The Old Republic: Deceived

January 29, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , , )

deceivedThe Old Republic: Deceived by Paul S. Kemp

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Going into the Extended Universe, I expected a chunk of the books to be disappointing. I had heard how bad some of them were, but I also knew there were some gems out there to read, too. Starting with Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy set the bar pretty high, and as I entered into the universe from the beginning, I found a mixed bag that didn’t start to improve until Revan. So you can probably imagine my surprise when Deceived dared me to stop reading it.

The story is a fairly straightforward one, for Star Wars. There’s a Sith lord, and a Jedi, and a scoundrel who’s on the side of the Jedi, and the central conflict is one of the Sith versus the Jedi. Deceived takes that conflict and makes it personal. Nothing here is threatening the stability of the galaxy or its government (not directly, at least), and there’s no grand war of morals taking place between a rebellion and a corrupt government. Instead, the story breaks down to being about one person against another, and taking the story down to such a personal level without making it feel like a story outside of the Star Wars universe is a significant achievement.

This book has everything a good story — Star Wars or not — should have. It has good characters. They’re neither good nor bad, heroes or anti-heroes. The three central characters (including the antagonist) have good traits and bad, and their struggle with themselves is a large part of the conflict in the story. The plot of the story derives itself directly from the characters, with the conflict developing naturally from who they are and what their struggles are. And then the ending. Oh, man, the ending. It’s hard for an author to take me by surprise, but Kemp did it with Deceived. I’m not going to go into any detail, but there are a lot of books out there that have good characters and a solid plot, but don’t manage to nail the landing. Deceived is not one of those books.

If Revan was the first of the EU books to engage me, Deceived was the first one to move me. Not only is this a great example of a good Star Wars novel, it’s also a great example of a good novel, period. I would highly recommend this to anyone with a passing interest in the Star Wars universe, and anyone who loves a good story.

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1 Comment

  1. 2016: A Review | Veni Vidi Verkisto said,

    […] The Old Republic: Deceived […]

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