Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories

Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories is an interesting book. On one hand, it’s a collection of really good short stories by John Jackson Miller that showcases a large chunk of the Lost Tribe’s history. On the other hand, it’s a collection of short stories that are almost entirely available online for free. Typically, book reviews focus on whether a story is any good but in the case of this one, content and cost also become significant factors. The all important question is: is the Lost Tribe worth the money?

First off, if you haven’t read any of the Lost Tribe short stories yet, then YES, it’s worth the money! The Lost Tribe of the Sith play a huge role in the Fate of the Jedi series, as well as Paul S. Kemp’s Crosscurrent. While the short stories aren’t necessary reading in order to understand those novels, they do provide a rich history that adds to the story. Miller covers how the Sith landed on Kesh, how they dealt with the inhabitants and each other in order to build an empire, and how these Sith became something different than the Sith we’ve seen before. The stories range from puzzle-solving mystery tales to love stories and tales of conquest and rebellion. There is a huge variety in both content and characters. Readers get to see that not all Sith are the same. In fact some Sith are even likable.

That said, there is one thing that is worth pointing out: these stories are not your typical Star Wars tales. These stories focus on the survivors of a Sith ship that are stranded on a backwater world. The inhabitants of Kesh don’t have any technology. The result is that the stories are compelling adventures set in the Star Wars universe, but without the typical sci-fi elements. At first there is a spaceship, blasters, hyperspace travel, aliens, all the things people come to expect of Star Wars. But as the stories progress, the technology dwindles away. The Tribe loses the technology over the years with no way to reproduce it. Instead they make due with other means. Blasters become elaborate diamond spitting rifles. Turbolasers turn into ballistae. People travel via flying creatures called uvaks instead of spaceships. The one thing that remains through the ages is the iconic lightsaber. That, and the legends of the ancient Sith and the hated Jedi. It makes for a very different type of Star Wars story that, while not very sci-fi like, is still very enjoyable.

However some people have already read most of the Lost Tribe short stories. Eight of the nine stories in Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories is available online for free. If you don’t like eBooks, then obviously The Collected Stories is a great buy. Yet if you’ve got an eReader and have read all the freebies, then the selling point of the book becomes a lot tougher. So what exactly does The Collected Stories have to offer? Well it’s a 385 page trade paperback (slightly oversized softcover). It includes one new short story called Pandemonium. Pandemonium is a lot longer than the other stories. Each story averages about 30 pages and Pandemonium is four times longer than that at 128 pages. Content wise, it also lives up to its name. In Secrets, readers learned that there was another continent on Kesh unspoiled by the Sith. In Pandemonium readers will find that this new continent is a military state that’s been preparing for the last 2,000 years for a Sith invasion. When the Sith arrive, they have their hands full.

Along with the new novella, there are also two maps that are included in the book. The first one shows Keshtah, the continent where most of the stories take place. There are names for all the cities, seas, and some of the geographical locations like the Jungle Highlands and the Sessal Spire. The map shows the locations of rivers, roads, mountains, and the entirety of the continent’s shore. It’s in black and white and is typical of the maps you see in books like The Lord of the Rings or the Forgotten Realms series. The second map shows the new continent of Alanciar with names for most of its forts. While reading the stories, the maps do come in handy and are great for reference.

So is The Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories worth buying? If you haven’t read all or most of the stories (excluding Pandemonium), the answer is yes. If you don’t like eBooks or prefer the experience of reading a physical book, the answer is yes. And if you’ve read all of the stories except Pandemonium…the answer is still yes. Come on, if you’re reading this, you’re already a Star Wars nut. At around $8 (depending on retailer) you’re getting almost four hundred pages of Sith stories, over a hundred of those pages is completely new, and you get to read them back-to-back in all their Sithy goodness. If you’re really feeling tight on money, and you do happen to like eBooks, you can still buy The Collected Stories as an eBook for just $4.99. Plus if you plan on reading John’s upcoming Lost Tribe comic mini-series, Pandemonium will come in handy.

Overall, we give The Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories a five out of five metal bikinis for both value and entertainment. As consumers, we could’ve just been given a collection of all the free eBooks, but John Jackson Miller and Del Rey came together to bring us something a lot more enticing.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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