*Okay, so there’s a bit to talk about here. The Book of Sith is this really cool art-object type thing. You can buy it, more cheaply, and just get the book, but I went all out and got the special edition of the book.
*So, you get this red and black pyramid. You push a button on the front and a little drawer slides out that has the book in it. Under the book is another little tray that has various little objects in it. There are also loose objects in between the pages of the book. Each of these objects corresponds to a section of the book. I’ll briefly mention the one that corresponds to the Sorzus Syn section of the book below when we get to it.
*The book is this beautiful red hardcover and it’s an in-universe text compiled by Palpatine, consisting of document fragments from various Sith throughout history. These different sections are easily distinguishable because they are each done on a different type of paper. The Syn section, the first in the book, is done on a very ragged edged paper; you can easily see where it ends and the next section, by Darth Malgus and done on very clean edged, somewhat smaller graph paper, begins. I think this is actually really, really cool.
*Each section also has marginal notes by various people who have, in-universe, owned the book at various times. So Palpatine makes marginal notes in one color and style; Luke does in another; Yoda in another.
*In short, this book is a triumph of design, if nothing else. I absolutely love it as a made object.
*So, let’s see how the writing holds up compared to the wonderful design.
*This section takes place almost two thousand years prior to the Great Hyperspace War with Naga Sadow and all that. We know a bit about this period due to Jedi Vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force. So, this book starts right at the end of the Hundred Year Darkness. Essentially a group of Dark Jedi splintered off from the main Jedi and there was a century of war. The Dark Jedi were defeated and exiled into unknown space. It’s there that they stumbled across Korriban and the Red Sith. That’s the background of this story.
*Well, it’s not really a “story” per se, just a series of character based writings. Anyway, I’ll jump into it and you’ll see what I mean, I think.
*So, there are twelve Dark Jedi that arrive on Korriban. I think some of the exiled Dark Jedi just disappeared. I seem to recall that from Jedi Vs. Sith. Anyway, they arrive on Korriban and quickly use the Force to take over and subjugate the Red Sith.
*At this point in time, Sadow’s race wouldn’t have been called the Red Sith; they were just the Sith. After the Dark Jedi also take the name of Sith, the differentiator comes into play. But I’m using it here for clarity, so you know who I’m talking about when I say “Sith.”
*The Dark Jedi’s leader is Ajunta Pall. I think he’s the author of the brief section on this period of history in Jedi vs. Sith.
*There’s some great art here too.
*So, Sorzus Syn is a woman. Just FYI.
*So, we do get some history here that kind of replaces the history we skipped from Jedi vs. Sith. Syn writes about the First Great Schism, which is when Xendor (you know, “minions of Xendor!”) left the Jedi and there was a great battle. Syn calls her group of Dark Jedi heirs of Xendor’s heresy.
*Oh, I should mention that I’m not talking about the marginal notes. DinoJim’s timeline will have me revisit those later, at the period when they were appended to the texts here.
*So, Syn is the Dark Jedi that learned how to create Leviathans. There’s a great picture of her standing in front of a massive monster. The caption is “Krespuckle the Ever-Hungry, my favorite Leviathan.” That’s sweet.
*Someone reading this is now considering naming their dog “Krespuckle the Ever-Hungry.” I just want to say: “Do it.”
*Someone got paid to come up with that name, you guys. It was someone’s job to sit in a chair until they thought of Krespuckle the Ever-Hungry. That is a fellow living The Dream, my friends. That is the happiest SOB you will ever meet in all your born days.
*They actually talk about the Light & Dark Sides in terms of Ashla & Bogan, so the teaching here is very much still tied to the Dawn of the Jedi era, I guess.
*Okay, Syn actually refers to the Red Sith as Sith Purebloods. I guess that’s the proper term for them at this time in history. So I’ll call them Purebloods.
*So we get this whole exploration of the Sith caste structure. It introduces some figures I don’t recall encountering anywhere else. The slave group is called the Grotthu and they seem to have tiny elephant trunks on their faces. I mean, whatever.
*We get a breakdown of the Sith weapons, which is always cool. There’s a drawing of every single one, so that’s nice.
*I remember when I read Jedi vs. Sith I said that I had never really known what a lanvarok was until I read that book. Well, based on this book, I was actually still wrong after reading Jedi vs. Sith. Okay, I know NOW what a lanvarok is. I hope.
*I hope? Like it matters.
*Oh, the Yoke of Seeming! That’s a pivotal item in the KOTOR comic series.
*There’s a lot of trivia here, by which I mean things that are in no way important to the EU or the Star Wars galaxy but are interesting and new. So, there was this Sith guy that replaced his heart with a ruby containing the souls of his enemies. And if you have it and also have his helmet, you can . . . um, wield great power or something? It’s kind of vague on that point.
*Still, it’s a nice conversation piece at the very least.
*I mean, you have to give the Sith this, they have a knack for awesome names. My new favorite: “The Cloister of Bilious Torment.”
*So, Syn is, of course, plotting to overthrow Ajunta Pall and take over. She’s found a way to get a couple of other Sith squabbling and she’s doing some of her alchemy secretly. She’s also raiding old Sith tombs and this includes a brief passage of her and some slaves facing some death traps, that’s kind of cool.
*And when I say that Syn faces some death traps, I mean she just hurls slaves through the tombs to trigger all of them ahead of her. Which is one way to do it.
*OK, so she finds a holocron. It seems that the Sith Purebloods got the secret of making holocrons from the Rakata. Which is presumably where the Jedi got it? Well, no, the Jedi had holocrons in Dawn of the Jedi, but the Rakata didn’t. I don’t think.
*Anyway, this Pureblood holocron gives us the history of the Sith Purebloods, so this is going to be cool, because I basically know nothing about this race prior to Naga Sadow encountering them. (With the exception that they’ve been around for a long time, given the presence of a couple in Dawn of the Jedi).
*Oh, before I get into that I should tell you about the object that corresponds to Syn’s section of the book. She’s in the tombs now, of course, and the object that’s slipped between the pages of the book at this point is a fragment of a Sith burial shroud. It’s a triangular piece of cloth that’s folded over once. It folds into a pretty large triangle, you know, like ten inches long to six inches high or something. It’s a thin, tan fabric that’s covered in Aurebesh lettering (or some kind of lettering). It’s also colored red in several large blotches. I think those are supposed to be blood stains. Anyway, it’s pretty cool. I actually really like these kind of things that come with books. I mean, it helps the book become a more tactile experience when you turn the page and a piece of cloth falls out and then you can pick it up and look at it and feel it while you’re reading about the Sith tombs. I dig it.
*Oh, no, this wouldn’t be Aurebesh. When was Aurebesh even created? And I don’t even think the Sith have had that much contact with the outside galaxy at this point. I guess the only contact would have been when the Tho Yor picked some up and transplanted them to the Tython system. So, even if Aurebesh existed in the Republic, the Purebloods wouldn’t have it. I guess these are Sith runes.
*So, here’s some Pureblood history that is new to me. Probably in some reference guides somewhere, but I’ve not encountered it.
*So, three thousand years before the Republic was founded, there was this Pureblood King named Adas. He wielded dual battle axes, when most had to use both hands to wield only one, so his reign, which lasted three hundred years (Adas used the Dark Side to prolong his life), was known as the Reign of the Ax.
*The Rakata attacked the Sith system and Adas was killed in the war, but the Purebloods were able to inflict such heavy losses on the Rakata that they actually retreated and left the Purebloods alone.
*The Purebloods then used the Rakatan technology they had captured to extend their rule outward and take over many worlds in the Sith system.
*A section about Warbeasts introduces us to one that bears the Lovecraftian name of Ninushwodzakut. Otherwise known as Knotter of Entrails.
*That’s disgusting. And a good band name.
*The Hssiss appear. They’re a rare exception to the “awesome name” system the Sith seem to be using for everything.
*So, the illustrations of all these beasts are full color and everything. They’re really great. Especially the War Wyrm, which is really quite nightmarish.
*Section on Sith Incantations. If I was less superstitious, I would say some of these out loud.
*Syn gets these incantations from a cursed scroll she discovers. Great lines in research: “I have found that the longer I must fight off horror, blindness or liquefaction, the more valuable is the information the scroll contains.”
*Anyone that’s ever done a dissertation will understand that in their very bones.
* “Be aware that it is more than recitation!” Oh, okay, maybe I’ll say some of these after all. “Your inflection must be precise & perfect . . . or the spell may haunt you instead.” NEVER MIND
*Syn closes with a section on the Sith Code and the prophecy of the Sith’ari. She discusses how both of them are kind of perversions of Jedi tenents, namely the Jedi Code and the prophecy of the Chosen One. Syn’s section of this book closes with her wondering if she might be the Sith’ari herself.
*Far as I know, there’s no information about Sorzus Syn anywhere else. Given the fact that the name of Ajunta Pall is most often mentioned in conjunction with the conquest of the Purebloods and the Dark Jedi’s rule of the Sith system and Syn’s name hasn’t come down in any other texts that I’m aware of, I think it’s safe to assume she more than likely did indeed attempt a coup against Pall and was killed in the attempt. No Sith’ari for you!
*So, I really enjoyed this. I think the book is just really cool as an art object and the writings of Sorzus Syn were interesting and engaging. It’s definitely more like a reference guide than like a story, but it was told in a different kind of way and voice and I liked that. Also, lots of new information, at least as far as I was concerned.
I enjoyed this so much that I’m kind of bummed it’s going to be so long before we get into the book again. The next section, chronologically, is a section of Darth Malgus’ journal and he’s around the MMO time period as memory serves. But for now, I’ll put this back in the holocron.
*CANONICAL STATUS: This document is likely more or less accurate. It is more than probable that it contains exaggerations and distortions intended to elevate the ego of its author, Sorzus Syn, but other texts and research indicates that most of the text is accurate. This work is RECOMMENDED as a historical resource.
3 ½ stars.
*Next time, we’ll jump back to where we were before we jumped back to catch up with Dawn of the Jedi and all this other stuff. Join me next time at 3,999 BBY for Ruins of Kabus-Dabeh!