Adult Novel

Thrawn: Ascendancy: Chaos Rising

Timothy Zahn
Sep 1, 2020
Artwork by
Narrated by
Marc Thompson
Takes place in
19 BBY
In the
Fall of the Jedi
Timothy Zahn returns with a new trilogy that looks at Thrawn’s Canon origins within the Chiss Ascendancy. Chaos Rising opens beyond the galaxy’s border in the Unknown Regions where the Chiss and the Nine Ruling families reside. When a mysterious enemy attacks the Chiss capital, the Ascendancy deploys a brilliant young officer named Thrawn to expose the assailant. Alongside an ex-Skywalker searching for purpose and a young navigator discovering her own, Thrawn attempts to save his beloved Ascendancy as its leaders find their new Captain may be much more trouble than they had ever imagined.

Publisher's Summary

Chaos Rising is the the first book in a new trilogy called the The ASCENDANCY TRILOGY.Discover Thrawn's origins within the Chiss Ascendancy in the first book in an epic new Star Wars trilogy from bestselling author Timothy Zahn.Beyond the edge of the galaxy lies the Unknown Regions: chaotic, uncharted, and near impassable, with hidden secrets and dangers in equal measure. And nestled within its swirling chaos is the Ascendancy, home to the enigmatic Chiss and the Nine Ruling Families that lead them.The peace of the Ascendancy, a beacon of calm and stability, is shattered after a daring attack on the Chiss capital that leaves no trace of the enemy. Baffled, the Ascendancy dispatches one of its brightest young military officers to root out the unseen assailants. A recruit born of no title, but adopted into the powerful family of the Mitth and given the name Thrawn.With the might of the Expansionary Fleet at his back, and the aid of his comrade Admiral Ar'alani, answers begin to fall into place. But as Thrawn's first command probes deeper into the vast stretch of space his people call the Chaos, he realizes that the mission he has been given is not what it seems. And the threat to the Ascendancy is only just beginning.‍‍‍

Other Books in this Series

Thrawn: Ascendancy: Chaos Rising
Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good
Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil

Our Verdict


Video Review

Heather Goldman - Thrawn: Ascendancy: Chaos Rising - Adult Novel
Heather Goldman
Community Department Manager
It’s no question that Thrawn is a popular character among the Star Wars fandom, and _Chaos Rising_ is an excellent display of Thrawn’s infamous intelligence and strategic ability. This book doubles as an origin story as it shows us a much younger, still-learning Thrawn through the “memories” sections which serve as flashbacks. But the bigger star in my opinion is the intricacies of Chiss culture. Even with all of the rules in place, Zahn’s writing style makes this interesting culture easy to comprehend for nearly every reading level. And no matter what you’re into, _Chaos Rising_ appeals to a variety of readers with its perfect balance of action and politics to keep you on your toes while enriching you with valuable knowledge. Even if you are not the biggest fan of Thrawn himself, the secondary characters offer much to love. Ar’alani, Thalias, and Che’ri are all amazing characters who create an unstoppable dynamic with Thrawn included. Many of the best parts in the book involve them all kicking butt side-by-side.
Emma Parke - Thrawn: Ascendancy: Chaos Rising - Adult Novel
Emma Parke
Video Host & Producer
I’ve never read a book that made me completely change my opinion on it so quickly before. The first half of the book was a bit of a struggle for me to get through just because of how dense and world building it was. Zahn had a tough task: to establish the Chiss culture and politics and to show the reader what the Chaos was all about. And he accomplished this, even if it was a bit loaded at the beginning of the book. Having all of that established in the first half made the second half so much more enjoyable, enough so for me to end up giving the whole book five stars! I want to reread this book at some point as I think that on a second read it will seem much clearer and be more enjoyable with a working knowledge of the Chiss and the Chaos. I can’t wait to see what else Zahn can do with this genius world and culture that he’s built!
Eric Eilersen - Thrawn: Ascendancy: Chaos Rising - Adult Novel
Eric Eilersen
Since every fan of Thrawn has already picked this book up, let me speak to folks who may not be the biggest fans of the Grand Admiral hailing from the Chiss Ascendancy: this book is fantastic. After the relative letdown of both Thrawn: Alliances and Thrawn: Treason, I had braced myself for another somewhat disappointment and boy was I wrong. Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising allows Zahn to set up a wonderfully intricate mythology, a fascinating political structure, and a fully rounded character that is so much more than the occasionally indestructible villain Thrawn can become in his other works. All of the new characters are wonderfully fleshed out, the relationships between them are tense and a joy to deconstruct, and the original concepts Zahn adds to the Expanded Universe continue to be breathtaking. For my money, this is the best Thrawn has ever been, and the trilogy has only just begun.

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