Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dynasty of Evil

I guess I should have written this a while ago. If I have any regular readers (and I don't think I do), I apologize. I wasn't especially motivated to write this review because I didn't really enjoy Dynasty of Evil. It's definitely the worst of the Darth Bane Trilogy, so my review will be brief. Why didn't I like it? First of all, Bane and Zannah split up early in the book, and they don't meet up again until they're trying to kill each other. I would have preferred it if they had spent most of the novel together, with the tension gradually building up between them. Since we know Zannah is going to betray Bane eventually, gradually building the tension would have been more suspensful. We know the axe is going to drop, but this way we wouldn't have known exactly when. I also wasn't that enthusiatic about the prominent role given to Caleb's daughter. I'm sure a lot of people were curious about her fate, but this question could have been answered by giving her a much smaller role. Caleb himself is a relatively minor character in the first two novels, and I don't see why his daughter deserves such an expanded role. I also hated the two sith apprentices, Set and the Huntress/Cognus. These two characters were bland and added nothing to the story. If they never existed, events would have unfolded in more or less the same way.

In my opinion the primary focus of Dynasty of Evil should have been the relationship between Bane and Zannah. It's a mentor/pupil relationship, but one they both know will end in betrayal and one of their deaths. That's a dynamic which I really would have liked to have seen explored in greater depth. But sadly, Bane and Zannah barely interact in this novel.  What I hated most was the ambiguous ending. It's not really clear who wins. Bane is physically destroyed, but he learned from a Holocron how to posses another body, and it's implied that he's posessing Zannah's body. Of course, Zannah still claims to be Zannah after Bane's corporeal defeat, and I can think of no reason for Bane not to admit to his Cognus that it's him in Zannah's body. Personally I think the most likely interpretation is that Bane managed to latch himself onto Zannah, but she was able to erect psychic barriers to keep him contained. He's constantly fighting to gain control, and these efforts may manifest themselves into Zannah's subconscious i.e. making her clench and unclench her left fist, just as he did. But, I would rather I didn't have to interpret anything. On his website, Drew says that Zannah won and that only some part of Bane survived, and that he didn't intend to cause so much confusion. But inspite of his intentions, the ambiguous ending is confusing and disappointing.

So, Dynasty of Evil is my least favourite in the Darth Bane Trilogy because it gives too much attention to new and boring characters while neglecting the relationship between the two characters I care about, aswell as having an ambiguous and unsatisfying ending. I also couldn't help but notice that the author is no longer a resident of Canada, but has since moved to Texas to enjoy the year round golfing weather. He'll be back. He shall miss Tim Hortons, more than the waking world.

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