One of the things that makes Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp interesting is that it manages to feature two villains as the main characters, and you end up rooting for them both, and dis-liking them both-at the same time. Though I ended up actually having some sympathy for Vader because in the midst of all the battles of this novel the Emperor still insists on challenging Vader every time he has the opportunity. Then he calls it training, insisting that on that old cliche that anything that doesn't kill you must somehow make you stronger.
The basic idea of this book is what if Darth Vader and Palpatine got stuck on a hostile planet with a whole army of freedom fighters trying to kill them and no hope of anyone helping them, and that’s where all this book’s best moments come from. The best moments are almost all full of action. There are space battles, dogfights, ground battles, and tons of Vader and the Emperor showing off their Force and Lightsaber skills. Before this point a huge section of the novel centers on Cham Syndulla,and his group of Twi’lek freedom fighters, and their attempt to blow up a Star Destroyer. Then they try to take out Vader and the Emperor.
After that Vader and The Emperor get separated from their convoy and the rebels led by two forgettable souls descend on the dark lords. After that it’s just them coming up with cool ways to kill rebels while Vader has an internal conflict over the man he was and the monster he has become. The author at this time uses the lulls in the action to explore Vader’s past and remind us how awkward it would be for the two of them to actually spend more than a minute within ten feet of each other. The author also gets inside of Cham’s head; most interesting is Isval, a character who walks the fine line between good and evil. Only Cham’s good influence keeps her from being as bad as Vader and Palpatine.
This was one of the best Star Wars canon books that I have read, but there just wasn’t enough of the two characters that get top billing.