Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In this definitive novel, readers will follow Thrawn’s rise to power―uncovering the events that created one of the most iconic villains in Star Wars history.
One of the most cunning and ruthless warriors in the history of the Galactic Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn is also one of the most captivating characters in the Star Wars universe, from his introduction in bestselling author Timothy Zahn’s classic Heir to the Empire, through his continuing adventures in Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, and beyond. But Thrawn’s origins and the story of his rise in the Imperial ranks have remained mysterious. Now, in Star Wars: Thrawn, Timothy Zahn chronicles the fateful events that launched the blue-skinned, red-eyed master of military strategy and lethal warfare into the highest realms of power―and infamy.
After Thrawn is rescued from exile by Imperial soldiers, his deadly ingenuity and keen tactical abilities swiftly capture the attention of Emperor Palpatine. And just as quickly, Thrawn proves to be as indispensable to the Empire as he is ambitious; as devoted as its most loyal servant, Anakin Skywalker; and a brilliant warrior never to be underestimated. On missions to rout smugglers, snare spies, and defeat pirates, he triumphs time and again―even as his renegade methods infuriate superiors while inspiring ever greater admiration from the Empire. As one promotion follows another in his rapid ascension to greater power, he schools his trusted aide, ensign Eli Vanto, in the arts of combat, leadership, and the secrets of claiming victory. But even though Thrawn dominates the battlefield, he has much to learn in the arena of politics where ruthless administrator Arihnda Pryce holds the power to be a potent ally or a brutal enemy.
All these lessons will be put to the ultimate test when Thrawn rises to admiral―and must pit all the knowledge, instincts, and battle forces at his command against an insurgent uprising that threatens not only innocent lives but also the Empire’s grip on the galaxy―and his own carefully laid plans for future ascendency.
Thrawn is a great introduction to one of the Star Wars Universe’s greatest creations, and an excellent re-introduction of a character well-known to many. Timothy Zahn returns as writer to the first canonised novel of the titular Thrawn, that chronicles the rise to power of several very important characters. The novel contains two intersecting story line that link-up several times throughout.
The novel begins with an exiled Thrawn being discovered by the Empire on an Outer Rim world, where he is then taken to meet with the Emperor. Finding the Chiss interesting and learning of his meeting with a trusted ally, the Emperor offers Thrawn a position within the Imperial Navy. To help Thrawn’s understanding of the language and of etiquette within the galaxy, he is provided with and interpreter and aide Ensign Eli Vanto. They spend the next three months on Coruscant graduating from the Imperial Academy, where Thrawn is immediately given the rank of Lieutenant and both are assigned to the ship Blood Crow.
During this time, we meet Arihnda Pryce, the daughter of a mining family on the planet of Lothal. She is persuaded to hand her parents mining business over to the Empire by Senator Renking who offers her a low-level job working for him on Coruscant. Whilst there, Arihnda slowly makes her way up the social scale rubbing shoulders with many Senators and Governors. Thrawn and Eli quickly move up through the various ranks within the Imperial Navy with Thrawn displaying his impressive skill for Military tactics, which in turn lead him to many Imperial victories. Only one enemy eludes him, an enemy known as Nightswan.
Thrawn is a fantastic read for all. It is the perfect way for fans to learn more about the character seen on Star Wars Rebels, whilst also giving the fans that know of Thrawn’s non-canon adventure’s new information about his history and rise within the Empire’s ranks. It perfectly links to the TV series Star Wars Rebels, detailing Thrawn’s movements right up to his entrance on that show. It leaves us wanting more, whilst also leaving us with many questions that need answers!
Four and a half stars, rounded up to 5 for Goodreads and Amazon.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.