No author since George Lucas himself has captured the attention of Star Wars fans over the years as much as Timothy Zahn.  Zahn’s first run at the franchise, his Thrawn trilogy–Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Risingand The Last Command–excited a generation of Star Wars fans when the original trilogy was in the past and no future movies were planned.  Its greatest value was in its continuation of our favorite characters: Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, and the droids, but it also introduced two key players: Mara Jade aka the Emperor’s Hand who would one day become the object of Luke Skywalker’s affection, and a blue-skinned, white-garbed officer of the Imperial Navy called Grand Admiral Thrawn.  Thrawn became part of the post-Disney canon in the animated series Star Wars Rebels.  Zahn returned to the character in more novels, beginning with Star Wars: Thrawn (reviewed here) and later in Thrawn: Alliances (reviewed here) and Thrawn: Treason.  Zahn begins a new trilogy with this Tuesday’s release of Thrawn: Ascendancy–Chaos Rising, available for pre-order here at Amazon.

Thrawn’s part of the galaxy is a military one, of the Nazi Germany-inspired Imperial Navy, recounting an exiled, strategy-savvy “Chiss” (Thrawn’s alien race) who uses his unique abilities to climb the ladder and assume greater power as part of the growing Empire following the events of Revenge of the Sith.  Here is the publisher’s summary of Thrawn: Ascendancy–Chaos Rising, the first volume in the new trilogy of novels:

Discover Thrawn’s origins within the Chiss Ascendancy in the first book in an epic new Star Wars trilogy from bestselling author Timothy Zahn.

Beyond the edge of the galaxy lies the Unknown Regions: chaotic, uncharted, and near impassable, with hidden secrets and dangers in equal measure. And nestled within its swirling chaos is the Ascendancy, home to the enigmatic Chiss and the Nine Ruling Families that lead them.

The peace of the Ascendancy, a beacon of calm and stability, is shattered after a daring attack on the Chiss capital that leaves no trace of the enemy. Baffled, the Ascendancy dispatches one of its brightest young military officers to root out the unseen assailants. A recruit born of no title, but adopted into the powerful family of the Mitth and given the name Thrawn.

With the might of the Expansionary Fleet at his back, and the aid of his comrade Admiral Ar’alani, answers begin to fall into place. But as Thrawn’s first command probes deeper into the vast stretch of space his people call the Chaos, he realizes that the mission he has been given is not what it seems. 

And the threat to the Ascendancy is only just beginning.

Look for the new trilogy Thrawn: Ascendancy shipping Tuesday, available for pre-order here at Amazon with the first volume Chaos Rising.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg