Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil excerpt reveals how desperate Thrawn is for answers


Those familiar with Grand Admiral Thrawn may be less versed in how he spent his time before joining the Empire. In Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy, Thrawn is still a Senior Captain in the Chiss Ascendancy fleet. And he’s facing a type of conflict he’s not sure he can beat.

In an exclusive excerpt from Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil on Gizmodo, Thrawn confronts his sworn enemies in hopes they will be able — and willing — to give him the answers he seeks. Thrawn may be smart, but his opponents are already onto his game. And they’re not in the mood to play.

Ever since his debut in Heir to the Empire in 1991, Thrawn has been depicted as a brilliant, fearless strategist who very rarely loses. He views the universe in ways no one else does, seeing angles and opportunities commonly invisible to his opponents.

In Zahn’s Ascendancy trilogy, however, Thrawn does have one major weakness that could very easily lead to his downfall. He’s an insightful being, so observant it’s practically terrifying. But he has a very hard time navigating the politics of his surrounding institutions.

So what does he come up against in this new trilogy? The Chiss Ascendancy, essentially ruled by nine families who are, at this point in the overarching story, basically at war with each other for strictly political reasons.

Thrawn can maneuver through pretty much any military conflict he comes up against. But Chiss fighting over who gets to be the most powerful? He has to find a way to stop everything from coming undone before it’s too late.

That’s why we find him in this danger zone in today’s excerpt. In order to defeat his perceived opponents, once again, he has to outsmart them. But he can’t do that without information. And his enemies are the only ones who might be able to give it to him.

If he can convince them to do so, that is.

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Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil releases on November 16, 2021. And for more, follow the Star Wars books category on Dork Side of the Force.