Thrawn (Star Wars)

Thrawn (Star Wars)

Audio CD

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this definitive novel, readers will follow Thrawn’s rise to power—uncovering the events that created one of the most iconic villains in Star Wars history.

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.

Praise for Thrawn

“The origin story of one of the greatest Star Wars villains . . . a book that fans have wanted for decades.”—The Verge

“A satisfying tale of political intrigue . . . Thrawn’s observations and tactical thinking are utterly captivating.”—New York Daily News

“Quite the page-turner.”—Flickering Myth

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451486240
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/11/2017
Series: Star Wars: Thrawn Series , #1
Sales rank: 522,476
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

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 of the Future, Survivor’s Quest, Outbound Flight, Allegiance, Choices of One, and Scoundrels), with more than four million copies of his books in print. Other books include the Cobra series, the Quadrail series, and the young adult Dragonback series. 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.

Read an Excerpt

Eli had almost managed to convince himself that the group would merely be meeting with some Palace official when they were ushered past a pair of red-robed and red-helmeted Imperial Guards into the Emperor’s throne room.
Even more than Coruscant itself, the holos and vids Eli had seen of Emperor Palpatine paled in comparison with the real thing.
At first glance, the Emperor didn’t seem like much. He was dressed in a plain brown hooded robe, with no ornamentation or glitz of any sort. His throne, while massive, was solid black and very simple, again with no ostentation about it, raised a mere four steps above the floor. In fact, the darkness of his robe made him almost disappear from sight into the black of the throne.
It was as the group drew closer that the eeriness began.
First was the Emperor’s face. The holos and vids always showed him as a dignified, older man, aged somewhat with the experience of life and the cares of leadership. But the holos were wrong. The face beneath the hood was old; old, and creased with a hundred deep wrinkles.
Not ordinary wrinkles, either, the kind Eli’s grandparents had earned from years under the open sky. These creases were less like age, and more like scars or burn tissue.
The histories stated that the Jedi traitors’ last attempt to seize power had been an attack on then-Chancellor Palpatine. The histories hadn’t mentioned that his victory over the assassins had come at such a terrible cost.
Perhaps that was also what had happened to his eyes.
A shiver ran up Eli’s back. The eyes were bright and intelligent, all-knowing and utterly powerful. But they were . . . strange. Unique. Disturbing. Damaged, perhaps, by the same treachery that had ravaged his face?
Intelligence, knowledge, power. And even more than with Thrawn, a sense of complete mastery over everything around him.
The Emperor watched in silence as the party walked toward him. Parck led the way, Barris and Eli behind him, followed by Thrawn and the navy trooper and stormtrooper witnesses. The guard contingent Parck had brought remained outside the door, six of the Imperial Guards having taken over their escort duty.
It seemed to take forever to reach the throne. Eli wondered how close they would be permitted to approach, and how Captain Parck would know when he had reached that point. The question was answered as Parck came to within five meters and the two Imperial Guards at the foot of the steps glided to positions directly in front of him. Parck stopped, the rest of them following suit, and waited.
And waited.
It was probably only five seconds. But to Eli it felt like a medium-sized eternity. The entire throne room was utterly still, utterly silent. The only sound was the thudding of his pulse in his ears, the only movement the shaking of his arms in his sleeves.
“Captain Parck,” the Emperor said at last, his gravelly voice neutral. “I’m told you bring me a gift.”
Eli winced. A gift? For the Chiss of the stories, that would have been a deadly insult. Thrawn was behind him, and Eli didn’t dare turn around, but he could imagine the expression on that proud face.
“I do, Your Majesty,” Parck said, bowing low. “A warrior reportedly of a species known as the Chiss.”
“Indeed,” the Emperor said, his voice going even drier. “And what, pray tell, would you have me do with him?”
“If I may, Your Majesty,” Thrawn put in before Parck could answer. “I am not merely a gift. I am also a resource. One you have never seen the like of before, and may never see again. You would do well to utilize me.”
“Would I?” the Emperor said, sounding amused. “Certainly you’re a resource of unlimited confidence. What exactly do you offer, Chiss?”
“As a start, I offer information,” Thrawn said. If he was offended, Eli couldn’t hear it in his voice. “There are threats lurking in the Unknown Regions, threats that will someday find your Empire. I am familiar with many of them.”
“I will learn of them soon enough on my own,” the Emperor countered placidly. “Can you offer anything more?”
“Perhaps you will learn of them in time to defeat them,” Thrawn said. “Perhaps you will not. What more do I offer? I offer my military skill. You could utilize that skill in making plans to seek out and eliminate these dangers.”
“These threats you speak of,” the Emperor said. “I presume they’re not simply threats to my Empire?”
“No, Your Majesty,” Thrawn said. “They are also threats to my people.”
 “And you seek to eliminate all such threats to your people?”

“I do.”

The Emperor’s yellowish eyes seemed to glitter. “And you wish the help of my Empire?”

“Your assistance would be welcome.”

“You wish me to assist the people who exiled you?” the Emperor said. “Or was Captain Parck incorrect?”

“He spoke correctly,” Thrawn said. “I was indeed exiled.”

“Yet you still seek to protect them. Why?”

“Because they are my people.”

“And if they withhold their gratitude and refuse to accept you back? What then?”

There was a slight pause, and Eli had the eerie sense that Thrawn was giving the Emperor one of those small smiles he was so good at. “I do not need their permission to protect them, Your Majesty. Nor do I expect their thanks.”
“I’ve seen others with your sense of nobility,” the Emperor said. “Most fell by the wayside when their naïve selflessness collided with the real world.”
“I have faced the real world, as you call it.”
“You have indeed,” the Emperor said. “What exactly do you wish from my Empire?”
“A state of mutual gain,” Thrawn said. “I offer my knowledge and skill to you now in exchange for your consideration to my people in the future.”
“And when that future comes, what if I refuse to grant that consideration?”
“Then I will have gambled and lost,” Thrawn said calmly. “But I have until that time to convince you that my goals and yours do indeed coincide.”
“Interesting,” the Emperor murmured. “Tell me. If you served the Empire, yet a threat arose against your people, where would your loyalties lie? Which of us would command your allegiance?”
“I see no conflict in the sharing of information.”
“I’m not speaking of information,” the Emperor said. “I’m speaking of service.”
There was a short pause. “If I were to serve the Empire, you would command my allegiance.”
“What guarantee do you offer?”
“My word is my guarantee,” Thrawn said. “Perhaps your servant can speak to the strength of that vow.”
“My servant?” the Emperor asked, his eyes flicking to Parck.
“I do not refer to Captain Parck,” Thrawn said. “I speak of another. Perhaps I assumed incorrectly that he was your servant. Yet he always spoke highly of Chancellor Palpatine.”
The Emperor leaned forward a little, his yellowish eyes glittering. “And his name?”
“Skywalker,” Thrawn said. “Anakin Skywalker.”

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Star Wars: Thrawn 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The way Zahn weaves the story of thrawn is exciting and deliberate. This is a must read for not only star wars fans but fans of great novels. Thrawn is by far the best new Canon book released to date. I can not wait for what comes next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a long time fan of Timothy Zahn and Thrawn himself, this book did not disappoint in the least bit. I pre-ordered it with excitement when I heard of it's impending release and don't regret it in the least bit. Getting into Thrawn's mind was an absolute treat and the way this tied into Star Wars Rebels was just an added bonus. It in fact makes me want to watch season 3 all over again just to pay more attention to Thrawn all over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Zahn does (again) what other Star Wars writers can only dream of: gives fans a character that they simply love for seemingly no reason...but do they ever! 26 years later and a blue-skinned red-eyed "alien" commands more attention with just his name on the cover than nearly any one character in Star Wars history! Love Luke, Leia, Han, Chewy, Yoda, Obi Wan and Vader...but Thrawn gets equal billing with any of those. Chuck Wendig needed to pull the "gay card" to sell his lame plotlines...Zahn? How many people are clamoring for Thrawn in a movie? And that waa BEFORE he was even canon!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down. Thrawn is back!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read, capturing all the great traits from the original series, but with such a great dive into smartly building Thrawn's personality and tactical ability through years of experience instead of just dropping us into a point of his career where we just have to accept his genius without knowing how and where he achieved it. Also very rewarding simply to have Thrawn as canon now. One of my favorite SW novels,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent backstory to an interesting character.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book a lot! I've enjoyed his books and was very impressed with it. A lot of authers don't make as good of books after gaining popularity, but he has kept up the good work and is my current favorite auther.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for all these fans
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
History is on the move. Those who cannot read will be left behind unable to read a sentence. And those who stand in Timothy Zahn's way will never read at all. There are authors in the world that are simply and purely awesome. A reader does not seek terrible books, or imperfect books. He seeks only the awesomeness of Timothy Zahn's¿ books. This book was an excellent read! I was overwhelmed with happiness when I heard Timothy Zahn was in the process of creating a book solely on Thrawn himself. I would recommend this to all Star Wars fans and readers. Thank you, Timothy Zahn, for another one of your works of art. And yes, it was so artistically done...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My favorite Star Wars character is Thrawn. I was expecting this book to be good, and I was blown away by how amazing it was. A must read for Star Wars fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Always a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The way that thrawn was depicted in this book truly left me captivated. I loved the way how you could see how imperials are people too. I hope that soon we will soon see eli vanto again hunting some nasty space whales, humanity first.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Loved being able to read his thoughts. I understand him much better now. He isn't simply a bad guy; he has a real heart. He's also a brilliant strategist and a great leader
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book. The character growth and progression is top notch. Seeing Thrawn's plans come to life makes you wonder how anyone can beat him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it is the most wonderful Star Wars book I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for the next Thrawn story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While Thrawn is considered a villain, this book actually spins it around and made him more of an anti hero if not an actual hero.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the story. A great way to intoduce him to new readers and still has everything a long time fan of Mitthrawnuruodo has come to love.
Anonymous 27 days ago
interesting read kept wanting for more highly entertaining. If a fan of star wars a must read.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous 4 months ago
Overall a good story, but not as good as some other star wars novels. Wish the story could have been just a little bit darker.