*** I read this book long ago; I just thought to do a review now.
This is a prequels of the prequels. It's a great one too. When Sidious mentioned it Plagueis in ROTS, I've always been curious about him. Finally, Luceno managed to pull it off, and I couldn't have asked for a better introduction. It explored the unexplored era before the prequels, which I was always curious of.
It starts off with when Plagueis died, then back to when he was just conquering power and killing his Master, Trebonous. Then he went on to explore the secrets of immortality, and almost got there. He found Sidious, trained him, and taught him well. The ultimate plans of the Sith unfolds.
I liked the continual references to other EU books, even if I don't understand all of them because I haven't read them all. A warning to non Star Wars fans: Don't read this book as the first one. If someone doesn't know the Sith Code by heart, I don't think this is a book for them. Though there wasn't much action, it showed the stealthy way the Sith operates and how cruel they are. I liked how it showed another side of the story- how Sidious came to power, his origins, the Sith lineage, etc.
The star character here is Darth Plagueis, and he was done incredibly well. His memorable quotes were added here. His evil personality was more than I expected. I liked how he used the concept of embracing pain and not faltering from it, since discipline is the key to power. In the end I realized how... ignorant he was too. Sidious was more cunning than I expected, and it seemed as if he did really deserve what he got for all his hard work...
Sometimes the vocabulary in this book made me confused, since Luceno uses SAT words I never knew about. Maybe I'll read this book when I turn thirteen; it would make more sense. I'm very surprised that the book continued to TPM, which was when Plagueis died. Then Maul was never a Sith lord, and I found that disturbing.
In conclusion, this is a great book. If I read it again in the future, I think I'll enjoy it more, but still I give this book five stars for having "Star Wars" on its cover and giving me more insight to the Star Wars universe.