Star Wars Knight Errant

Star Wars Knight Errant

by John Jackson Miller

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345522641
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/25/2011
Series: Star Wars: Knight Errant Series
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 122,805
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Game designer John Jackson Miller is also the author of nine Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic graphic novels, as well as the Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith eBook series. His comics work includes writing for Iron Man, Mass Effect, Bart Simpson, and Indiana Jones. John Jackson Miller lives in Wisconsin with his wife, two children, and far too many comic books.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE
 
In Sith space, everyone is a slave. It was a funny thing about a bunch whose credo included a line about their “chains being broken,” Narsk thought. They were always careful to leave plenty of chains intact for everyone else.
 
Still, some people were more enslaved than others. It paid to be special, to be good at something. Life was less unpleasant then. And for the really special? One had one’s choice of masters—not that the options were that appealing.
 
Narsk Ka’hane’s own specialty had brought him to Darkknell, seat of power for Daiman, self-declared Sith Lord and would-be godling. Narsk had first used a stealth bodysuit to harvest rimebats from caverns on Verdanth, and what he was doing now wasn’t much different. True, the Bothan couldn’t imagine anyone back home clinging upside down to a rope in a high-security tower’s ventilation system—but then, not everyone could be special.
 
What was different now was the stealth suit. The Sith warring in the region hadn’t focused much on advancing stealth technology over the last few decades; they were only after bigger explosions. That was fine with Narsk. The bodysuit he wore was the top of a Republic line never seen in the Grumani sector. He didn’t know how his supplier had acquired a Cyricept Personal Concealment System, Mark VI—or even whether the previous five versions were any good. Narsk just knew he’d never gotten so far on an assignment so easily.
 
Almost a shame, given all the preparation he’d put in. He’d arrived in Xakrea, Darkknell’s administrative capital, weeks earlier to establish his cover identity. Locating the target was simple enough; the lopsided pyramid known colloquially as the Black Fang was visible from most of town. He’d carefully studied traffic patterns around the obsidian edifice and noted the shift changes of the sentries guarding the few openings. Within a month, he’d located every route into and out of the colossal house of secrets.
 
And then he had walked right in.
 
The Mark VI could do for tradecraft what hyperdrive did for space travel, Narsk thought. Electronic baffles worked into the suit’s skin at a molecular level warped and bent electromagnetic waves around the wearer. Sound, light, comms—the Mark VI dodged them all. And Cyricept had thought of everything. A breath filter matched exhalations to room temperature and humidity. Special goggles permitted Narsk to see out, despite the fact that no light was reaching his eyes. They’d even supplied a similarly cloaked pouch for carry-along items. If Narsk wasn’t exactly invisible, he took an attentive eye to spot, especially in the dark.
 
But attentiveness, Narsk had found, was not a gift that “Lord Daiman, creator of all,” had seen fit to bestow on his sentries. As elsewhere, the peculiar Lord’s adepts had rounded up menacing-looking characters and proceeded to overdress them. There wasn’t a bruiser so tough he couldn’t be made to look silly when strapped into gilded armor and wrapped in a burgundy skirt. One poor Gamorrean—his squat, lumbering green body particularly at odds with his finery—across town had looked ready to cry.
 
So while Narsk had brought his needler and extra rounds on every trip to the research center, he’d never needed them. The Mark VI had gotten him to the door, but the sentries had actually opened it for him, allowing him inside when they entered themselves. “When your job’s to make sure nothing ever happens,” he’d once heard, “you begin to see nothing happening even when something’s going on.” By now, his thirteenth and final trip inside, Narsk believed it. Many of the secrets of the Black Fang—officially, the Daimanate Dynamic Testing Facility (Darkknell)—rested comfortably in the memory of the datapad in his pouch.
 
Lord Odion would be pleased.
 
That wasn’t always a good thing, Narsk knew: Daiman’s older brother got most of his thrills from death and destruction. The whole sorry war smacked of a psychological study. Daiman was the spoiled kid who thought he was the only person in the universe who mattered; Odion was the jealous sibling, reacting to his loss of uniqueness by trashing the playpen. If Daiman thought he created everything, Odion believed it was his destiny to destroy everything. Half of Odion’s adepts were part of a death cult, flitting around his evil light hoping to cash out in his service. Ralltiiri glowmites were less suicidal.
 
Fortunately, Narsk didn’t have to adopt their ways to take their assignments. Not many of them, anyway.
 
Reaching a juncture in the ventilation system, Narsk felt the whole building wheeze around him. Frigid air chuffed past, cooling the facility for today’s big test. The Mark VI responded, matching the surrounding temperature while somehow keeping frost from accumulating on the suit’s surface. The Republic designers were good, Narsk thought. Too bad they can’t fight. Or won’t.
 
Cutting the cable, Narsk settled gently onto the vent cover. The main testing center below was the only important room he hadn’t entered, if only because his quarry hadn’t been moved here yet. But there it was, its metallic bulk just visible through the icy slats at his feet.
 
Convergence.
 
In Daiman’s conflict with Odion, the great capital ships that once dominated Sith battles with the Republic had sat largely out of play. Neither had a clear idea how many great ships his brother had, and while Odion would have happily taken his chances in a huge engagement, Daiman was unwilling to oblige. The result had been a series of strokes and counterstrokes, where the winning factor wasn’t the amount of firepower as often as it was the ability to project different kinds of strength quickly. The field of battle changed constantly.
 
The Convergence Tactical Assault Vehicle had chucked thousands of years of military science in favor of Daiman’s idea of the moment: one-ship-fits-all. Like Narsk’s stealth suit, Convergence was intended to do everything. Twice the size of a starfighter, the craft served as a small troop transport, capable of delivering eight to ten warriors through hyperspace. It also sported weapons systems allowing it to play the role of fighter or bomber depending on the situation. Daiman foresaw a time when millions of the vessels would propel him to his rightful place, ruling the galaxy.
 
Daiman’s engineers, meanwhile, had foreseen only a never-ending nightmare. And their prediction, spoken only to themselves, had thus far come closest to reality. Peering down into the chamber, Narsk could see why. Mounted onto a colossal testing arm was the ugliest contraption he’d ever seen. Convergence was a hundred-ton expression of one man’s moods, changeable and conflicting.
 
Daiman had demanded that the vessel keep to the tri-pronged dart aesthetic of his starfighters, but the wings and color scheme were about all that the pregnant monster had in common with those sleek ships. Designers had saddled the forward section with a hulking crew compartment that was still less than comfortable: room for nine passengers, but only if six stood the entire way. The engines, enlarged on two earlier occasions, seemed nonetheless outmatched. A missile battery pointed nowhere in particular. And a massive nacelle ran along the underside, last vestige of an earlier plot to convert the ship into a tracked vehicle for use on land. Narsk imagined they still kept the wheels somewhere in the building, anticipating Daiman’s frequent changes of mind.
 
Endless engineering for an endless war. Narsk thought it something a child would design. Yet despite it all, there was still something worth stealing. For all their troubles, Daiman’s designers had lucked upon some worthwhile advances. Some of the composite work on the hull had shown fruit, and the turbolaser energy efficiency was as good as anyone in the sector had seen.
 
Useful facts, especially to his employer. Self-styled though he was, Lord Odion was a proper mimic when it came to technology. Narsk had been assigned to pick Convergence’s secrets clean. With any luck, Odion’s massive floating factory, The Spike, would soon be churning out better weapons systems using the ideas.
 
Narsk had stolen most of the data at his leisure, thanks to Daiman’s sudden decision to add riot-control features to the ship. Now he was back for the last morsel: the energy shield package. Over the past week, Daiman’s researchers had exposed its shields to sonic waves, electronic emissions, and blazing heat, adjusting the ship’s software package as needed. This test, designed to evaluate shield performance in atmospheres, was the one Narsk had been waiting for. The Convergence prototype had been married to a huge rotating arm, a centrifuge designed to simulate performance at sublight speeds. On less secret vehicles, this kind of testing was done in the air—but, Narsk imagined, the researchers probably worried the thing would never fly anyway. He was glad he hadn’t been ordered to steal the ship itself!
 
A buzzer sounded. The massive torus began to move, sleepily dragging the bulk of Convergence. Narsk’s attention was below, nearer the hub. The observers monitoring outside wouldn’t have a visual on the gargantuan motor, or the space around it.
 
Narsk heaved himself over the edge, timing his drop to allow him to land on the gargantuan arm itself. Touching metal for a moment, he lithely tumbled backward off the rotating bar toward the floor below. He immediately went flat, mashing his furry face to the ribbed decking of the testing chamber. Less than a meter stood between the floor and instant decapitation.
 

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Star Wars - Knight Errant 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Jedidude More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best Star Wars Novels I have read in quite a while. The last Star Wars book I read that was this hard to put down was Darth Bane Path of Destruction. John Jackson Miller is a great writer and he is at his best here. This book feels like three books in one and I really enjoyed all the new Sith villains that were introduced in this book, and there is even a huge twist that, I did not see coming late in the book. Kerra Holt is a great new Jedi character and I can't wait to see what John does with her in the future. There is a lot of action in this book, much like last year's Fate of the Jedi Vortex. Knight Errant is great fun and left me begging for more. Any Star Wars fan that is interested in the era set before the movies should not miss this book, it is that good.
harstan More than 1 year ago
A millennium before Skywalker became a galaxy name, the Sith traveled destructively across the Republic as everyone is considered a slave on a chain. No one except a Sith Lord would dare challenge any of these predatory superego maniacs who share in common the belief they are the dictators of the galaxy and collateral damage of innocent bystanders is desired as a means to control everyone. In this brutal Dark Age, one light shines and that is Jedi Knight Errant Kerra Holt, who does not fear using the Force to destroy the Dark Lords. Her quest has made her Sith Lord public enemy number one; number two is each other. However, her battles with Lord Daiman who knows he created the universe in his image with a big bang and his older jealous brother Lord Odion who knows he destroyed the universe in his image with a big crunch suddenly seems minor. In Daiman's capital Darknell, Kerra meets Narsk an Odionite enabler, which leads her to realize an interwoven diabolical family affair with previously unheard of modern technology rather than individual megalomaniac exists. She must find a way to divide and conquer amidst the chaos of combat. Based on the Dark Horse comic book, Knight Errant is a fun Star Wars tale occurring even before Lord Bane. The story line is faster than the Force and loaded with action as obsessed Holt assumes everyone is her enemy though she knows she needs allies if she is to end the threat. The heroine is a sort of Paladin (from Have Gun Will Travel), but not for hire. Though none of the cast is developed beyond their prime trait, readers will enjoy Kerra's saber butt kicking escapades in a Republic overwhelmed by incestuous infighting Sith Lords who bring new insanity to the meaning of the Dark Ages. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story. Gives a good feel for living under sith rule and why sith do what they do. Very well written too.
AdamBourke on LibraryThing 9 hours ago
This book is everything that "Cloak of Deception" should have been. It has fast flowing action, greatcharacters, and layer upon layer of political mystery and intrigue. In essence, it contains almosteverything I look for in a book.The one thing that I don't believe it has is a strong plot. I expect that this is because, while it IS astandalone book, it follows the story-arc started in the two Knight Errant comic series (Aflame andDeluge). However this didn't seem to be that much of a problem, since despite not knowing where thebook was going, I couldn't put it down.While it isn't the earliest book in the star wars timeline, it almost is, being set in the dark ages of theRepublic. That means it's pretty different from the films (lots of Sith, one Jedi) and as such, it's probablynot the best to read as an introduction to the expanded universe (try Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter for that), butit IS an incredible book, and one that should be read by every star wars reader.The Sith in this book are written particularly well. There is quite a few of them (Seven Sith Lords makean appearance, as well as their minions), and they are all unique. Each of them adds a new aspect to thebook, and in some ways, each Sith Lord represents a different story. This is part of what helps it flow sowell, the story is constantly changing, there isn't a dull moment. And that's just the bad guys.The main character herself is... Not the greatest. She feels a little under-developed, but again I feel thatthis is due to the fact that half the story is in comic form, and we don't know a lot of what's happenedto Kerra. The one thing we do see is that she's not the model Jedi, which is refreshing after many idealJedi in the Expanded Universe. But my favourite characters are the artillery captain, Rusher, and themysterious demolitions expert, Narsk.These two characters are the two that really add depth to the book. They work for the Sith, but only because the Sith are the only people around. This idea is an interesting one, because it allows the author to show prejudice against them (working for bad guys), while also showing that there are just ordinary people in the star wars universe. Too often the main characters in the star wars books are all "professional heroes", or fighter pilots, or basically full-time good guys. It's nice to see more realistic people.This is probably one of my favourite books in the Star Wars universe (and given the general quality of the books, thats saying something). As I mentioned earlier, not the best book to start your expanded universe experience. But once you've read a couple with the movie characters in, read this. It's easy to read, while still being complex, and a great addition to the Star Wars series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
super fun read! I hope they make more novels in this series. I know it's based on the comics but I really enjoyed this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A cruddy book adaptation of an OK comic series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Porfinicle More than 1 year ago
John Jackson Miller is an amazing author, which is why this novel was so disappointing. I've read the Knight Errant comic series that precedes this and was hoping to get into the head of Kerra more. What is the role of a Jedi alone in Sith space, or how does Kerra deal with her desire for vengeance, were some of the questions I was hoping the novel would address. Instead we follow Kerra on a series of adventures across Sith space, but along the way are not given a clear indication of the larger plot. During the last third of the book everything eventually comes together, but I could see a less determined reader dropping out much earlier in the book. While this book takes Kerra on quite a wild ride, where one event leads right into another, any momentum gained is lost whenever the focus transitions to a variety of secondary characters. This happens a lot and personally I would have preferred the entire novel from Kerra's point of view. Kerra is an interesting character that could have been more fleshed out in the novel format, and have been part of a much more interesting story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HORRIBLE AND CONFUSING!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Revan97 More than 1 year ago
Star Wars Knight Errant is perhaps one of the most action packed Old Republic novels ever written. The story takes place a thousand years before Luke Skywalker and a generation before Darth Bane, in a galaxy far, far away. Of course the rule of two has not yet been initiated and thus hundreds and hundreds of Sith roam the galaxy unchecked. But there is one lone Jedi, whom this story revolves around, that dares to defy them. Her name is Kerra Holt. If your looking for an intriguing tale full of wild adventure, awesome new worlds, crazy plot twists, Sith vs. Jedi and every thing you've come to expect from Star Wars, this is your book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I fought to keep my interest. Sound premise, poor execution.
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Imhave read all the KOTOR comics staring Errant and the one s with Zaynr Carrick. I would like to seehim write a novel with Zayne cuz he did a great job on this 1.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just so so for Star Wars.
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