Dark Force Rising (1992) by Timothy Zahn

‘It was, Leia judged, the right moment. Glancing down at her belt, she reached out through the Force with all the power and control she could manage–‘


After reviewing Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire at the end of October, I was left hungry for more. I quickly followed it with the next book in the Thrawn Trilogy, Dark Force Rising. It’s taken me a while to get this review up and out there, but here it is. This could be the review you are looking for…

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My Thoughts
Is this the book you’re looking for? Well, I guess that depends on what you are seeking. It’s Star Wars, not high literature. In other words, you pretty much know what you are going to get. Does it succeed as a Star Wars novel? Yes, very much so. Like its predecessor, Heir to the Empire, it’s entertaining space fantasy. What really makes it work for me is the characters. Spending time with Luke, Leia, Han and Lando as they continue their adventures in a galaxy far, far away is rewarding as well as fun. I’m happy to admit that I’ve become invested in the new characters, particularly Mara Jade and the villainous Thrawn. I wonder how their narratives will unfold. Bring on the final book in the trilogy, The Last Command.

I listened to the audiobook and was really impressed by narrator Marc Thompson’s performance. He gives each character an individual voice and does it brilliantly. Additionally, there is an assortment of Star Wars sound effects which complement the story and add to the overall atmosphere. I’m fairly new to audiobooks and this is the best one I’ve heard so far. If only this had been filmed as Episode 8.

Dark Force Rising is a fine sequel to the first book in the Thrawn Trilogy, Heir to the Empire. If you enjoyed the previous book, then this offers more of the same.

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Brief Plot Summary with SPOILERS

Luke Skywalker finds a new mentor in the powerful jedi Joruus C’baoth, but is he really all that he seems? Han Solo and Lando Calrissian are on the hunt for an Imperial spy in the New Republic. As their search drags on, they come into contact with a face from the past. Princess Leia travels to the hostile planet of Honoghr in an attempt to befriend the Empire-friendly Noghri and convince them to switch their allegiance. Smuggler Talon Karrde is hunted down and captured by Grand Admiral Thrawn, leading Mara Jade to seek help from the man she hates, Luke Skywalker. And while all this is taking place, there are rumours of the legendary Katana fleet of 200 Dreadnaughts surfacing somewhere in the galaxy. These ships could tip the balance of the conflict between the Empire and the New Republic.

dark force 3Publisher’s SYNOPSIS

“The dying Empire’s most cunning and ruthless warlord–Grand Admiral Thrawn–has taken command of the remnants of the Imperial fleet and launched a massive campaign aimed at the New Republic’s destruction. Meanwhile, Han and Lando Calrissian race against time to find proof of treason inside the highest Republic Council–only to discover instead a ghostly fleet of warships that could bring doom to their friends and victory to their enemies.

Yet most dangerous of all is a new Dark Jedi, risen from the ashes of a shrouded past, consumed by bitterness…and scheming to corrupt Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side.”

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