A change in tone today as I review the audio book/novel ‘Deceived’ by Paul S Kemp.

Having listened to the previous two Old Republic stories (Revan and Fatal Alliance) there were two clearly different and separate styles going on. In the end Deceived ended up being fairly close between the two of them, and managed to have an engaging story as well as interesting characters. The latter is something that many Star Wars novels ever achieve.

The story covers the lead up, action and aftermath of the Sacking of Coruscant and the destruction of the Jedi Temple by the Sith Empire. This was most famously seen in the trailer for ‘The Old Republic’, and expands on the characters, themes and setting.

The story has four main protagonists;
  • Darth Malgus, the Sith who leads the attack on the Jedi Temple, and who has some ambivalent attitudes about the Sith and himself as well.
  • Zeerid Korr, a former Republic soldier, now smuggler trying to provide for his family.
  • Jedi Knight Aryn Leneer, a Jedi whose Master is killed by Malgus and tries to cope with this, and also cope with the problems of Justice and Revenge.
  • Vrath Xisor, more an antagonist who is trying to disrupt Zeerid’s activities.

Unusually for a Star Wars novel, all these characters are effectively new, yet the author manages to give each of them a unique voice and personality, something Fatal Alliance failed abysmally with.

The themes of love, justice, revenge and duty are all present, and the way each character deals with it is the primary thrust of the narrative.

As this is only a decade before TOR, several characters from there show up such as Satele Shan, T7 and Darth Angrel.

Kemp’s style is engaging and easy to follow, and he especially excels in writing the very difficult duel and combat scenes. The plot didn’t lag and there were no great leaps of fridge logic either.

Overall, a very worthwhile story, and made better by Marc Thompson’s talented narration. A very good Star Wars novel, and certainly the best so far of the three Old Republic stories.