Based on unproduced episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this new novel features Asajj Ventress, former Sith apprentice turned bounty hunter and one of the great antiheroes in the Star Wars galaxy.
The only way to bring down the Sith’s most dangerous warrior may be to join forces with the dark side.
In the war for control of the galaxy between the armies of the dark side and the Republic, former Jedi Master turned ruthless Sith Lord Count Dooku has grown ever more brutal in his tactics. Despite the powers of the Jedi and the military prowess of their clone army, the sheer number of fatalities is taking a terrible toll. And when Dooku orders the massacre of a flotilla of helpless refugees, the Jedi Council feels it has no choice but to take drastic action: targeting the man responsible for so many war atrocities, Count Dooku himself.
But the ever-elusive Dooku is dangerous prey for even the most skilled hunter. So the Council makes the bold decision to bring both sides of the Force’s power to bear—pairing brash Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos with infamous one-time Sith acolyte Asajj Ventress. Though Jedi distrust for the cunning killer who once served at Dooku’s side still runs deep, Ventress’s hatred for her former master runs deeper. She’s more than willing to lend her copious talents as a bounty hunter—and assassin—to Vos’s quest.
Together, Ventress and Vos are the best hope for eliminating Dooku—as long as the emerging feelings between them don’t compromise their mission. But Ventress is determined to have her retribution and at last let go of her dark Sith past. Balancing the complicated emotions she feels for Vos with the fury of her warrior’s spirit, she resolves to claim victory on all fronts—a vow that will be mercilessly tested by her deadly enemy . . . and her own doubt.
If you’re a fan of The Clone Wars it is a must read. It’s actually heartbreaking because there were some scenes that I wished I could have seen on TV. Damn you, Disney! However, I am happy DelRey took the scripts and turned them into something the fans can enjoy.
One of my critiques is that the story does drag a bit at the end. I felt the final few conflicts were not necessary and could have been resolved sooner and in a much less complicated manner. There is also another issue I have but if I express it here it would be a major spoiler so I am saving it for later (see below).
I loved the chemistry between Ventress and Vos. At first I felt I was betraying my love for the Republic Comics, but I could not help myself, I ship them – in the The Clone Wars universe. I say The Clone Wars universe because their backstories have been altered so much it’s really two different realms now. Actually, it has taken me a while to not be so annoyed with the changes. I can enjoy The Clone Wars stories like Ventress being a Nightsister from Dathomir, the Mandalorians being pacifists, Barriss being a traitor and a terrorist who is Ahsoka’s peer instead of Anakin’s – and though that is now canon, I still consider it a different EU. (I still don’t like or accept the resurrection of Maul though. Cut in half means dead and why cheapen Obi-Wan’s victory?)
Anyway, I am getting away from the review of Dark Disciple. (I could talk about Star Wars all day.)
Back on topic, I love The Clone Wars and though I enjoyed reading Dark Disciple I found myself still mourning its cancellation. I know I mentioned that the ending dragged on and could have been simplified but the one great thing that came from it was seeing Anakin and Obi-Wan fighting together. Their brotherly banter cracked me up and I so would have LOVED to see that on TV. There was even a scene between my favorite ship, Anakin and Padmé. (Though I can’t tell how much of the novel came right from the eight scripts and how much Golden added and embellished. I would love to ask her.)
This is how far I can go without spoiling everything, but I am going to work on a review that analyzes the novel more and will be full of spoilers.
4.5 out 5 Full On Gambits.
I want to go back and reread the Republic Comics now. It has been a few years.
Here is a refresher of The Clone Wars episodes Ventress and Vos appeared on.
There is also a lovely Foreword by Katie Lucas. She along with Matt Michnovetz and Dave Filoni wrote the scripts for the unfinished “Dark Disciple” episodes. She talks about growing up with Star Wars, spending her adolescence on the set of the Prequel Trilogy, writing for The Clone Wars, and when she and her dad would sneak into a movie theater showing Star Wars. It was so heartwarming. 🙂