Let me just start this review by saying that this read has been a long time coming. Thrawn: Alliances is the second novel in a trilogy focus on the one and only Commander Mitth'raw'nuruodo. I almost said it's his most recent series, but that is no longer true (the first book in a new trilogy dropped this season).
As hard as it may be to believe, there was a time when Thrawn and Anakin worked side by side. There was also a time where Thrawn worked alongside Darth Vader, though that pairing was significantly less...willing.
Thrawn: Alliances is a novel set in two points of time, drawing parallels between these two partnerships. The real question is, will Thrawn be able to spot the similarities, where no other has?
“Besides, it is often wise to conceal one's full capabilities from potential enemies.”
Thrawn: Alliances was not the novel that I was expecting, yet it was still a fascinating and enjoyable read. I actually came to really enjoy all of the parallels formed from the two timelines, and found myself rooting for a certain revelation to come about. (No, I will not spoil whether or not that happened).
As mentioned above, this novel is set in two distinct points in time. The first during the Clone Wars, where Anakin is on the search for Padme, who has gone missing. The later set after the events of Star Wars: Rebels season 3, which puts it before A New Hope, for any additional context that is needed. (Also, if you haven't watched Rebels, I highly recommend it!).
I think it was the back and forth that I enjoyed the most, if I'm being completely honest. I didn't love (or hate) either plot on it's own, but both were enhanced by the context of the other. Though I might be just a tiny bit biased here, as any novel that includes Padme and her stubborn ways is going to get bonus points with me,
“Is falling into enemy hands part of your style?”
There were a few ups and downs in this telling, but it also raised many intriguing questions along the way. While also showing the traits and talents of the two leading characters (Thrawn and Anakin/Darth Vader, in case that was not already obvious).
Now I'm going to have to set aside some time for Thrawn: Treason, as I really want to get caught up in his series so that I can start the newer one as well. It doesn't hurt that he really is one of my favorite Star Wars characters.
Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Grand Admiral Thrawn and Darth Vader team up against a threat to the Empire in this thrilling novel from bestselling author Timothy Zahn.
“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.
Praise for Thrawn: Alliances
“It’s a science fiction beach read in the best way, brisk and amusing, with some cool additions to the Star Wars galaxy.”—Den of Geek
“Like all of Zahn’s novels set in a galaxy far, far away, it’s an essential read for anyone looking for an artistically done adventure.”—CNET