|December 26, 2007|
|Preceded by||Darth Bane: Path of Destruction|
|Followed by||Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil|
Darth Bane: Rule of Two, the sequel to the novel Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, is part of the Star Wars expanded universe. It was written by Drew Karpyshyn, and was released on December 26, 2007. The novel centers on the young Sith apprentice Darth Zannah, recently taken under the wing of the Sith Lord Darth Bane. The "Rule of Two" of the title refers to the rule that there be only two Sith in existence at one time: a Master and an Apprentice, a rule that Bane originates.
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Darth Bane, still on the planet Ruusan, finds his apprentice Zannah, a girl only 10 years old. Together they decide to see the effects of the thought bomb, and journey into the catacombs where it lies. Inside they find a boy, Tomcat, who is Zannah's cousin; she spares him by cutting his hand off.
Ten years later, Zannah is a woman and now a powerful Sith. Strikingly attractive, she tricks a handsome Twilek Kel into a plan to assassinate former chancellor Valorum. Kel and other members of the rebel group attack, but two members flee upon seeing bodyguard and Jedi Knight Johun Othone. After a fearsome battle, the Jedi narrowly defeats the Twilek Kel, and kills the rest of the group.
Meanwhile, at base camp, Bane has been trying to construct a Sith holocron; after three failed attempts, he fails again on the fourth one and goes into a blinding fury. Zannah plants the idea in his head that the orbalisks, a parasitic creature found on Dxun which feeds on dark energy, caused the failure. He starts to wonder whether the orbalisks are causing his mind to degrade.
The two members who had fled find Zannah and accuse her of tricking them into an attack that was doomed to fail. Unable to attack in public, she follows them to their master Hetton. In him, Zannah senses the dark side of the Force. She kills the two members that fled in a dramatic flair of Sith power. Hetton, very impressed, asks Zannah to make him her apprentice. She accepts, knowing that he has a large collection of manuscripts valuable to her master. Using Hetton's manuscripts, Bane finds the location of the tomb of Sith Lord Belia Darzu. Hoping that it will contain the secrets of holocron construction, he travels there.
Darth Bane instructs Zannah to disguise herself and go to the Jedi archives, to see if she can find a way to remove the interfering orbalisks. There she finds the cure, but meets her cousin Tomcat, now called Darovit. Darovit tells the Jedi about Darth Bane. He now finds himself changing alliances and decides to come with Zannah because of his brotherly love for her. Five Jedi journey to the tomb of Belia Darzu, arriving after Zannah and Darovit. Bane instructs Darovit to hide, and he and Zannah together duel with the five Jedi. After slaying four of them, he attempts to kill the last one with Force lightning. One of the four supposedly slain Jedi is still alive and casts a Force orb around Bane as he releases the lightning. The lightning is reflected back on Bane, frying him inside the orb. Some of the orbalisks are destroyed by the tremendous force and release a toxin that will kill Bane in days. Zannah takes the group to Ambria, to find healer Caleb, who once before saved Bane's life. Caleb refuses to heal him, but makes a deal that he will heal Bane if Zannah informs the Jedi of their existence. She accepts, but after Bane is healed, Zannah kills Caleb and makes Darovit go mad. She tricks the Jedi that come into thinking that Darovit was the Sith Lord. Meanwhile, Zannah and Bane are hiding in a secret cellar. Bane expected her to let him die, but after the Jedi leaves, she tells him that she saved him because she still has much to learn.
Darth Bane: Rule of Two reached 14 on the New York Times bestseller list on January 13, 2008.