Wallace, Daniel

About the Author:

 

Daniel Wallace lives in Detroit, USA, with his wife, two sons and a daughter.

 

AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:

4.5 out of 5

(2 books)

Star Wars: Book Of Sith - Secrets From The Dark Side

Following the success of 'The Jedi Path', Wallace once again presents us with a book whose premise is that it is an actual book from the Star Wars universe.  This time around the book is a collection of various writings on the nature of the dark side which were gathered and bound together by the most sinister Sith Lord of them all; Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine.

Here we get the memoir of one of the very first Sith Lords, the war journal of Darth Malgus (from 'The Old Republic' MMO), the manifesto of Sith reformer Darth Bane, an alternative view of the Force from Nightsister Mother Talzin (from 'The Clone Wars' TV series), the scientific essays of Darth Plagueis and the writings of Emperor Palpatine himself, first mentioned in Tom Veitch's 'Dark Empire' back when the Expanded Universe was young.

As with 'The Jedi Path', it is the perfectly-toned and insightful annotations by various Star Wars characters that make for the best elements.  Here we see Sidious' own revised thoughts looking back from the time of his rebirth in 'Dark Empire', commentaries by Yoda and Mace Windu from when the Jedi kept these dark writings under lock and key, Asajj Ventress' views on the Nightsisters who are integral to her story, the iconoclastic comments of Quinlan Vos and the brooding thoughts of Darth Vader.  The only bad thing about all of these annotations regards this latter, as Vader is presented as overly wordy and a little bit sentimental, not quite the menacing Sith Lord he was at his best (a little bit too much of Episode III's 'Noooooo!' in him, I think).

Whilst this is another enjoyable book, exploring aspects of the Star Wars saga through the words of the characters themselves, its nature as a collection of disparate writings means that it lacks the cohesion of 'The Jedi Path' and the overall experience of reading the book suffers as a result.

4 out of 5

 

Star Wars: The Jedi Path - A Manual For Students Of The Force

Ths concept of this book is a really interesting one, the idea being that it is actually a book published in the Star Wars universe.  The premise here is that the Masters of the Jedi Order wrote the book for young Jedi to read around 990 BBY and that this particular copy is a reprint from 115 BBY in which various Jedi apprentices have made footnotes as it has been passed down from generation to generation.  If you've read J. K. Rowling's 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them', which is annotated by Harry and Ron, you'll get the idea.

The main text of the book reads exactly like the textbook that it purports to be and Wallace does a great job of imbuing the information with a slighty stuffy instructive tone.  Here we learn about the history of the Jedi, the details of their training, the weapons and technology they use and their views on other Force-users, particularly the Sith.

However, where this book really shines is in the annotations by its various owners.  Yoda makes notes for revised future editions but then we get the thoughts of several Jedi, many of whom we only know as a adult characters, who wrote in it during their school days.  Included are the words of Thame Cerulian (he becomes Dooku's Master, if you're not familiar with him), Dooku, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Anakin and Ahsoka.  There are also notes made by the Emperor (AKA Darth Sidious) who adds a much darker, mocking commentary on the Jedi and their views.  Finally we get the thoughts of Luke Skywalker as a Jedi Master looking back across the whole sweep of the Star Wars saga.  Wallace has shown remarkable insight into the minds of these various characters, giving their comments the very different tones appropriate to both the character and the era they're living in.

This is one of my favourite Star Wars books in years and was subsequently followed up by similar works focusing on the Sith, the bounty hunters and the Imperial military.

5 out of 5

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