The Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy of books, by Timothy Zahn, is coming to an end this November with the release of Lesser Evil, the final chapter in the prequel story. The book comes out on November 16, and the marketing campaign is starting to ramp up, as StarWars.com released yesterday the first excerpt from the book, which sees Thrass meeting the title character at a party welcoming new members to the Mitth family.
Lesser Evil is the sequel to Greater Good, released earlier this year, and Chaos Rising, released last year. If you feel like it’s been too long since you read those, make sure to check out Kyle and James’ book discussions on Greater Good here and on Chaos Rising here.
Here is a chunk of the new excerpt, but make sure to head over to StarWars.com to see the full version, as well as listen to the excerpt in audio form:
Of all the duties foisted on low-ranking family members, Aristocra Mitth’ras’safis had often heard, the task of welcoming new merit adoptives to their formal rematching dinner was one of the worst. The newcomers were either highly skilled additions to the Mitth, in which case they tended to have an overblown opinion of themselves and their value; or they were freshly initiated into the Ascendancy military, in which case they were self-conscious and, well, extremely military. Nearly all of the blood, cousins, and ranking distants opted out of reception duty, leaving most of the burden to fall on Trial-borns and other merit adoptives, none of whom had enough pull to avoid it.
Which made Thrass a definite anomaly . . . because unlike practically everyone else in his circle of friends, he genuinely enjoyed the service.
Of course, he’d only been doing it for the past three years, and in that time he’d only welcomed eleven merit adoptives. Maybe after a couple more years the excitement of meeting and evaluating new people would fade and he would become as cynical and world-weary as everyone else.
But he doubted it. Every one of these people had been approved by the Patriarch’s Office, a fair percentage of them by the Patriarch himself, and Thrass liked to see if he could figure out what made each of them special in the family’s eyes.
This one, for example. The young man freshly renamed Mitth’raw’nuru was standing inside the reception room, looking around the walls at the Avidich landscape paintings and the corner statuettes representing or created by some of the ancient Mitth Patriarchs. To Thrass’s eye he looked just a bit lost, a fairly common reaction from someone who’d been rematched from a nondescript family on a minor world into one of the greatest of the Ascendancy’s Nine Ruling Families. Thrawn was wearing the uniform of a Taharim Academy cadet, which meant he’d been taken from his home directly to Naporar and then been brought here to Avidich for his welcome and orientation.
Thrass frowned. For new warriors it usually went the other way around, first to Avidich and then to Naporor. Apparently, someone in the family had wanted him signed into the Expansionary Defense Fleet as quickly as possible, before even his formal welcoming.
Hopefully, he wouldn’t look as intimidated in the heat of battle as he did in a grand Ruling Family reception room. The one common attribute of Ascendancy military types was their outward confidence.
The younger man turned as Thrass walked in through the archway. “Cadet Mitth’raw’nuru?” Thrass asked formally.
“I am he,” Thrawn said.
“Welcome to Avidich,” Thrass said. “I’m Aristocra Mitth’ras’safis. I’ll be guiding you through the various protocols that will fully and officially rematch you to the Mitth family.” He waved a hand to encompass the room. “And try not to be overwhelmed by all the fancy flourishes and curlicues. This reception room is also where dignitaries and emissaries from other families are brought in, and we like to make sure right from the start that they know who they’re dealing with.”
“I wasn’t intimidated,” Thrawn said mildly. “I was merely noting the unusual fact that the same artist who did three of the landscapes also created two of the statuettes. It’s uncommon for a single artist to excel at both artistic forms.”
Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil will be released on November 16, but is already available to pre-order here. Look forward to our review on that day too.