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Dynasty of Evil (Star Wars: Darth Bane, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – September 28, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 2,206 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Drew Karpyshyn is a fantasy and science fiction novelist and an award-winning writer/designer for the computer game company Bioware, where he was lead writer on the popular Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video game. He lives in Austin with his loving wife, Jen, and their cat.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One


". . . adhering to the rules established through the procedures outlined in the preceding, as well as all subsequent, articles. Our sixth demand stipulates that a body of . . ."

Medd Tandar rubbed a long-fingered hand across the pronounced frontal ridge of his tall, conical cranium, hoping to massage away the looming headache that had been building over the last twenty minutes.

Gelba, the being he had come to the planet of Doan to negotiate with, paused in the reading of her petition to ask, "Something wrong, Master Jedi?"

"I am not a Master," the Cerean reminded the self-appointed leader of the rebels. "I am only a Jedi Knight." With a sigh he dropped his hand. After a moment's pause he forced himself to add, "I'm fine. Please continue."

With a curt nod, Gelba resumed with her seemingly endless list of ultimatums. "Our sixth demand stipulates that a body of elected representatives from the mining caste be given absolute jurisdiction over the following eleven matters: One, the determination of wages in accordance with galactic standards. Two, the establishment of a weekly standard of hours any given employee can be ordered to work. Three, an approved list of safety apparel to be provided by . . ."

The short, muscular human woman droned on, her voice echoing strangely off the irregular walls of the underground cave. The other miners in attendance-three human men and two women crowding close to Gelba-were seemingly transfixed by her words. Medd couldn't help but think that, should their tools ever fail, the miners could simply use their leader's voice to cut through the stone.

Officially, Medd was here to try to end the violence between the rebels and the royal family. Like all Cereans, he possessed a binary brain structure, allowing him to simultaneously process both sides of a conflict. Theoretically, this made him an ideal candidate to mediate and resolve complex political situations such as the one that had developed on this small mining world. In practice, however, he was discovering that playing the part of a diplomat was far more trying than he had first imagined.

Located on the Outer Rim, Doan was an ugly, brown ball of rock. More than 80 percent of the planetary landmass had been converted into massive strip-mining operations. Even from space, the disfigurement of the world was immediately apparent. Furrows five kilometers wide and hundreds of kilometers long crisscrossed the torn landscape like indelible scars. Great quarries hewn from the bedrock descended hundreds of meters deep, irreparable pockmarks on the face of the planet.

From within the smog-filled atmosphere, the ceaseless activity of the gigantic machines was visible. Excavation equipment scurried back and forth like oversized insects, digging and churning up the dirt. Towering drilling rigs stood on mechanical legs, tunneling to previously unplumbed depths. Gigantic hovering freighters cast shadows that blotted out the pale sun as they waited patiently for their cavernous cargo holds to be filled with dirt, dust, and pulverized stone.

Scattered across the planet were a handful of five-kilometer-tall columns of irregular, dark brown stone several hundred meters in diameter. They jutted up from the ravaged landscape like fingers reaching for the sky. The flat plateaus atop these natural pillars were covered by assemblages of mansions, castles, and palaces overlooking the environmental wreckage below.

The rare mineral deposits and rampant mining on Doan had turned the small planet into a very wealthy world. That wealth, however, was concentrated almost exclusively in the hands of the nobility, who dwelled in the exclusive estates that towered above the rest of the planet. Most of the populace was made up of Doan society's lower castes, beings condemned to spend their lives engaged in constant physical labor or employed in menial service positions with no chance of advancement.

These were the beings Gelba represented. Unlike the elite, they made their homes down on the planet's surface in tiny makeshift huts surrounded by the open pits and furrows, or in small caverns tunneled down into the rocky ground. Medd had been given a small taste of their life the instant he stepped from the climate-controlled confines of his shuttle. A wall of oppressive heat thrown up from the barren, sun-scorched ground had enveloped him. He'd quickly wrapped a swatch of cloth around his head, covering his nose and mouth to guard against the swirling clouds of dust that threatened to choke the air from his lungs.

The man Gelba had sent to greet him also had his face covered, making communication all the more difficult amid the rumbling of the mining machines. Fortunately, there was no need to speak as his guide led him across the facility: the Jedi had simply gawked at the sheer scope of the environmental damage.

They had continued in silence until reaching a small, rough-hewn tunnel. Medd had to crouch to avoid scraping his head on the jagged ceiling. The tunnel went for several hundred meters, sloping gently downward until it emerged in a large natural chamber lit by glow lamps.

Tool marks scored the walls and floor. The cavern had been stripped of any valuable mineral deposits long before; all that remained were dozens of irregular rock formations rising up from the uneven floor, some less than a meter high, others stretching up to the ceiling a full ten meters above. They might have been beautiful had they not all been the exact same shade of dull brown that dominated Doan's surface.

The makeshift rebel headquarters was unfurnished, but the high ceiling allowed the Cerean to finally stand up straight. More importantly, the underground chamber offered some small refuge from the heat, dust, and noise of the surface, enabling them all to remove the muffling cloth covering their faces. Given the shrillness of Gelba's voice, Medd was debating if this was entirely a good thing.

"Our next demand is the immediate abolition of the royal family, and the surrender of all its estates to the elected representatives specified in item three of section five, subsection C. Furthermore, fines and penalties shall be levied against-"

"Please stop," Medd said, holding up a hand. Mercifully, Gelba honored his request. "As I explained to you before, the Jedi Council can do nothing to grant your demands. I am not here to eliminate the royal family. I am only here to offer my services as a mediator in the negotiations between your group and the Doan nobility."

"They refuse to negotiate with us!" one of the miners shouted.

"Can you blame them?" Medd countered. "You killed the crown prince."

"That was a mistake," Gelba said. "We didn't mean to destroy his airspeeder. We only wanted to force it into an emergency landing. We were trying to capture him alive."

"Your intentions are irrelevant now," Medd told her, keeping his voice calm and even. "By killing the heir to the throne, you brought the wrath of the royal family down on you."

"Are you defending their actions?" Gelba demanded. "They hunt my people like animals! They imprison us without trial! They torture us for information, and execute us if we resist! Now even the Jedi turn a blind eye to our suffering. You're no better than the Galactic Senate!"

Medd understood the miners' frustration. Doan had been a member of the Republic for centuries, but there had been no serious efforts by the Republic Senate or any governing body to address the injustices of their societal structure. Comprising millions of member worlds, each with its own unique traditions and systems of government, the Republic had adopted a policy of noninterference except in the most extreme cases.

Officially, idealists condemned the lack of a democratic government on Doan. But historically the population had always been granted the basic necessities of life: food, shelter, freedom from slavery, and even legal recourse in cases where a noble abused the privileges of rank. While the rich on Doan undoubtedly exploited the poor, there were many other worlds where the situation was much, much worse.

However, the reluctance of the Senate to become involved had not stopped the efforts of those who sought to change the status quo. Over the last decade, a movement demanding political and social equality had sprung up among the lower castes. Naturally, there was resistance from the nobility, and recently the tension had escalated into violence, culminating in the assassination of the Doan crown prince nearly three standard months earlier.

In response, the king had declared a state of martial law. Since then, there had been a steady stream of troubling reports supporting Gelba's accusations. Yet galactic sympathy for the rebels was slow to build. Many in the Senate saw them as terrorists, and as much as Medd sympathized with their plight, he was unable to act without Senate authority.

The Jedi were legally bound by galactic law to remain neutral in all civil wars and internal power struggles, unless the violence threatened to spread to other Republic worlds. All the experts agreed there was little chance of that happening.

"What is being done to your people is wrong," Medd agreed, choosing his words carefully. "I will do what I can to convince the king to stop his persecution of your people. But I cannot promise anything."

"Then why are you here?" Gelba demanded.

Medd hesitated. In the end, he decided that straightforward truth was the only recourse. "A few weeks ago one of your teams dug up a small tomb."
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Random House Worlds; Reprint edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0345511573
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0345511577
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 6.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.09 x 0.86 x 6.83 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 2,206 ratings

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Drew Karpyshyn is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Darth Bane: Path of Destruction and Mass Effect: Revelation, as well as several other fantasy and science fiction novels. He is also an award-winning writer/designer for the computer game company BioWare, where he was lead writer on Mass Effect and the blockbuster Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video games. He lives in Alberta, Canada, with his wife, Jen, and their cat.

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
2,206 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 7, 2022
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5.0 out of 5 stars Zannah's Defiance Compromises Her Sith Master's Rule Of Two; For Bane, There Can Be Only One.
By Andrew Reece on March 6, 2022
Simon Goinard's reimagined cover art of the final entry in the trilogy effectively depicts the harsh, tragic beauty of the ruthless outcast, Darth Bane, & his deceitful Sith apprentice, Darth Zannah.

When I first picked up 'Darth Bane : Dynasty of Evil' I confess I had very high expectations for the novel, which were founded almost completely upon the incontrovertible truth that the first two books in the trilogy, 'Path of Destruction' & 'Rule of Two' are so well-written & faithful to the Sith lore & heritage upon which they are grounded. Within Star Wars canon, the character of Darth Bane has such a dramatic impact on Sith ideology & its governing philosophies that it cannot be overemphasized. I think it was of the utmost importance when these books were being written that extra care was taken, to ensure that the tale of Darth Bane was told in a way that would do the character, the Sith, & most importantly the Star Wars mythology, proper justice. 'Darth Bane : Dynasty of Evil' most emphatically demonstrates that Drew Karpyshyn is well-versed in the skills necessary to successfully write compelling science-fiction & this final installment is a great way to bring the saga of Darth Bane to a close. I'll elaborate more thoroughly on why I feel that way, as this review proceeds.

Looking at the way 'Dynasty of Evil' is written, I noticed that the author more or less maintained the same pacing & style which was established with the preceding two entries. Karpyshyn has a pretty direct, upfront way of narrating his stories. The characters are fairly straightforward, they're believable, & the dialogue doesn't come off as over-the-top. There's no literary metaphors or hidden plot details concealed in linguistic subtlety that you must pore over the same passage for fifteen minutes before you get what he's trying to explain, which I personally am grateful for. I don't mind writers who hide clever witticisms or plot information in their work, I'm just not very adept at picking up on them when I encounter them.

There's a relatively small cast of main characters in this novel, & Karpyshyn has remained fairly consistent to that throughout the Darth Bane trilogy of books. Where he deviates slightly here from his formula is in that in 'Dynasty of Evil' the 3 or 4 new characters that are introduced, have entire chapters written from their perspectives, as opposed to just Bane & Zannah. The Iktotchi mercenary known as the Huntress is new to the plot, as is the Dark Jedi Set Harth. Another two female characters from the first two books in the trilogy also appear in 'Dynasty of Evil', one of them from 'Path of Destruction' the other from 'Rule of Two'. I won't tell you who they are, but I can say that I thought they were both well-depicted & integrated into the plot very effectively by Karpyshyn.

I have always been intrigued by the villains in the stories I read, or in the movies I watch for as long as I can remember. I like the idea of different aspects of 'evil' eventually coming into conflict with one another, the mythology of Warcraft serving as a prime example with Illidan & Arthas representing disparate incarnations of humanity's uglier tendencies. The two factions were able to co-exist up to a point before their mutually exclusive interests rendered their subsequent conflict an inevitability. In 'Dynasty of Evil' there's a similar disparity which exists between followers of the Sith when compared to the Dark Jedi. Both of these are absolutely followers of the Dark Side of the Force but a Dark Jedi is a former Jedi who has a substantially different set of ideals & motivations that govern their behavior & conduct when compared to an actual Sith. Generally, a Dark Jedi has a very short-sided & materialistic mentality, they seek personal gain & material wealth at the detriment of any higher purpose or long-term priorities which might affect their social standing or govern their behavior & force them to adhere to a code that compromised their immediate desires for gratification. Set Harth is a prime example of a Dark Jedi. A Sith is a completely different 'beast' so to speak. Bane & his Sith apprentice Zannah care very little, practically nothing, for how they are perceived by the rest of civilization. Worldly possessions & social standing provide no satisfaction to true Sith, if anything, they merely weaken an individual who might otherwise be made stronger by foregoing them. Material wealth merely provides the means to an end, if indeed it is even necessary to acquire it. Social position is pursued only when such power as would be gained upon attaining it furthers the Sith prerogative.

Karpyshyn's final installment in his Darth Bane trilogy takes place on a very intriguing group of planets in the Star Wars universe, many of them not appearing often in the mythology, either in the movies or in the literature. There was a particular element to Darth Bane, resulting from his relentless obsession with the acquisition of Sith knowledge above all else in his life, including his physical well-being, that rendered his ability to effectively dissimulate with the rest of society immensely challenging. He was left with no choice but to delegate many of the difficult social deceptions, which Sith excel at under normal circumstances, to his apprentice, Darth Zannah, while Bane was forced to skulk in primitive camps, eking out a meager, sub-human existence on the outskirts of remote, unsettled planets to avoid arousing suspicion. When 'Dynasty of Evil' picks up, the 'handicap' Bane had to endure has ceased to be a concern, which leads to his & Zannah's decision to purchase an opulent estate on the outskirts of Daplona, the capital city of the plentiful world Ciutric IV, orbited by its twin moons. Karpyshyn does a nice job of fleshing this part of the novel out for the reader, I think it accentuates the story well, particularly with regard to the choice of false identities Bane & Zannah adopt while residing on Ciutric IV. The politically-turbulent, industrial mining world of Doan is well-depicted by the author, & serves as a nice contrast to the resplendent tranquility of Citric. Karpyshyn is a veteran writer, adept at crafting effectively all types of settings for his stories. The work he does here is no different.

The ancient Sith Lord Darth Andeddu plays a significant role in the narrative of 'Dynasty of Evil'. Born thousands of years before the events of the Bane trilogy, Andeddu was proclaimed 'God-King of Prakith' which Bane travels to throughout the course of this book. When Andeddu fell, knowledge of him was outlawed by the Jedi Order & the planet Prakith's location in the 'Deep Core' was deliberately cut off from known, regularly-used hyperspace routes. Also appearing is the infamous home-world of the Hutt species, Nal Hutta & its crime-infested Smuggler's Moon, Nar Shadaa.

I've droned on with this review for quite long enough. I will say that 'Darth Bane : Dynasty of Evil' is most assuredly worth your time to pick up if you haven't already. It's well-written, engaging, & should meet your expectations as a worthy finale to the Darth Bane trilogy. 'Dynasty of Evil' serves as the capstone in the saga of the legendary Sith Lord Darth Bane, the enigmatic warrior who fought his way to a position of authority in the Sith Army, serving in the 'Gloom Walkers' under the supreme command of the Dark Lord Kaan before being sent to the Academy on the Sith planet Korriban to study under the instruction of Kas'im, Kopecz, & Qordis. Darth Bane eventually masterminded the 'Rule of Two' which governed the way Sith Lords & Apprentices trained in subsequent generations & permanently etched his signature on every man or woman in history who has claimed to be worthy of the title 'Darth'. He essentially revolutionized the very nature of Sith Order, for all time. Darth Bane & his apprentice, Darth Zannah, are beautifully imagined characters, appearing in a great trilogy, written by a talented writer.
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Top reviews from other countries

Barry Mulvany
4.0 out of 5 stars Good end to the series and well worth the read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 4, 2021
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Alex James
4.0 out of 5 stars We see less of Bane in Dynasty of Evil and the chapters about each character were shorter than I would have liked. I must say the battles were well imagined ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 15, 2017
2 people found this helpful
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S P Mead
5.0 out of 5 stars a fantastic conclusion
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 28, 2016
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K. G. A. Alavi
5.0 out of 5 stars The Legecy continues
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 7, 2012
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Mark Kaye
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, Must buy!!! Not a good ending.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 17, 2010