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Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil Book Review

The trilogy concludes with “Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil.”

In book 3 of the new Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn, the Grysk named Jixtus is working with the Kiliji Illumine to manipulate the nine ruling Chiss families to turn on each other with the hopes of bringing down the Ascendancy. Of course, he has to contend with the ever calculating Thrawn who just might be a step ahead of him. Despite Thrawn’s brilliance, however, his methods ruffle feathers with certain Chiss which could doom his career. Elsewhere in the book there are flashbacks to a young Thrawn and his friend Thrass, a plot about the force sensitive Magys who is being sought after by Jixtus, 

At a whopping 576 pages, “Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil” is an epic novel containing a big ensemble cast of characters. Thrawn may be the titular character, but he’s but one player in this sweeping trilogy about politics, military, families, hierarchy, rivalries, and Chiss culture. Among the key players focused on here are Mid Captain Samakro, the Sky-Walker Che’ri and her caregiver Thalias, Supreme General Ba’kif, Admiral Ar’alani, new Mitth Patriarch Thurfian, Senior Captain Ziinda, a pathfinder named Qilori, and Captain Roscu. 

The book deals with the aftermath of the events from the second part of this trilogy all while building towards the intense showdown with Jixtus and company (which does not disappoint). Moreover, ‘Lesser Evil’ also perfectly ties into Zahn’s previously Thrawn trilogy for those who were left wondering how Thrawn got from here to the Empire.

Where Zhan really succeeds though is with the world building. The Chiss universe has been so richly revealed to readers as we learn more about their lives, inner workings, the families (the 9 ruling class and 40 great families), the political structure, the Defense Fleet and so forth. While this will apparently be the last Thrawn novel for awhile, I do hope there will be more Chiss stories someday. There’s a lot to explore there.

As involving as the book may be, it’s not without its faults. A few storylines feel a bit short changed here particularly with the Thrass flashback and the reveal of Thrawn’s family member. There’s also a bit too much build-up to the ending. I feel like we could have used a few less scenes of characters like Thurfian and Roscu talking and scheming. 

November 19, 2021 - Posted by | Book review | , , ,

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