Dark Force Rising (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Dark Force Rising (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy #2)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  26,244 ratings  ·  427 reviews
The dying Empire's most cunning and ruthless warlord -- Grand Admiral Thrawn -- has taken command of the remnants of the Imperial fleet and launched a massive campaign aimed at the New Republic's destruction. With the aid of unimaginable weapons long hidden away by the Emperor on a backwater planet, Thrawn plans to turn the tide of battle, overwhelm the New Republic, and i...more
Hardcover, 439 pages
Published February 1st 1993 by Turtleback Books (first published 1992)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Did it take me two books to realise that Zahn can't write worth a damn. Ok, no, that took about 50 pages but these novels are apparently so important to the Star Wars expanded universe and so beloved of EU fans that I wanted to give them a fair shot. I enjoyed Heir to he Empire well enough as setup, even if its characterisation was crooked and its plotting a little unadventurous. However, Dark Force Rising takes whatever potential the series may have had and murders it brutally with a lightsaber...more
4.5 stars. The Thrawn Trilogy, of which this is the second book, set the standard for "non-canon" star wars books and is still among the best in that group. This is a great universe (i.e., star wars) written by an excellent author (i.e., Zahn). The result is a very good read.
Dark Force Rising, the sequel to Heir to the Empire, continues the new Star Wars saga. The action of this book centers around the titular Dark Force, the Katana fleet, a group of two hundred capital ships that were lost in the blackness of space when their crews all went insane simultaneously (due to a hive virus). The New Republic and the Empire both want the Katana fleet, as the extra two hundred Dreadnoughts may turn the course of the war. Meanwhile, Leia Organa Solo continues to investigate...more
It took me 20+ years to get to this highly regarded Star Wars series, but I'm enjoying it. Some of it is hokey and contrived, some of it is brilliant and inspired, and some of it just seems a bit dated, thanks to Episodes I-III.

Zahn is a solid writer and he's created an action-packed space opera that would be terrific on the big screen, even though Disney would have to re-cast the main roles. The new characters that Zahn has introduced in the first two books of this trilogy have actually been be...more
Ben Dutton
I’d been reading children’s stories I should have read when I was eleven: Sherlock Holmes, Jules Verne’s adventures – when I came across, in storage, the books I was reading when I was eleven. In fact, Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy, appeared the year I turned eleven, and at that age I thought it excellent – so much so I kept buying Star Wars novel right through until 1996, hoping each time that they would be as good as Zahn’s original trilogy. They never were. They say you should never go back:...more

Dark Force Rising follows the structure of the original Star Wars trilogy, as the resurgent Empire forces led by Admiral Thrawn go on the offensive, the Alliance heroes go each on his / her own quest, and in general things get complicated in a way that will set up a big confrontation in the last book of the series. Luke meets the wild Jedi Master C'Baoth on his own turf, Leia does a an interesting sidequest on a planet with a grave ecological problem (reminding me a bit of Dune and Paul At...more
Executive Summary: Not as good as the first book, this was still another enjoyable entry in this series.

Audio book: Marc Thompson once again gives a stellar performance. Add to that the sound effects and music and audio is the only way to do this book in my opinion.

Full Review
Empire Strikes Back is probably my favorite Star Wars Movie. So could the middle book of this trilogy top the original as well? No it couldn't.

I found the middle of the book particularly slow, especially Leia's storyline....more
I don't usually read books in a series so close together like this unless I'm really enthralled. This is one of those rare occasions where that isn't the case. I like the first one just fine, but not so much I was really invested in the story to the point where I felt like I had to just keep reading.

No, I was afraid I'd never finish if I didn't make it a point to. I hope to do the same with my reading of the third book as well. You know, read another book, maybe two, then come back to the third...more
Nov 28, 2008 Ron rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ron by: Wendell Andrea
Okay, not as good as the first of the series,and of course it suffers the middle story's inevitable lack of clear opening and closing, but still a credible effort.

The quality of the cover art took a nose dive, but that's not Zahn's fault. The Budget at Bantam must have taken a hit. they claim Tom Jung made both, but they sure don't look it.
Loved this trilogy when I was 12- again, Zahn really is the best Star Wars book writer, with the possible exception of Aaron Allston, but that's just 'cause he's funnier.
Crystal Starr Light
"We who remain must stand together against those who would destroy everything"
Book two in the thrilling Thrawn Trilogy! (Who woulda thought that a C'baoth clone would get the title of this review!!)
The Empire may have been foiled, but only just barely. And now things get worse as Admiral Ackbar, member of the Inner Council, is accused of treason. Han and Lando go to attempt to sniff out the source; Luke discovers that a Jedi named C'baoth may have escaped the Jedi Purge, and Leia goes to meet th...more
Maik G.
In Dark Force Rising, Timothy Zahn continues the spectacular story he began in Heir to the Empire, while upping both the intrigue and action of the incredible story arc.
The stakes are higher than ever. Grand Admiral Thrawn's first puch against the New Republic was unsuccessful, but the victory wasn't nearly one-sided. Treachery and political infighting threatens to tear the government apart. As Han and Lando fight to clear Admiral Ackbar's name of treason, Leia races to an alien planet to try to...more
Paul Luttor
This review applies to all three of the Thrawn Trilogy novels

It might not be entirely fair to these books that I first started reading them expecting them to be masterpieces (touted by more than a few people I know as the very best of Star Wars EU fiction), because to be quite honest, I was more disappointed than I was impressed with them. I say that this might not be fair because in reality, they aren't that bad; the plot is certainly interesting enough to hold your attention, especially if you...more
Allen Reeves
This review applies to all 3 books in the series.

There are some stories that are best told as books, some that are best told as movies. When I think of a story best told as a book I think of Dune since despite two large scale attempts neither one (for me at least) captured the magic of the book. Star Wars is a story best told in a visual medium and that is the biggest limitation of these books. They cry out for a different presentation.

I don't want to read about X-Wing fighters, force lightening...more
Feb 07, 2014 Rob rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for post-"Jedi" closure
Shelves: science-fiction, 2014
Same review for all three: I grew up on Lucas' film trilogy; it took on a certain mythological quality. Say what you will about Lucas: I won't apologize for this enjoyment. When the first horn blasts of that John Williams score strike, I wear that nerdy shame with all of its lightsaber-wielding pride.

And Zahn pulls off a follow-up trilogy just well enough to pass. We get some closure on the whole Han/Leia thing, we see how well the fledgling Republic fares, watch Luke struggle through his on-goi...more
Lynne Stringer
Given the difficulties of writing a book that falls within a particular framework, such as the intricate and often specifically directed world of Star Wars and its primary characters, I feel that Timothy Zahn has done well.
I liked this book better than the first book in this series, but not as much as The Last Command, which is my favourite of the three of them. Dark Force Rising was entertaining and kept me reading (I do tend to get bored easily, so making me turn the page can be quite a feat!)...more
Robert King
‘Star Wars Dark Force Rising’ by Timothy Zahn is a decent Science Fiction book which follows the Star Wars expanded universe timeline.
The book is all about how an Imperial Grand Admiral named Thrawn attempts to defeat the New Republic through his military cunning and tactics in the Star Wars Galaxy. In the midst of this, the Dark Force fleet, a long lost fleet of spaceships, is found by a smuggler named Talon Karrde, with both the Empire and the New Republic attempting to convince Karrde to hel...more
"Dark Force Rising" continues the magnificent story of Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy, with more brilliant escapades, stratagems, and encounters, especially the movie-like space battle at the book's climax, which has a most surprising ending. Following the time-honored trilogy format, Zahn makes things tougher for the heroes in this second volume and goes more in-depth with his already excellently developed characters, especially his three creations: Thrawn, C'baoth, and fan-favorite Mara Jade.
Christopher Rush
As far as middle sections of trilogies go, this is a good entry on the whole. The slow sections in the middle are not nearly as tedious as they could be, though one gets the feeling even Zahn lost interest in the whole "Leia and the Noghri" subplot (I'm still not sure how the "decon droids both decontaminate the land but only make the land fit for the fake kolm-grass except they are designed to poison the fake kolm-grass" thing works). The title is mildly clever after all, both for the Katana fl...more
(Note: I listened to the audiobook version of this, which is super high production value with tons of sound effects and largely hides the poor writing of Zahn...he is not a good writer)

I'm giving it 3 stars since at this point I have finished the entire trilogy and this is the weakest of the 3. But it's definitely worth reading if you're a Star Wars fan.

This trilogy is seriously fun. I jumped on this book right after reading the first book (literally stopping mid-run and starting the new book wh...more
Zahn's villain is only one of the pieces that make this trilogy great, and that's fantastic for how strong a book this is. Thrawn is, finally, a villain with a brain, a villain who doesn't look at a situation and say, "Hmm, this would be better if I monologued about all my plans to the hero." This is a guy who I totally buy mucking up the galaxy.
Another super strong piece is the development of Leia's relationship with the Noghri and her discovery of what they are and what their history is. Zhan...more
Another of the legendary Thrawn Trilogy, Dark Force Rising does a good job of feeling like a fun Star Wars adventure. Zahn does a fantastic job of writing a book that looks and feels like it definitely happened in the Star Wars galaxy.

The plot is a bit tighter this time around, focusing on a race for the Dark Force. There's only one point near the end that felt rushed: the Coral Vanda, where Han and Lando look for Hoffner. The rest moves at an excellent pace.

In particular, I enjoyed Leia's work...more
Warren M.
The Thrawn trilogy, especially when applied to the Jar-Jar Binks era of Star Wars, shows the fans exactly what an epic Star Wars trilogy can be. Kudos to Zahn for expanding the Star Wars universe while maintaining fidelity to what should be kept sacred.
S.J. Pajonas
this book is slow to start but by the time you are in the last 1/3 it picks up pace and gets really good. still the writing is really transparent, but i didn't really expect that to change from the first book :)
Daniel Judge
The second book in a trilogy must be tough to write. As a writer, you want to move the story along, while providing action and suspense, yet keep the epic moments for the last book. I wanted to give this book 4 stars; I really did. I found the end of the book enjoyable, but the middle 300 pages tended to drag along. I'm hoping the last book in the series makes reading this book worth it.

My favorite quotes:

1. "I don’t think anyone ever goes into a war without the nagging feeling that there might...more
-Continuación de los desarrollos de Star Wars bajo franquicia.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Una flota imperial al mando del almirante Thrawn, cuya relación con el perturbado maestro jedi C´baoth es cada vez más inestable, prepara un ataque sobre una zona del planeta Myrkr con la intención de capturar a Talon Karrde, que en este momento se encuentra en compañía de Mara Jade. Luke intenta reparar su caza en medio del caos generado por el ataque imperial a la estación Sluis Van y con...more
Eirik Hafskjold
I was indeed entertained. The story introduced and set up in 'Heir to the Empire' really gets going in this one. The new characters introduced last time, like Jade, Kaard, Pellaeon and C'Baoth gets more depth and purpose and I like where it all is going. It still feels like proper old-school Star Wars and the narrative really oozes of love and attention to the details that made the original trilogy so fantastic. Cool locations and cool story-lines. I ended up liking what Leia and Chewie were up...more
Jay Daze
Like nearly all adventure/action stories the success depends largely on the villian. Thrawn - I assume an original creation by Zahn (rhymes!) -- is a great, smart, cool headed villian. An answer to the mad cackling idiots who couldn't scheme their way out of a paper bag. He is billed as a tactical genius and while there are some leaps of logic, I'm more than willing to go along with it. Will listen to the next one soon.

A fun story and a good audio production - even if I'm not a fan of all the s...more
Eric Farr
This is a solid continuation of the trilogy. It maintains the explosive action and tight pacing of the first book, while continuing to build on themes of legacy and inheritance and redemption. Luke, Leia, Han, and Lando all get moments to shine, while Zahn's new characters like Karrde and Jade and Thrawn are developed even further. In fact, Zahn's Noghri proved to be a highlight of the novel to me. He develops a fairly convincing culture: tribal, hierarchical, honor-bound, and focused around pro...more
This is the second book in the series featuring Grand Admiral Thrawn. Now all the main characters in the series have been introduced, its time to concentrate on the story. The Dark Force is a set of ships, not a bunch a dark side jedi's. The story is essentially a race to see who can get to the prize of a large number of ships that could swing the direction of the war from one side to another.

Some of the new characters are fleshed out more. Primary is Mara Jade. Her relationship with Luke Skywal...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Wraith Squadron (Star Wars: X-Wing, #5)
  • The Krytos Trap (Star Wars: X-Wing, #3)
  • Star by Star (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, #9)
  • Traitor (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, #13)
  • Dark Apprentice (Star Wars: The Jedi Academy Trilogy, #2)
  • Sacrifice (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, #5)
  • The Paradise Snare (Star Wars: The Han Solo Trilogy, #1)
  • Conquest (Edge of Victory, #1) (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, #7)
  • Refugee (Force Heretic, #2) (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, #16)
  • Ambush at Corellia (Star Wars: The Corellian Trilogy, #1)
  • Balance Point (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, #6)
Timothy Zahn attended Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1973. He then moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and achieved an M.S. degree in physics in 1975. While he was pursuing a doctorate in physics, his adviser became ill and died. Zahn never completed the doctorate. In 1975 he had begun writing science fiction as a hobby, and he bec...more
More about Timothy Zahn...
Heir to the Empire (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, #1) The Last Command (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, #3) Specter of the Past (Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn, #1) Vision of the Future (Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn, #2) Outbound Flight (Star Wars)

Share This Book