"Rule through fear of force rather than force itself."
I'm going to totally honest here. I'm probably one of the few that consider Tarkin a Top 10 (maybe Top 5) favorite character. I was one of those kids that was upset that Power Droid got an action figure but nothing for the dude with the coolest lines in the movie ("Charming, to the last."). I actually had to wait until 1997 for said action figure.
Anyway, when I get the email from Amazon about the Tarkin novel by James Luceno, how could I pass it up? A few months later, here it is. I had to finish up another novel, Choices of One by Timothy Zahn, but I couldn't wait. I've read other Star Wars novels by Mr. Luceno. The NJO books a few years ago and Darth Plagueis last year. Tarkin is very much like Darth Plagueis. Little bits of action but the story focuses the person(s) themselves. A lot of back story on what made Tarkin become Tarkin. His rise through Imperial ranks. His thoughts and feelings on Vader and Palpatine. But you also see some of his arrogance. If he simply would have listened to his advisers... the Star Wars universe would be really different.
The story is short, only 288 pages. Probably a few days read for most people. The narrative jumps around a little but it is still an easy read. I enjoyed it, but then I am a huge Tarkin fan. As such, I'm giving it a 4-star rating.