My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As a big fan of the original Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn, this was an instant buy for me. The Thrawn trilogy was my first extended universe read and I loved it to bits. I still have the books and would love to replace them with hardcovers at some point.
Thrawn has always been a character that really stood out for me, personally. I was so relieved when I heard he was put back into the new canon and I think his new position within the Empire makes a whole lot of sense. This book has us follow Mitth’raw’nuruodo, or simply Thrawn as he is found by the Empire and climbs the ranks at a staggering rate.
“I see you were not paying attention at the end. I thought not. We’re being transferred, Commander. I am now captain of the ISD Chimaera.” — Page 283
Timothy Zahn really delivers with this novel. It contained everything I had hoped for, including the intrigue of the Galactic Empire, meetings with the Emperor himself, and several favourites from the Clone Wars, like Yularen.
The story is split up in two separate story lines and at first I didn’t really care much for Ahrina Pryce, but as her story and Thrawn’s became more intertwined, I started to understand the role she was playing in the story and things made a whole lot more sense from a storytelling perspective. Especially her link with Lothal, which plays a large role in the Rebels series.
“At one time or another, every warrior wishes to have an unconquerable fortress. Such a fortress is perceived as a refuge, a place of defiance, or a rock upon which enemies can be goaded into smashing themselves to their own destruction.” — Page 354
Every chapter starts with a bit of “flavour” text containing Chiss warrior wisdom and philosophies. They’re really well written and add some insight about the chapter’s contents too. It reminded me a little of the Dune books, where Frank Herbert did something along these lines too! A very nice detail, and perhaps even a nod to such books?
As the story progressed I really felt that I was rooting for Thrawn and Eli Vanto, as they tried to fight a rebel cell. Timothy Zahn has written this book in such a manner that you’re actually sympathizing with Thrawn and his men, instead of the classic take on Star Wars. There is quite some debate on whether or not the Galactic Empire is corrupt, and evil, but there’s still a lot that speaks for it too. I’ve always found myself more attracted to the Dark Side characters of Star Wars, because I think they’re more interesting. Thrawn definitely is one of the most noteworthy characters I know of and this book is one of the absolute best of the new canon I’ve read. I can’t wait to dig in to the next one!
“All people have regrets. Warriors are no exceptions. One would hope it was possible to distinguish between events caused by one’s carelessness or lack of ability and those caused by circumstances or forces beyond one’s control. But in practice there is no difference. All forms of regret sear equally deeply into the mind and soul. All forms leave scars of equal bitterness.” — Page 416
If you’re looking to read a Star Wars book and you haven’t read any, make sure this is one of your first. This book is that Star Wars fans want!
Cover art: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Paper smell: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟