Rule of Two - Drew Karpyshyn 3.5 stars, but I rounded up. A good read, though not as well told as the first book. I liked book one for Drew's impressive handling of Darth Bane's transition from a miner to a Sith lord. Rule of Two was more about the story of Zannah's own transition to become Darth Bane's apprentice, but I didn't find her journey nearly as dramatic, since we do skip ahead 10 years in the novel from the time Bane first takes her on.

The ending, however, was superb. It's one of those where you know that something awful's going to happen but you just can't wait to see how things play out, and when they do you think to yourself, "Wow, I totally saw that coming but dammit, it's still so awesome." Like most Star Wars books, the plot is completely predictable but Drew Karpyshyn always does such a good job of tying everything together nicely and making it all make sense, so I just learn to go with it. That said, you have to be willing to root for the "bad guys" to really enjoy the story, but then again, if you're picking up a Darth Bane book you probably already knew this well before you even cracked the cover.

Reading this, I also inevitably thought about combat in the upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, especially when reading about the different force and lightsaber abilities used by the characters when they fight independently or in groups. This novel takes place way after the setting of SWTOR, but considering Drew's background in video games and the influence of BioWare's Knights of the Old Republic RPG, I can't help but think many of the abilities I read about and their mechanics will make it into the MMO.