Star Wars: Thrawn Book Review

Once again I have finished another great Star Wars book.  Star Wars: Thrawn, written by Timothy Zahn, released in back in April, and I luckily got mine pre-ordered.  Anyway, this book was one of the best I have ever read.  Timothy Zahn is an amazing author and I love his books.  Not only is he a good author, but he is able to create great characters, something other writers like me strive to achieve.  In this post, I’m going to talk about Zahn’s latest book that stars one of his greatest characters, Grand Admiral Thrawn.(Major Spoiler Alerts, you have been warned!)…

Thrawn is a beast.  There is no doubt about that.  He is highly intelligent, is good at pretty much everything, and on top of that, could take you out in a couple seconds.  But it didn’t always used to be that way. In fact, when Thrawn was brought into the Empire, he could barely speak basic (english).  Another problem for Thrawn is that the Empire does not like aliens joining their cause, they prefer humans.  As Thrawn works to prove his worth to the Empire, countless superiors and cadets alike are trying to bring him down and get him kicked out.  Luckily, Thrawn had Eli Vanto, an imperial cadet who knew a few things about the Chiss, at his side. When Thrawn was brought in, Eli was made his translator, since he was fluent in Thrawn’s native language, Sy Bisti.  During their time together, Thrawn became interested in Eli’s knowledge of the Chiss.  Eli was surprised to hear that Thrawn had been exiled from his planet, since that was a rare thing to happen (though we later find out that Thrawn had lied about his background).

One of the things that was cool to see in this book was the transition of Eli teaching Thrawn to Thrawn teaching Eli.  Eli wasn’t the most confident cadet in the academy, since he was often labeled as an outsider for not only helping Thrawn, but he was not native to the Core Worlds.  Thrawn taught Eli how to gather information and find answers from that information.  At times, Eli thought that Thrawn was driving him away from his original dream of being a Supply Officer, but later found that his place was to be at Thrawn’s side.  Eli was told that he was probably the only one that understood Thrawn.  But standing by Thrawn meant that he was going to have a hard time reaching the top of the Empire.  His superior officers hated him, and kept him from getting promoted.  Of course, that was until Thrawn informed Arihnda Pryce of what was going on.  Pryce came to Governor Tarkin with his complaints and they immediately promoted Eli at least two ranks up.  Eventually, Eli came to work with the Chiss.

I was happy to see Pryce in this book.  She was certainly had a different personality than how she acts in Star Wars Rebels.  Not only did the book follow Thrawn on his journey to becoming a Grand Admiral, but it followed Pryce on her journey to becoming the Governor of Lothal.  Her story is one of the most interesting Star Wars stories to me. Though, it always seemed to me that Pryce was never good friends with Thrawn, but this book showed me otherwise.  Pryce helped Thrawn out a lot, and in turn he helped her.

I was surprised at the amount of times that Thrawn was almost court martialed.  But every time the Empire saw the results of his missions, they couldn’t afford to have him court martialed.  Another thing was that it normally takes people up to 20 to 30 years to get from Cadet to Grand Admiral, but guess what?  Thrawn nailed it in 4 years!  Everytime that I thought Thrawn couldn’t surprise me anymore, he would do something absolutely mindblowing.  One of my favorite things in the book was that somewhere in the beginning Thrawn got attacked by some angry cadets.  When asked how he would like them to be punished, Thrawn wished for them to be transferred to the Skystrike academy, since he noticed that in their fight they showed talents that would be useful in that area.  Sure enough, a few years later those cadets become some of the greatest Tie Fighter pilots in the Empire!

So if I was to make a list of my favorite Star Wars books, this one would be at the top.  It was absolutely incredible.  Grand Admiral Thrawn in now my favorite characters!  And I hope to see Eli Vanto in upcoming Star Wars projects (like Star Wars Rebels season 4!). Did you read this book?  What did you think about it?  Let me know in the comments!

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