- Series: Star Wars
- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey (April 11, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345511271
- ISBN-13: 978-0345511270
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 560 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Thrawn (Star Wars) Hardcover – April 11, 2017
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“The origin story of one of the greatest Star Wars villains . . . a book that fans have wanted for decades.”—The Verge
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“Quite the page-turner.”—Flickering Myth
About the Author
Timothy Zahn is the author of more than forty novels, nearly ninety short stories and novellas, and four short-fiction collections. In 1984, he won the Hugo Award for Best Novella. Zahn is best known for his Star Wars novels (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, Specter of the Past, Vision of the Future, Survivor’s Quest, Outbound Flight, Allegiance, Choices of One, and Scoundrels), with more than four million copies of his books in print. Other books include the Cobra series, the Quadrail series, and the young adult Dragonback series. Zahn has a B.S. in physics from Michigan State University and an M.S. from the University of Illinois. He lives with his family on the Oregon coast.
Top customer reviews
"Thrawn" rectifies that.
From a only-barely modified origin story that will be very familiar to those who read the short "Mist Encounter" to bringing Thrawn days before his debut in "Rebels", we see the journey an alien has to take to rise to the pinnacle of military rank in the xenophobic Empire. There are familiar notes including character and ship names readers of Zahn's Legends material, new material including Thrawn's young protege, and for those who require an Imperial villain, we have Arhinda Pryce and her ruthless climb to political power that also explains a great deal about her character on Rebels and how she and Thrawn became allies of a sort. There's also a surprise twist to Thrawn's backstory that should catch even longtime readers off guard. And for the first time ever, we're permitted a glimpse into Thrawn's mind rather than seeing him filtered through a human POV.
New-canon only fans may find things like the explanation of the "civilian casualties" on Batonn strange or not in keeping with the so-far almost simple-minded insistence in new canon on black and white morality, but readers familiar with Zahn's work recognize this is a design feature, not a bug. If the book had any real flaws, it was a somewhat underwhelming antagonist in "Nightswan", and some of the battle sequences get VERY long-winded as Eli (the narrator) talks through analyzing them. But overall the book is the high quality and characterization we have come to expect from Zahn. Other than Catalyst this is, thus far the only must read new Star Wars thus far, and the only one which is a must read for its own sake.
Probably the best part of the book is, quite simply, the fact that Timothy Zahn got to write it. Reading Zahn write Thrawn again is a treat, and seeing him flesh out the mysterious alien's backstory is an even better experience than I had expected. Yes, Thrawn is, at his most basic level, a Sherlock-inspired trope, but Zahn takes the character beyond that original archetype and paints Thrawn as more "human" and sympathetic than I thought possible.
I relished every moment of the book, and Zahn masterfully paces the multi-pronged story so that, even as the plot seems to stall, I was never once bored. Quite the opposite, in fact. The political and social angles of the story are incredibly compelling, and it really is impressive how Zahn is able to not only tell a great origin story for Thrawn, but also for two other characters who we are mostly unfamiliar with. Both Eli Vanto and the future Governor Pryce are fascinating characters, and Zahn weaves their unique stories in with Thrawn's in a special way that is a treat to watch unfold.
The bottom line is, if you've ever enjoyed Zahn's writing, or have waited, as I have, to see Thrawn brought back into the Star Wars canon, then this is very much the book for you. It's ripe with character, conflict, and depth, and Zahn's writing is concise and endlessly compelling. It ranks up there as one of the best books in the new canon, and I can't wait to see where Thrawn's character is taken next.