I don't know that Tarkin got the "Darth Plagueis treatment" as the description states. It was a great book, a gripping story, and an in-depth look at the man who came to command the Death Star and how he came to this position of power, but it didn't do for me what "Plagueis" did. Plagueis changed my appreciation and understanding the Expanded Star Wars Universe, gave me a reason to appreciate the Episode I-III movies, and set off my ongoing fascination with Sith history and philosophy. I felt no irresistable urge to watch Episode IV after this book, and can't say that I feel any greater attachment to the character or that corner of the Star Wars Universe. It's certainly worth the read, hence the 4-star rating, but it's not Plagueis.At least not to me.
If you were like me and thought that Star Wars episodes I-III were ruled by special effects and the music of John Williams rather than an epic story with epic characters, then you need to read/hear this book! You will come to understand the nature and history of the Bannite Sith Order, and the masterful and ruthless subterfuge that resulted in the fall of the Galactic Republic and the Jedi order.
All of the characters from episodes I-III are given greater depth and texture than could be conveyed in the roughly 8 hours of film in the movies. Emperor Palpatine will no longer be just a stooped,gravelly-voiced shadow hidden in a cowl to you after this, Darth Maul will be more than a silent, scowling killer wielding an exotic weapon, Count Dooku will no longer seem like Saruman in a cape and boots. The mystery of the death of Jedi Master Sifo Diyas will puzzle you the same way it puzzled the Jedi Council.
And you will understand that Anakin Skywalker was destined for greatness, but NOT in the way that the Jedi imagined when they accepted him for training.
I don't play KotOR, so the other books in this series didn't make much sense to me. I never got attached to the characters or their stories, putting the stories into historical context was difficult, and I ended up returning them (all but Revan, which was also written by Karpyshyn). As a stand-alone story, I love this book! Quirky characters, witty banter, intra-galactic espionage, and an excellent pace. It's not the Bane trilogy, but I still love this book, and listen to it whenever I have a afternoon that needs filling (Bane is my favorite star wars trilogy, but it's a weekend project).