And so we come to the third and final installment of Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy.
First, just let me say I am in awe of how he can build and maintain such powerful plot and sub-plots thre three thick books! It's mind-boggling. I'd say anyone who wants to put out big stories should read this trilogy, regardless of the genre you write in.
I've mentioned that I think Zahn does Princess Leia better than the movies and this remained true through the third book. In fact, I loved how he played Leia against Mara. This interaction really transformed Mara into a multi-dimensional character. If you're a male writer, read this trilogy for the most fantastic portrayal of female characters by a male writer that I've ever read. Creating believable characters of the opposite sex is a major stumbling block to many writers.
As you know, I tend to focus on Leia because she's my queen. Heck, I even had a Princess Leia doll when I was a kid, complete with those iconic hairbuns!
The story continues with Thrawn trying to take territory back from the New Republic so he can re-build and rule the Empire. He continues to use the insane Jedi Master C'baoth who wants Luke, Leia, and Leia's twins to train for his own purpose.
Leia gives birth to the twins, Jacen and Jaina, and nurtures them in a sequence of scenes which could have only been created by a parent who's been through it! They're wonderful and real and Han is a wonderful, doting dad. It's marital romance of the highest kind.
Meanwhile, the ever-sharp Leia continues to figure things out and lure Mara to the light side of the Force. An imperial commando team breaks in and tries to kidnap the twins in a fantastic palace battle.
Leia's nanny, Winter, is so wonderful. Zahn must know real professional nannies to pull this off too. She's quiet, listens, analyzes, and clues in Leia to the under-currants of everything.
Clone-making stuff comes into a play and the ante really gets upped. And I'll just leave it right there. Get the book and read if you want to know the rest!
I was lucky enough to find DRAGON AND THIEF, a Young Adult Science Fiction novel by Timothy Zahn. This is important because SF is rare in YA, so studying what there is means a lot to my development as a writer. I'll be reviewing that next Thursday. I also snagged BRIAR ROSE by Jane Yolen. However, my next review will be on Tuesday, June 19th, when I finally get to tell you all about MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND, the debut novel of Lisa Shearin.