Review – Knights of the Old Republic vol 3: Days of Fear, Nights of Anger

With all the upcoming books and comics set in The Old Republic era (as well as the end of the KOTOR series), I thought I’d try to catch up on the entire run and let you know if you should try and do the same. MizzeOH reviewed Commencement, and a few weeks ago I reviewed Flashpoint, which reminded me why I enjoyed this series so much. But this third volume is my first foray into new material – it wasn’t available in my library, so I had to purchase it for myself to see this part of the story. To see if I felt it was worthwhile, you’ll have to click on the link.

There are two story arcs in the third KOTOR TPB, the first of which is Days of Fear (I bet you can already guess the name of the second arc). It starts out with Jarael & Camper parting company with Zayne and Gryph. They mutually feel that they’re all running from different things and it doesn’t make sense for them to stay together when there are so many different parties trying to pursue them. Gryph hires a Trandoshan named Slyssk to steal a ship for him – except Slyssk is a bad pilot and a worse thief – and now he’s got the local law enforcement after them. But along the way Slyssk get’s fooled into thinking he owes a life-debt to Gryph, so he comes along for the ride.

They wind up on a world near the border of the war between the Republic and the Mandalorians – where the Republic is amassing its troops to prepare to repel the invaders. And the ship Zayne and Gryph stole – is a troop mess ship. But it turns out, Slyssk IS an excellent cook – and they soon become the destination of choice for all the troops stationed on the planet, including Carth Onasi – and folks who’ve played the games should know that name. Anyways, Zayne has a vision that the Mandos aren’t going to play fair and fight the Republic – instead they’re going to sterilize the planet. So with the help of Carth, he gets an audience with Admiral Karath to warn him – only the Admiral doesn’t believe Zayne because he recognizes him as the wanted Jedi. Can Zayne convince them he’s not lying, and will Gryph be able to leave the planet before the war arrives – even if it means giving up the money those Republic troops are willing to pay for his food services?

The second story arc is Nights of Anger (I –told– you you’d guess it) which is really devoted to Jarael and Camper’s story. An AK-24 droid had somehow gotten onboard their ship and wounded Camper, at which point Rohlan (the Mandalorian who snuck onboard the ship at the end of the last volume) reveals himself and defends his two friends. They decide to take Camper Adascorp – the place he’s been trying to stay away from for as long as Jarael has known him. But they’re the only ones who might be able to figure out how to help Camper. They all wind up as guests (or perhaps prisoners) of Lord Adasca – who needs Camper to activate a inhibitor that will allow Lord Adasca to control a space faring race of giant worms (see Empire Strikes Back) and use them as he sees fit.

Here’s the biggest problem with this entire volume – it’s not particularly necessary. As mentioned before, this one wasn’t available at my library – so originally I had skipped it, and moved on from vol 2 to vol 4. At the time I was surprised by how easy that was to do – and now I see why. Not all that much happened in this book.

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed it, especially the first story arc. It felt like a ‘front lines’ story, the calm before the storm kind of thing. There are great moments of levity, lots of good character moments and progressions and some revelations – while still adding some new secrets as well. I’m more of a fan of Dustin Weaver than the other artists of this volume, and he’s really just in the first arc. The art changes aren’t that noticeable when moving to Nights of Anger, but coupled with the weaker story – it just didn’t interest me all that much. There was literally an entire issue of just talking heads – and what’s worse is, the BIG REVEAL at the end of this last issue, is done as a better reveal (which I remembered once I got to this point in this volume) in the next TPB.

If you’re looking to catch up on KOTOR, I can’t say that you have to read this book to understand what’s going on. Each TPB gives you a quick summary at the beginning of what’s come before – and that’s all you really need when moving from Flashpoint to Daze of Hate, Knights of Suffering (the next TPB). I’d highly recommend Flashpoint (and Commencement before it), but you only need to read Days of Fear, Nights of Anger if you’re really a devoted fan of the series. Otherwise, you could just skip ahead to volume 4 – but that’s a review for another week.

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