The 100 Books Project: Heir to the Empire.

“‘Then he lies,’ Thrawn returned coldly. ‘All men want power. And the more they have, the more they want.'”

“Star Wars: Volume 1: Heir to the Empire” by Timothy Zahn

I finally did it. I finally ventured into reading (and finishing!) a Star Wars book that wasn’t directly based on the original trilogy or written for teenagers. And I couldn’t be happier for it. I’m actually really impressed by how quickly I blew through this book, though I think that speak a lot for just the classic Star Wars story and Timothy Zahn’s excellent writing. I read a lot of these super-mass-market, epic fantasy-sci fi series stuff based on games or movies or what have you, and a lot of them contain a certain amount of suffering. Some value, of course, otherwise I would read them, but you go in expecting a certain cheesiness or corniness, and I did not get any of this from Heir to the Empire. Well written, engaging, with some incredible characters and a wonderful take on familiar characters…I could hear Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia and Han Solo and all the rest as I read them. And I always knew I’d be fascinated by Mara Jade…

Anyhoo, taking place five years after the events of Return of the Jedi (thank you, convenient list in the back of the book!), the New Republic is getting on some stronger feet, Luke Skywalker is getting ready to train him some Jedi (starting with twin sister Leia at the insistence of her husband Han Solo) and there are two little baby Jedi on the way. So thing are pretty good, right? Well, there’s some political unrest in the New Republic, and, far off into the reaches of space, there’s a kernel of the Old Empire still churning up trouble. With the help of an old cloned Jedi Master, Grand Admiral Thrawn intends to strike the New Republic while it’s still young, and ensnare Luke, Leia, and Leia’s unborn children to use for their own devices.

It’s a great story, the first of a trilogy, and the characters really jump off the page. I even love Grand Admiral Thrawn as a villain. I remember, in the past, I tried to read these books chronologically plotwise, which had me trying to tackle The Truce at Bakura, but I could never quite stick with it. This time, I decided to go chronologically based on publication and I wonder if that was what I’ve done wrong the whole time. I just really loved this book. It was so, so Star Wars and I breezed right through it and look forward to when I get to the next in the series.

Books read: 22/100.

And one other thing! Since I finally breached the 25 copies sold mark with Bowlful of Bunnies, I’ve posted the excerpt sneak-peek at Battarack Girls as promised. You can find it as the current Featured Story. It’s not a large sample (about 1200 words), but I hope you enjoy. And thanks to everyone who’s gotten BoB to make it happen.



    • Mara Jade. Tenel Ka. Give me AAAAALLLLLL the Star Wars redheads!

      (And I guess Lowbacca’s technically a ginger, so we can count him, too).

      My friend from work has a god-daughter named Mara Jade, and vows that, whenever she brings a boyfriend home, she will refuse to call him anything but “Luke.”

  1. Could not agree with this review more. That summed up exactly what I felt when reading this book. I have a lot of respect for Zahn for taking these existing, well-known, movie characters and basically cloning them in book form. Hope you enjoy the second and third installments as much as I did.

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