In a whirlwind of disappointing new Star Wars movies a small ray of hope peeks out from the thick cluster of cannon vs non-cannon in the form of the Thrawn series. Heir to the Empire is a true sequel to the original trilogy and has all of the feel of the Star Wars universe while giving the audience a new story with new characters and interesting political intrigue. Thrawn is the most effective villain I'd the pleasure of reading about for an incredibly long time. He has taste, a sense of tactics and strategy, and an understanding of the importance of knowing the enemy.
I've already started the next book and am currently kicking myself for not having read this series earlier.