Thrawn Ascendancy First Excerpt Released

Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising cover art

The first excerpt for the upcoming Thrawn prequel novel Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising has been released.


Chaos Rising is the first of a prequel trilogy written by Timothy Zahn, the man responsible for creating Mitth’raw’nuruodo and who wrote the two other canon trilogy of Thrawn novels.  The story will be an origin story of sorts for Thrawn, as we get to see how he became the man we know as Grand Admiral Thrawn before he left the Chiss Ascendancy. has revealed the first excerpt of the book, due out on September 1, 2020. There are some tidbits that fans of Timothy Zahn’s Legends novels might recognise, such as a mention of the Ascendancy’s Nine Ruling Families. Otherwise, this is a fairly low key excerpt as the characters react to news of an attack on Csilla, the Chiss homeworld.

The attack on the Chiss Ascendancy homeworld of Csilla was sudden, unexpected, and—despite its limited scope—impressively efficient.

The three large warships came out of hyperspace on widely spaced vectors, driving inward toward the planet with spectrum lasers blaz­ing at full power toward the defense platforms and the orbiting Chiss Defense Force warships. The platforms and ships, caught by surprise, nevertheless took less than a minute to begin returning fire. By then the attackers had altered their directions, angling in toward the clus­ter of lights spread across the icy planetary surface that marked the capital city of Csaplar. Their lasers continued to fire, and as they came within range they added salvos of missiles to their attack.

But ultimately it was all for nothing. The defense platforms easily picked off the incoming missiles while the warships targeted the attack­ing ships themselves, blasting them into rubble and making sure that any fragments entering the atmosphere were too small to survive the journey. Within fifteen minutes of the attack force’s arrival, it was over.

The threat had ended, Supreme General Ba’kif thought grimly as he strode down the central corridor toward the Cupola where the syndics and other Aristocra were assembling after making their way back from the shelters.

Now came the real sound and fury.

And there would be plenty of both. As the supreme ruling body of the Ascendancy, the Syndicure liked to project an image of thoughtfulness, nobility, and unflappable dignity. Most of the time, aside from the inevitable political wrangling, that was close enough to the truth.

But not today. The Syndicure had been in full session, and the Speakers had had their own private meeting scheduled for later in the afternoon, which meant nearly all of the Ascendancy’s top-level Aristocra had been in the offices, corridors, and meeting rooms when the alarm sounded. The shelters deep beneath the Cupola were reasonably roomy and marginally comfortable, but it had been de­cades since the last direct attack on Csilla and Ba’kif doubted any of the current government officials had ever even been down there.

Two hours of forced idleness while the Defense Force waited to see if there would be a follow-up attack hadn’t gone over well with them, and Ba’kif had no illusions that the coming storm would be thought­ful, noble, or unflappable.

He was right.



One of Ba’kif ’s aides was waiting when the general finally made it back to his office. “Were you able to locate him?” Ba’kif asked.

“Yes, sir,” the aide said. “He’s on Naporar undergoing his final round of physical therapy for the injuries sustained during the Vagaari pirate operations.”

Ba’kif scowled. Operations that, while successful in a military sense, had been a complete disaster on the political front. Months later, many of the Aristocra were still brooding over that whole mess. “When will he be free?”

“Whenever you wish, sir,” the aide said. “He said he would be at your disposal whenever you wanted him.”

“Good,” Ba’kif said, checking the time. Half an hour to bring the Whirlwind to flight status, four hours to get to Naporar, another half hour to get a shuttle down to the Chiss Expansionary Fleet medcen­ter. “Inform him that I want him ready in five hours.”

“Yes, sir.” The aide hesitated. “Do you want the order logged, or does this qualify as a private trip?”

“Log it,” Ba’kif said. The Aristocra might be unhappy when they found out about this—the Syndicure might even assemble a tribunal somewhere down the line to waste more of his time with useless questions—but Ba’kif was going to do things strictly by the book. “Order from Supreme General Ba’kif,” he continued, hearing his voice drop into the tone he always used for formal orders and re­ports.

“Preparing transport for myself and Senior Captain Mitth’raw’nuruodo. Destination: Dioya. Purpose: investigation of a derelict ship found two days ago in the outer system.”

“Yes, sir,” the aide said briskly. His voice was studiously neutral, giving away nothing of his own personal feelings on the matter. Not all those who thought poorly of Captain Thrawn, after all, were mem­bers of the Aristocra.

At the moment, Ba’kif didn’t care about any of them. He’d found the first half of the why.

Now there was only one person he trusted to come up with the other half.


Head to for the full excerpt.



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Josh is a huge Star Wars fan, who has spent far too much time wondering if any Star Wars character could defeat Thanos with all the Infinity Stones.

Josh Atkins

Josh is a huge Star Wars fan, who has spent far too much time wondering if any Star Wars character could defeat Thanos with all the Infinity Stones.