||This short story reads like the first
chapter to a novel. I wonder why it was published this way, instead of
being part of a novel, itself. The reason could be as simple as
marketing. Those of us who will read the Fate of the Jedi novels will be
intrigued, and get more of a backstory on the Sith who will apparently
take center stage. Those who saw a free e-book on-line will perhaps learn
about this group of Sith, and be intrigued enough to start reading the
Fate of the Jedi.
If the main characters from the Fate of
the Jedi series are indeed descended from this group of Sith, then I
would indeed be interested in finding out how they survived the five
millennia in between. The timeframe is during the war described in
of the Sith Empire comics, as the Sith rediscovered the galaxy at large,
and Naga Sadow planned to destroy the Republic. Yaru Korsin commands the
Omen (which I notice is the title of a FOTJ novel), a ship carrying
Lignin crystals, which I believe either amplify Sith powers or can be
used for lightsabers.
The Omen is caught in a trap by the
Jedi, and its sister ship, Harbinger, collides with it, but their
navigator pulls them into hyperspace to avoid the bulk of the collision.
Korsin debates with himself whether their contact, a fallen Jedi, was
actually fallen at all, or if he double-crossed them.
Korsin's ship crashes on an alien
planet, where the local animals appear to be poison, and they are
isolated between mountain ranges and the sea. There is nothing they can
use to get off their little island of solitude, so they will starve if
they can't get word back to the Sith Empire, which will undoubtedly come
searching for its missing crystals.
Korsin and the others on the ship are
Force-sensitive; most appear to be powerful Sith. All the Massassi shock
troops they had carried with them succumb to some airborn illness within
hours of the crash, and the Sith fall to bickering amongst themselves.
Yaru's brother Devore is also on the crew, and they hate each other. On
the planet, they disagree on what should be done, and Devore beats Yaru
back to the ship when it stops burning, where they both find that the
transmitter is dead. Devore, high on spice drugs, attacks his brother
with a lightsaber, who uses a few tricks to defeat him, and sends him
tumbling, dead, over the edge of a cliff.
Devore's lover, Seelah, whose infant
somehow survived the crash in his mother's arms, hates Yaru with a
vengeance. There is some character development to be mined, here, and
she presumably knows that Yaru killed Devore, and she can't do anything
about it until her son is much older. The Sith don't care who pays the
In thirty pages, the story gives us
enough information to begin understanding the characters, but not much
more. As a story, I felt that it was interesting, and well written. Only
time will tell whether that is enough.