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Hardcover Heir to the Empire Book

ISBN: 0553073273

ISBN13: 9780553073270

Heir to the Empire

(Book #1 in the Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy Series)

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

It's five years afterReturn of the Jedi:the Rebel Alliance has destroyed the Death Star, defeated Darth Vader and the Emperor, and driven out the remnants of the old Imperial Starlfleet to a distant corner of the galaxy. Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting Jedi Twins. And Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of Jedi Knights. But thousand of light-years away...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

one of the best Star Wars novels, introduces Thrawn and Mara Jade

In a very real sense "Heir to the Empire" is the reason there are so many Star Wars novels being published these days. While in the 1980's there were several Star Wars Expanded Universe novels published, it was not until "Heir to the Empire" that the Star Wars boom really took place for novels. "Heir to the Empire" is set five years after the events of "The Return of the Jedi" and the New Republic is growing, is gaining strength and popularity. The fight is not over, though. Grand Admiral Thrawn is still holding on to the legacy of the Empire and he continues to fight against the New Republic. What is more, he is actually starting to win battles. Thrawn takes the fight right to the heart of the New Republic, to Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa Solo. To the unborn children of Han and Leia. Thrawn is one of the great villains in Star Wars lore. He is powerful, ambitious, and a fully realized villain. He is worthy of opposing our heroes. He may even overcome the New Republic and bring back the Empire. This is his aim. In more than forty Star Wars novels that I have read "Heir to the Empire" is one of the best. It is easy to see why Timothy Zahn was able to usher in this new era of Star Wars novels. It is a well written book featuring our favorite characters in a new adventure and against new and interesting villains and characters. Besides Thrawn, Zahn has also introduced Karrde and Mara Jade, two more well written and interesting characters. For the Star Wars fan this is essential reading. -Joe Sherry

The Adventure Begins Anew. . .

After reading Timothy Zahn's first Star Wars trilogy, and finding that it was good, I, being an avid SW fan, set my sights on the dozens of other books written afterward. They. . . weren't so good. In fact, some of them were downright bad, either using a tired device over and over again (superweapon anyone?) or destroying the characters. I began to lose faith in the franchise as literature-worthy.Then Zahn wrote Specter of the Past, the first of The Hand of Thrawn Duology, and I believed again.While his Thrawn Trilogy is usually considered best, this is perhaps his most daring work. With his first trilogy, he had no canon material he had to follow, allowing him an essentially clean slate with which to work. However, after five years and over a dozen novels, there was a lot of histroy that he just couldn't ignore. However, once again, Zahn proved to be more than equal to the task, using characters and events from the earlier and inferior novels to further his story or expand his characters. And, being Zahn, it worked.The story of Specter of the Past is one of galactic conflict on a familiar Star Wars scale, but it also weaves threads intrigue and shadow plots into the play, giving the novel a fresh feel from the usual "The Imperials have a new superweapon!" arc, and it works well. One of the two main threads focuses on the supposed return of Grand Admiral Thrawn, who we saw die in The Last Command, in all his strategic genius and glory. The second thread involves the framing of the Bothans for the destruction of a pacifist planet. While Leia tries desperately to hold the New Rupiblic together in the face of a catastrophic backlash, Han and Lando struggle to acertain if Thrawn really has returned.Meanwhile, on a covert mission, Luke and Mara run into an Imperial style ship manned by clones, which vanishes into deep space. As Mara gives chase, she discovers a strange planet with a mysterious link to Grand Admiral Thrawn. Luke, recieving a disturbing premonition of her possible death, races to join her.Behind it all is a brilliant mind and a daring con, backed by a ruthless and greedy warlord bent on galactic domination. However, where others have failed, they may very well succeed.All the characters that Zahn introduced us to are back, and better than ever. Captain Pelleon holds a nominal authoritative position in the Imperial Remnant, struggling to find a way to end the decades-long conflict that has toppled an empire, while also wondering at the possible return of his mentor. Talon Kardde, smuggler and business man, journeys to the edge of the galaxy to meet a man he betrayed to uncover the truth about the Bothans. And Mara Jade is, of course, just as we remember her; smart, sassy, strong, and a perfect foil for Luke. Damn, but they make a great team.While there's plenty of swashbuckling and space battling in Specter of the Past, the stage is only being set for something much MUCH bigger. Zahn is creating something grand in this volume, something

5 Star effort from the best author in the Star Wars Universe

I admit right up front I am a firm believer that Timothy Zahn is THE Best Star Wars author out there -- bar none. Simply put, he has NO equal -- PERIOD. At least not that I have read. Anyway, after reading Zahn's original trilogy (which are the standard by which ALL Star Wars novels ought to be judged, by the way), I rekindled my interest and love in that Galaxy Far, Far Away and anxiously started to read as many other novels that came after as I could find -- only to be disappointed each and every time (with 2 or 3 possible exceptions...). Suddenly I see 'Specter of the Past' with Zahn's name on it, and my interest goes back UP again. The challenge facing him this time around wasn't so much to write a story of his choosing, but now he must incorporate into his novels events that have happened following his Trilogy by authors who have all but ruined the Star Wars name. In this effort, Zahn proves he us up to the task yet again. Many feel deprived that he chose not to explore several avenues established by other authors (such as what is going on at the Jedi Academy) but I for one am glad that he ignored these and instead developed an original story that built upon his original 3 novels and continued to expand his characterization of some of the greatest Star Wars creations to date, namely Mara Jade, Talon Karrde and Captain Pellaeon. I was one of the many who was genuinely upset when Thrawn bit the dust in Zahn's 'The Last Command'. He was in every way a better bad guy than the Emperor or Vader combined. Sure, they were more evil, but Thrawn was a far superior military strategist. Where Vader & the Emperor ruled through fear, Thrawn ruled through brilliance and gained the respect and allegiance of his army by treating them fair and providing them with results, sometimes against impossible odds. So, when Zahn hints of Thrawns return in 'Specter' I was absolutely thrilled. But is it in fact the REAL Thrawn, or a clever impersonator? In many of the previous and following SW novels, the conflicts have been larger than life and having the tiny remnants of the Empire developing Super Weapon after Super Weapon is lame and totally boring. With Zahn's careful writing, Star Wars begins to delve into what I feel to be a much more realistic setting for this series: internal conflict within the New Republic, and continuing threats from those within the Empire who wish to derail the upcoming possible treaty with the New Republic. I think that because the plot is more character driven it becomes instantly more interesting and overall more entertaining. While not as overall satisfying as his original Thrawn Trilogy, I give VERY high marks to Zahn for being able to thread together this story, and meshing it with the plot-lines established by other authors in this series. If you count yourself a fan of the Star Wars Universe, it ought to be required reading to pick up anything written by Timothy Zahn, but you should decide for yourself. In my p

Are The Yuuzhan Vong Getting You Down?

Perhaps you miss Chewbacca, or the earlier years when Star Wars seemed a bit simpler, and no one felt the need to start pruning central and favorite characters, in order to make "Science Fiction" more realistic. Or maybe you need to brush up on which Grand Admiral was causing trouble for planets after studying with his glowing red eyes their art, as a prelude to their destruction. And do you recall which sessile tree-dwelling creatures made their debut or the Planet that was their home, or perhaps the smuggler who also resided there.I just wanted to go back to where the Star wars experience continued, to the summer of 1991, and the first trilogy written by Timothy Zahn. I wanted to see how well this volume held up after almost a decade, and dozens upon dozens of books, and one prequel later.The effect is rather jarring, and it is only not due to Chewbacca's presence, or the amount of action that takes place on his home planet of Kashyyyk. The Star Wars Universe described some 9 years ago for readers, that documented events only 5 years after Episode VI, really is a very different place. The cast of players is dramatically fewer, and I gained even more appreciation for just how complex the latest novels have become.I also suggest that for those who became fans of the written adventures later on in their development, that they would gain a much better grounding by reading these first books that take place after the middle cinematic trilogy. Many of the players in this first book continue on to the most recent "Balance Point" by Kathy Tyers. And others, who also remain, have evolved so far as to be unrecognizable, if you knowledge of them is limited to the more recent books.I know there are fans out there that have never forgotten a single detail of any adventure. I wish I could claim such an accurate memory. This book sat on a shelf for 9 years, and while the read was very different, it was still very enjoyable. The only element that has diminished is that when this book first arrived, it was the first fresh experience for all who had been with the series since 1977, and for those who had never seen the films.Diminished may be too strong a word, for Mr. Zahn is one of the masters of the Star Wars history, and excellent writing rarely degrades with time.So get it, or read again what you may have owned for a decade. Travel back to Mount Tantiss, and the figure that calls it home, and your subsequent reads will be improved.

NOBODY does it better than Zahn---except for Lucas himself

Being a hard-core Star Wars fan since '77, I was thrilled but cautious when 'Heir To The Empire' first came out. I had read 'Splinter of the Mind's Eye', the FIRST Star Wars novel outside of the original trilogy books (which ALL stink, by the way) and although it was entertaining, it just seemed like a story with characters who had the same names as Leia & Luke & Darth etc. There was no real substance that tied the 'spirit' of the movies to the book. But even so, I gave Timothy Zahn a shot, and all I can say is WOW! He has captured the very 'essence' of Star Wars PERFECTLY. IF George Lucas ever decided to make Episode 7, 8 & 9 he would start with 'Heir' for sure. I don't think even HE could improve upon his own stories any better than Zahn has. Everything from Grand Admiral Thrawn (a fantastic character, and MUCH more depth than Darth or the Emperor) to the Emperor's Hand, Mara Jade, to the ingenious introduction of creatures that actually REPEL the Force, this book and it's incredible sequels are NOT to be missed. If you have EVER wondered if there were novels about the Star Wars Universe that were every bit as good as the movies, than Zahn is your author and the next series you read should start with 'Heir To The Empire'. I have read and re-read this series 3 times now, and each time I find something new to remember, and another reason to be impressed with Zahn's writing style and ability. I have also read almost all of the 'other' Star Wars novels out there (since a rash of them have been published since the completion of 'The Last Command') and there are but a small few that are even worthy of the Star Wars name, and none of THEM even rival THIS series by Zahn. I'm telling ya, THIS is IT! Ever wonder where Lucas came up with the name for the Imperial world, 'Coroscant'? He BORROWED it from Zahn (no joke). I figure if you don't read this series, you just CAN'T be a serious fan of Star Wars...but if you ARE, don't put off grabbing this entire series ASAP. It's just fantastic Space Opera. Go ahead, give it a shot. Read book 1, enjoy. Go to book 2, repeat. Etc.
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