Star Wars: Thrawn Alliances – Book Review

Author Timothy Zahn returns once again for a follow up to Thrawn. In Star Wars: Thrawn Alliances, the Grand Admiral has been assigned a mission to work alongside the dark lord himself, Darth Vader.

Thrawn and Vader aren’t the only ones teaming up as readers get to travel back in time to a moment in time where Thrawn actually met Darth Vader, although he wasn’t Vader at the time, he was serving as Jedi knight Anakin Skywalker during The Clone Wars. The two stories compliment each other in a way that provides new layers to Thrawn’s character.

Set between season three and four of Star Wars Rebels, the Emperor has assigned Darth Vader and Thrawn a mission to seek out a disturbance in the Force he feels in the Unknown Region. The pair take a trip to Batuu, which is where the pair first met during the Clone Wars, But Vader doesn’t recall the trip and Thrawn is sceptical about Vader. Star Wars is known for compelling action and Zahn blends this action with mystery for an enjoyable crossover.

The relationship between Thrawn and Vader is extremely tense right from the start, especially after the defeat Thrawn suffered in the season three finale of Rebels. Vader has little tolerance for Imperial Officers and he barely tolerates Thrawn and his unique tactics and command of his crew.

The other plot featuring Thrawn and Anakin is just as good as the present day story, but Zahn balances both plots pretty well. Similar to when he is Darth Vader, Anakin has little patience for Thrawn despite them being fairly similar in personality; Thrawn, however, is a much more level-headed character than Anakin, mainly because of some of Anakin’s evident flaws such as his impulsiveness that stems from his strong emotional responses to things, like Padme for example.

Padmé Amidala plays into the Clone Wars story as she’s essentially the catalyst for Anakin’s mission whilst going through an adventure of her own. Treason demonstrates how skilled Padme is at espionage after receiving a message from one of her handmaidens and attempts to track them down herself. The book is full of great moments with Padmé, especially as she infiltrates a Separatist planet.

The stories narrative is well paced despite being slow in parts, most particularly Padme’s story dealing with the residents of Batuu. The action and mystery of Anakin and Thrawn’s story makes for some really compelling story telling by Zahn.

Thrawn: Alliances is another great Thrawn tale by Timothy Zahn that delves into the similarities and differences between himself and Darth Vader. The interlinked plot really captures the Clone Wars era of Star Wars storytelling. Fans of The Clone Wars and Rebels tv shows will thoroughly  will really enjoy this team up.

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