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Shadow of the Sith

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Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian return in this essential novel set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The Empire is dead. Nearly two decades on from the Battle of Endor, the tattered remnants of Palpatine’s forces have fled to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. But for the heroes of the New Republic, danger and loss are ever-present companions, even in t Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian return in this essential novel set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The Empire is dead. Nearly two decades on from the Battle of Endor, the tattered remnants of Palpatine’s forces have fled to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. But for the heroes of the New Republic, danger and loss are ever-present companions, even in this newly forged era of peace. Jedi Master Luke Skywalker is haunted by visions of the dark side, foretelling an ominous secret growing somewhere in the depths of space, on a dead world called Exegol. The disturbance in the Force is undeniable…and Luke’s worst fears are confirmed when his old friend, Lando Calrissian, comes to him with reports of a new Sith menace. After his daughter was stolen from his arms, Lando searched the stars for any trace of his lost child. But every new rumor only led to dead ends and fading hopes–until he crossed paths with Ochi of Bestoon, a Sith assassin tasked with kidnapping a young girl. Ochi’s true motives remain shrouded to Luke and Lando. For on a junkyard moon, a mysterious envoy of the Sith Eternal has bequeathed a sacred blade to the assassin, promising that it will give him answers to the questions that have haunted him since the Empire fell. In exchange, he must complete a final mission: return to Exegol with the key to the Sith’s glorious rebirth—the granddaughter of Darth Sidious himself, Rey. As Ochi hunts Rey and her parents to the edge of the galaxy, Luke and Lando race into the mystery of the Sith’s lingering shadow and aid a young family running for their lives.


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Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian return in this essential novel set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The Empire is dead. Nearly two decades on from the Battle of Endor, the tattered remnants of Palpatine’s forces have fled to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. But for the heroes of the New Republic, danger and loss are ever-present companions, even in t Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian return in this essential novel set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The Empire is dead. Nearly two decades on from the Battle of Endor, the tattered remnants of Palpatine’s forces have fled to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. But for the heroes of the New Republic, danger and loss are ever-present companions, even in this newly forged era of peace. Jedi Master Luke Skywalker is haunted by visions of the dark side, foretelling an ominous secret growing somewhere in the depths of space, on a dead world called Exegol. The disturbance in the Force is undeniable…and Luke’s worst fears are confirmed when his old friend, Lando Calrissian, comes to him with reports of a new Sith menace. After his daughter was stolen from his arms, Lando searched the stars for any trace of his lost child. But every new rumor only led to dead ends and fading hopes–until he crossed paths with Ochi of Bestoon, a Sith assassin tasked with kidnapping a young girl. Ochi’s true motives remain shrouded to Luke and Lando. For on a junkyard moon, a mysterious envoy of the Sith Eternal has bequeathed a sacred blade to the assassin, promising that it will give him answers to the questions that have haunted him since the Empire fell. In exchange, he must complete a final mission: return to Exegol with the key to the Sith’s glorious rebirth—the granddaughter of Darth Sidious himself, Rey. As Ochi hunts Rey and her parents to the edge of the galaxy, Luke and Lando race into the mystery of the Sith’s lingering shadow and aid a young family running for their lives.

30 review for Shadow of the Sith

  1. 5 out of 5

    Khurram

    A great book. An excellent addition to the sequel trilogy. It acts very similarly to the other books in the sequels gives greater depth to the sequel movies. This was one of the most anticipated books to come out in the Disney era, and for me it really delivered. It was great to have Luke in action. I do like that it shows signs of him being the tired warrior, for his role in the Last Jedi. Also the hope he had for Ben and the new Jedi academy, it is easy to see why he becomes a hermit when it de A great book. An excellent addition to the sequel trilogy. It acts very similarly to the other books in the sequels gives greater depth to the sequel movies. This was one of the most anticipated books to come out in the Disney era, and for me it really delivered. It was great to have Luke in action. I do like that it shows signs of him being the tired warrior, for his role in the Last Jedi. Also the hope he had for Ben and the new Jedi academy, it is easy to see why he becomes a hermit when it destroyed. I am not yet biggest Lando fan, but I think his story is very important, his pain, healing then the guilt of his healing. It is a draining emotional cycle as it would be for any parent. I fully support him being more of the main character for this book. Of course there is also a family on the run that are also extremely important. For me they were my faverite parts of the book, (except when Luke has a lightsaber). The only reason I considered taking half a star off was the book was a bit slow in places, but I do understand why that was necessary, but I would have rounded this up anyway. I have always loved the continuity of the Star Wars universe, Expanded/Legonds and now the Disney era, so it us awesome to see the writers working so closely together.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Arezou

    Rating is probably closer to 2.5. I will be perfectly honest, I went into Shadow of the Sith unsure what to think of it, and hesitant at the premise to say the least. By the sound of things, it was going to at least partially bridge the gap between Star Wars Original and Sequel trilogies, which I am always here for. It was also going to be a Luke and Lando adventure, which was a welcome concept. But that it was going to be the book to double down on the Rey Palpatine plot introduced out of nowhe Rating is probably closer to 2.5. I will be perfectly honest, I went into Shadow of the Sith unsure what to think of it, and hesitant at the premise to say the least. By the sound of things, it was going to at least partially bridge the gap between Star Wars Original and Sequel trilogies, which I am always here for. It was also going to be a Luke and Lando adventure, which was a welcome concept. But that it was going to be the book to double down on the Rey Palpatine plot introduced out of nowhere in The Rise of Skywalker was the part that gave me pause. Now having read it, I find myself just as conflicted as when I started. I want to say from the outset, that absolutely none of my issues lie with author Adam Christopher. Shadow of the Sith is an extremely well-written book. The lore he has added around the Sith, Sith acolytes and Exegol is all fascinating stuff. I had a lot of fun watching Luke and Lando run around the galaxy together. This would likely be a very different conversation if Episode IX hadn’t gone the way it had in several respects. The biggest hurdle for me to clear was the introduction of Rey’s parents. We are introduced early on to Dathan and Miramir, a young couple on the run from Palpatine, seeking not only to save themselves but their young daughter, Rey. In all honesty, if they had just been a random doomed couple that Luke and Lando wanted to find and protect, I would have been all in on their story. As characters existing in a void, they are both sweet and compelling. But knowing who exactly they are and what their existence cost Rey — one of my favorite characters in the whole saga — in terms of her agency and her character arc, any time they spoke of their daughter it was a sobering reminder that sadly diminished how invested I was in their overall story. For what it’s worth, Christopher does his best by the characters in the story, attempting to inject a degree of foreshadowing to line this story up with their eventual sequel trilogy plots. But Lando’s dedication to finding his stolen daughter, and Luke’s belief that his nephew Ben will make a great Jedi one day just wind up feeling so tragic, because we know — as of right now — that these things will never come to pass. Also he gave us not one, but two chapters with Padawan Ben Solo. I never thought I’d see that. While the scenes weren’t exactly focused on him, it did make my cold heart grow a size or two. All that said, the Sith side of the story is chilling and compelling, and I enjoyed it with zero caveats. Luke Skywalker discovering the darker side of the Sith, and the presence of Sith artifacts while facing a terrifying new threat? Yes, more of this kind of thing, please. I am always here for stories that make the world seem bigger rather than smaller. It was always going to be a thankless task to try and make sense of some of the more out of left-field decisions made by J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio in The Rise of Skywalker. Ultimately I think the enjoyment of this book for others depends on how they felt about that film, and specifically how they felt about Rey Palpatine. If you liked that, you’ll like this. For me personally, the book hasn’t turned me off of Adam Christoper’s writing. As I said, it’s well written and I will happily read another Star Wars book of his should he write one. Shadow of the Sith is out June 28, 2022. Special thank you to Del Rey for an advance copy for review purposes.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Koan

    For many people this has been been a long time coming. Some of us have been waiting for a book filling in the gaps of The Rise of Skywalker. Some of us have been waiting for a good Luke Skywalker story, some of us have been waiting for another ROTJ-TFA story. Finally it is here. I mention people waiting for this book, but I don't think anyone has been waiting as long as Adam Christopher. He was brought on board to write a Mandalorian novel that would have come out last year. Unfortunately, that b For many people this has been been a long time coming. Some of us have been waiting for a book filling in the gaps of The Rise of Skywalker. Some of us have been waiting for a good Luke Skywalker story, some of us have been waiting for another ROTJ-TFA story. Finally it is here. I mention people waiting for this book, but I don't think anyone has been waiting as long as Adam Christopher. He was brought on board to write a Mandalorian novel that would have come out last year. Unfortunately, that book got shelved never to be seen again (I think we all know why...) and he instead had to write a whole new book, this time tying up the stray pieces of the Rise of Skywalker. I feel bad that Christopher was put in this position but I am impressed that he stuck with it and worked so hard on this book, as I think it really shows. The first thing I'll say about the book itself is that it feels like an epic movie. I could definitely see this as a good movie script, albeit a long one. The cast seems managable, the plot is fairly straightforward, and the action is really exciting! There were moments throughout the book that really stuck out in my mind, which is exactly what you'd want an epic book to do. This is actually a really long book. In fact, it is the second longest adult novel in the canon, narrowly beating out "Victory's Price", but coming nowhere near the monstrosity that is "Lesser Evil". Still, this has a huge page count, and it shows. Christopher was able to tell a really complete story without stretching the book out into a trilogy. All of the plotlines are either neatly tied up here or are tied up in The Rise of Skywalker. One of the hurdles that this book tries to tackle is the character of Luke Skywalker. There have been a few canon books featuring Luke, and they've all done a poor job. "Heir to the Jedi" was too juvinille and "The Legends of Luke Skywalker" was just too wierd. His short story in "Stories of Jedi and Sith" was the only bad story and it has become so frustrating that they can't seem to get him right. If anything, Luke feels the best in this book that he's been in the canon literature, but that's not too high a bar. His character feels logically consistent with the character of Luke in the movies, but there is a certain flare missing that his character had in the EU characters. I think that the approach here was to write as little from Luke's mind as possible, and mostly try to stay limited third person. I think this mostly worked for this story, but if we're going to get a good Luke story they need someone who can really delve into the character. Nonetheless, Adam Christopher does an adequate job here. This book also features Rey's parents, Dathan and Miramir. I'm shocked to say they were my favorite part of the book. I almost wish we had gotten the entire novel from their perspective. I really liked how ingenius they both were when they worked together (you can see where Rey gets her instincts), and they were a refreshing couple to read about. They had some excellent humor and some sweet moments with Rey. I think I'll feel more for them when I next watch The Rise of Skywalker. Lando was interesting in this book, as he felt not quite his TROS version, but not his original trilogy/Solo verison either. It felt like Christopher was trying to mesh the two together, show a slow change in Lando, and I think he was successful. But it did feel a little weird. There are two villains in this book. One of them is a surprise (or at least a suprise if you haven't been following the author's tweets), and the other is Ochi of Bestoon. I found both of them fascinating, and I was creeped out by both of them. Christopher was able to incorporate elements of horror into their stories that I thought was fascinating. One thing right from the get-go that I noticed was that Adam Christopher has a very polished style. He already has experience writing for Media Tie-In Fiction with two books for "Elementary" and more recently, a "Stranger Things" novel. He has also written about a dozen original novels, and thus he feels very experienced and not a new author. His style seems to fit well with the styles of Delilah S. Dawson, Chuck Wendig, Alexander Freed, and Rebecca Roanhorse. I think this is good, because the Canon needs to continue to develop voices that mesh well and form a good story overall. As aluded to earlier, this book had a lot of heavy lifting to do story wise. Christopher had to tell the story of Luke/Lando chasing Ochi, of Rey and her parents fleeing Ochi, explain the history of the Sith holocrons, the Wayfinders, Exegol, and even Ochi's backstory. Sufice it to say, this book was designed to answer questions, and it does a good job of it. If you detested The Rise of Skywalker (first of all, I'm sad because I think it's a fun movie), you probably won't like this book. If you had some problems with TROS but didn't hate it, you might really like this book, because it fixes so much. If you really liked the Rise of Skywalker, you probably will also really like this book. If I can level a final criticism, this book lacks a special heart to it. While I absolutely loved the Miramir/Dathan storyline and enjoyed the others, it didn't have that special something that my favorite Canon books have had. It's a hard thing to put into words, but when I finish books like "Master and Apprentice", "A New Dawn", and "Catalyst", I feel like I want to instantly reread them. Here, I think I'm good for a while. As I said, this is a pretty good book that had some enormous hurdles to overcome. I am impressed with Adam Christopher's ability to both tell a fun adventure and do scutwork answering questions that the movies left open. However, the book lacked a certain spark for which I can't give it a perfect score. So I give the book a 7.5 out of 10. Excellent job Adam Christopher.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dexcell

    “No matter how the darkness grows, you are never alone.” I enjoyed this book a lot, it had a lot of fun things going for it, and was pure EU. Of course it had to tie into the sequels which drags it down, but that can't be helped. It's one of the better canon books. I wished we had more of Nathand Miramir, Reys parents. I feel like there was more story to tell there, but of course they had to die by the end. They were interesting, but underdeveloped. Luke was great, as always. But it just bothers me “No matter how the darkness grows, you are never alone.” I enjoyed this book a lot, it had a lot of fun things going for it, and was pure EU. Of course it had to tie into the sequels which drags it down, but that can't be helped. It's one of the better canon books. I wished we had more of Nathand Miramir, Reys parents. I feel like there was more story to tell there, but of course they had to die by the end. They were interesting, but underdeveloped. Luke was great, as always. But it just bothers me knowing where he'll end up later on. Lando had a nice arc as well, being so strung up on finding Reys family because of his own guilt on not being able to save his daughter Kadara. Also, this book made the Errant Venture canon again, so I really hope we see our favorite red Star Destroyer in a future book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ben Brown

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Now THIS is what I’m talking about. For the most part, most of the “Star Wars” novels that have been published since Disney’s acquisition of the franchise back in 2012 have played things relatively safe, story-speaking, preferring to depict narratives in corners of the galaxy far, far away that are both well-trodden and immediately familiar. It’s rare – in fact, I would say it’s almost entirely unheard of – to find modern “Star Wars” novels that feel really, TRULY integral to the saga, in terms o Now THIS is what I’m talking about. For the most part, most of the “Star Wars” novels that have been published since Disney’s acquisition of the franchise back in 2012 have played things relatively safe, story-speaking, preferring to depict narratives in corners of the galaxy far, far away that are both well-trodden and immediately familiar. It’s rare – in fact, I would say it’s almost entirely unheard of – to find modern “Star Wars” novels that feel really, TRULY integral to the saga, in terms of narrative and thematic relevance. “Shadows of the Sith” is one of the very few exceptions, with author Adam Christopher using the novel as an excuse to both fill in long-standing gaps left over from the sequel trilogy (What’s the story with Rey’s parents? How did Rey end up on Jakku? How did Palpatine corrupt Ben Solo? What’s the deal with those Wayfinders?), while ALSO managing to tell an individual tale that consistently feels weighty and interesting, both narratively AND emotionally. It also just happens to be a freaking great yarn, with Christopher clearly reveling in the opportunity to be able to tell a fast-paced, lore-packed “Star Wars” tale that doesn’t hand-hold or dilly-dally when it comes to moving the plot forward. This is a “Star Wars” book written by a fan, FOR fans, and it shows page-for-page. As a book, “Shadows of the Sith” delivers everything you could want: good story, good characters, well-written prose. As a “Star Wars” book, however, “Shadows of the Sith” is nothing short of revelatory, both in terms of what it reveals about the broader “Star Wars” narrative, as well as what it proves in terms of just how good these books can be when they are given the chance. Bravo.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Merrin Taylor

    This book should be required reading. It definitely adds much to enjoyment of the sequel trilogy, especially TRoS. So many questions were answered, and yet there is room for more lore and backstory. Let me interject briefly to say that if you’re stuck on hating TRoS, that is likely to color your enjoyment. I also had my qualms, but the more I read in-universe, the more I cool off about it. Rey is still one of my favorite Star Wars characters, but I’m not so stuck in my head about it that I let it This book should be required reading. It definitely adds much to enjoyment of the sequel trilogy, especially TRoS. So many questions were answered, and yet there is room for more lore and backstory. Let me interject briefly to say that if you’re stuck on hating TRoS, that is likely to color your enjoyment. I also had my qualms, but the more I read in-universe, the more I cool off about it. Rey is still one of my favorite Star Wars characters, but I’m not so stuck in my head about it that I let it turn into blind hate for the franchise and all they continue to do. If you want more of Luke Skywalker in his prime, fun Lando Calrissian content, context behind Rey being on Jakku, teenage Ben Solo (yes, you read that right! it’s not a lot, but it is glorious), and Sith lore, this is for you! A bit darker because of said Sith lore, think along the lines of Last Shot by Daniel Jose Older. Great narration by William DeMeritt, too.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kaci Lister

    Thank you NetGalley for the ARC to review. I truly loved this novel so much! Shadow of the Sith takes readers on a fun and exhilarating story that is, in my opinion, needed to understand the trajectory of the sequel trilogy. As someone who adores those movies for what they are, this novel fills in many blanks for fans who didn’t understand why The Rise of Skywalker went in the direction it did. It’s fast-paced, enthralling, and overall really freaking fun! Full review on nerdsandbeyond.com!

  8. 5 out of 5

    alisha

    4.5!! can’t believe this book made me (someone indifferent to the sequel era as whole) interested in the sequel era… the details and worldbuilding about the sith eternal, palpatine, and exegol was extremely interesting, and made the Big Reveal in tros feel more well earned. i loved rey’s parents and their storyline, especially that of her father, with his childhood on exegol and all. also luke and lando are two of my favorite characters in anything EVER and this book did do them justice (except f 4.5!! can’t believe this book made me (someone indifferent to the sequel era as whole) interested in the sequel era… the details and worldbuilding about the sith eternal, palpatine, and exegol was extremely interesting, and made the Big Reveal in tros feel more well earned. i loved rey’s parents and their storyline, especially that of her father, with his childhood on exegol and all. also luke and lando are two of my favorite characters in anything EVER and this book did do them justice (except for the luke anti attachment thing, but i think that’s a more general problem and not a This Book problem). anyway this was fantastic. the end

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Zukowski

    My review for Dork Side of the Force: Shadow of the Sith, the newest adult Star Wars novel, achieves the rare feat of feeling like it belongs in both the epic, adventurous Legends era and the heart- and soul-infused new canon. It’s a Luke Skywalker story. It’s a Lando Calrissian adventure. It’s a deliciously dark piece of Sith lore. It’s essential reading set in the time period we’ve been waiting years for. At 496 pages, the book by Adam Christopher is on the lengthier end of the Star Wars book sp My review for Dork Side of the Force: Shadow of the Sith, the newest adult Star Wars novel, achieves the rare feat of feeling like it belongs in both the epic, adventurous Legends era and the heart- and soul-infused new canon. It’s a Luke Skywalker story. It’s a Lando Calrissian adventure. It’s a deliciously dark piece of Sith lore. It’s essential reading set in the time period we’ve been waiting years for. At 496 pages, the book by Adam Christopher is on the lengthier end of the Star Wars book spectrum. But Shadow of the Sith‘s story flies by, telling an edge-of-your-seat tale that seamlessly weaves every era of Star Wars together and builds a sturdy bridge between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The overarching plotline of Christopher’s novel is the race to help Rey’s parents, Dathan and Miramir, escape the reach of the Sith and Ochi of Bestoon, who’s been tasked with hunting the family of three. Dathan is a Palpatine clone who escaped Exegol, met and married Miramir, and fathered little Rey, who’s about 6 years old in the novel. At this time, it’s about 17 years after Return of the Jedi and 13 years before The Force Awakens. The galaxy is relatively at peace. The New Republic is in charge, and Luke Skywalker has created a new Jedi Order. His nephew Ben Solo is his first Padawan and helps run the fledgling Jedi temple and train a handful of Force-sensitive younglings. Lando Calrissian, the swaggering and self-assured gambler-turned-general is now grappling with the grief of losing his daughter. He’s haunted by the loss of Kadara, who was kidnapped six years prior. He’s been scouring the galaxy for any sign of her, and this mission to help a family and their young daughter ignites a fire in him that he hasn’t felt since his days fighting for the Rebellion. Each main character is haunted by something – though they have different reasons for their dedication to the novel’s mission. Luke is haunted by visions of the Sith planet Exegol and a disturbance in the Force – all while trying to build the future of the Jedi. For Lando, it’s the hole left by his daughter. Even Ochi is haunted by the decades of hunting and killing he’s done in dedication to the Sith and a lust for power. For Dathan and Miramir, Rey is their entire world, their sun, their universe. Her safety is of the utmost priority, and they will do everything in their power to keep her safe. These two know exactly who is hunting them and why. The book gives the perfect dose of backstory for both, exploring the origins of Miramir’s ingenious tech and engineering skills and how she met Dathan. It also shows that Miramir knew all about who Dathan is and where he came from – and she loves him unconditionally anyway. Christopher also brilliantly explores the horrors of Dathan’s childhood as a surviving clone of Palpatine, but one who does not exhibit Force sensitivity. Growing up on Exegol with very little care and compassion, it’s astounding that Dathan is capable of the love he exhibits for his wife and daughter. While Sith assassin and Jedi hunter Ochi of Bestoon is the primary antagonist, he’s not the only villain in this book. The titular and mysterious shadow of the Sith isn’t who you think it is. They’re a fascinating and tragic horror and one that left me craving more Sith legends. Shadow of the Sith shines like a brilliant red lightsaber when it leans into dark, esoteric Sith lore. When Luke finally confronts this mysterious Sith worshipper, it gets real weird, real fast. The book dips a toe into tales of Star Wars horror I hope we’ll get to read and see more of very soon. Christopher’s debut Star Wars novel is a high-stakes adventure that builds even more emotional dept into legacy characters like Luke and Lando while fusing them with newer ones like Rey, Dathan, and Miramir. Though we know how this all ends – with both tragedy and hope – you can’t help but root for Rey’s brilliant and loveable parents as they race across the galaxy trying to keep their daughter safe from the clutches of the Sith. The novel expands upon the heroic feats of the Luke Skywalker from the original trilogy and sets up the triumphs and tragedies experienced by the hermit Jedi Master of the sequel films. It also boosts the literary work of Chuck Wendig (the Aftermath trilogy) and George Mann, whose Dark Legends anthology is a perfectly creepy accompaniment to Shadow of the Sith. The lengthy story fills in many of the gaps presented in The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker, providing must-needed history and context. But the novel is no filler episode. Shadow of the Sith is its own unique story, expanding and strengthening beloved legacy characters and introducing fascinating new ones. It’s as much a tale of aging war heroes as it is about the emotional ties that bind or break people. The book’s story will resonate with fans who’ve been in awe of Jedi Luke Skywalker for decades. And it will make newer fans crave even more New Republic-era stories. Shadow of the Sith is essential, fundamental reading for every kind of Star Wars fan.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Fantastic connective tissue novel that tells a thrilling space adventure of its own while at the same time filling in lots of the vexing blanks between the Episode VIII and IX films. I particularly loved how Christopher managed to re-canonize the Corporate Sector Authority complete with Espos and a Viceprex. Fans of Brian Daley’s classic The Han Solo Adventures will especially appreciate this deep cut! Fantastic connective tissue novel that tells a thrilling space adventure of its own while at the same time filling in lots of the vexing blanks between the Episode VIII and IX films. I particularly loved how Christopher managed to re-canonize the Corporate Sector Authority complete with Espos and a Viceprex. Fans of Brian Daley’s classic The Han Solo Adventures will especially appreciate this deep cut!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Tremendous thanks to Del Rey for the electronic advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This review is spoiler-free. Thank the maker, a new Star Wars novel has been bestowed upon us! Shadow of the Sith, published by Del Rey and written by first time Star Wars author Adam Christopher, is a beast of a book (page count is nearly 500) that does quite a bit of heavy narrative lifting in a portion of the canon timeline that’s relatively unexplored. Filled with faces both fam Tremendous thanks to Del Rey for the electronic advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This review is spoiler-free. Thank the maker, a new Star Wars novel has been bestowed upon us! Shadow of the Sith, published by Del Rey and written by first time Star Wars author Adam Christopher, is a beast of a book (page count is nearly 500) that does quite a bit of heavy narrative lifting in a portion of the canon timeline that’s relatively unexplored. Filled with faces both familiar and new, Shadow of the Sith kept me captivated chapter after chapter with its mix of heart, action, and suspense. Front and center is Ochi of Bestoon, a character whose introduction in 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker was both brief and mysterious. For devotees of Star Wars comics, his backstory has been more fleshed out in the Darth Vader (2020) and Crimson Reign titles. If you’re only familiar with him from the film (like me), you’ll have no problems keeping up as Christopher does a great job of filling in Ochi’s backstory and displaying his – let’s call it specific – personality. What we learned about Ochi from Rise of Skywalker shouldn’t be a spoiler at this point, but it’s his motivation and how he works towards his goal that is the central plot of the novel. Shadow of the Sith is set about 20 years after the Battle of Endor, and while The New Republic generally has things under control, there’s still plenty of evil in the galaxy. Old pals Lando Calrissian and Luke Skywalker are on very different paths at this point in their lives. Lando’s particularly traumatized by the capture of his young daughter years ago and he carries that burden with him wherever he goes. Luke’s focused on training the next generation of Jedi but can’t deny that the Force is trying to communicate an evil threat on the horizon. The events of the book kick into high gear when Lando overhears Ochi’s plan to kidnap a child and he recruits Luke to join his team to ensure he doesn’t succeed. It’s never that simple though as a new dark side menace is determined to take Luke and Lando down. I really enjoyed how Adam Christopher handled the number of new characters in this book. As I said earlier, Ochi of Bestoon is well fleshed-out (pun sorta intended) and is deliciously despicable. The aforementioned dark side villain’s name is Kiza, who was first introduced in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy, and she’s dealing with some pretty intense physical and psychological torture via the form of a Sith relic. Without spoiling anything I will just say that her storyline is equal parts evil and entertaining (imagine if Jim Carrey’s The Mask had horror mixed in). As announced before Shadow of the Sith was published, Rey’s parents are given names, Dathan (father) and Miramir (mother). Dathan’s family tree would put a strain on any relationship, but these two handle their situation with maturity and love. I honestly wasn’t prepared for how charmed I was by these two, kudos to Christopher for surprising me with how endearing they are. As a parent I found myself sympathizing with their desire for normalcy amidst chaotic circumstances. Plus, getting to know them makes their fates that much more heartbreaking and give Rey’s backstory an impactful emotional weight. Like I said before, Shadow of the Sith is a meaty read and that’s a compliment! Chapters are lengthy and Christophers prose isn’t difficult to read by any means, but he packs a lot into each chapter. This is a book that shouldn’t be devoured, rather savored for the rich feast it is. Shadow of the Sith stands apart as a Star Wars novel that skillfully combines the action and adventure we’d expect with elements of humanity and heart.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kels

    there were parts of this book where it was hard to be both a dathan and miramir stan and an ochi of bestoon stan if you know what i mean😣😣anyway catch me watching rise of skywalker and sobbinv uncontrollably

  13. 5 out of 5

    TheGeeksAttic

    Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith was written by Adam Chrisopher. This novel was published by Del-Rey (thanks for the ARC for review). This story takes place seventeen years after the events of Return of the Jedi. SUMMARY: A young family is on the run. Dathan, Miramir, and little Rey (Palpatine) are being hunted down by the Sith Eternal Cultists. The family is to be taken to Exegol. New Republic forces stumble upon Dathan and Miramir's ship while the family was under attack, the Republic rescues the Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith was written by Adam Chrisopher. This novel was published by Del-Rey (thanks for the ARC for review). This story takes place seventeen years after the events of Return of the Jedi. SUMMARY: A young family is on the run. Dathan, Miramir, and little Rey (Palpatine) are being hunted down by the Sith Eternal Cultists. The family is to be taken to Exegol. New Republic forces stumble upon Dathan and Miramir's ship while the family was under attack, the Republic rescues the family, and files a report with them before the family heads back out into space. Lando Calrissian is having the Sabbac game of his life, when he overhears a guy called Ochi of Bastoon talking with some goons about the Sith and kidnapping a girl. This hits hard for Lando, as his own daughter was taken from him six years ago, when she was just two years old! Lando then reaches out to Luke Skywalker, knowing that he would absolutely want to hear of any Sith happenings in the galaxy. Luke has been training new students of the force, including his nephew, Ben Solo. Luke senses something dark on the horizon, but can't pin down exactly what it is. When Lando reaches out to him about Sith shenanigans, the two hit the road to save a family from being kidnapped and to find out more about the Sith and their secrets. OVERALL THOUGHTS: I was pretty excited for this book, a new Luke story featuring Lando. The lesson I learned, once again, is to keep expectations low. What I thought was going to be a fun adventure, turned out to be a boring and depressing tale. The author does a pretty good job with descriptions, however, sometimes it turns into a detail overload, describing the same thing in slightly different ways... it's very repetitive. The format of the shorter chapters is something I have really come to enjoy, it makes the story feel like it's moving along quickly. The story heavily ties to the sequel trilogy, lightly touching on some of the questions that were raised by the films, but not fully answering anything. I get the feeling that the story group still doesn't really know how to handle characters or situations in this New Republic era. A lot of ancient Sith lore is mentioned, but never fully explored. While answering some questions from the sequels, it actually raises new questions... being vague and mysterious does not make a story good - the sequel films were vague and mysterious, and many fans were unsatisfied by the lack of depth with the story and characters. Ochi, the Jedi Hunter that worked with Sidious and Vader, is now working for the Sith Eternal Cultists. He is in a public place, talking about working with the Sith, telling secrets, telling of his past, and how he's on a mission to kidnap a child. One, the word "kidnap" is a little too silly sounding in Star Wars. Two, Ochi is in PUBLIC, so EVERYONE can hear his plans. At times, the story read like a YA or children's book. Some moments with the Sith Eternal Cultists that could have been creepy, come across cheesy. There is a planet that we visit, called Yoturba, I kept reading it as YouTuber, I can't be the only one that did this. That line from The Rise of Skywalker that goes something like "Somehow, Palptine has returned" is echoed in a way, "Somehow, the Sith blade knew it murdered and enjoyed it." Do I recommend you read this novel? If you're a huge fan of the sequel trilogy, then you might enjoy this book. If you didn't like the sequels, this one may not be for you. RATING: I have to give Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith 1/5 stars or a D. The story really lacked depth and good characterization of the characters we know and love.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Kukwa

    So…I have issues. Let’s get the good stuff out of the way: it reads like a “Legends” novel, with all the complexity and depth of an earlier time. The writing style is excellent, and everyone is characterized to the hilt. Ochi of Bestoon is the most successfully realized annoying creature ever committed to print. The author is also a Doctor Who fan…and a considerably geeky one, considering the references I noted. BUT…this entire novel seems to exist to try and turn the sow’s ear that is the Episod So…I have issues. Let’s get the good stuff out of the way: it reads like a “Legends” novel, with all the complexity and depth of an earlier time. The writing style is excellent, and everyone is characterized to the hilt. Ochi of Bestoon is the most successfully realized annoying creature ever committed to print. The author is also a Doctor Who fan…and a considerably geeky one, considering the references I noted. BUT…this entire novel seems to exist to try and turn the sow’s ear that is the Episode 9 retcon of Rey’s parents into a silk purse worthy of Prada…and I’m not sure that it does. Adam Christopher moves mountains (hell, he moves planets) to make it work…and I don’t see anyone else coming close to what he achieves here. That said, this novel makes me feel even worse about the retcon…proving that JJ Abrams simply didn’t understand the beauty of Episode 8’s revelation about Rey’s parents. They DID NOT have to be someone…the fact that they could be nothing meant that Rey’s destiny was even more clearly her own. In fact, the more I think about this, the angrier I become. So, I’d list the premise as 3 stars at best…and I’d list the execution as 5 stars. Giving it four stars splits the difference. So much glorious effort over such a retrograde premise. I hope Adam Christopher gets another shot at a Lucasverse novel with a background that doesn’t make me feel so…belligerent.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Meg Dowell

    When Star Wars told the stories of Rey, her parents, and her mentors in the sequel trilogy, it hinted at the mysterious terrors of the past. Who was Ochi of Bestoon, really? What happened to Lando Calrissian's daughter? What set Luke Skywalker on a path that eventually prompted him to turn away from the Force? Adam Christopher's SHADOW OF THE SITH gives backstory to many of these events, serving as the beginning of a well-constructed bridge between the original and sequel trilogies. It introduces When Star Wars told the stories of Rey, her parents, and her mentors in the sequel trilogy, it hinted at the mysterious terrors of the past. Who was Ochi of Bestoon, really? What happened to Lando Calrissian's daughter? What set Luke Skywalker on a path that eventually prompted him to turn away from the Force? Adam Christopher's SHADOW OF THE SITH gives backstory to many of these events, serving as the beginning of a well-constructed bridge between the original and sequel trilogies. It introduces readers to Rey's parents, it sends Luke Skywalker on a dangerous quest to learn more about the Sith, and shows just how long Sidious's shadow really was. It was great to finally read Christopher's Star Wars novel debut and to get a story set seemingly midway between ROTJ and TFA (teenage Ben Solo does appear briefly). We haven't gotten many stories from that era, and here's hoping this one will pave the way for more.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ernie

    Bleh. A boring story told badly.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chris Monceaux

    My thoughts on this book could probably be wrapped up in one statement: There were plenty of great moments and characters, but the writing was a sloppy mess. I honestly feel this describes my feelings about Star Wars in general lately, except for the Mandalorian and The High Republic. The plots of many recent Star Wars projects, especially the sequels, have been plagued by poor writing with vague mystery boxes and unsatisfying resolutions. This book was no exception to that trend. Even though I t My thoughts on this book could probably be wrapped up in one statement: There were plenty of great moments and characters, but the writing was a sloppy mess. I honestly feel this describes my feelings about Star Wars in general lately, except for the Mandalorian and The High Republic. The plots of many recent Star Wars projects, especially the sequels, have been plagued by poor writing with vague mystery boxes and unsatisfying resolutions. This book was no exception to that trend. Even though I think the story of the sequel trilogy is a mess, I still have a lot of fun watching it and love so many of the characters. So, I was excited to get a new book that could potentially have a positive impact on my sequel re-watch experience by explaining some of the more annoying plot holes. Unfortunately, I think this book did the opposite. It tied heavily into the Rey Palpatine storyline from The Rise of Skywalker, which shouldn't come as a surprise given the blurb. However, it didn't answer that many questions, and the ones it did answer felt incredibly unsatisfying. To make matters worse, now I have even more questions than before. I think it is safe to say that you probably shouldn't waste your time on this book if you don't like The Rise of Skywalker, but even if you do, prepare to potentially come away underwhelmed. The plot and pacing were all over the place. It took 16 chapters to get back to the characters from the first chapter. There was so much set up in the first 150 pages that it felt like the story took forever to go anywhere. To make matters worse, a lot of the setup felt unnecessary to this story because its only purpose was to fill holes in The Rise of Skywalker. For example, there was quite a bit of stuff during the first part of the book involving the Sith Eternal, but then they were absent for the rest of the book. There were so many different story threads mashed in here that it felt like they were competing with one another rather than telling a cohesive story. That being said, many of those individual story threads were extremely cool and would have made great books on their own. The way they were forced together just didn't work for me at all. The characters were definitely the bright spot of this book. It was so much fun to read about Luke during this time period. The snapshots of his temple and his relationship with Ben were worth the price of the book. Lando was definitely the heart of the novel, though, and his turmoil over losing his daughter injected a great deal of raw emotion into the story. It was also interesting to see them, especially Lando, coming to terms with being middle-aged since I'm rapidly approaching that phase of life myself. The rest of the characters were fascinating, as well, but there were so many POVs they just sort of got lost in the shuffle. Of note, Rey's parents were a huge part of the story, but I didn't find their inclusion added much to this story (other than being an unnecessary secondary impetus to action for Luke to investigate the Sith) or Rey's overall journey. It didn't help that their fateful decision to abandon Rey was incredibly illogical due to the need to conform to the ridiculous constraints created by The Rise of Skywalker. The other thing I really liked about this book was all of the Sith content. There was a lot of information about Sith relics and history that was super fascinating to read. I honestly wish the book had leaned into this aspect of the story even harder. I would have loved a tight story about Luke chasing down the ghost of a renegade Sith lord while struggling to balance his role as Master of his temple. It is one of the many story threads in this book that I enjoyed a lot but couldn't really get into because of all the jumping around. (view spoiler)[ I also think it was a huge missed opportunity not to involve Palpatine in a bigger way because this would have been a great time to show how he began rebuilding his power. It was odd to showcase the chase to get Rey without including him and his machinations more prominently. I also don't understand why the renegade Sith would be helping Palpatine by giving away the secret to Exegol to Ochi while they were searching for a way there on their own. It just didn't really add up. (hide spoiler)] So, despite a lot of cool stuff about the Sith being included, the plot involving them didn't make a whole lot of sense. Overall, this book was a pretty big disappointment despite having some really great moments with Luke and Lando. It also included some pretty cool Sith artifacts and abilities even though I didn't particularly care for how they were used in this story. Ultimately, it was just too many different stories forced into one that was also heavily constrained by the nonsensical plot of The Rise of Skywalker. Therefore, I rate this one 3 out of 5 stars.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Caleb (Revan1207)

    Well, this was quite a pleasant surprise. I was only mildly interested in Shadow of the Sith prior to its release, but after recommendations from several people I decided to pick it up and give it a read. I have to say I’m very glad I did! Many Star Wars novels have been written over the years to fill in gaps left by the films, this being one of those. However, it rarely felt that way. Yes, it’s very much a product of some loose threads and questions raised by The Rise of Skywalker, but it simult Well, this was quite a pleasant surprise. I was only mildly interested in Shadow of the Sith prior to its release, but after recommendations from several people I decided to pick it up and give it a read. I have to say I’m very glad I did! Many Star Wars novels have been written over the years to fill in gaps left by the films, this being one of those. However, it rarely felt that way. Yes, it’s very much a product of some loose threads and questions raised by The Rise of Skywalker, but it simultaneously is an interesting story on its own that helps to enhance the aforementioned film. I sort of look at this in a similar way as the Legends novel Darth Plagueis: both Shadow of the Sith and Darth Plagueis fill in some gaps left by the films (The Rise of Skywalker and the prequels as a whole, respectively) while also enhancing those films. I personally didn’t feel that a lot of things in The Rise of Skywalker desperately required explanations (and, funnily enough, the few things that did aren’t really touched on here), but Shadow of the Sith still does a good job of expanding that story and giving some extra context and background for it. As for the book itself, it’s a very solid story. The main driving force is Rey’s parents, Dathan and Miramir. I honestly didn’t expect to be as invested in them as I was, which was a pleasant surprise. Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian also play a big role here, trying to track down and protect the family. And then there’s Ochi of Bestoon, a character I didn’t care about at all prior to reading but did find fairly interesting, and a Dark Side character who was one of the most intriguing aspects of the book for a good while. I think all these characters and their plotlines were handled quite well. They all intertwine in some interesting ways and are all fun to read. I do have a couple of gripes with this book, unfortunately, the biggest of which have to do with the aforementioned Dark Side character. I won’t go into details because the things going on with her would probably be considered spoilers. But even though that was fairly interesting, I have to say the revelations about the character felt somewhat anticlimactic to me. It felt like there was this big mystery built up, only for it to not quite land. But that’s just me. The only other big issue I had here is, like I mentioned earlier, there were some questions raised in The Rise of Skywalker that I hoped to have answered, which really weren’t. Most of those have to do with Palpatine and Exegol, which could very well have been explained in other material I haven’t read. I suppose I shouldn’t let my own hopes and expectations have such an effect on my enjoyment of the book, but it’s something I feel I should mention. Overall, though, I did really enjoy this one a lot. It’s a real page turner—I kept reading and reading and didn’t want to put it down. Shadow of the Sith is a great book that I’d highly recommend, especially if you’re either a fan of The Rise of Skywalker or just want a bit more backstory to some of the things in that movie.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Campbell

    Finally! Master Luke has returned. This is the first novel in the new cannon to feature Luke and it does not disappoint. This is a bridge novel between ROTJ and TFA and finally sheds some light as to what our heroes (Luke and Lando) are up to. It also peels the onion a bit on Rise of Skywalker while not a favorite of mine this book allows it to make a little more sense. It also dives into some great history of the Sith. Overall a fantastic book and maybe my new favorite cannon novel. More of thi Finally! Master Luke has returned. This is the first novel in the new cannon to feature Luke and it does not disappoint. This is a bridge novel between ROTJ and TFA and finally sheds some light as to what our heroes (Luke and Lando) are up to. It also peels the onion a bit on Rise of Skywalker while not a favorite of mine this book allows it to make a little more sense. It also dives into some great history of the Sith. Overall a fantastic book and maybe my new favorite cannon novel. More of this please!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Coen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Just finished it! What an utterly amazing and well-written book. I love al the Dark Side lore we got, the character development they all went through, the time we spent with Rey and her parents (damn, their goodbye and the death of those two were some REALLY sad moments...). Ochi didn't matter. Nothing mattered. Only healing. Also, the Sith dagger and what it did to Ochi was BRUTAL, up to him gulping coolant straight out of his ship. Fantastic. Man I loved this so much! I can't say it enough. Just finished it! What an utterly amazing and well-written book. I love al the Dark Side lore we got, the character development they all went through, the time we spent with Rey and her parents (damn, their goodbye and the death of those two were some REALLY sad moments...). Ochi didn't matter. Nothing mattered. Only healing. Also, the Sith dagger and what it did to Ochi was BRUTAL, up to him gulping coolant straight out of his ship. Fantastic. Man I loved this so much! I can't say it enough.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    This is an excellent Star Wars story. I personally really enjoyed the depth this added to The Rise of Skywalker. It was great to get some background and added details to various happenings in TRoS that I have been wondering about. This book has a nice, quick pace, so reading it is a really easy and enjoyable experience. Christopher does excellent work with his characters. I really enjoyed getting to read about Rey's parents. I have always had so many questions, and this book was able to answer so This is an excellent Star Wars story. I personally really enjoyed the depth this added to The Rise of Skywalker. It was great to get some background and added details to various happenings in TRoS that I have been wondering about. This book has a nice, quick pace, so reading it is a really easy and enjoyable experience. Christopher does excellent work with his characters. I really enjoyed getting to read about Rey's parents. I have always had so many questions, and this book was able to answer so many of them. Additionally, I loved getting more post-ROTJ Luke content.

  22. 4 out of 5

    David Roche

    Spoilers ahead Shadow of the Sith has done something I didn’t think possible: made Luke Skywalker boring. Force Awakens was great. The Last Jedi was better. But all the promise Last Jedi left us with- new, unpredictable stories- was destroyed by the absolute garbage Rise of Skywalker was. They clearly panicked at the reaction by the toxic section of fandom to Last Jedi and just went back to, “eh, just make it Palpatine all along. And make Rey a Palpatine heir.” The stories I’ve been most inter Spoilers ahead Shadow of the Sith has done something I didn’t think possible: made Luke Skywalker boring. Force Awakens was great. The Last Jedi was better. But all the promise Last Jedi left us with- new, unpredictable stories- was destroyed by the absolute garbage Rise of Skywalker was. They clearly panicked at the reaction by the toxic section of fandom to Last Jedi and just went back to, “eh, just make it Palpatine all along. And make Rey a Palpatine heir.” The stories I’ve been most interested in post Disney purchase are what was Luke up to in the 30 or so years between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens. So of course I wanted to read this book. My hope was that some of the new stories that took place in that time period would, if not make the Rise of Skywalker seem good, at least make the events leading up to it make sense and be interesting. But it didn’t work. Shadow of the Sith didn’t make me look at Rise of Skywalker in a new light. It just reinforced the idea that nothing they’re going to do is going to be able to justify those horrible decisions. Palpatine’s son, as well as his wife, have zero personality and were completely uninteresting. Six year old Rey spends half of the book taking a nap in another room. Lando is just kinda there; he could have been anyone. R2-D2 is wasted, merely a plot device to solve this problem or that (“quick R2, plug in HERE!”). Worst of all is Luke. I’ve read a lot of the old EU/Legends novels. The quality of those books is all over the place. But what I liked most was Luke’s journey. While they haven’t filled in much of the gap between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens, what I can conclude from this book is that current canon’s Luke’s story is far less interesting. The biggest problem I have is Luke’s commitment to holding on to the “shun attachment” rule of the old Jedi. In the legends stories he got married and had a kid and adventured with Leia and Han, etc. The argument was made that his attachments were what made him great. That that was a recognized flaw of the old Jedi order and one of the ways to make the new Jedi order work was to stop shutting Jedi off from the world and let them be people who love. In this story, when he spots Lando coming up to him, he actually considers whether he should interact with him at all. Because he’s a Jedi and has shunned attachment. Which, to me, is boring. And really feels out of character. His relationships to his friends are a huge driving force in the original trilogy. It’s why he left Yoda and flew to Cloud City; to save his friends. It’s what set him off and allowed him to defeat Vader; the threat to his sister. And now he just chooses to stop interacting with them in any meaningful way? Just to stick to an outdated ideal of a failed group? It’s not just that characterization of Luke that’s disappointing. The story itself is just boring. And very, very poorly written. The author’s over reliance with starting sentences with a variation of “That was when it happened” made it feel like I was reading below average fan fiction. I actually started highlighting each time he used it on page 239, chapter 26. Which means he had already used it so many times that I had become annoyed enough to start taking notes. I counted 20 times. Twenty. Times. Which is not counting any of the times before page 239. And then she heard it. That was when he heard it. That was when the rider began to struggle. And then he was on them. That was when there came a swooshing…. And then he saw them. And then Luke was with her. That was when a pair of Espos…. That was when Luke’s head was filled…. And then she appeared. Then it happened. And then. That was when there was an alert from…. And then the fuel tank exploded. That was when Ochi pulled the blaster…. And then she heard it. And then he saw it. That was when an alert sounded… And then he saw him. That was when the corner of Luke’s mouth rose…. On page 407 (kindle version) he started 3 paragraphs with “Then.” On page 301 he started two consecutive paragraphs with same phrase: “Work complete, …” He uses the word “There.” as a complete sentence over and over and over. Writing is tough and a lot of writers, good and bad, end up falling back on crutch words or phrases. But that’s why you have an editor. To say, “hey, this turn of phrase is getting a little repetitive. Could you rework it a bit?” And then a good author is going to take that criticism and be like, “shoot, you’re right. Let me work on that.” Instead it’s just allowed, which, again, just makes it feel like fan fiction. The worst thing in the whole novel, and the thing that set me off and almost made me stop reading but, instead, ensured this would be a 1 star review rather than a 2 star review, was when there’s an action scene with Luke where the author says something like “but Luke wouldn’t give up.” Then a new paragraph with just the sentence, “Luke Skywalker would NEVER give up.” It felt like a meta comment by one of those previously mentioned toxic fanboys who hated the Last Jedi characterization of Luke. One of those guys that makes Youtube videos about “Ruin Johnson.” I really don’t need that shit inserted into the fiction. Leave it out. You’re trying to redeem Rise of Skywalker here. Don’t shit on Last Jedi on the way to doing that. Leave your little flat Earth agenda out of it. Was about to wrap up when I remembered another complaint. Rey’s parent’s reasoning to leave her on Jakku? Stupid, absurd, and forced. Author did his best to come up with a justification on why they would do that and failed miserably. They’re terrible, awful parents. Rey would have been better off with filthy junk traders for parents. Anyway, probably won’t be reading anymore of these. This interpretation of Luke Skywalker is so bad it even makes his appearances on the Mandalorian seem less interesting. He’s just a blah monk with no personality left.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Saimi Korhonen

    "It was up to them – the two of them, Lando Calrissian and Luke Skywalker, the impresario and the farmboy, the general and the Jedi; heroes of the Rebellion, brothers-in-arms. Luke looked into Lando’s eyes. He saw the light in them, the fire, the passion. In Lando’s eyes there was anger and fear, but what there wasn’t was despair. There was hope. Despite everything, there was hope." 4,5/5! Shadow of the Sith takes place some years after the events of Return of the Jedi and follows Luke Skywalker, "It was up to them – the two of them, Lando Calrissian and Luke Skywalker, the impresario and the farmboy, the general and the Jedi; heroes of the Rebellion, brothers-in-arms. Luke looked into Lando’s eyes. He saw the light in them, the fire, the passion. In Lando’s eyes there was anger and fear, but what there wasn’t was despair. There was hope. Despite everything, there was hope." 4,5/5! Shadow of the Sith takes place some years after the events of Return of the Jedi and follows Luke Skywalker, now a master of his own Jedi temple, and Lando Calrissian, who has spent years looking for his stolen daughter, as they try and save an innocent family being hunted by the Sith assassin Ochi of Bestoon. At the same time an ancient sith power, that Luke has sensed, is growing, threatening the whole galaxy. I really liked this book. It was action-packed, full of cool world-building, great characters and I love how well it was tied to other stories (like Greg Pak's Vader comic, Chuck Wendig's Aftermath books and even, in a small way, to Mike Chen's Brotherhood) - those connections made this book feel firmly part of the new canon as a whole. Some have described this book as Star Wars Episode 6.5 and it certainly is that. This book ties the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy more closely together, and provides so much context for the sequel trilogy and some of its smaller characters like Rey's parents, Beaumont Kin and General Pryde. If you want a bit more clarification as to why certain things are the way they are in the ST (like why Lando is on Pasaana, who Ochi is and why Rey's parents left her on Jakku) this book is a good one to read. Also, it's just a very well-written story - it's long but never dull, emotional in every way (funny, heartbreaking, creepy...) and I think Christopher just gets the characters he writes. This book is mostly centred around Luke and Lando. Both were written in a way that felt genuine to who they are as characters. It was cool seeing Luke as a confident Jedi Master with his own temple, his own quests for knowledge and how he has grown from the man he was in Return of the Jedi. Seeing him in full Jedi-mode, being that compassionate, kind, hope-driven warrior he is was amazing. I also liked the hints Christopher made towards his future and how and why he ends up losing hope so dramatically. I may not like that decision the ST made with Luke, but this book did a little to ease my saltiness over it. But despite Luke being my fave of the entire saga, the shining star of this book for me was Lando. This is a very unique story for him, since in this story, we see him at his lowest, having lost his daughter years ago and having spent years looking for her all over the galaxy. He is a much sadder character now, one who carries a lot on his shoulders and who has lost that ever-joyous spark he usually has to guilt, regret, anger and grief. But despite all this, he is still Lando. He never feels out of character, and he still has that charm to him that we all know and love. Christopher wrote him very well - this book is definitely one of my new favorite non-film appearances Lando has made in the new canon. The supporting characters were also all great. Dathan and Miramir, Rey's parents, are central to the book and, honestly, I grew so attached to them. They were such a wholesome couple, so devoted to each other and their little daughter, and their fate (though I obviously knew it was coming) broke my heart. I also loved Komat - she was perhaps my fave original character in the book - and Kiza, whose arc was interesting, strange, occasionally awful but always captivating. Ochi is trash, has always been, and this book just deepened my loathing feelings for him. I love it when Star Wars embraces fantasy and fantastical elements, and Christopher certainly did that. There were ancient powers, magical objects, creepy voices and all that good stuff. But as weird as some of the Force-stuff sometimes got (and I loved all of it), the book never lost its heart and humanity, which is, of course, what SW is all about. The story was always rooted in characters, what they went through and who they are. A story can be all epic action, battles and magic, but if we do not care about the characters, what's the point? At least that's how I feel. Now, time for my few gripes. First of all, why not just reveal who Lando's daughter's mom is? We all certainly wanna know and though I have my theories, I would like to have a solid answer. I also think this book, as a story focused on Luke and Lando, could've had more quiet moments with the two. We have never really had stories focused on their friendship and their bond in the new canon, so I would've loved to see more of that. I liked their banter, the way they are obviously forever bonded by what they have been through together and how they trust each other implicitly, but I would've loved more quiet conversations. I think having more of those moments might've bumped my rating to 5/5 stars. I really recommend this book. It's epic in scope, it's well written, it's funny and sad as fuck all at the same time, and it genuinely made me appreciate the ST, especially the Rise of Skywalker, more. I know you shouldn't have to read a book to understand a film's story, but TROS is what it is, and I for one am glad that they allowed a writer as talented as Christopher to explain some of the movie's plot holes. BUT, I want to stress that this book is not just a story that fills in some plot holes and tries to fix the mistakes of the filmmakers - it stands on its own as a great story and one that I know I will come back to in the future.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    A core tenet of the “Star Wars” expanded universe is its ability to take underexplored ideas and characters from the films and expand them into something more satisfying. And it feels pretty safe to suggest that the sequel trilogy could greatly benefit from such expansion. Which is exactly what Adam Christopher's “Shadow of the Sith” tries to do. “Shadow of the Sith” dives headfirst into some of the sequel trilogy’s biggest questions. How did Palpatine orchestrate his resurrection? What happened A core tenet of the “Star Wars” expanded universe is its ability to take underexplored ideas and characters from the films and expand them into something more satisfying. And it feels pretty safe to suggest that the sequel trilogy could greatly benefit from such expansion. Which is exactly what Adam Christopher's “Shadow of the Sith” tries to do. “Shadow of the Sith” dives headfirst into some of the sequel trilogy’s biggest questions. How did Palpatine orchestrate his resurrection? What happened to Rey’s parents before they died? Who killed them? And what were some of the characters from the Original Trilogy up to during all of this? On the surface, “Shadow of the Sith” bursts with captivating ideas and concepts. The problem is that it tries to tackle too many things at once, often completely losing its focus and failing to turn any of its ideas into a truly engaging narrative. Nearly two decades after the fall of the Empire, Luke Skywalker senses a growing darkness in the Force - visions of a dark, dead planet. Elsewhere, a family desperately searches for somewhere safe to hide from those who would do them harm. But little do they know, an ancient Sith cult has put a bounty on their heads. Or, more specifically, on their daughter, Rey's. A bounty that Ochi of Bestoon is eager to collect. And elsewhere, still, Lando Calrissian distracts himself from his fruitless search to find his missing daughter. But while playing a game of Sabbac, he overhears the mysterious Ochi explaining recruiting a crew of bounty hunters. Lando’s quest to help this family and, if he's lucky, find a hint of his missing daughter draws Luke away from his newly-founded Jedi temple, and into the fray. And soon, it's a race against time as Luke and Lando try to help this family escape the shadow of the Sith. Overall, “Shadow of the Sith” is a mixed bag of a read. For everything about it that works well, there's something else that keeps it from being as good as it could've been. But first, the positives. “Shadow of the Sith” does a lot of work to help bridge the gap between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy. Those who've been longing for more of Luke Skywalker, the Jedi Master, will find a lot to like. This is a Luke who’s confident in his abilities in the Force and eager to share that knowledge with others while remaining dedicated to learning as much as he can. Lando fans will similarly enjoy this glimpse at his actions between trilogies, especially those who felt underwhelmed by his appearance in “The Rise of Skywalker.” But most impressive is the book’s exploration of Rey’s parents - Dathan and Miramir. For how crucial they are to Rey’s arc in the sequel trilogy, we know surprisingly little about them. And it's nice to finally get a glimpse behind that curtain here. So, what's the problem with the book? Put simply, it tries to do too many different things all at the same time. It's a Luke and Lando team up, following them on a quest to both stop the Sith and help a family in need. But it's also a story about that family, Rey’s family, and it tries to delve deeper into who they are, and what makes them tick. But it's also a story about Ochi of Bestoon, a character briefly mentioned in “The Rise of Skywalker,” and how and why he’s hunting down Rey’s family. And it's a story about an ancient Sith force trying to regain a foothold in the galaxy through an old mask and a young woman named Kiza. Any one of those stories could've easily made for a compelling novel. Even the combination of a couple of them might've been enjoyable. But cramming all of them together in the same book? It's too much. Despite the ways Christopher tries to connect these storylines, it rarely feels like they needed to be connected. And instead of expanding the “Star Wars” universe, it does the thing the Prequel Trilogy often did and contracts it. Was there any real reason for Luke and Lando to be involved at all with Rey’s past? Christopher tries to use Lando's attempts to save Rey and her family as a way for him to make up for being unable to find his daughter after her kidnapping. But surely a more compelling story for Lando would've been to explore the immediate aftermath of said kidnapping, an event that's hinted at throughout this story (and in “The Rise of Skywalker”) but continues to go without exploration. And the bulk of Luke’s storyline feels so disconnected from Lando and Dathan/Miramir’s that it makes you question why it's part of this book at all. Additionally, there's constantly so much going on all at the same time that you're never able to stay with one storyline long enough to properly get invested in it. There's little time for any meaningful character development after the first third of the book - give or take. Instead, it often feels like you're just reading a bunch of information, a collection of checkboxes getting ticked off, instead of a compelling story. There's so much going on but very little happens. Because at its heart, “Shadow of the Sith” isn't really telling its own story, but rather acting as a prelude for another story. A necessary prelude, to be sure, but a prelude nonetheless. But because of that, the book primarily has to spin its wheels setting up other stories instead of truly telling its own. And not only does “Shadow of the Sith” not stand on its own, but it frequently ends up being almost wholly inaccessible to a casual fan. Despite Christopher’s fairly solid exposition, several major characters in the book are completely unfamiliar to those who only watch the movies. And while Christopher gives you about as much as you need to know for the story to work, it always feels like something’s missing. And not in the fun way that prompts you into diving further into the expanded universe, but in the frustrating way that makes it harder to get invested in the story you're reading. Those who are familiar with those characters, like Ochi and Kiza, who've had tons of stories in other expanded universe media will be delighted by their appearances here. But for everyone else, it might be a bit less appealing. I really wanted to enjoy “Shadow of the Sith.” I've enjoyed a lot of the other books in the current “Star Wars” EU. But “Shadow of the Sith” just didn't quite work for me. While there are some captivating ideas scattered throughout the novel, everything feels a bit too disjointed for any of those ideas to end up being satisfyingly explored. The book constantly jumps between nearly half a dozen POV characters, hindering both the novel's pacing and the reader's ability to truly connect with the novel's characters. And as for the plot, there's simultaneously too much going on and nowhere near enough to support the nearly 500-page length. So, while I enjoyed parts of the book, I can't say I enjoyed it as a whole. I'm sure some fans will absolutely adore this book, and more power to them. But it just wasn't quite my cup of tea.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sal Perales

    Adam Christopher takes us on a dark journey through the galaxy as our heroes try to illuminate the shadows. Dark Legends! Wayfinder hunting! Drunk Ochi! Seeing stones! Haunted Sith relics! this book has it all! Sometimes it’s strange to see how various stories in Star Wars storytelling weave together. The best stories tell their own compelling story, introduce new characters, expand on stories and ideas we already know, and add context to shed new light on existing stories. Adam Christopher manage Adam Christopher takes us on a dark journey through the galaxy as our heroes try to illuminate the shadows. Dark Legends! Wayfinder hunting! Drunk Ochi! Seeing stones! Haunted Sith relics! this book has it all! Sometimes it’s strange to see how various stories in Star Wars storytelling weave together. The best stories tell their own compelling story, introduce new characters, expand on stories and ideas we already know, and add context to shed new light on existing stories. Adam Christopher manages to do all of these with this book. Not only is this book enjoyable, but I think my future rewatches of The Rise of Skywalker will benefit greatly from this story. This is a must-read for every The Rise of Skywalker and Sith fan out there! Watching the machinations of the Sith Eternal take shape adds to the threat we already know stands against the light! (Full review at TheRogueRebels.com)

  26. 4 out of 5

    CadmanReads

    This book makes the star wars sequel better, it fills in the blanks whilst adding to the overall canon.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sarina Soren

    No cover yet :/

  28. 4 out of 5

    Albert Riehle

    Have you ever read a book that you just couldn't put down? That is the exact opposite of this book. After a promising start, this book bogged down into what felt like the amount of time the Sarlaac takes to digest one of it's victims. After the first third of this book it quickly becomes very easy to put down and very hard to pick back up again. It lacks any kind of momentum at all. The premise of this book is good. The execution isn't. It gets lost in multiple points of view and timelines many Have you ever read a book that you just couldn't put down? That is the exact opposite of this book. After a promising start, this book bogged down into what felt like the amount of time the Sarlaac takes to digest one of it's victims. After the first third of this book it quickly becomes very easy to put down and very hard to pick back up again. It lacks any kind of momentum at all. The premise of this book is good. The execution isn't. It gets lost in multiple points of view and timelines many of which are redundant or pointless. The author uses a THEN and NOW device at the beginning of every chapter along with the location to specify who/where/when the action is taking place. Except then, in multiple instances, he'll start a chapter as THEN only to switch to NOW without noting the change. Don't get me wrong, there are context clues to light the way--it's not as if it's ever majorly confusing, but it is distracting and unnecessary. I suspect there's a decent book in these pages but it needed some serious editing. This book is at least 200 pages too long. The lack of editorial guidance and tough-love cuts absolutely kill this book. Any chance it had at reaching mediocrity was lost when this wasn't ripped apart. I had to struggle to get to the end of this one. I'm not someone who complains about all of the Disney Star Wars. I liked most of the movies, I like the TV shows. But Disney has really done a terrible job with the books. Disney Publishing has been terrible. This is just the latest example of there being no stewardship, a lack of good writers and overall terrible editorial guidance. So, it will come as no surprise that I am not recommending this one. It's 2 stars for me for a decent premise and the first 1/3 of the book not being overwhelmingly bad like the rest of it. Skip this one. I wish I had.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lois Merritt

    I really liked this - it fills in a piece of the backstory to the sequels with Rey and her family and the Sith stuff in episode 9; but it's also an adventure together with Luke and Lando - a) giving Lando more to do, plus we see him and his daughter plus b) not really a duo that get together in other books (at least in my experience). And great narrator too! I really liked this - it fills in a piece of the backstory to the sequels with Rey and her family and the Sith stuff in episode 9; but it's also an adventure together with Luke and Lando - a) giving Lando more to do, plus we see him and his daughter plus b) not really a duo that get together in other books (at least in my experience). And great narrator too!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eva B.

    In love with this color scheme... This is SO THICK for a Star Wars book, especially for one that's a tie-in as opposed to, like, High Republic or something. In love with this color scheme... This is SO THICK for a Star Wars book, especially for one that's a tie-in as opposed to, like, High Republic or something.

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