Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising (Century /Del Rey)

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The origin story that Star Wars fans have been clamouring for, since the characters emergence in 1991’s Heir To The Empire, finally comes to fruition in the newly established Star Wars cannon. I’m of course talking about Grand Admiral Thrawn and who better to re-establish this character, than the author who brought him in to the Star Wars Universe in the first place, Timothy Zahn. Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising is the story of Thrawn’s rise from poverty through to the rank of Grand Admiral in the Chiss Ascendancy.

The Chiss people are buried deep in the Unknown Regions at the edge of the Galaxy in a world that holds many secrets and treasures. Their world is governed by the Nine Ruling Families of the Chiss Ascendancy, where new rulers rise from within, but when they spot the talents of an unknown warrior named Mitth’raw’nuruodo, they quickly utilise the future Admiral’s Sherlock style skills for getting to the bottom of a mystery, when an surprise attack on the Ascendancy suggests a deeper more troubling plan, setting in motion his meteoric rise to power.

Older Star Wars fans will be delighted that Thrawn’s back story has been introduced to cannon. Zahn’s work with this character stretches way back over several well received novels, which largely focused on events after Return of the Jedi, so it’s fascinating to read of his rise through the ranks, to become one of Palpatine’s most trusted Generals. But for fans not familiar with the character or those who want to know more of a character who briefly appeared in the Clone Wars series, then this is the perfect opportunity to get up to speed on a very underrated Star Wars character.

What must also be taken away from this book is the talent of Timothy Zahn’s writing. He knows the Star Wars Universe, inside out and knows what the fans want to read, but that’s not to say that this is just paying lip service because at the heart of this book, lies some great storytelling. You could have zero knowledge of Star Wars and still enjoy this great read.

Nobody knows this intriguing character like Timothy Zahn and he’s proved once more that this rich universe we all love to indulge in, has many facets and has plenty more to offer than the tales that revolve around the Skywalker family. Enhance your Star Wars knowledge and enhance your life in general, with this incredible novel… Chris Andrews

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