I don’t think of myself as a huge Thrawn fan. I actually haven’t read Thrawn: Treason yet. But I adored Chaos Rising. I think it’s now one of my favorites of the post-Disney Star Wars books and I did not see that coming.
Why? Well, let’s get into it. (slight spoilers ahead!)
Like many people, I am ridiculously excited about the High Republic books because they look like they will open up the Star Wars universe in a completely different way. Surprise! I didn’t need to wait for the High Republic – because the first Thrawn Ascendancy book gave me a whole new look at the Star Wars galaxy. As much as I love learning more details about the world and characters I know really well, it’s even more exciting to realize how many stories there are to tell about places and characters I know nothing about.
Nine ruling Chiss families. Chiss Family Ranks. Trials. Kids with special powers. Important labor done almost entirely by female Chiss that is both a blessing and a curse. I was fascinated by the Chiss world and the literal Chaos that surrounds them.
I also found the character of Thrawn to be much more interesting than I did in Thrawn (where I mostly cared about Arihinda Pryce) and Thrawn: Alliances (where I mostly cared about Padmé and Anakin/Vader). It’s nice to know what Thrawn isn’t good at and the short flashbacks really worked for me in Chaos Rising – especially with the gorgeous book design. If you can get your hands on the blue version of the book it’s worth it!
And when Chaos Rising did connect a bit to familiar Star Wars … reader I gasped.
Overall, Chaos Rising was a home run and I can’t wait for book two.