Thrawn: Treason Review

Thrawn: Treason by Timothy Zahn is book three and the final of the Thrawn Trilogy set. After loving the first but being underwhelmed with the second, I’m looking for this trilogy set to end with a bang. While I love reading about Thrawn, I found that the problem, if you can call it one, is that he is just too perfect. Most new readers like myself were likely surprised at the Empire recruiting such a perfect soldier and villain like Thrawn. It’s insane to think that someone on the other side of the war had to face someone of Thrawn’s magnitude. However, because that hasn’t happened yet in this series, it goes without saying that it’s not as fun to read any longer.

“He commands only the loyalty of my actions, not the loyalty of my heart and mind.”

Admiral Thrawn

Treason pits Thrawn in another tough situation where him and his crew of The Chimera needs to solve a certain problem or else lose funding to his TIE Defender project. A new conspiracy is uncovered and from there it’s Thrawn against the race of time to uncover it. As we’d all come to expect by now, Thrawn has the ability to turn a hopeless situation into a winning endeavor due to his insane prediction skills and to always stay two and three steps ahead of the enemy.

It’s great to see a new Chiss character in Admiral Ara’lani get introduced as I was hoping to glean more information about their mysterious race but she seems like just a female version of Thrawn and felt like she served as just filler material throughout the book. The reemergence of Eli Vanto was very much needed and refreshing however. I loved the first book in the trilogy and reading the adventures between Thrawn and Eli as they rise through the military rankings of the Empire was exciting.

“Without full knowledge, a person has to rely on trust and hope. Insufficient hope usually comes out as concern.”

Eli Vanto

The external threat facing Thrawn and his crew is once again in my opinion lackluster. It undoubtedly speaks of more dangerous things to come in the future regarding both to the Empire and to the Chiss but it’s just not that exciting to read about for now. The internal threat to Thrawn will always be due to his lack of political skills when dealing with his comrades. In opinion, book two should have been called Treason and book three here be called Alliances.

In the end, what I ultimately came to understand after having read this trilogy set is that you simply don’t bet against Thrawn. He’s usually right. That makes for a fearsome enemy but not an exciting read, especially when he’s not up against the main foe but merely cannon fodder. Treason did well to redeem the author from Alliances but not enough to overcome the first. Fortunately the author released a new Thrawn series that serves as a prequel of how he came to be and that in my estimation would likely be more to my liking.


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