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Grand Admiral Thrawn faces the ultimate test of his loyalty to the Empire in this epic Star Wars novel from bestselling author Timothy Zahn. “If I were to serve the Empire, you would command my allegiance.” Such was the promise Grand Admiral Thrawn made to Emperor Palpatine at their first meeting. Since then, Thrawn has been one of the Empire’s most effective instruments, p Grand Admiral Thrawn faces the ultimate test of his loyalty to the Empire in this epic Star Wars novel from bestselling author Timothy Zahn. “If I were to serve the Empire, you would command my allegiance.” Such was the promise Grand Admiral Thrawn made to Emperor Palpatine at their first meeting. Since then, Thrawn has been one of the Empire’s most effective instruments, pursuing its enemies to the very edges of the known galaxy. But as keen a weapon as Thrawn has become, the Emperor dreams of something far more destructive. Now, as Thrawn’s TIE defender program is halted in favor of Director Krennic’s secret Death Star project, he realizes that the balance of power in the Empire is measured by more than just military acumen or tactical efficiency. Even the greatest intellect can hardly compete with the power to annihilate entire planets.


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Grand Admiral Thrawn faces the ultimate test of his loyalty to the Empire in this epic Star Wars novel from bestselling author Timothy Zahn. “If I were to serve the Empire, you would command my allegiance.” Such was the promise Grand Admiral Thrawn made to Emperor Palpatine at their first meeting. Since then, Thrawn has been one of the Empire’s most effective instruments, p Grand Admiral Thrawn faces the ultimate test of his loyalty to the Empire in this epic Star Wars novel from bestselling author Timothy Zahn. “If I were to serve the Empire, you would command my allegiance.” Such was the promise Grand Admiral Thrawn made to Emperor Palpatine at their first meeting. Since then, Thrawn has been one of the Empire’s most effective instruments, pursuing its enemies to the very edges of the known galaxy. But as keen a weapon as Thrawn has become, the Emperor dreams of something far more destructive. Now, as Thrawn’s TIE defender program is halted in favor of Director Krennic’s secret Death Star project, he realizes that the balance of power in the Empire is measured by more than just military acumen or tactical efficiency. Even the greatest intellect can hardly compete with the power to annihilate entire planets.

30 review for Thrawn: Treason

  1. 5 out of 5

    Khurram

    Great book. I was a little dubious about this book. After the last book being slightly sub-par (good instead of great), and Thrawn's character in Rebels bring more Imperial then any other incarnation of him. I was not sure what to expect from this book. I am glad to say I loved it and could not put it down. The story takes place a week before the finale of Rebels season 3. Thrawn is seemingly brought in as a pawn of Tarkin, to use make a grab for a certain battle station. Then Thrawn's loyalties Great book. I was a little dubious about this book. After the last book being slightly sub-par (good instead of great), and Thrawn's character in Rebels bring more Imperial then any other incarnation of him. I was not sure what to expect from this book. I am glad to say I loved it and could not put it down. The story takes place a week before the finale of Rebels season 3. Thrawn is seemingly brought in as a pawn of Tarkin, to use make a grab for a certain battle station. Then Thrawn's loyalties are brought into question when his own people arrived on their own mission bringing with a a certain person not seem since book 1 and an enemy threat. Also not all threats to the Empire are external. It is interesting that Thrawn is a much an outsider to his own people as he ever was in the Empire. In Rebels I saw Thrawn's ruthless side, but in the book I am shown his loyalty to his crew and subordinates and in turn their gratitude and loyalty back to him. A few interesting characters and names to watch out for as well an honorable mention of another Timothy Zahn created imperial character. A great ending to this Thrawn trilogy, but is this the end of him? For some who was not known for his political savvy, he has loyalties in the Imperial military and has place key individuals how would have continued to climb higher since his disappearance. Also his own agenda has yet to be revealed. I might be wishful thinking but I truly believe their is more to come.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Peter Hale

    It's Treason, then.

  3. 5 out of 5

    HBalikov

    Before tackling Treason, the book in front of us, I would like to put out a few preliminaries: At one point Lucasfilm/Disney decided to reject the Star Wars universe that they had encouraged and eliminated more than 100 novels and short stories that fleshed-out the initial vision. Thrawn was a character that was part of that rejection, but it seems that he has been allowed back into Disney/Lucasfilm graces. Why is this series compelling? This is the third book in the new Thrawn series If interest Before tackling Treason, the book in front of us, I would like to put out a few preliminaries: At one point Lucasfilm/Disney decided to reject the Star Wars universe that they had encouraged and eliminated more than 100 novels and short stories that fleshed-out the initial vision. Thrawn was a character that was part of that rejection, but it seems that he has been allowed back into Disney/Lucasfilm graces. Why is this series compelling? This is the third book in the new Thrawn series If interested here are my reviews for Thrawn https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Thrawn Alliances https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Thrawn is a unique composition of someone who can do what many of us would like to be able to do: determine from observation of another’s biometric signals what they are thinking/planning/doing next. Zahn uses this to reflect on the plot from a unique point of view. His world of the Chiss Ascendancy is enhanced in this book. The “lost character” of Eli Vanto is moved back to the center in Treason. The number of key characters undergoes a massive increase and the plot reveals a substantial threat to the “Empire” and the Chiss Ascendancy in the form of another alien species, the Grysk. This isn’t a trilogy, so who knows how many further novels there are planned for this series. If you have the opportunity and can afford the acquisition (My library was kind enough to acquire the CDs.), I recommend listening to Marc Thompson read the novel to you. For me, it makes a lot of this interaction more believable because Thompson has such skill at tone and inflection. He imbues his characters with personalities as well as different speech patterns. In this volume, there are so many characters and so much dialogue that I marvel at what he can accomplish. What’s with T. Zahn? He is as good or better at world-building as any other writer of SF. He seems to have no trouble coming up with alien species and making their interactions with humans work. He also appears determined to push Lucasfilm/Disney to the wall with how he wants to populate the Star Wars universe. Time will tell if this marriage can hold.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Koan

    In the lead up to Thrawn Treason, I had heard tid-bits and read some reviews from people I usually agree with that said that Thrawn Treason was a mediocre book and probably the worst of Timothy Zahn's Thrawn related books. That, for me at least, was definitely not the case. Thrawn Treason is a fun, intriguing novel. By the end, I felt as if Timothy Zahn had created a book that combined the concepts of George Lucas and Agatha Christie. The language and word choice used feels just exactly like what In the lead up to Thrawn Treason, I had heard tid-bits and read some reviews from people I usually agree with that said that Thrawn Treason was a mediocre book and probably the worst of Timothy Zahn's Thrawn related books. That, for me at least, was definitely not the case. Thrawn Treason is a fun, intriguing novel. By the end, I felt as if Timothy Zahn had created a book that combined the concepts of George Lucas and Agatha Christie. The language and word choice used feels just exactly like what I've come to expect with Star Wars novels, as well as the pacing and the action and the characters, but had just enough mystery to keep me guessing throughout. Two characters returned and I was really excited for their return. Eli Vanto and Admiral Ar'alani, who were each prominent in Thrawn and Outbound Flight respectively. I felt that I connect to Eli Vanto better than just about any canon character and even most legends characters. Thrawn's writing of his inner dialogue and his conflicing loyalties were fascinating. Ar'alani was intriguing because of her leadership abilities and the natural mystery that surrounds her and the rest of the Chiss. Even though I knew a lot of her original legends backstory, I felt Zahn made her character fresh and new. The character who in my opinion is the standout of the novel is Commodore Faro. I was so intrigued by Faro's role as the "Watson" to Thrawn's "Holmes". This role was not as utilized as when Thrawn interacted with Eli Vanto in the first Thrawn novel, but I believe is actually used as well if not better here. The common theme through this entire book, however, is loyalties. When it was marketed beforehand, the whole concept behind Thrawn Treason was that Thrawn's loyalties would be tested. While I do think that that is the case, I believe that the words "treason" and "loyalties" can describe the character arcs of all the people surrounding Thrawn as much as they pertain to Thrawn himself. In regards to criticisms, which I believe can be found in every book, this book has few. I think that Zahn was hindered and like Thrawn in the book, he only had 1 week's worth of storyline that he was able to cover. As a result, everything seems to be happening all at the same time. Perhaps if he had had more opportunity to spread the events over time it would have worked slightly better. Also, there were several moments where Zahn would reference his other projects or Rebels, but rarely could I find any references to other author's works. Most Star Wars novels, particularly those of James Luceno, Alexander Freed, and Christie Golden(to name a few) include a boatload of references, but that is more of a personal preference than a legitimate gripe. Overall, great, fantastic novel. I thought starting it and based off of other reviews it was going to be a paint by numbers Zahn novel, but the character development of the second act and the incredible vision of the third act is utterly wonderful and brilliant. 9.0 out of 10! Great job Zahn. [If anyone wants to know, this book is for sure in my canon top 10, possibly #6]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Sison

    Seeing all the good reviews here, I'm so happy that they got something good out of this. But sadly for me, it just seemed to have taken several steps back from the previous books. In case anyone's wondering, I have read the Heir to the Empire trilogy a decade and more ago, and I remember fairly enjoying it. In 2017 I remember cracking open the new Thrawn novel. I was a little excited, but not too much because I thought the whole hullabaloo over Zahn might be a little overblown. Little did I know Seeing all the good reviews here, I'm so happy that they got something good out of this. But sadly for me, it just seemed to have taken several steps back from the previous books. In case anyone's wondering, I have read the Heir to the Empire trilogy a decade and more ago, and I remember fairly enjoying it. In 2017 I remember cracking open the new Thrawn novel. I was a little excited, but not too much because I thought the whole hullabaloo over Zahn might be a little overblown. Little did I know, that book would keep me up the whole day and the whole night, keeping me from sleep until I had finished it. I loved that book. I loved getting to know Thrawn over the years and having him and Eli fight back against overwhelming odds, creating a Holmes and Watson dynamic. I loved Pryce and the whole tie in to the events happening on Star Wars Rebels, that book was simply perfect. Thrawn Alliances was a little less so for me but it was still a great read because it was cool to read the difference in dynamic between young Thrawn and Anakin versus current Thrawn and Vader, and the Padme chapters were a plus, even though they dragged a little. It was an interesting mix that still felt like I was rewarded throughout the journey even if the ending was a little anticlimactic. This however, had little of that. If the previous books had a familar character from Star Wars teaming up with Thrawn, this had a few choice appearances with a certain familiar character, but not even really good ones. He/she was just there to pop in and cause nuisance, put up a fuss, then pop out. To say nothing of this new character that the book introduces and tries to tag along with Thrawn, well sorry, but that character was just plain annoying throughout. By the end I don't think their inclusion was ever really justified. It was almost like a Michael Bay character hitched for a ride. Now with that said, I could have forgiven all that and still left with a 5 star experience had we gotten a really great read with involving characters and interesting conflicts. So did we? Well on the one hand, we do get to learn more about the Chiss and a bunch of characters from Thrawn's crew rise to prominence. But they're not given that much to do. Yes they appear quite a bit, but they're really just props for Thrawn to channel his plans through them. The characterization throughout is pretty thin and although they do try to explain stuff to you about how people are thinking, it never really pulls you in. The secondary baddies which the trilogy has been teasing for a while now, hinting at Thrawn's future conflicts, are just rather annoying here. Oh they do try to convey how menacing and cunning they're supposed to be, but unfortunately unlike many of Thrawn's plans, I felt like I was being given a series of ready-made conclusions rather than a carefully constructed piece of art that guides me to the same end. Lastly however, I felt like the one thing that really pulled this story down was the lack of really interesting or even worthy challenges thrown at Thrawn. At no point did I think: "Whoah, that's pretty intimidating. Now how can Thrawn devise something to undermine and triumph over that?" No, the way it was presented, he was thrown a minor setback after minor setback, something that Jar Jar paired off with a half-competent officer could probably find their way around. If Thrawn is your Holmes, then you need something fairly challenging and cool to make the journey worthwhile. Otherwise it's mostly just Thrawn sitting pretty on the bridge and blowing them off one by one. That could still be cool if executed right, but I don't think it did that well. Having said that, Zahn still writes in a certain well-paced style so it was still a smooth-going read throughout. I have to acknowledge that these books do probably get written fairly quickly, in probably several months, as I've been hearing from Zahn, Claudia Gray and Delilah S. Dawson. But maybe this time it would have been better if the book's plotting or preparation had been given a little more time and care. I don't know. I'll still read more of Zahn's works anyway and I still look forward to where he takes Thrawn next. I see so many reviews here blaming how Star Wars Rebels supposedly forced Zahn to be restricted in his storytelling. I'm sorry but I don't see how that's any excuse. While yes, the show probably forced him to restrict himself in terms of timeline and setting, this book could have still been a great experience if the right combination of tension and cat and mouse dynamics had been at play. But we didn't get any of that. Usually I give books like this at least a three or four. But it was just the fact that Zahn had set up such a great reading experience with the first two that I had to end up giving it these two stars. If Goodreads allowed it I would have probably given it a 2.5 but well, they' don't.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael O'Brien

    A good entertaining read --- the best way to wrap up the Thrawn Trilogy. I won't go into detail, but the beginning of the plot starts with Grand Admiral Thrawn seemingly being given the mundane task well below his high rank --- of all things ---- pest control --- which, surprisingly he accepts. Somewhat akin to, during World War 2, Admiral Nimitz being tasked by FDR to investigate excess barnacle build ups on ship hulls. Perhaps due to Thrawn's ability to sense things being much more than what th A good entertaining read --- the best way to wrap up the Thrawn Trilogy. I won't go into detail, but the beginning of the plot starts with Grand Admiral Thrawn seemingly being given the mundane task well below his high rank --- of all things ---- pest control --- which, surprisingly he accepts. Somewhat akin to, during World War 2, Admiral Nimitz being tasked by FDR to investigate excess barnacle build ups on ship hulls. Perhaps due to Thrawn's ability to sense things being much more than what they, at first, appear to be --- or just plain luck --- this mission turns into something far more, involving a serious threat to the Empire. If I have one gripe about this trilogy, it's that, once elevated to Grand Admiral, Thrawn continues to be portrayed as more a squadron commander of small forces of ships. Given that a Grand Admiral ranks as high or higher than a Navy Fleet Admiral (i.e. a five-star), shouldn't a Grand Admiral be responsible for fleets of hundreds of ships? I know, it's nit-picking. At any rate, just go with it. Like Volume 1 in the Trilogy, it's a fun, entertaining read as well sci-fi should be!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jim C

    This is the third book of a trilogy but it can be read as a stand alone. In this one, Thrawn takes on a challenge of solving a problem that is affecting the completion of Stardust (if you watched Rogue One you know what this is). He thought it was something simple but it turns into so much more. I have to admit this one wasn't my favorite of this trilogy. It had some parts that I really enjoyed and some that just did not hit home for me. To me, Thrawn didn't shine in this book as minor characters This is the third book of a trilogy but it can be read as a stand alone. In this one, Thrawn takes on a challenge of solving a problem that is affecting the completion of Stardust (if you watched Rogue One you know what this is). He thought it was something simple but it turns into so much more. I have to admit this one wasn't my favorite of this trilogy. It had some parts that I really enjoyed and some that just did not hit home for me. To me, Thrawn didn't shine in this book as minor characters shined in this book. Commander Faro and the return of Vanto were the highlights. I believe the problem with Thrawn in this book was I never felt any drama with him. Going into every sticky situation I knew he would come out on top. I know that this is tricky for an author to write about a character in a universe because we already know their actual outcome but I do need some tension. I also felt this book was a bit of a mislead. At the beginning it seemed like this book was going to explore Thrawn's loyalty to the Empire and this has been touched upon in previous books. Once again, it was touched upon and left up in the air. I could say that about several plots that they were left up in the air. Thrawn is a great character but maybe the author has made him too infallible. Some conflict would be nice. I also felt like the author was going somewhere in the beginning and quickly changed directions. It seemed like he realized that there might be more books about this character and wanted to prolong it. This was a decent read with some really enjoyable insights but not my favorite.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ben Brown

    Well, it finally happened: Timothy Zahn wrote a “Thrawn” book that I actually sorta semi-liked. Don’t get me wrong: there’s still a LOT in “Thrawn: Treason” – the third and what looks to be the final chapter in Zahn’s canon “Thrawn” trilogy – that I did NOT like. For one thing: after having now read three of his novels, I am unconvinced that there is a writer on the face of the planet who loves exposition quite as much as Timothy Zahn does. While one could certainly an argument that writing a ch Well, it finally happened: Timothy Zahn wrote a “Thrawn” book that I actually sorta semi-liked. Don’t get me wrong: there’s still a LOT in “Thrawn: Treason” – the third and what looks to be the final chapter in Zahn’s canon “Thrawn” trilogy – that I did NOT like. For one thing: after having now read three of his novels, I am unconvinced that there is a writer on the face of the planet who loves exposition quite as much as Timothy Zahn does. While one could certainly an argument that writing a character as methodical as Thrawn requires a certain degree of deliberate description, there comes a point when there’s just SO FREAKING MUCH of the stuff that the overall effect becomes exhausting, bordering on being numbing. Another casualty of the novel’s tendency to over-expound: the pacing. At 334 pages, “Thrawn: Treason” is a book that feels WAY longer than it is. Part of that has to do with a story that feels stretched beyond its limits (“Treason” could have easily and comfortably clocked in around the 275-page range); unfortunately, most of the story’s pacing issues are a direct outgrowth of Zahn’s love for expositing upon things that don’t need expositing. That all being said…I will also say this for “Thrawn: Treason”: at least there’s a clear narrative through-line to grab onto. Whereas previous books “Thawn” and “Thrawn: Alliances” verged on being nearly indecipherable at points – there were significant portions of both books where I had literally no clue what was happening – “Thrawn: Treason” is blessed by a distinct and clear-cut antagonist at the story’s center that fuels most of the events over the course of the book. This results in a narrative that is, if not exactly thrilling, then at least never confusing. High praise, I know. Bottom line: is “Thrawn: Treason” the best of the “Thrawn” trilogy? Undoubtedly. Is it ‘good’? Eh…I don’t know if I can quite say that. Still – it is a marked improvement over its predecessors, which isn’t nothing. And for someone who has been more or less disappointed in both Zahn’s storytelling and Thrawn as a character in this new “Star Wars” canon after hearing SO MUCH from SO MANY about the awesomeness of both over the years, “Thrawn: Treason” represents, for me, the first actual ray of hope that maybe – just maybe – there’s a worthwhile story to tell about the Grand Admiral after all.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Silvana

    If you are thinking of reading the trilogy, don't. Just read the first book. The enjoyment diminishes in every sequel. While Zahn might be the best new Disney Canon writer that I read so far, his plotting and story really need more work. Since this is Thrawn's last novel (so far), I had hight expectation that it would end with a crescendo. It did not. The book was a slog. If it were not because of the excellent audio narration and the great production (background music included), I would DNF it If you are thinking of reading the trilogy, don't. Just read the first book. The enjoyment diminishes in every sequel. While Zahn might be the best new Disney Canon writer that I read so far, his plotting and story really need more work. Since this is Thrawn's last novel (so far), I had hight expectation that it would end with a crescendo. It did not. The book was a slog. If it were not because of the excellent audio narration and the great production (background music included), I would DNF it and maybe even throw some bantha dropping just to give it some flavor. New characters were introduced, most of them were stick figure, forgettable character. One was particularly annoying and cartoonish. An old character was brought back but his role could be replaced but anyone since his interaction with Thrawn was very minimum and again, replaceable with another background character. What irked me the most was the book even made Thrawn (and the Chiss freakin' Ascendancy) boring. The stakes were low, Thrawn was on top of everything, he was barely challenged. This is like being forced to watch Star Wars: Resistance. There, I said it. Again, such a waste. Even the amusing political squabbles and intrigue involving Thrawn, Krennic, and Tarkin became bland at the end, along with the lackluster reveal.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Neil R. Coulter

    This book is like reading a turn-by-turn description of a game of Risk being played by people I don't know, where one of the players correctly predicts every move for the entire game. On page 181, are we to imagine that Sisay is making the Vulcan salute?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Unseen Library

    I received a copy of Thrawn: Treason from Penguin Random House Australia to review. Rating of 4.5. The master of Star Wars extended universe novels, Timothy Zahn, returns with a third incredible book in his outstanding Thrawn series, Treason, which features the final adventure of his most iconic protagonist, Grand Admiral Thrawn, before his last appearance in Star Wars: Rebels. In Treason, which is set in the midst of the fourth season of Star Wars Rebels, Thrawn is forced to postpone his campaign I received a copy of Thrawn: Treason from Penguin Random House Australia to review. Rating of 4.5. The master of Star Wars extended universe novels, Timothy Zahn, returns with a third incredible book in his outstanding Thrawn series, Treason, which features the final adventure of his most iconic protagonist, Grand Admiral Thrawn, before his last appearance in Star Wars: Rebels. In Treason, which is set in the midst of the fourth season of Star Wars Rebels, Thrawn is forced to postpone his campaign against the Rebels on Lothal when Grand Moth Tarkin informs him that funding for his Tie Defender Program is at risk of being reappropriated by Director Krennic’s secret program, Stardust. Placed in the middle of a political battle between Tarkin and Krennic, Thrawn must ensure the security of Stardust’s supply chains in order to retain his funding. What at first appears to be a routine mission against a dangerous form of alien space vermin quickly reveals that the supply lines are actually being targeted pirates who have knowledge about the materials being sent to Project Stardust. The subsequent arrival of a Chiss ship with his former protégé Eli Vanto serving aboard raises further problems, when they reveal that a force of Grysk ships are active deep within Imperial Space. Now Thrawn must not only find out what the Grysk’s mission is but also foil a large-scale conspiracy from within the Empire. As Thrawn engages his opponents in space, the real danger comes when his loyalty to the Empire is called into question. Can Thrawn continue to serve both the Emperor and the Chiss Ascendancy, or will the Emperor finally tire of his treason? View the full review at: https://unseenlibrary.com/2019/07/21/... For other exciting reviews and content, check out my blog at: https://unseenlibrary.com/

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Pramik

    It’s no secret that Grand Admiral Thrawn is my favorite villain of all time. As has also come to no surprise, if you've perused my reviews for the previous two books in this trilogy (Thrawn and Thrawn: Alliances), I have been devouring the new Thrawn trilogy penned by Timothy Zahn. This third and final entry was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019, and I’m happy to report that it doesn’t disappoint - though my only real "disappointment" is that it's over! Story-wise, Thrawn: Treason is th It’s no secret that Grand Admiral Thrawn is my favorite villain of all time. As has also come to no surprise, if you've perused my reviews for the previous two books in this trilogy (Thrawn and Thrawn: Alliances), I have been devouring the new Thrawn trilogy penned by Timothy Zahn. This third and final entry was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019, and I’m happy to report that it doesn’t disappoint - though my only real "disappointment" is that it's over! Story-wise, Thrawn: Treason is the conclusion of a three-part character study of Mitth'raw'nuruodo, an alien from among the Chiss who later is known as Thrawn and becomes a Grand Admiral for the Empire. In this novel, Thrawn's lack of political maneuvering know-how comes to the forefront. In order to secure funding for his TIE Defender project, Thrawn is pitted against Director Krennic, whose Stardust (read: Death Star) project seems to have taken center stage. Thrawn is then given the challenge of neutralizing a threat to the Death Star project and must complete his task in a week, lest he lose out his own project's bidding to Krennic. To ensure Thrawn will fail, Krennic assigns his personal assistant to babysit Thrawn and invent obstacles. However, Thrawn discovers that a far greater, further-reaching threat exists. In the meantime, Thrawn's former Human translator and protege, Eli Vanto, has been assigned to perform seemingly menial analysis tasks on board a Chiss vessel under the watchful eye of Admiral Ar’alani. In time, his paths cross with Thrawn once more. And when they do, rumors of treason surround them both. In Treason, Thrawn gets to wear three hats: military strategist, detective, and administrator of justice. The first two have been seen before and explored at some length, both in the original Thrawn trilogy published in the 90s and this newer trio of books. Everything in Treason capitalizes on two of Thrawn's core traits, and it's always entertaining and intriguing to see him utilize his tactical and detective muscles, often simultaneously. But the third trait we see here is Thrawn's sense of moral rightness and justice for wrongdoers. On the surface, seeing as Thrawn is technically classified as a "villain" in Star Wars lore, it might seem strange for some readers to see him exhibit a clear-cut sense of moral right and wrong rather than a distorted vision of his own choosing. Instead, Thrawn avoids becoming a model of relative morality as he is thrown into a situation directly affecting his people and, more importantly, their sense of self-identity and safety. Thrawn has never been the sort of character to exact revenge, but he does uphold a strong moral code. So when a threat endangers the lives of innocent Chiss girls, he ensures the evildoers are punished under the careful guise of working in the Empire's best interests. It's this aspect that makes Thrawn a fascinating character in this new trilogy: while it's clear he's loyal to his own people, he can't openly let that allegiance be known lest he's branded a traitor to the Empire. To reveal more about the story itself would be to unmask spoilers, so I'll refrain. But it was a good decision to explore another side to Thrawn's personality so Treason avoids being a mirror image of Thrawn or Thrawn: Alliances. As stated, Thrawn has always been upheld as a villain in the Star Wars canon simply because he serves the Empire rather than the Republic/rebels. However, he's a villain in designation only as he's never an evil character nor even a morally bad person. Thrawn belongs to a category of villains I like to call Conflict of Interest. These villains, under different circumstances, might not have been villains at all and are only deemed as such due to their alignment against the story’s heroes, thus creating a moral conflict of interest. Thrawn fits perfectly inside this category as he possesses many positive traits such as a high level of intelligence, incredible foresight, astute military tactics and strategies, a distaste of brutality for brutality’s sake, an ability to command respect, and a curious mind that appreciates and analyzes art. Thus, what makes him a villain at all is that he serves the Empire rather than the Rebels’ cause. Despite this, Thrawn harbors personal reasons for joining the Empire’s service, namely the ability to gather intelligence on potential threats and an opportunity to combat said threats should they pose as dangers to the Chiss. While this isn’t a motivation Thrawn lets known to too many people, it’s an inherent drive that urges him to do what he does in terms of big picture decisions. He isn’t an evil or a bad person: he’s simply chosen the wrong side in a conflict but has made this choice for, what he believes, is the good of his fellow Chiss. And this inner vow of protection and preservation is a personal promise he makes good on in Thrawn: Treason. Returning here in a parallel plot that eventual intersects with Thrawn's storyline is Eli Vanto. In the first novel, Eli, an academy cadet, serves as a gateway character for Thrawn to engage Human culture as the latter is sometimes marginalized simply for being an alien. This time around, it's a reversal of situations where Eli is faced with indifference and occasional prejudice from the Chiss as he is an alien among them. But he's not without allies and earns the respect of at least two Chiss officers, one of whom seems close to his age, so it was nice to see a subtle friendship taking root between them. I was glad to see Eli return as his storyline in Thrawn was left open-ended. I sensed there was a reason why Thrawn had sent Eli to meet up with Admiral Ar’alani at the end of Thrawn and was eager to learn why. Thankfully, that arc gets continued here and is resolved with the story left ajar though not on a cliffhanger. Political maneuverings and machinations drive some portions of the novel, something Thrawn dabbled in and Alliances essentially avoided. I normally dislike political intrigue novels, but here the story never feels bogged down by it. Everything moves at a brisk, mobile pace and never becomes stagnant. Despite there being slower scenes of power plays and backstabbings, the story quickly picks up with plenty of action. Speaking of which, Treason felt the most on-the-move of the three novels with plenty of space-faring action that retains an old school space opera vibe. And the final space showdown is something certainly big-screen worthy. I initially thought this novel's premise, judging by its opening chapters, was going to be a bit dull and even odd, especially when we initially learn what Thrawn is tasked with handling. But once it accelerates and the true threat is unmasked, it never lets up until the epilogue. Speaking of which, while this novel's own story does close out before the very end, the novel itself remains open-ended. There is no cliffhanger but it leaves the door open for possible future stories about Thrawn and Eli Vanto, though this particular three book sequence feels complete. Overall, Thrawn: Treason is a satisfying conclusion to the new Thrawn trilogy that serves as a character study of one of Star Wars' best, but often unsung, characters. Not only is Treason a solid story in and of itself, it also serves as an excellent way to wrap up this latest expanded story arc featuring Thrawn. As always, I hope for more stories starring Thrawn, but as far as this new trilogy is concerned, it's definitely worth diving into. Content: Language - Very sporadic PG-level words (nothing worse than what one might hear in a Star Wars film). Violence - There are some typical sci-fi fight/action scenes as well as perilous moments where characters face sundry threats. The type of action here is akin to a Star Wars film and is devoid of graphic blood or gore save for a single scene where a character notes how bodies in an attacked spaceport have been torn apart with exposed muscle (no further details are given). Elsewhere, it's learned that an alien race kidnaps and brainwashes its captives so these slaves are willing to die for their masters without hesitation. Lastly, a character pleads with another character to kill them if it looks like they might fall into enemy hands, but the intent is not assisted suicide but personal sacrifice in order to keep others safe from harm. Thankfully, this never comes to pass. Sexual Content - None.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    This book offered closure on absolutely zero topics. Is this a trilogy or a tetrology? I know Zahn has more Thrawn pitches, and they had BETTER let him make it a tetrology. I need answers. Seriously, answers on at least ONE mystery would be nice. Anyway, did I enjoy this book? Absolutely. It takes place entirely before the Rebels finale, and the tension of knowing that this is Thrawn's last hurrah before he gets yeeted into the vacuum by Ezra's space whales definitely ramped up the tension. At fir This book offered closure on absolutely zero topics. Is this a trilogy or a tetrology? I know Zahn has more Thrawn pitches, and they had BETTER let him make it a tetrology. I need answers. Seriously, answers on at least ONE mystery would be nice. Anyway, did I enjoy this book? Absolutely. It takes place entirely before the Rebels finale, and the tension of knowing that this is Thrawn's last hurrah before he gets yeeted into the vacuum by Ezra's space whales definitely ramped up the tension. At first, it's some petty bureaucratic snit-fest, where Orson Krennic and Tarkin force Thrawn to take on some mission to rid the Death Star supply lines of vermin. That's right, it's Thrawn: Pest Control. The whole situation is hilarious. Obviously, that doesn't last long before Thrawn uncovers some massive, treasonous plot which he then proceeds to hunt down and unravel. The good news? He immediately runs into Admiral Ar'alani and my boy ELI VANTO. The bad news? Thrawn and Eli don't talk. Like, at all. Okay, they talk two times I think, but just briefly about mission things. Guys, I was upset. Quite frankly, I'm still upset. Eli gets involuntarily sent on a field trip mission, but apart from those chapters this ENTIRE book is strategic naval technobabble. Personally, I have never once cared about sailing ship things in my life. Pirates? Meh. Sea battles? Meh. Ship races? Eh. However, for some reason every dumb naval detail that my dim and foggy brain can barely comprehend is absolutely THRILLING when it's part of this series. Every time Thrawn says something like, "Commodore, prepare my ship" I'm this close to LOSING it. "The Chimaera is rolling!" Broadsides this, ventral cannons that. Like, I don't get what's happening at ALL but at the same time I'm loving it. The one really AWESOME, showstopping moment was the finale. Thrawn goes onboard the enemy's ship and hangs out with the enemy on his bridge, while Commodore Faro fights the battle outside, following the extremely detailed, thirty-six step plan that Thrawn wrote for her beforehand. First of all, how cool is it that Thrawn won a battle against three-to-one odds without even being there, essentially? Second of all, Faro gets promoted away from the Chimaera in this book, and I love that she got such an amazing sendoff. She's such a great character in her own right, that it was fantastic to see her get a moment to really shine. I hope she has a good future and gets out of the Empire quick enough, given that we are approaching 0 BBY at literally blinding speeds. What a time to get a promotion. Ar'alani is another star here. She has so much more character and individuality than I was expecting, and I need so much more of her and the Chiss and the Chiss navigators and the Chiss politics and the Chiss approaching civil war... Ar'alani's dynamic with Thrawn is so much fun; they almost have a sort of sibling feel, where they both know each other very very well but also spend most of their time being mildly annoyed at each other. Overall, this book was eighty percent naval nonsense and twenty percent ominous foreshadowing. ZERO closure. ZERO heart-to-heart talks. MORE confusion than when I started out. MORE mysterious details that have to mean something but that certainly aren't explained. NOT enough Eli Vanto, although I am certainly grateful for what I was given. I knocked it down one star because of the combination of lack of closure and lack of character time. Surely we could have had ONE less naval-babble scene if necessary, in order to let any character have an important personal talk with any other character? I still absolutely had a rollicking ride reading it, though, and am urgently waiting for more. Some other notable details: • Thrawn is just... not having a good time here. He's understated about everything, of course, but you can tell. The ending especially is VERY melancholy, where everyone leaves him almost completely alone and isolated. You can almost feel the walls closing in as 0 BBY approaches, Ezra's time draws near, the Emperor's favor is waning, etc. Hopefully Ezra's space whales actually turn out to be a good thing, and in the next book we can pick up years later and have a fun time tackling some Grysk and Chiss civil war issues, leaving the Empire to burn. • On a semi-related note, we learn that Thrawn DID IN FACT CHOOSE, ON HIS OWN, to undertake his mission to the Empire, and that he CAN IN FACT LEAVE at any time he wishes. Ar'alani is constantly begging him to "come home," but for some reason Thrawn is like no, I must be here. It makes one wonder... why? Can he not feel the doom on the horizon? Does he still think the Empire can be useful, after all he's seen? Like, WHY? • Ar'alani hugging the navigator. The contrast between her role as an admiral and the girls' somewhat harsh and bare lives and the very real affection they all have for each other. So good. • "Commodore, is my ship ready?" "She is, sir." • WHY ON EARTH........ did Thrawn send Ronan back to the Ascendancy. He implied it was to be a useful mole they could feed misinformation to or something, but first of all, why would they need that? The Empire doesn't even know where the Chiss are. Second of all, the Empire's not even going to be around that much longer. This has to mean something. I'm so confused. • Are the Grysks going to come up later in some plot-important way? Because that whole line about "three can command a nation, 100 can rule an entire world" combined with their increasing forays into Imperial space makes it seem like they should eventually become a huge galactic menace. And yet here we are, in the Sequel trilogy, not a Grysk to be seen, unless... • SNOKE WAS A GRYSK. Sorry, it's a fact, I don't make the rules. • That moment at the end where Ar'alani asks Eli what he would have done to fulfill the navigators' request, and Eli tells her he would have shot them at the enemy like a bomb. Wow. Nice. He's small but also ruthless. • ISB Major Dayja is my new favorite Star Wars character. I love him? Does he know Sinjir Rath Velus? Because I think they would get along.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Spencer

    To be honest I found this to be pretty boring, it just felt too similar to the previous books and it didn’t add anything new or particularly interesting.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chris Wermeskerch

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Unfortunately, every problem that I had in Thrawn and Alliances were only amplified rather than addressed here and this book became the pinnacle of OC-self-aggrandizement. If Thrawn was never challenged in Alliances, here he barely needs to give any of his mental prowess to the tasks at hand. Never once do he nor any of his compatriots come into real danger, nor does he learn anything; rather, he already knows everything he'll ever need to know. If this trick was cute in Legends, it's far overst Unfortunately, every problem that I had in Thrawn and Alliances were only amplified rather than addressed here and this book became the pinnacle of OC-self-aggrandizement. If Thrawn was never challenged in Alliances, here he barely needs to give any of his mental prowess to the tasks at hand. Never once do he nor any of his compatriots come into real danger, nor does he learn anything; rather, he already knows everything he'll ever need to know. If this trick was cute in Legends, it's far overstayed it's welcome here.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/09/08/... This third novel which wraps up the new canonical Thrawn trilogy quite nicely, and might actually be my favorite of the three books. As readers have come to expect from this series, Treason once more takes us into the mind of the Star Wars’s greatest military strategist and tactician, the blue-skinned red-eyed Chiss alien known as Grand Admiral Thrawn. His creator and author Timothy Zahn also takes this opportunity to furt 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/09/08/... This third novel which wraps up the new canonical Thrawn trilogy quite nicely, and might actually be my favorite of the three books. As readers have come to expect from this series, Treason once more takes us into the mind of the Star Wars’s greatest military strategist and tactician, the blue-skinned red-eyed Chiss alien known as Grand Admiral Thrawn. His creator and author Timothy Zahn also takes this opportunity to further embed the character into the greater universe, tying together the elements from the previous books to Star Wars: Rebels as well as Rogue One and more. Treason, however, takes place prior to the culmination of those events. Our protagonist still has his hands full with Ezra Bridger and the rebels on Lothal, while Director Orson Krennic is yet pounding away at his secret project, codenamed Stardust, which of course is the Death Star. Dissatisfied with the rate at which things are going, Emperor Palpatine has temporary halted Thrawn’s own TIE defender program, tasking him to help Krennic instead. Needless to say, this does not go down well with anyone, except maybe the Emperor, who takes some sick delight from watching his senior commanders sweat under pressure. For Thrawn though, it is a revelation—he now knows where the Empire’s priorities are, and in order to maintain his own place in its hierarchy, he’ll have to learn how to play ball. First order of business is to find a solution to the gralloc problem, which has been plaguing Stardust’s supply lines for years. Closely related to the mynock, these giant space-faring creatures have been hampering ships by attacking and damaging their power cables. But as you’ve probably already guessed, the problem goes far deeper than a mere vermin infestation, and in time, Thrawn’s patience and methodological approach will suss it all out. Meanwhile, the story also focuses on Eli Vanto, the young lieutenant we first met in the first novel of this trilogy. Having become Thrawn’s protégé of sorts, Vanto has gone to serve as an Imperial liaison in the Chiss Ascendency under the Grand Admiral’s direction, assigned to Admiral Ar’alani. When a turn of fate brings mentor and pupil together again, a larger threat in the form of a common foe to both the Empire and Chiss Ascendency is uncovered. This enemy is known as the Grysk, an aggressive alien race originating from the unknown regions who show no mercy in conquering and enslaving whole star systems. The problem is, they are already here, and may have already infiltrated the upper echelons of the Empire. Like I said, I really enjoyed this novel, and appreciated the way it accomplished multiple goals while delivering a quality reading experience—which, I have to say, is a pretty high bar set by a lot of the new Star Wars canonical fiction as of late. First and foremost, I loved how Zahn continued to build on Thrawn’s character, which isn’t simply limited to telling us again and again what an evil genius he is. On the contrary, Thrawn isn’t really a villain here, nor can you really quite quantify him with words like “good” or “bad” because the truth is more complex. He is also not infallible, and Treason reveals some of his personal foibles and shortcomings. The Grand Admiral is an intellectual and results-driven type of personality which makes him scarily good at what he does, but it also means he has no time to waste on pleasantries and politicking. And unfortunately, in Palpatine’s Empire, political maneuvering is both a necessity and an art form. I also liked how we got to learn more about Thrawn through the eyes of his subordinates, which has been a recurring theme in all three books in the trilogy. Thrawn is good to his people, who reward him with their complete loyalty, and this can be gleaned through the POVs provided by Eli Vanto and also Commodore Karyn Faro. As for the story, Treason offers plenty of action and intrigue. Whether you’re a hardcore Star Wars fan or just a reader with a passing interest, I think there’s plenty of entertainment here for everyone. As expected, the seemingly minor gralloc problem introduced at the start of the novel ultimately snowballs into a narrative of epic proportions, involving conspiracy, possible war, and of course, treason. But the book’s title also contains deeper meaning, as we soon discover. Thrawn is put in a very awkward place between the Empire and the Chiss Ascendency, leading to some of his fellow Imperials questioning his loyalty, and now he has apparently also landed his protégé Vanto into a similar position. Some pacing issues aside, the plot was overall quite impressive, and I have to applaud it for being more complex, clever and multilayered than I’d originally thought. To sum up my thoughts, Thrawn: Treason was definitely worth the read. While the entire new trilogy has been a fantastic in-depth study on the character, this last novel takes it to another level and excels in characterization, making it my favorite of the three books. I won’t make any morecomparisons to the original trilogy because I think I’ve already done that enough in my reviews of the previous novels, but I will say this would also be a perfectly suitable introduction to Thrawn if you’ve ever been curious about the character, especially now that Rebels and Zahn have made him such an integral part of the new Star Wars canon. Audiobook Comments: Mark Thompson is amazing, but you probably already knew that if you’re familiar with the Star Wars audiobooks. Once again, he delivered an outstanding performance, bringing the adventure and characters to life. His voices are superb, especially for Thrawn, whose tight-lipped inflection is just short of a lisp and sounds almost exactly like he does on the Rebels show voiced by Lars Mikkelsen. Thompson’s Eli Vanto is also worth a mention, his southern-boy accent emphasizing the character’s down-to-earth charm. I just can’t praise his work enough.

  17. 5 out of 5

    RG

    I actually probably enjoyed this as much as the first if not a little better. Thrawn is as great as ever. Some of the dialgoue is a little stilted but we learn a little more about the empires plans. Plot wise it started off great. 2/3in and it slowed a little bit. Havent read the original trilogy so not sure how this compares. Still a fun fanboy read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    So proud of my boy Eli and his Chiss fam

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sans

    My single complaint is that there was not nearly enough Eli in this book. But considering that Eli was in it at all is a huge win. As others have said, this is by no means a perfect book, but it held my attention and made me love these characters (and new ones, I need more Dayja STAT) even more than I already did. I cannot wait for the Ascendency trilogy to show us Thrawn's past and to see where Zahn will take him next.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Máté

    Sigh. What a waste of a Thrawn book. There are zero real stakes here, making this story pointless. Still, I hope Timothy Zahn will be able to write Thrawn related books that take place after the events of the Rebels TV show.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Haden

    talk about “real housewives of imperial leadership” vibes GOD...i love

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ai Miller

    This was just delightful. It moved SO quickly, the pacing was so good--I read it in just a few days, and couldn't really put it down. It had everything I've come to quickly love about Thrawn, and I will say that Zahn's talented because he made me care about people who work for the Empire. It was nice to see the development of a bunch of characters, like Commodore Fero. I will say that I went in without having seen any of Rebels but still had an amazing time--I might have missed some things, but This was just delightful. It moved SO quickly, the pacing was so good--I read it in just a few days, and couldn't really put it down. It had everything I've come to quickly love about Thrawn, and I will say that Zahn's talented because he made me care about people who work for the Empire. It was nice to see the development of a bunch of characters, like Commodore Fero. I will say that I went in without having seen any of Rebels but still had an amazing time--I might have missed some things, but it didn't impact my enjoyment. I do want more, like please sir give me 800 stories of Thrawn being a stupid blue man going around the galaxy looking at art. I guess we'll see! But seriously this was a delightful time, and I really liked it. I feel like I'm the last person on earth to get to Thrawn but I've had a great time with this series, and if you want brain candy, you might enjoy it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mario

    Timothy Zahn hasn't lost his touch... at all. Set in the time frame between episodes 10 and 15 of the fourth and final season of Star Wars: Rebels, Grand Admiral Thrawn is forced to go and defend his TIE Defender project against the need for additional resources for project Stardust, what we know better as the Death Star. Forced to gamble his funds against his help on a logistical issue on project Stardust, he encounters also a bigger threat, which was discussed in Thrawn: Alliances. But he is no Timothy Zahn hasn't lost his touch... at all. Set in the time frame between episodes 10 and 15 of the fourth and final season of Star Wars: Rebels, Grand Admiral Thrawn is forced to go and defend his TIE Defender project against the need for additional resources for project Stardust, what we know better as the Death Star. Forced to gamble his funds against his help on a logistical issue on project Stardust, he encounters also a bigger threat, which was discussed in Thrawn: Alliances. But he is not alone to face it, as a group of Chiss arrive to help. The manner in which Zahn spins the webs of all the participants, Chiss, Imperial and Grysk is breathtaking, does not feel forced at all. In addition the cast of new (and returning!) characters is phenomenal, and makes the book bigger in scope and drama than Alliances. Definitely the better one of the trilogy, and despite the (current) outcome of Thrawn in the Rebels series, we definitely need more stories of the Chiss and the Grysk. Immensely recommended!!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Audiobook review for 2nd reading. As usual the audiobook read by Marc Thompson is phenomenal. I really hope Admiral Ar'alani and Thrawn meet again post season 4 of Rebels. Upon rereading this book I caught all the hints for the third act sprinkled through the book and how all were utilized, no thought left dangling. I hope when we learn what happened after Ezra kidnapped the entire Seventh Fleet that this bridge crew and Faro are alive and well. I've become rather fond of them. The examanination Audiobook review for 2nd reading. As usual the audiobook read by Marc Thompson is phenomenal. I really hope Admiral Ar'alani and Thrawn meet again post season 4 of Rebels. Upon rereading this book I caught all the hints for the third act sprinkled through the book and how all were utilized, no thought left dangling. I hope when we learn what happened after Ezra kidnapped the entire Seventh Fleet that this bridge crew and Faro are alive and well. I've become rather fond of them. The examanination of treason and loyalty works well, showing Thrawn's balancing act starting to slip while still covering for his crew, even as it hints at his soon being emotionally compromised if not already so. I really wish we'd gotten his thoughts on the battle for Lothal. Perhaps future books will cover this. Original review So when do we get to go on another adventure with Thrawn? I swear they are just teasing us about the Rebels series finale at this point. Great adventure, answered questions, created new questions, and Admiral Ar'alani was brilliant! So many great characters, and so much fun. Man I wish the movies were as artistically done as these books. Seriously, I need books 4, 5, and 6. Zahn's writing is masterful, and fast paced as always. This book grabbed me and didn't let go. I want to reread it immediately.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    “May warrior’s fortune be ever in your favor.” A fun read, if shallow and obvious. Hey, it’s Star Wars. The question is never whether Thrawn will outsmart most everyone, but how. “I don’t think he said no,” [she] said. “Just not yet. So stop pouting, Senior Lieutenant, and get your crews ready.” She looked out the viewport. “The universe is about to get interesting again.” Timothy Zahn is exceptional in the Legends (formerly Expanded Universe) of Stars Wars (both BD and AD: Before Disney and After “May warrior’s fortune be ever in your favor.” A fun read, if shallow and obvious. Hey, it’s Star Wars. The question is never whether Thrawn will outsmart most everyone, but how. “I don’t think he said no,” [she] said. “Just not yet. So stop pouting, Senior Lieutenant, and get your crews ready.” She looked out the viewport. “The universe is about to get interesting again.” Timothy Zahn is exceptional in the Legends (formerly Expanded Universe) of Stars Wars (both BD and AD: Before Disney and After Disney) for creating new characters and stories which really do expand the SW universe below the basic story thread. (Karen Traviss is another.) Characters he created, most notably Mara Jade and Grand Admiral Mitth’raw’nuruodo, contribute richness and depth to the Legends. Jade was an unfortunate casualty of the Disney buyout; Thrawn weathered the transition intact: to the point that this series ties into SW Rebels series as well as the central SW thread. “Learning about each other’s ways and learning how we’re alike despite our differences is a way to enrich our lives.” This rating is relative to other Legends stories, not an absolute scale against all literature. “Waiting was always a chore. Waiting for combat was excruciating.”

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jay DeMoir

    "It's treason then" -Palpatine despite the cover, Palpatine isn't featured heavily in this book. It was ultimately bland

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Just so you know where I’ll be going with this, Thrawn: Treason is, without a doubt, my favorite book to come out of Disney’s Star Wars yet (I won’t say ever because Zahn is slated to write a second Thrawn trilogy) and it has quickly scaled up the ranks of my all time favorite books. Treason is the third book in what is now a trilogy and it is a perfect finale to this arc in Thrawn’s story and jives amazingly well with the timeline constraints exerted on the character by the fourth season of Reb Just so you know where I’ll be going with this, Thrawn: Treason is, without a doubt, my favorite book to come out of Disney’s Star Wars yet (I won’t say ever because Zahn is slated to write a second Thrawn trilogy) and it has quickly scaled up the ranks of my all time favorite books. Treason is the third book in what is now a trilogy and it is a perfect finale to this arc in Thrawn’s story and jives amazingly well with the timeline constraints exerted on the character by the fourth season of Rebels. Where the first book established Thrawn’s military genius and complete understanding of the common lines of culture that run through the art of the galaxy’s many intelligent civilizations, and where the stakes and scope of Thrawn’s opponents and victories were necessarily scaled appropriately down with Thrawn’s rank and position of influence within the Galactic Empire, book two gives Thrawn a chance to show his tactical and strategic ability on a slightly larger scale, but also to demonstrate his equally potent disciplines of perception and understanding on a personal level. Again, the scope and consequences of book two are really more personal, as opposed to grandly catastrophic. Book three, however, takes the two aspects of Thrawn previously detailed and utilizes them on a truly galactic scale. Thrawn’s military genius is given ample room to shine throughout several major battles and his individual perception of others is also further explored as the realms of galactic politics and military survival come into direct conflict, mostly personified in the ever present Assistant Director Brierly Ronan and his constant fixation on the preeminence of the Star Dust Project. Ok, that was my attempt at an intelligent opinion on the book….but no way am I stopping here because here comes the super fan rant part. Yes, there are a few random spoilers. Deal with it. WARNING: I’M SERIOUS. I REALLY WENT OFF THE DEEP END INTO NERDDOM. I REALLY LIKE STAR WARS PEOPLE This book nailed all the things I’ve been wanting out of Star Wars since the first Thrawn Trilogy got demoted to Legends when Disney did their thing (totally not bitter AT ALL). We got Thrawn in rare form, the Chiss are actually present and involved (much more than previously thought), Eli Vanto is returned from the Ascendancy, the ISD Chimaera is better than ever, there are so many threads connecting with Orson Krennic, Tarkin, Palpatine, and the Star Dust Project (ie, the Death Star). Even Grand Admiral Savit (ostensibly one of the bad guys) has his point of view that actually makes more sense than the official Imperial party line. If it weren’t for the fact that Darth Sidious was running the whole shebang and that Darth Vader has a habit of murdering whoever he comes across, I think I’d almost be ready to go full Imperial. Excepting a few things, the Rebel Alliance didn’t actually improve things for the galaxy at large. Especially taking into consideration the colossally disappointing screwup the New Republic turned out to be. There’s something to be said for a strong, economically, politically, and militarily stable galactic government, especially in the face of outside threats who would love nothing more than to splinter the galaxy into edible chunks. If only the Empire wouldn’t keep insisting on blowing up planets, enslaving Wookies, and annihilating the Jedi Order (honestly, Order 66 probably did the galaxy more good then bad considering the idiocy, sheer incompetence, and hypocrisy of the Jedi), I’d be perfectly happy with the Empire running things. There are several major engagements throughout the book and Zahn handles them all with a delicacy and skill commensurate with the nuance and foresight of Admiral Mitth’raw’nuruodo. Getting space combat right in Star Wars is hard. Not only do you have to work with the physics of space, but also have a deep working understanding of Star Wars weaponry, technology, limitations, and exceptions — all of which are at the best of times a convoluted mess of missing data and inconstant standards (kind of like the english language now that I think of it). Zahn excellently navigates all that mess and while doing it manages to provide a compelling addition to the canon lore of Imperial naval doctrine, weapons, and ships. I got so excited during the battles. It’s hard to describe how giddy I get when I come across quality Star Wars naval combat. So often it gets bogged down in detailing the exploits of one single starfighter or squadron which somehow wins the entire battle in a strikingly unrealistic fashion that leaves you wondering if the threat was all that threatening in the first place. Zahn also handles the stark difference in firepower that exists between an Imperial Star Destroyer and basically anything else in the galaxy pretty well. A single Star Destroyer on its own is simultaneously a battleship capable to unloading stupendous devastation on an enemy target, a light carrier, a mobile operations command center and stormtrooper staging area, and a very sharp and specific tool. The Star Destroyer is powerful yes, more powerful than almost any other single ship in widespread use, but its weaknesses can be fatal when the ship is improperly applied. I do feel that Zahn downplayed the raw firepower the Chimaera, as a Mk 1 ISD, is capable of bringing to bear to heighten the tension during the first battle of the book where a single enemy ship faces off against Thrawn in Chimaera and a Chiss warship. That took me out of the story some because I felt like I was being told to feel tense about a situation that was clearly under control. A Mk 1 ISD like Chimaera even alone would have been completely capable of destroying that first enemy ship with only minimal damage to itself and there was even a secondary Chiss ship of roughly similar strength to Chimaera helping out. There was no chance that the battle would go any way except victory. That said, Zahn returns to form very quickly and is excellent at using the advanced stealth and gravity control technological strengths of the enemy to pose an actual threat to Chimaera. Zahn is extremely creative and inventive in how he builds his battles. Even with Thrawn’s almost omniscient ability to anticipate and bait an enemy and the not inconsiderable firepower available to him and his Chiss allies, you still feel that each victory is hard won and deserved and each setback a dangerous miscalculation with the potential for catastrophic ripples down the line. I am also seriously impressed with Zahn’s creativity and depth of world building when it comes to the Chiss Ascendancy and the Grysk Hegemony. Two unknown powers, existing in hither-to unexplored regions of the galaxy, with private agendas and the military power to pursue those agendas. Zahn does a really good job of building the Chiss arsenal, making it unique but also comprehensive and feasible in the greater context of galactic history. Same goes for the Grysk ships, weaponry, and tactics. Each species is distinct, yet realistic and Zahn does a fantastic job of drawing the lines between the strengths and weaknesses of each respective species and their own specialties and blind spots. The Grysks use psychological manipulation of their enslaved client species to create a fanatic loyalty in their subjects, creating a culture of oppression, secrecy, and blind loyalty. The Chiss are strict and cunning, the infighting of the ancient families of their society threaten to throw the entire nation in chaos, yet their own individuality is allowed to express itself enough to create initiative and individual motivation. Contrasting both is the Imperial way of doing things, enforcing obedience through fear and overwhelming force. Inciting loyalty in the powerful and subjugating the weak. Each individual method of governance and cultural history influences how each military force operates and responds to circumstances. Thrawn looks at them all, reading the fears and strengths of his opponents and utilizing it to orchestrate his enemy’s utter destruction. I am really really excited for more content in this time and context of the Star Wars timeline. With the Chiss and the Grysks solidly established as mid-level powers/potential threats and each with the frightening potential to grow into a true galactic presence, given the right circumstances. We know that right around the corner, the Alliance to Restore the Republic will blossom into a fully-fledged force fit to take on Palpatine’s Galactic Empire from within. Then after that the Rebellion will make its shaky transition to be the new galactic power as the New Republic in the wake of Operation Cinder. But what then? The First Order somehow forms out of the chosen remnant of the Empire deep in the unknown regions. How does this new power interact with the Chiss and the Grysks as they build up strength to eventually destroy the New Republic? Thrawn is currently lost in somewhere in space in the wake of the Rebels season 4 finale. Does he rejoin the Chiss? We can guess he doesn’t return to the Empire because otherwise he would be a major presence fighting against the Rebel Alliance before and after Endor. This story could very well continue on deep into the sequel trilogy era and beyond. Needless to say, I’m excited and my fan brain won’t stop making up theories. Hopefully I’ll have time to start working on modeling a Chiss Battlecruiser like Admiral Ar’alani’s Steadfast. Lucasfilm, please make official artwork and stats for Ar’alani’s ship and the Grysk ships.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    I've yet to read Zahns original Thrawn trilogy, though I do plan on checking it out at some point. I've read this new canon trilogy pretty close together because I only got to reading the first book a little earlier in the year. This is better than Alliances but not as good as the first book. I wanted to see more of the members of the Empire being unhappy about the funding Stardust was getting, taking it away from the fleet and other military forces. The Chiss Ascendancy the Grysk stuff was cool, I've yet to read Zahns original Thrawn trilogy, though I do plan on checking it out at some point. I've read this new canon trilogy pretty close together because I only got to reading the first book a little earlier in the year. This is better than Alliances but not as good as the first book. I wanted to see more of the members of the Empire being unhappy about the funding Stardust was getting, taking it away from the fleet and other military forces. The Chiss Ascendancy the Grysk stuff was cool, but deceit and unrest within the Empire is cooler. Glad we got to see Eli Vanto again. It's also made me and to re-watch the last season of Rebels to see how it fits in.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andreas

    I wasn't into this at all. I found about 90% of the book to be completely uninteresting, but at least I finished it and the entire trilogy. Oh and I guess this ties into Rebels? That sounds pretty cool.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nikolai

    I have to admit, I wanted to give this five stars. I really did, but I couldn't. It's very obvious Zahn was restricted by the time table given to him, considering that this takes place in the week between Hera Syndulla's capture and the Battle of Lothal. Because of this, many of the events of Treason felt rushed, and character/relationship development felt rushed or incomplete. The ending also was very abrupt, unsatisfying and left many questions unanswered. The plot and its revelations were all sa I have to admit, I wanted to give this five stars. I really did, but I couldn't. It's very obvious Zahn was restricted by the time table given to him, considering that this takes place in the week between Hera Syndulla's capture and the Battle of Lothal. Because of this, many of the events of Treason felt rushed, and character/relationship development felt rushed or incomplete. The ending also was very abrupt, unsatisfying and left many questions unanswered. The plot and its revelations were all satisfying when they came to their conclusion for the most part, when only focusing on the plot of Treason itself, but in the larger picture, it just left even more to be desired, more questions to be answered, and more speculation to be had. I hope, very much, that there will be some closure on what happens to the Chimaera and her crew sometime in the future, but you will not find it in Treason. It was an excellent read, and I am glad to have read it, but I only hope there will be more to come in the future.

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