Of the "new canon" Star Wars books, this is by far the best yet. Which is no surprise to those who have heard of Golden who has written many Star Wars, Star Trek, World of Warcraft, Assassins Creed, etc...books. She has definitely got her science fiction bona fides. This book takes place after the Clone Wars animated series. Sadly, I am only on Season Three of the five season series. This book is based on stories that were never aired, because the show became canceled.
The Jedi have made a momentous decision. One that not all agree with, especially Obi-Wan and Yoda. They have decided that the war is taking too much of a toll and too many innocents are being sacrificed to it and that there is a way to possibly end it: By killing Dooku. An assignation. They pick Master Jedi Quinlan Vos, a delightful, fun, guy who bends the rules a lot and works solo doing undercover work. They know, though, that one Jedi alone will not be able to take down Dooku. He'll need help. Asaji Ventress, once a Sith apprentice to Dooku until he deserted her and destroyed her home world, killing the Nightsisters, her family, has tried twice to kill him: once with two strong Nightsister warriors and once with the mother and a Nightbrother that she created and trained who turned on her. The Jedi Council want Vos to hook up with Ventress and convince her to help him kill Dooku without letting her know he's a Jedi.
The easy-going Vos, manages to convince Ventress to join forces together to hunt down bounties after he helps her capture one, without asking her, which really ticks her off, because she doesn't want his help. She, like Vos, has always worked alone. She doesn't want a partner, but something about Vos makes her take him on. The two travel around the galaxy quickly becoming a team and working well together. The only problem Vos has is in hiding his Jedi abilities from someone who uses the Force.
On Ventress's home planet, it is filled with a different and odd dark energy. As a baby she was put in servitude to a Jedi Master who made her his padawan. Dooku kills him and takes her in, teaching her the dark side. After he leaves her, she returns home and does the initiation rites to become a Nightsister and leaves her Sith ways behind. As she explains it, you can play with the dark side without letting it become a master over you. The Nightsisters are somewhere between the Sith and the Jedi. Now, all the Nightsisters are dead.
Eventually, of course, she finds out about Vos and the Jedi Council plan. She tells him he will have to learn to fight with the dark side of the force like she does and not go down the path completely. She takes him to her home world where they spend time close together training. To complete his training, Vos must kill an ancient creature that is likely the last of its kind. For a Jedi, such senseless violence of an innocent, is completely wrong, but if he cannot kill it, he will not be able to kill Dooku. The two find themselves falling for each other and Vos tells Ventress when this is over he is going to leave the Jedi Order to be with her. No one has done anything like this for her before. She has never had these feelings for someone ever in her life and she is terrified.
This is rare look into a different side of Ventress. She makes herself vulnerable to Vos and opens up and shows that she is really not the evil woman everyone thinks she is. But Obi-Wan does warn Vos that she is manipulative and a liar, and she does lie to him at first. In order to tap into his anger, which he will need to do to defeat Dooku, she tells him Dooku killed his Master, not her, and yes this, as you expect, comes back to haunt her.
For those that have seen Revenge of the Sith you know who kills Dooku and that this endeavor will not succeed. General Grievous is there and it ends up being both of them against Dooku and the General. Dooku captures Vos and Ventress is forced to flee and try to find a way to rescue him later. While with Dooku, Vos is pushed by him farther down the path of the dark side. Will Ventress be able to rescue Vos before its too late and he becomes a Sith?
This is an absolutely amazing book. I loved the characters and the story was truly original. Vos is so lovable and Ventress is given a chance to show who she really is. The ending is truly beautiful, perfect, wonderful, and happy. Now, I need to go and finish watching the Clone Wars show so I can learn more about what happens to Ventress before this book.
Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Disciple-Star-Christie-Golden/dp/1101884959/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474636493&sr=1-1&keywords=dark+disciple
There is no good or evil. Only those with power, and those without it.
--Christie Golden (Star Wars: Dark Disciple)