This book follows a younger Thrawn doing what he needs to do to save the Ascendancy.
Beyond the edge of the galaxy lie the Unknown Regions, known collectively to those who inhabit them as the Chaos. Strange creatures inhabit these famously impassable regions, and many ships have been lost trying to explore them. The Chaos is home to several planets and systems, among them the planet of Csilla, homeworld of the Chiss Ascendancy. The events of Chaos Rising revolve around this world, but the reader is taken throughout the Chaos in this page-turning first entry in legendary Star Wars author Timothy Zahn’s new Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy.
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When he writes his own books, he has this overtone of Sci-Fi and military based storytelling that isn’t in his normal Star Wars novels. If you take out the Star Wars elements of this book(which are surprisingly few), then this really just works as a generic Sci-Fi book by Timothy Zahn, only it’s really written excellently.
“This book features rich worldbuilding, masterfully weaving together the stories of families and their histories, palace intrigue to rival that of the Dune Chronicles, governmental systems, and fully fleshed out cultures and civilizations.”The Book Guide® Editor
In Chaos Rising, Csilla is attacked. At around the same time, a refugee ship is found floating in the Chaos, with everyone aboard murdered in cold blood, and no discernible motive to be found. Are the events related? Who is responsible? Seeking answers, and forced to navigate a minefield of obstacles which include inter-family power struggles within the Ascendancy’s Nine Ruling Families and political maneuvering by the Syndicure (the Ascendancy’s supreme ruling body), is the brilliant military tactician known in some circles by his full name of Mitth’raw’nuruodo, but more commonly by his shortened name of Thrawn.
One thing about this book that is unique is it’s humor. There is a lot of situational humor and funny dialogue that isn’t normally present in Timothy Zahn books.
This book features rich worldbuilding, masterfully weaving together the stories of families and their histories, palace intrigue to rival that of the Dune Chronicles, governmental systems, and fully fleshed out cultures and civilizations. The collective whole was quite impressive. I also loved the Memories chapters, which further build Thrawn’s character by showing rare vulnerabilities and lapses in his decision-making, making him more personable.
The Audiobook version is remarkable. Marc Thompson does a fantastic job narrating this fun adventure. The characters are superb, the worldbuilding is top-notch, and the occasionally tedious Thrawn is otherwise masterfully realized. Chaos Rising is one of the better Star Wars books you can listen to.
Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy. Chaos Rising (2020) by Timothy ZahnDune (2007) By: Glennon Doyle
by The Book Guide® Editors4.8/5 Excellent