It appears things are as you expected, Lord Vader. We are indeed hunted.
Enter Lords of the Sith, the new Canon novel written by Paul S. Kemp that takes place between episode 3, Revenge of the Sith, and episode 4, A New Hope. The story chronicles Anakin Skywalker, who has now become Darth Vader and apprentice of Darth Sidious now leader of the Empire.
Yet, the rebel alliance, lead by leader Cham Syndulla, is starting to form and manages to take down a Star Destroyer, which happens to have Darth Vader and the Emperor. The two manage to survive the attack however and are stranded on planet Ryloth and are surrounded by rebel forces that want them dead…
First off, Paul S. Kemp is a pretty decent writer and he is most skilled at writing great dialogue between Darth Vader and The Emperor. All of this is to test Vader and you can see how The Emperor operates and how he pulls strings in the background. He can get a bit repetitive at times, using the same phrases over and over again, like “he wrapped himself in the force,” and “he cursed…” it can get a bit annoying but otherwise the writing is solid and the pacing is well done.
The novel gets pretty dark at times and has some dark themes woven throughout it as we see Anakin completely turn to the dark side as Darth Vader, which is a better representation of the Dark Lord than we got in the prequels. Paul S. Kemp really got a lock on these characters and does a good job of representing them on the page and realizing them to their full potential.
It also takes a few chapters for the plot to really kick in. Once The Emperor and Vader are stuck on the planet that’s where the story really gets emotional and gets under your skin. It makes The Emperor one of the biggest dicks in the history of entertainment, which is something we already knew, but Kemp validates it. You hear the character of Vader when Vader speaks and The Emperor as well when the two converse and the dialogue is true to how they conversed in Return of the Jedi.
There’s also some backstabbing involved with a Moth and a general from the Empire who has been helping the rebels for his own needs which is interesting and really well thought out and also a nice tie-in with Rebels without spoiling anything away.
Overall, while the plot takes a little while to get going and the uses of the same phrases over and over can get a bit annoying, Lords of The Sith is by far the best book in the new Canon so far and the most accurate representation of Darth Vader after the original movies.