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Publisher's Summary

Heir to the Empire begins five years after Return of the Jedi. The Rebel Alliance has destroyed the Death Star, defeated Darth Vader and the Emperor, and driven the remnants of the old Imperial Starfleet back into a quarter of the territory it once controlled. Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and have shouldered heavy burdens in the government of the new Republic, and Luke Skywalker is the first in a hoped-for new line of Jedi Knights.

But thousands of light-years away, where a few skirmishes are still taking place, the last of the Emperor's warlords have taken command of the remains of the Imperial fleet - and have made two vital discoveries that could destroy the fragile new Republic. The tale that emerges is a towering epic of action, invention, mystery, and spectacle on a galactic scale: in short, a story that is worthy of the name Star Wars.

More in the Thrawn Trilogy series we have. And download all of our Star Wars titles you can!
©1992 Timothy Zahn (P)2007 Random House

Critic Reviews

"Well written." (School Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    186
  • 4 Stars
    114
  • 3 Stars
    64
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    19

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    51
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    8

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    128
  • 4 Stars
    62
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    4
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cheryl
  • Houston, TX, USA
  • 11-01-08

Good, but why waste time creating abridged books?

The story is ok and well performed, but I just don't understand why publishers waste time creating abridged books. By not needing to use your eyes, your reading time is greatly expanded. Abridging is a travesty to begin with - even made worst by doing it on this format...and then not even offering the unabridged version. I don't see how any abridged book can get higher than a mediocre rating.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Unabridged Please...

An unabridged version of this book does exist. I've borrowed it from my library (they had to order it from another library). While the Thrawn Trilogy is one of the best of the Star Wars books this abridgment is quite horrible, its not that its even read poorly, there is just so much interesting stuff that was cut out that it goes at breakneck speed that makes you ask how in the hell all these things happened so quickly. Please Audible, get the unabridged versions, and soon.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • Redwood City, CA, United States
  • 05-16-11

horribly edited

they really need to make a verion of this that includes more than 30% of the actual book

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Ian
  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States
  • 05-14-11

awful narration

This is a fantastic novel, like all Zahn's Star Wars books, but the audio production is just terrible. The narrator's voice isn't a simple monotone: that actually might have been preferable. Instead, the voice of every character in every scene is made to seem as nonchalant as humanly possible. Whether it's Admiral Thrawn, Han Solo, Luke, or whoever, they generally come off as if they couldn't care less. Incredibly this even applies to several of the action scenes.

That, combined with the narrator's habit of mumbling the last part of most sentences, made this audio book unendurable for me. I gave up about 2/3rds of the way through...and I love Star Wars audio books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Marc
  • Tucson, AZ
  • 05-12-11

Not as good as unabridged

This was sooo short compared to all the rest of the unabridged novel...a bit disappointing...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Love the book, dislike the abridged part

This trilogy by Zahn is what brought Star Wars back into our collective conscience. Why then are his audio books abridged? I love the story, and I love being able to listen to it on my iPod at the gym, but slightly disappointed in not being able to listen to the entire work as Zahn originally penned it. It's still a good listen, even though it leaves out half the book. It would be awesome though, if there were radio drama style, unabridged, versions of his books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rick
  • Louisville, KY, USA
  • 08-20-08

GREAT BOOK - Wish it was unabridged though

I own all three of these stories in first edition hard cover and love reading them - great story. Last month I listened to a serious book so this month I wanted something lighter. The read is enjoyable and the soundtrack audio is well placed. My only frustration is that the audio book is abridged. There isn't anything in the description that says that it is abridged. This was very frustrating. Still a great audio book - so I would recommend it - just be aware it is not the full book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jeremy
  • Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA
  • 06-30-07

One of the worse Star Wars audio tapes

I have listened to most of the series, and have been very happy. Great production with the audio talent, side effects and everything else you would expect from a Lucas based novel. This whole book was flat. The story really offers no interest, no sound effects to immerse you into the story. This really must have been a budget production for them. If you have enjoyed Star Wars audio books in the past, don't waste your time on this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great star wars story!

It was a great continuation story starting after return of the jedi. Thrawn is a great antagonist.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

abridged version

I thought I was getting the full book, so I was really disappointed and confused. Read the novel a long time ago and loved it, my favorite EU character is Winter and she was introduced in the novel. Audio abridged cuts her out completely.
The performance was pretty good, but I'm so use to Mark Thomas for Star Wars books it was hard to get comfortable with Lawson and his mispronouncing of Han. In all fairness he did great when capturing the personality of Luke and he is a skilled narrator.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • D. M. Gannon
  • 02-19-17

Poor.

I read the original paperback many years ago. This abridgement has torn the book to shreds. Not worth the credit. Would advice everyone to avoid.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • A. R. Cousins
  • 06-02-14

By "Abridged" they mean "Cut to the bone".

What disappointed you about Star Wars?

It was a great story, but they've left only the bare structure of it - the details that gave it life are gone. Such a let down.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Evgenij Valentinovic Klenin
  • 12-31-17

The perfect antidote to Disney's "Last Jedi"

For those disillusioned with Disney's "Last Jedi", this is a perfect book / audiobook to enter the original Expanded Universe (EU) of Star Wars.

An exciting beginning to the Heir of the Empire / Thrawn Trilogy, which also adds new interesting characters and dimensions to the original Star Wars Story. I can't wait to read / listen to the second part of this trilogy!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-12-18

Classic

Great series hope the stuff under Disney is allowed to be upto scratch and as immersive in the expanded universe

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jake p.
  • 05-07-18

A Great Start

An excellent start to a trilogy Im longing for more of, a true Star Wars book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Luke Al'Thor
  • 04-05-18

Imperial assessment.

A few incorrectly pronounced names and planets, but otherwise a very good story. Totally worth a shot.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dan
  • 03-17-18

Amazing

I liked thrawn from the rebels TV show and now like him even more! the narration was also superb

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dante
  • 01-28-18

BEST SW TRILOGY

If you could sum up Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1: Heir to the Empire in three words, what would they be?

the Thrawn Trilogy is amazing! they should have just made this trilogy into movies and been done with it. Zhan writes a great book and Grand Admiral Thrawn is the best SW villain.

What other book might you compare Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1: Heir to the Empire to, and why?

The rest of the trilogy, and has a fair dose of political intrigue in it.

What about Denis Lawson’s performance did you like?

He does voices and his narrative voice is easy to listen to but expressive. He's great!

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

S**t got real! - Just kidding, throw backs to the original series, wrap ups of the original movies loose ends and some WTF moments. Brilliant!

Any additional comments?

Read the Thrawn trilogy to recapture your Star Wars love.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew elliott
  • 06-15-17

loved it.

Was awesome fun I loved the story and the music was an awesome touch. Looking forward to listening to the next one.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Victor
  • 05-30-16

a good one to get in to remember it's one of three

well another one of my favoured stories read well with good effects and clear characterization between the characters....

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Brett
  • 07-05-17

Broken Reading

What would have made Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1: Heir to the Empire better?

Reading the full book rather than just the 4th of the book as it recorded here

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Denis Lawson?

Marc Thompson, would have done better justice to the masterpiece that Timothy Zhan had written

What character would you cut from Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1: Heir to the Empire?

None

Any additional comments?

This recording must be redone with the full book being read as key elements are either lost or completely ignored in favour of the time constraint.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jordan
  • 09-04-15

great book. its a shame its no longer canon

great book. its a shame its no longer canon. look forward to the sequels. may the force be with you