Timothy Zahn
Thrawn Cover

Star Wars: Thrawn - Timothy Zahn


I first read Thrawn in Heir to the Empire, the first trilogy to follow the movie trilogy. He was a bad ass villain and worthy military leader to succeed the emperor. This is a series of episodes in his discovery and extremely rapid rise to the rank of Grand Admiral, and also details the rise of Governor Pryce.

That second character is from Star Wars Rebels, which I haven't seen, and I understand Thrawn has made an appearance there also. These are all part of the new Disney canon, though Heir to the Empire is not. This novel is written with Thrawn as Sherlock Holmes, even to the point of his aide as Watson and the main antagonist as Moriarty. That would make the governor... Mycroft? Holmes is the hero, and to make this work you have to view the Imperials as the good guys.

Doyle wrote the mysteries well; with Zahn they are squeezed in with military description, which is also quite good. Unfortunately, that doesn't leave as much room for a plot - this really does feel like a series of episodes instead of a cohesive whole. Part of that might be the ending. This is clearly the first book in a series.

It worked for me, with only older Thrawn knowledge - though I was left with the curiosity of why we were spending so much time on Pryce. It would probably work as well for someone who has no knowledge of Thrawn. I can't say how it would work for the fan of the Rebels and Clone Wars cartoons. For me, this was 3½ stars - a better ending and stronger plot would drive that much higher.