Review: Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising

Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising is book 1 in a new Star Wars trilogy and is on sale now.

A BELOVED CHARACTER RETURNS IN A NEW TRILOGY :  Thrawn: Ascendancy kicks off an all- new trilogy to one of Star Wars Books’ most iconic and beloved characters.

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.


Timothy Zahn is the author of more than forty novels, nearly ninety short stories and novellas, and four short-fiction collections. In 1984, he won the Hugo Award for Best Novella. Zahn is best known for his Star Wars novels (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, Specter of the Past, Vision for the Future, Survivor’s Quest, Outbound Flight, Allegiance, Choices of One, and Scoundrels), with more than four million copies of his books in print. Zahn has a B.S. in physics from Michigan State University and an M.S. from the University of Illinois. He lives with his family on the Oregon coast.


Thrawn is a beloved character in the Star Wars universe and If you’re interested in Thrawn’s backstory this is definitely the book for you. It’s an in-depth look at his thinking process and his tactical brilliance. With a relatively slow start but the further you get into the book the more familiar with the words and culture of the Chiss you become.

For those unfamiliar with Thrawn will learn he is a Sherlock Holmes type character who can walk into any situation and see 100 different things that nobody else will notice. But more than being an investigator he is a clever tactical officer in the military who while being a rogue who follows his own rules can fight his way out of most situations. 

Kicking off this new trilogy I found Ascendancy to be an enjoyable read. As a nice break away from the Skywalker saga this creates its own new section in the galaxy with interesting characters. Although this book didn’t completely blow me away and at times lacked something to grip you to the story it has set things up for the next two books.

I read this as an advance preview copy issued by Penguin/Del Rey books and received no incentive to review this book. Images and artwork are courtesy of Penguin/Del Rey and their respective owners.

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