Do you know the difference between an error and a mistake, Ensign? Anyone can make an error, Ensign. But that error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.
It's five years after the Rebel's defeat of the Empire at Endor in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of The Jedi and our extended family of heroes are going through political pain trying to form a New Republic. Meanwhile the last remnants of the Empire are proving difficult to completely destroy as a mysterious Grand Admiral, the tactical genius Thrawn, does a marvelous job of re-uniting it for a final assault.
Timothy Zahn gets his Thrawn trilogy off to an explosive start, introducing new characters and concepts as well reuniting our heroes for a new chapter in their battle against evil. Notably, Zahn does well not to retread the same ground as the original trilogy but rather explain the landscape that proceeds it and continue the saga in a logical yet surprising way. His antagonist Thrawn is completely fresh, not being a force user but rather an anomaly within the Empire, an alien who has risen through the ranks of a human establishment and earned the fear and respect of his soldiers through victory in battle. Interestingly, his take on how the rebellion was successful actually goes a long the way to establish Thrawn's story and the conflict to come.
Heir To The Empire may not be canon (but part of the Star Wars Legends series) yet it captures the tone and feel of the Star Wars films perfectly. The characters feel lifted straight off the screen, at least their slightly older and wiser selves. Zahn is also expert at writing action sequences which make the space opera read all the more entertaining. I breezed through this and expect the same from the next two...