Title: Heir to the Empire (Book 1 of the Thrawn Trilogy)
Author: Timothy Zahn
Publication Date: June 1992 (Paperback edition. Yep, went old school on this one)
After watching Star Wars (all 8 movies) in late December and early January to celebrate Carrie Fisher, I decided that it was time to finally read that pile of Star Wars Novels that I had bought or have been given over the years but never got to. This starts with one of the apparently fan favorites of the EU (now Legends) Star Wars universe.
Heir of the Empire is the first in a trilogy of books taking place about 5 or so years after Endor. It starts with Leia and Luke having some emotional upheavals as Ben Kenobi says goodbye, and Leia deals with the fact that she is pregnant with twins and someone is out to kidnap her. Meanwhile Han is busy trying to build a level of trust between the Republic and smugglers it wants to make legitimate traders. There is also Political issues in the new republic as different fractions try to get power. So this book has aspects of a war novel, a political thriller and some Jedi lore.
The reason I started with this book was not only was it relatively close to the end of the movies, but it introduces Mara Jade, who is perhaps my favorite EU/Legends character. I still hope some reiteration of her appears in the new film Trilogy. It also introduces Talon Karrde who I’m finding more interesting than I expected.
The book itself took a bit to get into because it takes a moment to orient yourself in the universe. I’m used to reading tie-in novels that have some reference to the films either by being the novelization or movies that take place directly before/after or deal with events in the movie. However, once you figure out where everything is at, it’s a good book. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.