It has been a long since I have read a book written by Timothy Zahn; far too long in fact. The last books I read would have been the first time Grand Admiral Thrawn was introduced to the Star Wars Universe. Sadly those books are now considered “legends”, as they are part of the defunct post-Jedi canon. So it is quite the understatement to say I was excited to see a new Thrawn book by Timothy Zahn. What makes this book even more exciting is that it’s an origin story that also positions Thrawn to be apart of the new “Disney canon”.
As I already mentioned, this book is an origin story of our favorite Chiss Imperial Grand Admiral. It’s the origin story of his rise to power, it does not take us through his childhood. It begins on a desolate Outer Rim planet where Mitth’raw’nuruodo has been exiled. He finds his way onto an Imperial Star Destroyer where he is taken to Coruscant and becomes the Emperor’s new pet. His military successes causes him to climb the ranks quickly.
So this book has two big positives; it’s written by Timothy Zahn and its about Grand Admiral Thrawn. The Chiss is one of my favorite, under appreciated, species in the Star Wars universe. If you are looking for the classic confrontation with Jedi and the Rebellion, that is not in this book. The premise covers a lot more of military strategy and Imperial politics. Trust me, it is not as boring as it sounds. Zahn does an excellent job keeping you engaged. In fact you forget that you are reading about the “bad guys” of the Star Wars universe. You will become invested with characters of the Empire.
Each chapter begins with Thrawn sharing some of his military philosophy, which is a really cool story mechanic; easily one of my favorite things about this book. The only caveat I would have to provide to the reader is that the book does often jump forward in time. The leaps in time are not always immediately obvious so pay attention to each chapter to better understand how much time has passed. For a book that never includes a single Jedi or Force moment, it’s a really fun read. I’m excited for the next book in the series!
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss