||I wish the author had not made such a
large jump in time from one story to the next. I was looking forward to
the change in dynasty after Korsin was killed in Savior, and to how Adari and the others marooned on a far continent, managed to get along
(if they did -but if they didn't, why bother putting them there, as it
reduces the effect of the story). Unfortunately, this story does little
to enlighten us.
true Council was appointed, which could vote the next leader. But the
current leader, old and frail as she appears, does not want to be
replaced, so she sets up a contest in the gladiator arena where the one
most favored to be elected will sponsor a combatant who will attack her. So Ori's mother is disgraced, and is stripped of her titles and
lands, and becomes a slave. Ori's mother is shrewd enough to realize
what is occurring, and sends Ori, a Sith Saber, on the run before she
can be captured.
I liked Ori as a character. She was
Sith, but seemed very human, too. She was interested in things,
including politics and human behavior. She didn't interact with any
Keshiri (in fact, I don't remember a single Keshiri character in the
story), but she had many thoughts about them.
But her best interactions were with the
title-less man named Jelph. Ori visits him to get some of the best
flowers for the gladiatorial celebration. Apparently it was because of
the fertilizer he dug up in the jungle a ways from here. So when her
family is disgraced, she takes refuge with Jelph, whether he likes it or
not. And he does kind of like it. In separate scenes, before and after
her mother's disgrace, Ori admired his muscles, and he definitely had
some interest in her.
As he knew, he should have never left
her alone, because that was when she got into trouble. Old Saber bullies
she had known showed up and killed her uvak, and took her lightsaber
-neither was permitted to people without status in Sith society. In her
anger, she destroys Jelph's farmstead, and discovers his deep-buried
secret -or at least part of it.
It turns out that Jelph was not born
among the Sith society on Kesh, as everybody assumes. He crashed on Kesh
just like the Sith did, and he still has his starship, buried in manure.
He was actually a Jedi, who was searching the galaxy for remnants of the
Sith after The Sith War.
The book ends on a cliff-hanger, as Ori
simply sees a way back into high standing with the Sith Council, and
Jelph might now be on the run -certainly he will be hunted.