Publisher: Del Rey
Narrator: Marc Thompson
Edition: Audiobook, 16 Hours 56 Minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi, Space Opera
Purchase: Amazon / Audible / Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5/5 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, Darth Vader; 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 and 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 ascendancy.
You know those books that you finish reading and you want to talk about it to everyone, but what actually comes out of your mouth is basically incoherent screaming? Thrawn is one of those for me. This book had me geeking out from beginning to end.
Thrawn is one of the most popular characters from the original Star Wars Extended Universe, so much so that when the universe was reset there was some small rioting over his deletion from the canon. Thankfully he’s back in the canon and leaving his stamp on the story. I would say that of the canon books I’ve read so far this one is fighting with Lost Stars for my favorite. It has everything I love about Star Wars in it and really adds depth to characters we have only seen one side of from the Rebels tv show. The focus is mainly on a Chiss character named Mith’raw’nurodu, Thrawn, and his rise to becoming a Grand Admiral of the Imperial Navy; however, we are also treated to the view points of two other characters whose lives and careers are directly impacted and entwine with Thrawn’s. Eli Vanto, his somewhat unlikely assistant, and Arihnda Pryce, a woman who has to maneuver the dangerous grounds of politics to regain her place. In this, we get to see three different sides of the action and with three different mind sets, and it also serves to show that not everyone in the Empire is as black and white as the Rebel narratives show. We have people fighting to protect their homes and their families, and we see that not all of them hold the same viewpoints as the Emperor himself. This book reads really quickly and provides a nice mix of political maneuverings, battle strategy, and action.
Thrawn is the definition of the type of the main character I love to see. He’s intelligent, calm, charming, and can flip the switch to ruthless when he needs to. He understands strategy and has a different way of analyzing situations that lead to incredibly creative and surprising methods. Eli Vanto, is his de facto partner and their relationship is one of the main focal points. I loved seeing this sort of reluctant aide become a right hand, who actually evolves and changes over the course of the book due to his proximity to Thrawn. Think Sherlock and Watson…only Vanto catches on to Sherlock’s plans a lot quicker and with less of an explanation. They are seen as outsiders. the alien and the back water yokel, to begin with, but make their mark as they continue to defy expectations and even some attempted sabotages. Pryce is a character I’ve seen in Rebels as well, and I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t like her when I watched the newest season…this book sort of changes that. While I don’t think I can say I really like her, I do find that I respect her a lot more. She’s a fighter and despite her somewhat cool demeanor in the show I can now see that she has things she cares for and just how much she’s had to do to get to where she is.
This is a must read for Star Wars fans and definitely a favorite read of the year! I’m really hoping we get some more answers in regards to the epilogue portion of the book, whether it be in another book (PLEASE), tv show, or one of the movies.