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Lords of the Sith: Star Wars

Written by: Paul S. Kemp
Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
Series: Star Wars, Book 8
Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (154 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-seller.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.... 

When the Emperor and his notorious apprentice, Darth Vader, find themselves stranded in the middle of insurgent action on an inhospitable planet, they must rely on each other, the Force, and their own ruthlessness to prevail. 

"It appears things are as you suspected, Lord Vader. We are indeed hunted." 

Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight, is just a memory. Darth Vader, newly anointed Sith Lord, is ascendant. The Emperor's chosen apprentice has swiftly proven his loyalty to the dark side. Still, the history of the Sith Order is one of duplicity, betrayal, and acolytes violently usurping their Masters - and the truest measure of Vader's allegiance has yet to be taken. Until now. 

On Ryloth, a planet crucial to the growing Empire as a source of slave labor and the narcotic known as "spice", an aggressive resistance movement has arisen, led by Cham Syndulla, an idealistic freedom fighter, and Isval, a vengeful former slave. But Emperor Palpatine means to control the embattled world and its precious resources - by political power or firepower - and he will be neither intimidated nor denied. Accompanied by his merciless disciple, Darth Vader, he sets out on a rare personal mission to ensure his will is done. 

For Syndulla and Isval, it's the opportunity to strike at the very heart of the ruthless dictatorship sweeping the galaxy. And for the Emperor and Darth Vader, Ryloth becomes more than just a matter of putting down an insurrection: When an ambush sends them crashing to the planet's surface, where inhospitable terrain and an army of resistance fighters await them, they will find their relationship tested as never before. With only their lightsabers, the dark side of the Force, and each other to depend on, the two Sith must decide if the brutal bond they share will make them victorious allies or lethal adversaries.  

Praise for Lords of the Sith:   

“A compelling tale [that] gives us new insight into the relationship between Darth Vader and his master, Emperor Palpatine.” (New York Daily News)   

“Endlessly fascinating...a tale [that is] not just compelling but completely thrilling.” (Big Shiny Robot)

“The best novel so far in this new era of official canon Star Wars stories.” (IGN)  

“Packed with action...hard to put down.” (Seattle Geekly)

©2015 Paul S. Kemp (P)2015 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Jonathan Davis is Star wars

Jonathan Davis is always the best. He pulls you in and tells you the best stories in a way that make you feel like you've seen a movie about what you just heard. totally awesome

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent Story

this is a must listen for anyone following the star wars cannon. if you watched clone wars/rebels Cham syndula is the main character of this novel.

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Good book but with one major flaw

A good story if u like Vader, Palpatine and Star Wars. The voice acting and sound effects were amazing.

The major flaw is that there is barely enough interactions between Vader and Palp and too much focus on the side characters.

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Not worth your money

I've read and listened to a lot of Star Wars books over the last 15 years and this one has disappointed. The author has a mediocre at best understanding of the Star Wars universe, characters and rules within it. Coupled with the narrator's obvious lack of experience in this world (mis pronouncing many species, locations and characters) and terrible voice acting, I was not able to continue listening past the half way point. Most of the new Disney canon books have been a let down and this one is no different. I would highlight the new Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn as the only new lore series I've enjoyed so far. Both the author and narrator have a very in depth knowledge of the universe.

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Vader and the Emperor are beasts!

Loved it. Opening intro to Vader was everything I wanted. Defenetly recommend this story. Looking forward to the next book.

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Couldn’t stop listening

Such a great story! Cool to see a story following Vader and The emperor in a setting that differs a bit from the normal story! All around great audiobook!

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this is what every audio book should strive to be!

wow! I listened to many audio books but this blows it out of the park - sound events of events, voices through radio muffled, lightsaber and blaster sounds, background hum - stellar!!!

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loved it

I love this story. it gives you such an in depth look at the relationship between Vader and the Emperor.

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Great book

The reader is amazing as usual, and the story is very interesting, to see relationship of emperor and Vader at that point.

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If you like star wars, this is a must have!

loved this audiobook! the story is good and the narrator is awesome! definitely a keeper!

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  • Jade Russo
  • 2018-01-15

Ryloth Freedom Movement

This novel should be titled “Ryloth Freedom Movement”. Vader and the Emperor are used as the supporting cast. The story revolves around Cham Syndulla and his band of freedom fighters. Not the lords of the Sith as the title suggests. Jonathan Davis is the best part, as he always delivers a 5 Star performance. As the last line in the novel (spoken by Palpatine) suggests, “It’s time to move on to more important matters.” Definitely not my favorite Star Wars novel.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Will Jadick
  • 2015-07-30

Not enough Sith

Performance was incredible but the story wasn't quite what I was hoping for. It was heavily focused on the rebellion and only about a quarter of the story included the title characters.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Alexander
  • 2016-04-15

Literally Vader being the Terminator

This audio book is expertly read, the sound assists used bring a real sense of the Star Wars universe to forefront of the listeners mind. Jonathan Davies shows his immense talent as a narrator by subtly changing the tone and pace of his voice to indicate different characters speaking, instead of trying to come up with distinct individual voices. All in all it was an expertly produced product, and I cannot recommend it enough.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Troy
  • 2015-04-28

The Power of the Dark Side

This is beyond doubt, and without hyperbole, the absolutely best-written characterizations of Vader and the Emperor put in a novel to date.

Taking place smack in the middle of the Dark Times (8 years after Revenge of the Sith, 11 years before A New Hope), the remnants of the Clone Wars come back to haunt the Sith in the form of Cham Syndulla and his freedom fighters.

Unlike many books focusing on the Dark Side characters, the heroes in this book matter. Syndulla is the William Wallace of Ryloth, having fought for his world's freedom since before the Clone Wars began. Time and experience has made him formidable enough to pull off a mission that could actually threaten the core of the Empire itself. The Imperial officers at the forefront likewise demonstrate how the Empire has bred corruption and treachery, which play right in to Syndulla's operations. The result is that the Sith are tested at virtually every level.

Being honest, we have a good idea before this even begins how it'll play out, but a book like this is about the journey, not the destination. And oh what a journey it is! Suffice it to say, the action is unleashed in chapter one, and there is very little downtime as this book's pacing is as relentless as Vader himself. Fans of the original trilogy will recognize our classic villain, while fans of the prequel era and especially of The Clone Wars will have no problem seeing Anakin Skywalker under the breath mask, purified by his anger as a living engine of destruction. The officers hate him, while the stormtrooper corps revere him. We see him behind the lightsaber and behind the controls of his starfighter. It's a seamless incorporation of all aspects of the character, pulling the various threads together and showing us exactly what kind of a monster Vader has become. It meets and exceeds every expectation on that front.

Sidious, on the other hand... what we saw from him in Revenge of the Sith is but a taste of what this book gives us. By the end of this, it's indisputable why Vader bends the knee. As fearless and intelligent as Vader is demonstrated to be, Sidious remains always one step ahead.

As narrator, Jonathan Davis is one of the best veterans of the Star Wars line, and it's always good to have him aboard. He doesn't do voice matching, but the spirit of the characters are there, aided where necessary by filters. Mix in the classic sound effects (except for some inferior substitute for Vader's breath mask) and the music of John Williams, and the adventure is ready to unfold.

45 people found this helpful

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  • Gustaf
  • 2015-05-05

80% Rebel story 20% Dark Lords :-(

the focus is mostly on the rebel story.
ok book but not close to Darth Bane!

31 people found this helpful

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  • Caleb
  • 2019-03-27

Sith Lords are in this too!

The title is Lords of the Sith and that's what drew my excitement for this title. I thought this was going follow more of Vader and Sidious and got a story about that followed a Twilek freedom fighter who unfortunately doesn't survive her debut appearance. The most interesting parts of the story are scenes involving the two title characters but those only come every so often. They are still interesting presenting Vader as an irresistible force and Palpatine as a puppet master. It's a hunter and prey story with the roles switching throughout. The audiobook does very well with its music and sound effects and the actor does a good job with his Palpatine voice. It's a fun side quest but little to nothing to directly tie into one of the Saga Episodes. Star Wars fans will read it but is non essential.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Shaun L
  • 2018-11-03

Excellent!

Excellent story, perfect narrator. really loves some depth to the villians. Loved every chapter, would listen to it again.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Taft Tobler
  • 2018-08-20

Strong and Enjoyable

This book was performed expertly by one of my favorite voice talents. They story was fulfilling yet it left me with a sense of desire that could have been handled with a bit more emphasis on the Dark Duo.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ian Katz-Mager
  • 2015-05-01

Falls under the bar set by Bane, Plagueis & SWTOR

What did you like best about Lords of the Sith: Star Wars? What did you like least?

Chapter 10. I had to wait this far in to get what I was hoping for: Vader staring into a fire opening his inner monologue to the reader, reflecting on his personal losses by name (Ashoka Tano, Obi-Wan, Padmé, Shmi Skywalker).

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I can't decide if this was not up to the author's previous work, which I liked: "SWTOR Deceived", or if he did the best with what he was given. The dialogue is repetitive exposition. Vader even calls it out by the end, giving the reader a catharsis, "Why was the emperor stating so obvious a lesson?" - possibly to help along any 5th graders that can't grasp the narrative. The Darth Bane Trilogy demonstrated to me that Sith are only interesting when in conflict with other force users, including themselves. Any story that matches them against civilians, no matter how militarized, is unsatisfying. The author whips the metaphorical dead horse: Force-wielders are APEX PREDATORS. We get it. This story needed either a Jedi in hiding on Ryloth that escaped Order 66, or a potential new Sith Apprentice for either Vader or Sidious to present an opportunity for either one to test The Rule of Two.

What about Jonathan Davis’s performance did you like?

Great Palpatine. As close to the actor Ian McDiarmid, as you'd want. As good of a Vader as you'd want without it being James Earl Jones.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Anthony Dorsey
  • 2019-07-27

Great third act, misleading title

While there are great scenes in this book with Vader and the Emperor, they’re not the whole focus. The rebels of Ryloth take up much of the focus in this book as well as some imperials. The new characters are interesting, and the returning characters are written well, but the plot can only really go one way considering the larger Star Wars canon. I really enjoyed the third act once everyone started getting closer together. The narration by Jonathan Davis and the score improved the book immensely.

1 person found this helpful