Book Review: Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil

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Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil

The fate of Chiss Ascendancy is on the line in the epic finale of the Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy from bestselling author Timothy Zahn.

For thousands of years, the Chiss Ancestry has been an island of calm, a center of power, and a beacon of integrity. Led by the nine ruling families, their leadership constitutes a bulwark of stability against the chaos of unknown regions.

But that stability has been eroded by a cunning enemy who destroys trust and loyalty in equal measure. The bonds of loyalty have given way to dividing lines between families. Despite the efforts of the expansionist defense fleet, the Ascendance draws ever closer to civil war.

The Chiss are no strangers to war. Their mythical status in Chaos has been won by conflicts and terrible acts, some long buried. Until now. To secure the future of Ancestry, Thrawn will delve deep into his past, uncovering the dark secrets surrounding the rise of the First Ruling Family. But the truth of a family’s legacy is only as strong as the legend that sustains it. Even if this legend turns out to be a lie.

To ensure the salvation of the Ascendant, is Thrawn willing to sacrifice everything? Including the only house he’s ever known?

Author: Timothy Zahn
Cover artist: Sarofsky design
Release date: November 16, 2021
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780593158326

Today marks the release of the latest Timothy Zahn Star wars novel, Thrawn Ancestry: Lesser Evil. The book is the latest installment of the Ascending trilogy, which details Thrawn’s rise to prominence in the Chiss Ancestry before his days in the service of the Empire. Despite Thrawn’s success in thwarting their previous plans, Jixtus and the Grysk remain determined to continue their attempts to destabilize the Ascendant, and it’s up to Thrawn to stop them once again.

As people who have followed this trilogy so far already know, the book is very different from normal. Star wars Literature. Even with a book like Ronin, readers can generally expect to see many of the same familiar ideas in other parts of the saga. Almost all of the major species and factions of the Ascending the books are completely original, and they are often deliberately unique from what we’re used to seeing as it takes place in a rarely visited corner of the galaxy that operates in a very different way.

It’s not often that an author creates their own large sandbox separate from the rest of the galaxy like this, but it’s something I really love to see when it happens. This is something that has happened much more often at the start of Star wars editing, as with Brian Daley’s The Adventures of Han Solo. We haven’t seen it so much since more and more stories have worked to define the metaphorical boundaries of the galaxy. It may take some time for readers to adjust to the difference in the setting and understand all of the new aliens, but I think her unique identity is one of the trilogy’s greatest strengths.

Although it does not overlap much with the normal parts of Star wars, the trilogy and above all Less evil draw heavily on the foundations established by previous novels by Timothy Zahn. Longtime readers will find parts of the story particularly satisfying. My favorite parts of the book were probably the Memories, the chapters devoted to showing a story that took place years before the main plot. The protagonist of this book’s memories is Thrass, a character from Outbound Flight who had only been mentioned in passing before this book. I had been a bit disappointed with his lack of presence so far and was very happy when I saw the role he played here. Not only is it nice to see a good character like that again after so long, but he brings an important emotional puzzle piece to this story that builds on some of my favorite moments in one of Thrawn’s recent novels.

The other major players in the book are also strong. I was surprised at how memorable some stories of characters like Ziinda and Thalias were. The weakest could be Thrawn himself, who sometimes feels overshadowed by the more interesting characters around him. There have been a few times where I’ve enjoyed what the book has done with him, but even at best he still feels quite out of touch with his on-screen portrayal, an issue that could be felt in the other stories as well. Zahn’s recent Thrawn. In some ways, this trilogy feels like it exists in an effort to write more Thrawn books without stepping on its toes anywhere its post-Rebels the story will go, and I wonder if everything we see in Ahsoka or any of the other shows could prevent us from getting the desired resolution of the storylines that these books clearly set up.

A few flaws aside, Less evil ended up being my favorite from the Ascendancy trilogy, and my favorite Thrawn book since the 2017 novel that helped revive the character. It may be a very long book, but I was impressed with how quickly it passed for me; I ended up reading it faster than I read a lot of the shorter ones Star wars novels. I think those who enjoyed these latest Thrawn books will appreciate this one more than ever, although it probably won’t win over those who haven’t been impressed so far. The book and the trilogy aren’t my favorites, but I enjoyed the ride and hope Zahn can figure out the story he already has in mind.

Customer reviews by @NumidianPrime



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