Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Booknote: Thrawn

Timothy Zahn, Thrawn. New York: Del Rey, 2017. ISBN: 978-0-345-51127-0.

Genre: science fiction
Subgenre: Star Wars, space opera
Format: hardcover
Source: Berea branch  of the Madison County (KY) Public Library

This is a Star Wars novel about the character that became Grand Admiral Thrawn. This character was introduced in  Timothy Zahn's trilogy of novels that started with Heir to the Empire in 1991. The character was part of what became the Star Wars Expanded Universe (EU), which was before Disney bought Star Wars. The Expanded Universe works were often hit or miss, but the character of Thrawn proved to be a popular one. Now Zahn writes about Thrawn one more time to tell the story of his rise to power.

When the novel opens, Thrawn is a young Chiss, member of a mysterious alien race. As a youth the Empire finds him, and  his tactical acumen catches the interest of the Emperor. The Emperor makes sure Thrawn enters the Imperial Academy. There he meets Eli Vanto, who becomes his trusted aide. From there, Thrawn's talent gets him promotions, making him an ally or two, and a lot of enemies along the way on his path to become Grand Admiral.

The book offers two stories. The main story is Thrawn's story. A secondary story is that of Arihnda Pryce, a woman with  an agenda of her own who becomes a ruthless Imperial administrator. She has the one thing Thrawn lacks: political savvy. She may be either an ally or a foe for Thrawn.

Along the way, Thrawn educates Eli Vanto in the art of war. Every chapter in the novel starts with Thrawn's notes and thoughts on topics like warfare and leadership, notes he is making for his student. After these small notes, the plot ensues. The book has 29 chapters plus an epilogue.

Fans of this character will definitely enjoy this book. Star Wars readers will enjoy it as well. The book has good pacing, a solid plot with plenty of action and intrigue, and Thrawn is a very appealing character. He is an Imperial, but you will find yourself rooting for him. Overall, this is a book that draws you in right away. I definitely enjoyed this one, and I highly recommend it.

5 out of 5 stars.

Side note: similar reads include:

This book qualifies for the following 2017 Reading Challenges:

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