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An e-book novella by John Jackson Miller (2009, Del Rey)
Lost Tribe of the Sith, Book 2
Set 5000 years before Star Wars: A New Hope

A young Keshiri woman, in trouble with her own people, discovers and helps rescue the surviving Sith from their starship crash.



Read on December 27th, 2009.  
    As with Precipice, the second chapter in the Lost Tribe of the Sith is way too short, but does portray a character and her culture pretty well.

The people who live on Kesh are a simple lot, with a superstition that the Skyborn created their planet out of a drip of blood, and there seems to be a certain elite that can ride uvak to police the Keshiri.

Adari is the young widow of an uvak rider. The other Neshtovari don't partake of her heretical views, and though they usually "take care of their own", including widows of their own, they are allowing the populace to pelt her house with rocks. Fortunately for her, she collect rocks from all over Kesh, in a scientific study that would shatter Keshiri society, if anybody really believed her.

As she voices her opinions in the council in her own defense, one of the sacred mountains erupts in flame, the result, of course, of the Omen's crash landing in Precipice. The council is stunned, but thinks that the Skyborn are furious at her heretical talk, and finally take action.

Instead of succumbing to her fate, Adari takes flight on her husband's uvak, a forbidden practice. She flies out to the wreckage of the Omen, where she sees Korsin fling his brother over the cliff. According to her view, the body was still there hours later, and the sea took it after that. I wonder if Devore will reappear, since Adari certainly has a limited view on death, especially since she doesn't know anything about the Sith.

Korsin and Seelah intimidate Adari, telling her to go for help. The group of Sith probes her mind, learning everything they can about her and her people, as well as her language, and teaching her theirs. She convinces them to let her go get help, and she actually does. Like Korsin said, she is obviously planning to use the Sith for a purpose, but I wonder if she is in over her head. Or, perhaps, she will turn out to be Force-sensitive, which I would find hard to believe -maybe it is the Force that allows the riders to fly the uvak...

As expected, when the Sith are rescued, they claim to be the Skyborn, and they immediately put the Keshiri to work, building a workable path from the settlement to the crash site, to stabilize it.

Nothing is said about the Keshiri and what they actually do. Are they an agrarian society? How do they spend their time; aside from a brief mention of a mill and scholars, we don't know. I suppose this is because the Sith will strip away their culture, and turn them into replacements for the Massassi slaves they lost in Precipice. However, it would be nice to have seen a little more of the culture that will be displaced. On the other hand, since we know this "tribe" of Sith will be "lost", maybe they will have to learn the ways of the Keshiri in order to survive, and we'll learn more about the culture from that.

I do find it refreshing that the author can create a viable (if purple) species and culture in such a short amount of space. It is simpler with a medieval society, of course, which I always dislike in a Star Wars setting, because it turns it more fantasy.

However, I do think there is promise for this series, and I look forward to the next installment.


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