Star Wars: The Old Republic – Deceived by Paul S. Kemp – Book Review [Bane of Kings]


Bane of Kings Reviews Paul S. Kemp’s Deceived set in the universe of Star Wars: The Old Republic, published by Titan Books.

“An intense, fast paced awesome novel.” ~The Founding Fields

After reading Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams at the beginning of this year, I leapt at the chance to read the previous book in the series, (Yes, I know – I should probably watch them in order) Paul. S Kemp’s Deceived. And, to be honest – I didn’t really know what I was expecting, other than the fact that it was a Star Wars novel, set in the Old Republic Universe, and based on a series of awesome accompanying trailers.

And I loved it. Deceived outclassed, outmatched and outmanoeuvred Fatal Alliance in every single way, for the reasons that you’re about to find out, after I post this quick blurb from Titan Books:

The second novel set in the Old Republic era and based on the massively multiplayer online game Star Wars: The Old Republic ramps up the action and brings readers face-to-face for the first time with a Sith warrior rival to the most sinister of the Order’s Dark Lords—Darth Malgus, the mysterious, masked Sith of the wildly popular “Deceived”, “Hope” and also “Return” game trailers.

Malgus brought down the Jedi Temple on Coruscant in a brutal assault that shocked the galaxy. But if war crowned him the darkest of the Sith heroes, peace would transform him into something far more heinous—something Malgus would never want to be, but cannot stop, any more than he can stop the rogue Jedi fast approaching.

Her name is Aryn Leneer—and the lone Knight that Malgus cut down in the fierce battle for the Jedi Temple was her Master. And now she’s going to find out what happened to him, even if it means breaking every rule in the book.

I think the first reaction of any Star Wars fan, when they pick up Deceived for the first time will be to question why Darth Vadar is on the front of an Old Republic novel, which was set in a time period before Anakin was even born. But then, it soon becomes clear that this is not Darth Vadar, but Malgus, a Sith Lord who is completely different to the one that most people will have heard of. Now, before we continue any further, I’d like you to watch this trailer below.

You see that video above? Yeah, that’s one of the mind-blowingly awesome trailers for the video game Star Wars: The Old Republic (Deceived), and this is where the inspiration for this novel came from. And, in case you’re wondering, it actually does happen in the novel itself.

Only, it happens within the first hundred pages. Deceived is a page turner, no doubt about that, despite that it probably was a bit too predictable for my liking as once the book itself got going, you just knew what was going to happen. Although that didn’t stop me from reading and enjoying Deceived, and I loved it as much as most of the Star Wars novels that I’ve read.

I haven’t read as many Star Wars books as I would have liked to, however Deceived seemed to get across a unique look into the Sith Empire, or at least, the Sith Empire in the era of the Old Republic. I don’t often enjoy stories with bad guys as the main characters (heck, I don’t even read that many stories with villains as the main characters in the first place), but as I’ve mentioned before, I found Deceived to be an enjoyable novel. Whilst it wasn’t brilliant, it did enough to keep me hooked throughout its pages. Which, there wasn’t very many of them. And that’s another problem that I had with Deceived really, there just wasn’t enough. Although the story was a standalone and there weren’t loads of threads left hanging, I just feel like there could have been more.

Take Eleena, for example, the Twi’lek that you saw at the start of the trailer. She’s Darth Malgus’ love interest in the novel. Yes, you head me. Love interest. For a Sith. She’s got no characterization, which I felt could have improved upon, especially with the fact that she is the love interest of a Sith Lord. We don’t know any of her backstory whatsoever, which leaves us guessing as to how she fell in love with Malgus, why she joined the side of the Sith and not the Jedi etc, and why can she fight as good as she can in the novel (and for that matter, in the trailer)? All these questions we are left to wonder, which could have, and should have, been answered in Deceived, as this particular ‘origin story’ could have at least increased the page-count of this small-sized novel.

However, for every badly written character, there seems to be a well-written one. Take Zeerid, the Smuggler. At first glance, he could have been any old Han-Solo copy that seems to appear every so often in Star Wars books (Dash Rendar, I’m looking at you), but Paul S. Kemp decides to give Zeerid a lot more depth, and make him a lot more appealing character than Eleena.

The action scenes in Deceived are fantastic. Kemp knows how to write fight scenes and he knows how to write them well. I haven’t read anything else by him but the action in particular has made me want to read more by this author. There’s action practically non stop throughout this novel, and that’s another thing that helped me love this novel. And although there are mixed reviews of Deceived, I reckon you’ll love it too, whether you’re a hardcore or casual Star Wars fan.

Deceived is an entertaining read, that will keep those who are yet to buy to get The Old Republic (Like me) video game hooked, and to give those who already own the game a different take on the universe (Like every other Star Wars fan), so yeah – It’s definitely worth a look into, and I really hope that we see more Darth Malgus, or any of the other characters in this novel – the Jedi Aryn Leneer I wouldn’t mind reading more on as well – maybe we could even see an ‘origin’ story about her and her master, who was the one struck down by Malgus at the Temple in the trailer above.

Verdict: 4/5

Star Wars: The Old Republic Novels: Deceived by Paul S. Kemp, Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams, Revan by Drew Karpyshyn.

More Star Wars by Paul S. Kemp: Crosscurrent, The Third Lesson (Short Story), Deceived, A Fair Trade (Short Story) Riptide. 

Previous Star Wars Novel: The Old Republic – Revan by Drew Karpyshyn.

Next Star Wars Novel: The Old Republic – Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams

Bane of Kings is one our most senior book reviewers here at The Founding Fields, based in England. He’s a prolific reviewer that has contributed to many things here and around the internet.


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