Review: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn


Rating: ☆☆☆.5
Title: Thrawn
Author: Timothy Zahn
Series: Star Wars: Thrawn #1
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Adult
Format: Audiobook
Narrators: Marc Thompson
Length: 17 hours (427 pages)
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: April 6, 2017
Source: Library
Recommended for fans of: Star Wars Rebels


One of the most cunning and ruthless warriors in the history of the Galactic Empire, Grand Admiral Thrawn is also one of the most captivating characters in the Star Wars universe, from his introduction in bestselling author Timothy Zahn’s classic Heir to the Empire through his continuing adventures in Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, and beyond. But Thrawn’s origins and the story of his rise in the Imperial ranks have remained mysterious. Now, in Star Wars: Thrawn, Timothy Zahn chronicles the fateful events that launched the blue-skinned, red-eyed master of military strategy and lethal warfare into the highest realms of power—and infamy.

After Thrawn is rescued from exile by Imperial soldiers, his deadly ingenuity and keen tactical abilities swiftly capture the attention of Emperor Palpatine. And just as quickly, Thrawn proves to be as indispensable to the Empire as he is ambitious; as devoted as its most loyal servant, Darth Vader; and a brilliant warrior never to be underestimated. On missions to rout smugglers, snare spies, and defeat pirates, he triumphs time and again—even as his renegade methods infuriate superiors while inspiring ever greater admiration from the Empire. As one promotion follows another in his rapid ascension to greater power, he schools his trusted aide, Ensign Eli Vanto, in the arts of combat and leadership, and the secrets of claiming victory. But even though Thrawn dominates the battlefield, he has much to learn in the arena of politics, where ruthless administrator Arihnda Pryce holds the power to be a potent ally or a brutal enemy.

All these lessons will be put to the ultimate test when Thrawn rises to admiral and must pit all the knowledge, instincts, and battle forces at his command against an insurgent uprising that threatens not only innocent lives but also the Empire’s grip on the galaxy—and his own carefully laid plans for future ascendancy.


I was introduced to the character Thrawn in the Rebels animated series, and I found him to be such a fascinating villain with his cunning, tactical genius. I think I would enjoy ANY story that gives me insights into his mind, and this did not disappoint.

This book is a great background for Rebels fans as it establishes Thrawn and Governor Pryce’s rise in the Empire. The story was a bit long and convoluted at times, and I wish Thrawn and Pryce’s paths had first intersected earlier in the story, but I still really enjoyed it.

This is the first Star Wars book I’ve read with a villain MC, and I loved the perspective. The audiobook performance was great, and Marc Thompson did such a great job with Thrawn’s voice that I initially thought he was the actor from the series. I am very excited to make my way through more Thrawn books, both in new canon and Legends novels.

Author: Caroline | Carolibrary

Hello! I’m Caroline! I am a teacher, a book lover, and a nerd. My passions include reading, writing, bookstagram, barre & yoga, baking, binging TV shows, and Star Wars. I love stories in all formats because they can transport you to a different world while helping you understand the world around you. I have always found books to be a particularly magical source of imagination.

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