B

efore Thrawn was a Grand Admiral in the Galactic Empire, he served among his fellow Chiss beyond the Unknown Regions of a galaxy far, far away.

Until Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn: Ascendancy trilogy began, we didn’t know much about the origins of this character. That’s all changing now, and will continue to do so in the second and third book in the trilogy - both, as we recently learned, releasing by the end of this year.

With Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good just weeks away, Star Wars fans eagerly await the next chapter in Thrawn’s journey. Thankfully, another excerpt should satisfy the masses for the time being.

Do you dare venture into the Chaos? There’s still time to decide. In the meantime, you can read part of an excerpt from Zahn’s upcoming sequel below.

--

MEMORIES I

“There,” Haplif of the Agbui said, pointing through the scout ship’s viewport at the half-lit planet in front of them. “You can’t see the damage from here—”

“I see it quite clearly,” the veiled being seated beside him said calmly in that exotic voice of his, that strange mix­ture of rasping and melodic wrapped up inside an obscure accent. “It extends across the entire planet, I presume?”

“It does,” Haplif confirmed. He’d never seen Jixtus with­out his cloak and hood, his gloves concealing his hands, his black veil covering his face. He had no idea what the creature looked like.

But that voice would stay with him forever.

“Then you can add this to your list of successes,” Jixtus said. “Well done.”

“Thank you, my lord,” Haplif said, squinting a little. Now that Jixtus mentioned it, there were indeed subtle signs of the global destruction down there. The clouds on the sun­lit side, which would be glistening white on an untouched world, were here laced with gray and black from the fire and blast debris thrown up from the vicious civil war he and his team had engineered. On the night side, the clus­ters of city lights that had once shone cheerfully in the darkness had all but vanished.

Haplif smiled to himself. The near-total destruction of an entire world, and it had all been accomplished in barely six months. Six months.

Yes. He was that good.

“I understand a single refugee ship escaped.”

Haplif scowled. Trust Jixtus to take the shine off a crown­ing moment. “Only temporarily,” he said. “The Nikardun are taking care of it.”

“Really,” Jixtus said. “You were told not to have any di­rect contact with them.”

“I had no choice,” Haplif said. “You told me you didn’t want anyone knowing what happened here. The planet never had a communications triad, you were out of range of the standard transmitters, and we didn’t have any ships of our own. One of Yiv’s ships was poking around, so I con­tacted them.”

For a long moment Jixtus was silent. “You did say you didn’t want anyone knowing about the war, didn’t you?” Haplif prompted.

“Yes, of course,” Jixtus said, sounding a bit put out. “I trust you at least kept my name out of it?”

“Your name and mine both,” Haplif assured him. “I didn’t identify or locate the system for them, either. I just gave the ship’s vector and told them it was a group trying to recruit forces against General Yiv. Naturally, they headed after them in hot pursuit, with no doubt righteous fervor in their hearts and minds.”

“No doubt,” Jixtus said. “You understand Yiv and his people very well.”

“I understand everyone very well,” Haplif said. It wasn’t bragging, after all, if it was true.

“I presume you gave the Nikardun their destination?”

“I’m not absolutely sure they had one,” Haplif said, key­ing a line across the navigational display. “All we had was their departure vector, and they mostly took that because it was as far away from the last group of enemy ships as possible. I only know of one advanced civilization along that route, and I’m not sure the refugees were able to get any data on it with the government computers demol­ished.”

“Still, there’s a great deal of life in the Chaos,” Jixtus said. “Even our records presumably show only a fraction of it.”

“That’s what they’re counting on,” Haplif said. “From what the Magys said—that’s their title for their leader—from what she said before they took off, I gather the plan was to check each likely system along their path until they found someone they could appeal to for sanctuary. Failing that, they were hoping to find an uninhabited but livable world where they could go to ground. All the Nikardun have to do is follow that same plan, and they’ll eventually find whoever takes them in.”

“Unless you were lied to,” Jixtus said. “Perhaps the refu­gees know exactly where they’re going.”

--

You can read the full excerpt and listen to an exclusive audio clip on Nerdist.


The second book in Zahn’s newest Thrawn-centric trilogy arrives April 27, 2021. You can view our complete Book Profile for more details and pre-order your copy now.


For a complete list of recent and upcoming Star Wars book and comic releases, visit our regularly updated Release Schedule.


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Meg is a writer, podcaster, and photographer. She lives in Illinois with her dog and medal-worthy book collection, and believes any conversation in which Star Wars references are applicable is one worth having.

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