.

"Coming out of the dark," he said as the flame diminished and the sky opened below.

No one acknowledged the words. He flew Fatman alone, worked alone. The only things he carted anymore were weapons for The Exchange. He had his reasons, but he tried hard not to think too hard about what he was doing.

He leveled the ship off, straightened, and ran a quick sweep of the surrounding sky. The sensors picked up nothing.

"Deep water and it feels fine," he said, smiling.

On most planets, the moment he cleared the atmosphere he'd have been busy dodging interdiction by the planetary government. But not on Ord Mantell. The planet was a hive of crime syndicates, mercenaries, bounty hunters, smugglers, weapons dealers, and spicerunners.

And those were just the people who ran the place.

Factional wars and assassinations occupied their attention, not governance, and certainly not law enforcement. The upper and lower latitudes of the planet in particular were sparsely settled and almost never patrolled, a literal no-being's-land. Zeerid would have been surprised if the government had survsats running orbits over the area.

And all that suited him fine.

Fatman broke through a thick pink blanket of clouds, and the brown, blue, and white of Ord Mantell's northern hemisphere filled out Zeerid's field of vision. Snow and ice peppered the canopy, frozen shrapnel, beating a steady rhythm on Fatman's hull. The setting sun suffused a large swath of the world with orange and red. The northern sea roiled below him, choppy and dark, the irregular white circles of breaking surf denoting the thousands of uncharted islands that poked through the water's surface. To the west, far in the distance, he could make out the hazy edge of a continent and the thin spine of snowcapped, cloud-topped mountains that ran along its north-south axis.

Motion drew his eye. A flock of leatherwings, too small to cause a sensor blip, flew two hundred meters to starboard and well below him, the tents of their huge, membranous wings flapping slowly in the freezing wind, the arc of the flock like a parenthesis. They were heading south for warmer air and paid him no heed as he flew over and past them, their dull, black eyes blinking against the snow and ice.

He pulled back on the ion engines and slowed still further. A yawn forced itself past his teeth. He sat up straight and tried to blink away the fatigue, but it was as stubborn as an angry bantha. He'd given the ship to the autopilot and dozed during the hyperspace run from Vulta, but that was all the rack he'd had in the last two standard days. It was catching up to him.

He scratched at the stubble of his beard, rubbed the back of his neck, and plugged the drop coordinates into the navicomp. The comp linked with one of Ord Mantell's unsecured geosyncsats and fed back the location and course to Fatman. Zeerid's HUD displayed it on the cockpit canopy. He eyed the location and put his finger on the destination.

"Some island no one has ever heard of, up here where no one ever goes. Sounds about right."

Zeerid turned the ship over to the autopilot, and it banked him toward the island.

His mind wandered as Fatman cut through the sky. The steady patter of ice and snow on the canopy sang him a lullaby. His thoughts drifted back through the clouds to the past, to the days before the accident, before he'd left the marines. Back then, he'd worn the uniform proudly and had still been able to look himself in the mirror--

He caught himself, caught the burgeoning self-pity, and stopped the thoughts cold. He knew where it would lead.

"Stow that, soldier," he said to himself.

He was what he was, and things were what they were.

"Focus on the work, Z-man."

He checked his location against the coordinates in the navicomp. Almost there.

"Gear up and get frosty," he said, echoing the words he used to say to his commandos. "Ninety seconds to the LZ."

He continued his ritual, checking the charge on his blasters, tightening the straps on his composite armor vest, getting his mind right.

Ahead, he saw the island where he would make the drop: ten square klicks of volcanic rock fringed with a bad haircut of waist-high scrub whipping in the wind. The place would probably be underwater and gone next year.

He angled lower, flew a wide circle, unable to see much detail due to the snow. He ran a scanner sweep, as always, and the chirp of his instrumentation surprised him. A ship was already on the island. He checked his wrist chrono and saw that he was a full twenty standard minutes early. He'd made this run three times and Arigo--he was sure the man's real name was not Arigo--had never before arrived early.

He descended to a few hundred meters to get a better look.

Arigo's freighter, the Doghouse, shaped not unlike the body of a legless beetle, sat in a clearing on the east side of the island. Its landing ramp was down and stuck out of its belly like a tongue. Halogens glared into the fading twilight and reflected off the falling snow, turning the flakes into glittering jewels. He saw three men lingering around the ramp, though he was too far away to notice any details other than their white winter parkas.

They spotted Fatman, and one waved a gloved hand.

Zeerid licked his lips and frowned.

Something felt off.

Flares went up from the freighter and burst in the air--green, red, red, green.

That was the correct sequence.

He circled one more time, staring down through the swirl of snow, but saw nothing to cause alarm, no other ships on the island or in the surrounding sea. He pushed aside his concern and chalked his feelings up to the usual tension caused by dealing with miscreants and criminals.

In any event, he could not afford to frak up a drop of several hundred million credits of hardware because he felt skittish. The ultimate buyer--whoever that was--would be unhappy, and The Exchange would take the lost profits from Zeerid in blood and broken bones, then tack it on to the debt he already owed them. He'd lost track of exactly how much that was, but knew it was at least two million credits on the note for Fatman plus almost half that again on advances for Arra's medical treatment, though he'd kept Arra's existence a secret and his handler thought the latter were for gambling losses.

"LZ is secure." He hoped saying it would make it so. "Going in."

The hum of the reverse thrusters and a swirl of blown snow presaged the thump of Fatman's touching down on the rock. He landed less than fifty meters from Arigo's ship.

For a moment he sat in the cockpit, perfectly still, staring at the falling snow, knowing there'd be another drop after this one, then another, then another, and he'd still owe The Exchange more than he'd ever be able to pay. He was on a treadmill with no idea how to get off.

Didn't matter, though. The point was to earn for Arra, maybe get her a hoverchair instead of that wheeled antique. Better yet, prostheses.

He blew out a breath, stood, and tried to find his calm as he threw on a winter parka and fingerless gloves. In the cargo hold, he had to pick his way though the maze of shipping containers. He avoided looking directly at the thick black lettering on their sides, though he knew it by heart, had seen such crates many times in his military career.

DANGER--MUNITIONS. FOR MILITARY USE ONLY. KEEP AWAY FROM INTENSE HEAT OR OTHER ENERGY SOURCES.

In the crates were upward of three hundred million credits' worth of crew-served laser cannons, MPAPPs, grenades, and enough ammunition to keep even the craziest fire team grinning and sinning for months.

Near the bay's landing ramp, he saw that three of the four securing straps had come loose from one of the crates of grenades. He was lucky the crate hadn't bounced around in transit. Maybe the straps had snapped when he set down on the island. He chose to believe that rather than admit to his own sloppiness.

He did not bother reattaching the straps. Arigo's men would have to undo them to unload anyway.

He loosened his blasters in their holsters and pushed the button to open the bay and lower the ramp. The door descended and snow and cold blew in, the tang of ocean salt. He stepped out into the wind. The light of the setting sun made him squint. He'd been in only artificial light for upward of twelve hours. His boots crunched on the snow-dusted black rock. His exhalations steamed away in the wind.

Two of the men from Arrigo's freighter detached themselves from their ship and met him halfway. Both were human and bearded. One had a patched eye and a scar like a lightning stroke down one cheek. Both wore blasters on their hips. Like Zeerid, both had the butt straps undone.

Recognizing neither of them rekindled Zeerid's earlier concerns. He had a mind for faces, and both of the men were strangers.

The drop was starting to taste sour.

"Where's Arigo?" Zeerid asked.

"Doin' what Arigo does," Scar said, and gestured vaguely. "Sent us instead. No worries, though, right?"

No Scar shifted on his feet, an...

More About the Author

Paul Kemp enjoys good beer, good wine, good company, and a fine scotch every now and again. He writes sword and sorcery and space opera and works very hard to make them a fun ride.

While his mind is often in the fantastical fictional worlds, his body lives in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, with his wife Jennifer, his twin sons, his daughter, and their various and sundry pets.

He is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn and the University of Michigan law school. When he's not writing , he practices corporate law in Detroit. Yes, that does make him a tool of "the Man," for which he shall bear everlasting shame.

He hopes you enjoy his novels.

Customer Reviews

Too much of this book seems like filler.
Annihilatrix1138
The book feels rushed, never really goes anywhere, then just ends leaving you not really wanting more and kind of feeling like you just wasted your time.
The Dude
The characters and story were both very well written and developed.
Frontlaven

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

390 of 421 people found the following review helpful By Annihilatrix1138 VINE VOICE on November 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't think Drew Karpyshyn properly grasped how much emotional investment fans of Knights of the Old Republic have tied up in this story, these characters, and the ending that never seemed to come; if he had, this novel probably wouldn't have turned out the way it did. It might be unfair to judge this novel the way I am right now, since the bias here can't be understated. It's been seven years since I played both games of the KotOR series for the first time, which was one of the most memorable gaming experiences I've had in my life. Since then, I've played the games many times over, always wondering what happened to Revan, the Exile, and their respective companions.

THE OLD REPUBLIC: REVAN attempts to give those of us who've been waiting for more than half a decade some form of closure, but instead manages to effectively kick all of the loose plotlines into a shallow grave, and plant a big sign on top of it that reads, "You happy now? Move on."

To start off: don't let the title and that picture of the eponymous hero trick you. This book is NOT about Revan; if anything, only a third of the book's scant 280 pages actually centers on him. The rest follows a previously unknown Sith pureblood called Lord Scourge: a Dark Lord with a name so campy that his dark side compatriots can't help but poke fun at it. For reasons that I'll probably never understand, this Lord Scourge is the absolute focus of the book.
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128 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Stingray007 on November 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
-Some Spoilers Below-

The book started off strong, and it was enjoyable and interesting seeing how Bastila and Revan (as well as Canderous) have carried on throughout the years after the events of the KOTOR 1-2. However, too many characters were simply swept under the rug. Carth Onasi was never mentioned at all, in fact.

Instead, a lot of time was spent on a new character, Lord Scourge of the Sith. Besides the ridiculously Dark Side-esque name, I actually didn't mind these segments - they were an interesting look into the reclusive Sith Empire.

Revan and Canderous go on an interesting quest for Mandalore's Mask, which while it was one of the exciting and awesome segments of the book, rife with tension and combat sections, had a lot more potential. All the clans converging on the area in question at once would have made a brilliant cathartic climax to that plotline of the novel, but instead we get kind of an anticlimatic resolution to the Mandalorian plotline.

After this, the book starts to go downhill. Less and less time is given to Revan; he even gets captured at one point, his ship shot down with a single shot from the new character Lord Scourge. And then he proceeds to spend most of the remaining time of the book imprisoned. How exciting, for the character we had waited to long to see back in action.

The exile then makes an appearance, and is even given a name. She and Scourge actually find common ground in an interesting twist, and pull off a xanatos gambit which I found myself enjoying, even if Revan had been shunted to the sidelines for these segments. Revan gets his characteristic mask back right after escaping, and it's an awesome scene of reclaimed identity and power.
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134 of 154 people found the following review helpful By Enjolras TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First of all, let me say that my biggest peeve with Star Wars novels is that too many authors seem content to fill their books with ridiculous plot devices, endless battle scenes, and shallow characters. I've had enough of superweapons - after all, we all know the good guys defeat them. Unfortunately, I thought Sean Williams' Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance, the first in the Old Republic series, exemplifies these problems. As such, I admit I approached Star Wars: The Old Republic: Deceived with some trepidation.

Fortunately, Paul Kemp's approach to the Star Wars universe is completely different. While technically the second book in the Old Republic Series, Star Wars: The Old Republic: Deceived features a new plot and new characters. WARNING: the rest of this review contains some minor spoilers, none of which as far as I'm aware are available elsewhere on the web - although I mention almost nothing past page 50 of the book.

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Deceived begins with the Sith sacking of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, a scene featured in a Bioware trailer for the upcoming Old Republic computer game (I've posted the link in the comments section). By itself, this is a pretty dramatic opening for a novel and does a great job of bringing the action to life.
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