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As a big fan of Darth Maul, who felt he did not get this due in Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace, this book was a boon. Author Ryder Windham starts us with a young Maul (it is never clearly stated how old Maul is - i figure it's to add to his mystique) who is under the cruel, Agoge-esque, tutelage of Darth Sidious; to his battle with Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan & beyond. The book is fast-paced & exciting (i was able to finish it in about 5 hours). The story is from Maul's point of view & should not be misconstrued as a biography. Windham acknowledges that some of the story is taken from "Star Wars: Episode 1 Journal - Darth Maul", not to mention the final chapters, which are a recapitulation of the scenes with Maul from SW:E1-TPM; only from Maul's point-of-view. This is a Scholastic book, intended for kids 8 & up, however Ryder does not write-down to his readers, ergo people of any age can enjoy this novel. The Amazon page lists the book as having 224 pages, but they must be including the title pages & table of contents, because there are 216 pages (even that is including the Acknowledgments). Maybe i am making connections where there are none, but chapter 6 starts on page 66. Is this an allusion to Maul's similarity to other "adversaries" in mythology like Habayu & Set or mere coincidence? About the artwork: just to clear any confusion, the picture on the front of the book is of Darth Maul glowering, sans-hood; although the slip-cover is of a hooded Maul with a more complacent stare. In summation: whether you are an allegiant Star Wars fan or have never heard of Star Wars (i pity you if you are the latter) you can enjoy this book.
This book was a brief, fast paced tie in to both the movie (The Phantom Menace) and the TV show (Clone Wars). It was a really quick read that kept my interest all the way through. I borrowed it and read it for free. I'm glad I did not pay the cover price of 16.99. It is really cheaply made to charge that much for it. I digress. It was fun and easy and gets you ready for the 3D release of The Phantom Menace as well as makes you want to watch the Clone Wars series. It has some pretty violent and dark bits so parents might want to skim it first. I'm glad I read it for free. It was worth my time. As far as new info about Darth Maul: ***SPOILER ALERT*** The first few pages depict Maul years after he was cut in half. He is in a cave and has robot legs. The rest of the book deals with him growing up and breezes through the events of his life ultimately ending with him being chopped in half by Obi. The end ties directly to the last little bit of Clone Wars season 4. It got me excited to watch the series. If you are looking for more about Maul after he is cut in half, you'll have to wait because this book only has about 10 pages of this. It's more a teaser for the upcoming season of Clone Wars.
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If you are a Darth Maul's fan and you wanna dig deeper into this great star wars character's life, then by all means buy this book. It is so easy to read that you can devour many pages without a blink from your eyes. It does not contain many fancy vocabulary or complicated descriptions, which makes your experience a pleasent one. Excellent purchase should you be interested in showing off your star wars knowledge!!!
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