Within the first 35 pages of Paul S. Kemp’s Star Wars The Old Republic Deceived, Darth Malgus reveals to readers the reason why there will always be Sith in the galaxy. Malgus needs to kill and reveals that he would kill allies if necessary. His bloodlust appears in several parts of the books, like when he mentions the need for constant war. Following Malgus through “Deceived” is like watching footage of a video game. He’s slightly overpowered, and determined to finish his mission.
In addition to the Sith, Kemp introduces a down-on-his-luck smuggler, Zeerid Korr, and a conflicted Jedi Knight, Aryn Leneer. Zeerid isn’t as rough and dangerous as other smugglers seen in the Star Wars universe. Zeerid’s need for credits is honorable, making him the most sympathetic character in the book. This difference provides a refreshing feel to smugglers as a group. Readers wanting to see a powerful or traditional Jedi will be disappointed. While Aryn goes through realistic human emotions, her decisions lack the control and dedication associated with the Jedi.
The smuggler, trooper and Imperial agent classes are referenced, making the book a strong tie-in for Star Wars The Old Republic.
The books plot flows well and is easy to follow. Kemp describes all of the encounters in a way that fans of lightsaber fights and aerial dogfights will enjoy.
Deceived is ultimately a book for the Sith. Malgus’s overpowered actions make some parts of the book seem surreal and over the top. Fortunately, the excellent characters balance out these flaws, making “Deceived” a worthy addition to the Star Wars Expanded Universe.