Title: Thrawn Alliances
Canon Timeline Placement: Before Episode IV, between Season 3 and Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels, approximately 3-2 BBY
Length: 20 chapters, 342 pages
Welcome to our review of Star Wars canon novels and more. While this is not intended to be a full-blown, thorough book review, we do hope to give you enough information – but not too much – about each canon Star Wars publication. Again, we will try to avoid spoilers but read at your own risk…
Thrawn Alliances was released in July 2018, and is the second canon novel about Grand Admiral Thrawn after the original book by Timothy Zahn entitled Thrawn. The book takes place immediately following the end of Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels and before the 4th season of the cartoon series.
According to officially published descriptions:
“I have sensed a disturbance in the Force.”
Ominous words under any circumstances, but all the more so when uttered by Emperor Palpatine. On Batuu, at the edges of the Unknown Regions, a threat to the Empire is taking root—its existence little more than a glimmer, its consequences as yet unknowable. But it is troubling enough to the Imperial leader to warrant investigation by his most powerful agents: ruthless enforcer Lord Darth Vader and brilliant strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn. Fierce rivals for the emperor’s favor, and outspoken adversaries on Imperial affairs—including the Death Star project—the formidable pair seem unlikely partners for such a crucial mission. But the Emperor knows it’s not the first time Vader and Thrawn have joined forces. And there’s more behind his royal command than either man suspects.
In what seems like a lifetime ago, General Anakin Skywalker of the Galactic Republic, and Commander Mitth’raw’nuruodo, officer of the Chiss Ascendancy, crossed paths for the first time. One on a desperate personal quest, the other with motives unknown . . . and undisclosed. But facing a gauntlet of dangers on a far-flung world, they forged an uneasy alliance—neither remotely aware of what their futures held in store.
Now, thrust together once more, they find themselves bound again for the planet where they once fought side by side. There they will be doubly challenged—by a test of their allegiance to the Empire . . . and an enemy that threatens even their combined might.
My experience in the Star Wars Universe began as a casual fan growing up in the 80s who really became a hardcore fan since the Disney acquisition. Now understanding and sticking to “canon” works in Star Wars, I have missed out on the original Thrawn novels but have thoroughly enjoyed his character in the now two Thrawn canon novels and on Star Wars Rebels. Reading through the original canon Thrawn novel it quickly became my favorite Star Wars book resulting in my reading it a second time, something I rarely do with any book.
In the case of Thrawn Alliances, I found this read to be a good one, but not quite to the level of the first canon Thrawn novel. The overall story is very good and very well written, but while I understand the need to jump back and forth between multiple storylines it did feel at times like it was too much and became slightly confusing. While I still have yet to delve into any Thrawn EU content, this may finally nudge me enough. In my opinion Thrawn Alliances was a very, very good read and one of my favorite Star Wars novels to date so I am giving it a rating of 8.5 out of 10.