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Star Wars: Thrawn Paperback – 2 January 2018
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|Paperback, 2 January 2018||
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- Paperback : 496 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1784752959
- ISBN-13 : 978-1784752958
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
- Publisher : ARROW LTD - MASS MARKET; 1st edition (2 January 2018)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 6,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Timothy Zahn has written a taut, intense and intelligent novel and although all-out action scenes might be sporadic, the action itself is derived from the fascinating insights to the political manoeuvrings and duplicitous alliances. Star Wars: Thrawn is the I, Claudius of space opera at its finest, Starburst Magazine
A real page turner… This is one of the best of the new Star Wars novels. If you are a Star Wars fan, especially of Rebels or the original novels, then it is a must read.. This is a well-constructed novel in its own right. The handling of the racism is very well done, and it shows how sci-fi novels can handle difficult subjects, Nudge
Thrawn has now truly arrived in his strongest form, via the novel, Partisan Cantina
Zahn’s return to the Star Wars universe is a triumph… Not only does Thrawn encompass every page he is inscribed on, but he remains an intricate and alluring afterthought when the narratives shift to the fortunes of the young Arindha Pryce
It is essential reading for every Star Wars fan. And In truth, it deserves a worthy sequel to build upon the foundations laid down by Zahn’s tireless efforts
In this definitive novel, readers will follow Thrawn's rise to power-uncovering the events that created one of the most iconic villains in Star Wars history.
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This book is a typical Zahn book, with plenty of smarts, and a good pace to keep you turning those pages without getting bored. A great read!
Top reviews from other countries
That Disney chose to allow the best antagonist from SW Legends come back to life in Rebels, let alone in a new book, shows that they don't turn everything that they touch into dogmess (as I largely believe with most other IP's that they get their hands on.)
The book is loosely set over a period leading up to Rogue One/A New Hope, and expertly threads the rapid rise of Thrawn through the Imperial Navy's ranks, ably assisted by his - at first somewhat reluctant - Aide-de-Camp Eli Vanto, into the events that we know are to transpire through the film's plots.
For those that know the Heir to the Empire trilogy, there are a couple of great twists towards the end that really helped to frame why Thrawn really does what he does.
All I can say is that I really hope Tim Zahn revisits this storyline, perhaps with a follow up tale from Vanto's perspective after the events of this book.
Even if you know/knew nothing about Thrawn, you owe it to yourself to read about (imho) the Galactic Empire's greatest strategist.
More please Mr. Zahn!!
As this novel is written by the author who created Thrawn in the first place it is somewhat intriguing to see how he approaches Thrawn’s transition to the new canon. By setting the book early in Thrawn’s career Zahn manages to perfectly tread the line of fitting his creation into the new canon without actively contradicting or conflicting with anything he had previously wrote concerning the character or his activities. This includes the little in-joke of him not being Pantoran.
It is not an origin story as such but more the explanation of how Thrawn comes to Imperial attention and manoeuvres his ascent up the ranks and becomes a trusted ally to the Emperor not far behind the status of Vader and Tarkin. Much of this is seen from the perspective of Eli Vanto, the ensign who becomes Thrawn’s aid. By adopting this approach the author keeps Thrawn slightly aloof and unknowable, maintaining the ‘alieness’ that makes him unique amongst Imperial officers.
Although entitled ‘Thrawn’ this novel is also devoted to the rise of Arihnda Pryce, who as Governor of Lothal works so closely with Thrawn in ‘Rebels’. It is interesting to note that, perhaps, the major difference between the two characters is that although Thrawn is undoubtedly ruthless he doesn’t seem to change his outlooks, morals or behaviour to any great deal during the course of the novel’s events and his ingratiation into the Empire. Meanwhile, Pryce seems to start of as a reasonably decent person who slides into corruption and villainy. Thrawn’s actions are born out of his devotion to both the Empire and the Chiss but Pyrce’s are essentially orientated around benefitting herself.
After his brief appearance in ‘A New Hope’ Yularen continues to be expanded upon and plays a substantial role in this story, the novel also charting the growing alliance of interests between him and Thrawn. Although Thrawn interacts some with Palpatine he is kept sperate from Vader despite the years this book covers. Ostensibly this is because this relationship looks like it will be a focus of this novel’s upcoming sequel, ‘Thrawn: Alliances’.
A worthwhile revisit of the character by the author.
This latest book is just as well written and is one of the most enjoyable reads in the new Star Wars canon. I've just come off the back of the Aftermath Trilogy, which I thought was pretty dire in terms of plot, characters, and writing, and thank the maker this book is light years ahead!
Expertly written, fascinating characters, a twisting plot, and a real page turner. Well done to Timothy Zahn for making my favourite character even better!
The basic problem throughout the book is that Thrawn is an infallible tactical genius, he is never wrong, he never misjudges anything, and as much as the reader (through the eyes of Thrawn's aide, Eli Vanto, the Dr Watson to Thrawn's Sherlock Holmes) is tempted to think that this time he may have got it wrong, there is always the inevitable Holmes explaining to an amazed Watson section where Thrawn explains how he figured it all out right from the beginning, lifted directly from any given Holmes story. There are even a good few "By Jove, Holmes! You've cracked it!" responses from Vanto for good measure.
There is no 'learning' moment, no operation gone disastrously wrong that has Thrawn learning a valuable lesson from his mistake - no character development at all. It's just Thrawn's rapid rise through the ranks occasionally obstructed by institutionalised racism in the Imperial Navy. He's fully functioning straight out of the box.
The narrative device of Thrawn's journal entries topping each chapter is a bit turgid - essentially it's "the theme of this chapter, dear reader, is (insert as appropriate)" - a tad condescending to the reader as it's better to figure that out for ourselves. Similarly, the constant observations of people's idiosyncrasies by Thrawn in italics is a bit annoying. It beats us over the head with endless reminders that Thrawn notices everything and misses nothing.
Thrawn's use of a species' art as an observational tool is absolutely spot-on, though. This is a skill I possess myself and have employed on many occasions. I can walk in to any pub - literally any pub - and by looking at the art on its walls - The Laughing Cavalier, Barmaid at the Folies Bergere, Dogs Playing Snooker, for example - deduce that when I approach the bar, a member of staff will ask me what I want and give it to me. Whether it's a pint of lager, a cask ale, a cider or a soft drink, maybe even a packet of crisps, simply from observing the artwork I can conclude that these and more items will be available to me upon request. To give Timothy Zahn his due, its replication in the book is uncannily accurate.
Alongside Thrawn's rise, we see the parallel path of an ambitious young woman eyeing a political career. It's pretty clear from the outset that what we're seeing is one person progressing through skill and merit, while the other progresses through connivance and game-playing, with the two of them set to come into direct conflict with one another further down the line. I think we all know who will come out on top.
So, if you're a Thrawn fan, yay - there's lots of Thrawn being Thrawn doing Thrawny things. If you prefer a little character development or a couple of surprise revelations, you won't find them here. Do I have the fortitude to push through the next two volumes in the hope that things improve? Probably not.
It's a shame Thrawn didn't make reference to Outbound Flight or Jorj Car'das anywhere in this book as expected. The Emperor already knew who he was from that book, and a reference back would only enhance both stories.
It would also have been nice to see sections of the book told from the perception of Nightswan; however the fact that this didn't happen only added to his gravitas. Hopefully that isn't giving anything away - but enough away to make you, reading this, to buy the book. It's seriously worth a read.