This was the first Star Wars EU (“Expanded Universe”) novel that I had ever read, and I greatly enjoyed the experience. To be honest, I only read it because I wanted to do some “research” on the character of Darth Plagueis, but I learned a great deal more of Darth Sidious/Palpatine along the way as well.
The writing is measured and, had I not known that Star Wars was born from a film series, I might have guessed that Luceno was making this world up himself. The only danger is that I didn’t necessarily know what all of the various aliens are supposed to look like because little description is sometimes given to them. I suppose that comes with the territory, though: the authors of the Star Wars EU are likely writing with the assumption that their primary reading audience is going to be familiar with Star Wars in some way or another.
Whatever the case, I’ll have to call this novel my “gateway drug”-book into the written world of the Star Wars EU, and I actually am looking forward to, perhaps, picking up some more.