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An e-book novella by John Jackson Miller (2010, Del Rey)
Lost Tribe of the Sith, Book 4
Set 5000 years before Star Wars: A New Hope

Rebellion stirs among the Keshiri natives against their Sith masters, as well a Sith faction against their current leader.




Read on August 12th, 2010  
    The story is starting to get more interesting, now, with a couple of new twists, which might result in a new kind of confrontation down the line.

While, as Ben Skywalker says in Abyss, the Sith keep popping up, this is probably one of the most interesting of their occurrences. Although it's difficult to peep track of this story over the long intervals between chapters, the ideas are maintained, and the author does a pretty good job of filling us in, though sometimes there is too much background. Assuming that I'm going to read this series front to back when it is done, that's going to feel like needless filler.

The story itself is not filler, and it starts the series down a new path. The Sith have finally realized that they can't sit on their mountain retreat and not interact with the natives. Being overlords is one thing. The plague that devastated several villages made them realize that they have to have a more direct face in their government. So they have moved almost everything from the mountaintop to the main Keshiri city, where Adari sat awaiting judgment back in Skyborn.

Adari has become a familiar face among the Sith, for she did save them, of course, and Korsin, leader of the Sith, has always taken a liking to her. But she hates him, and the Sith, for what he has done to her people. So she has been planning rebellion since Paragon. Now, she gathers all the former uvak riders and has them call all the uvaks to an actively-spewing volcano, where she plans to sacrifice them all. This would essentially strand the Sith, because it is virtually impossible to get anywhere on Kesh without flying.

At the same time, Seelah is planning her own power play. She knows she is not strong enough to take Korsin down herself. But her oldest son, child of Korsin's brother, has lived with vengeance on his mind for twenty five years on Kesh, and they decide it is time. While moving the last of the supplies from the mountain, Seelah's healing center, they attack Korsin. There, Gloyd, the last of the non-human Sith, dies in a heroic sacrifice himself, paralyzing Seelah, and marring her beauty. Korsin is stabbed by his nephew, who is killed by Korsin's oldest daughter, Nida (who also flies an uvak).

The story is growing in its complexity, and we can already see some traits that will appear in Omen and Abyss, much later on. Seelah has instilled beauty as the main trait of the Keshiri Sith, and apparently they will become fanatical about it. The Sith plan the attrition of the Keshiri people, but we know that won't happen. But neither will the Sith perish. I find it interesting that the Keshiri and humans can't produce offspring.

Nida, who grew up with a strange assortment of teachers in faraway places, we later learn, seduced Adari's son, who was worried about the uvak plot on her (presumably since she rides one). So Nida was able to prevent the uprising in one province, and Adari's plan failed. But her sacrifice also failed. Several Keshiri followed her into the plume of the mountain, where the uvaks were supposed to die, and they were flung in the jetstream far away, to a distant part of Kesh.

So the story ends with Adari and a few followers exiled, unsure if they or their uvaks will live even weeks more. Korsin is dead, and Seelah is effectively out of the picture, exiled herself on the mountaintop, alone with her crippled body. I wonder, though, if she will wield power just by her influence. Nida is the new leader of the Sith, and who knows where she will take them?

I like the plotting and counterplotting. But I did find that setting the story in five or ten year intervals (or more) causes large gaps in the plotting. I can understand Seelah waiting a long time for her revenge. But twenty-five years? Was her son so slow in learning all the Sith techniques? In Paragon, Adari started the resistance, but I wonder what kind of resistance she had organized. Obviously they remained hidden, because the Sith would have hunted them down, otherwise. So what did she do? We have no idea.

So who's the Savior of the title? It could be Nida, who is called savior for saving Korsin's rule, though he died and made her Lady of the Sith. But I wonder if it could also be Adari, depending on what the future holds for her race. Instead of being destroyed, they will obviously thrive at some point. Did she save her race by putting Nida in charge? Only future stories will tell.


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