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

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  37,903 Ratings  ·  743 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 June 1992)
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StianGunner The first book in this trilogy (Heir To The Empire) takes place 5 years after Return Of The Jedi, and this book takes place right after Heir To The…moreThe first book in this trilogy (Heir To The Empire) takes place 5 years after Return Of The Jedi, and this book takes place right after Heir To The Empire. So I would say aprox 5 years after episode VI.(less)
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Community Reviews

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The Force is stronger in the second book!


There's your twice of nothing. Enjoy it.

This second book is better than the first one, while I still considering quite relevant and important the first book, just lacking of a climax of my taste.

However, again, due that the novel was written several years before of that any happened before Episode IV, so it was great to watch all the details and planning done by Timothy Zahn, the author, about the Clone Wars and eve
Feb 24, 2015 Evgeny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
The second part of the trilogy picks up right where the previous one left. A minor battle is won by the good guys, but the war is far from over. Thrawn continues his relentless efforts to bring back the former glory of the Empire. This time his main problem is to find more fighter ships, thus the problem of the New Republic is to do anything to prevent him from getting any. The intrigues in the Republican Council do not make this task any easier.

The biggest discussion point would be characters.
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
Feb 21, 2015 Gavin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This second book in the Thrawn Trilogy was a slight improvement on the first. It had a bit more action and a tiny bit more humor.

The story continues on from where it left off in the first book. This time the main story arc sees the Empire and the New Republic in a desperate race to discover the location of the Dark Force, the Katana fleet of nearly 200 Dreadnoughts, that went missing under mysterious circumstances during the Clone Wars. The number of ships available could tip the tide of the wa
Feb 19, 2015 JAIME rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still needs more Lightsaber. I have a feeling the final book in this trilogy is going to be cracking!
Feb 19, 2015 Nathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't have a lot to say about this one. This book picks up where the first one left off. The characters really stay the same. Han is still too dry, overprotective, and worried. Mara Jade shows a lot of depth. Karrde is quickly becoming a great character with a lot of sarcasm. And Thrawn is almost too smart for his own good.

My favorite plot line was actually Leia's and I thought it was extremely fun to learn about her and the Noghri people. And the end was full of action that was fun and gripp
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.
The second book in the Thrawn trilogy picks up several weeks after the end of Heir to the Empire. Warning: spoilers for book one ahead. Thrawn has escalated his plan to the next stage, having successfully captured several of the Emperor's assets, including his very secret storage facility on Wayland. He also has the ysalamiri, strange creatures that project anti-Force bubbles, and which are very handy for dealing with Jedi. And of course, he's now after the infamous Katana Fleet, also called the ...more
Nov 20, 2011 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
Sep 21, 2014 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DARK FORCE RISING is centered around the katana fleet; the dark force, a fleet of abandoned dreadnoughts that could turn the tide of war.

The plot threads pull the reader in many directions yet all are easy enough to follow, including those involving lesser popular characters.

Secondary to the core plot is an element of political infighting within the New Republic that runs rife amongst its leaders who are under fire for seemingly aligning with the Empire.

Speaking of the Empire, its trickery is p
Jun 02, 2013 Algernon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

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
Feb 10, 2014 Ruel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
M Hamed
Dec 14, 2015 M Hamed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, star-wars
it would've been 5 stars ......if it weren't for this paragraph

Luke swallowed. Master Yoda had lifted his X-wing out of a Dagobah swamp once … but Master Yoda had been far stronger in the Force than Luke was. “Let’s find out,” he said. Taking a deep breath, clearing his mind, he raised his hand and reached out with the Force.
The walker didn’t even quiver. Luke tried again; and again. But it was no use. Either the machine was wedged too tightly against walls and ceiling to move, or Luke simply d
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
Alex Ristea
Another good entry into the Star Wars universe that I would recommend to anyone interested in the franchise.

Really, this is epic space fantasy. There are multiple POVs, the science is more akin to hand-wavy magic than anything else, and well, it feels like an epic fantasy that just happens to be zipping around the galaxy instead of the realm. Anyone care to argue about this?

Dark Force Rising has a bigger, more political story than other Star Wars and tie-in novels that I've read, and that's a hu
Emilia Barnes
Oct 23, 2016 Emilia Barnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, swashbuckler
This is so much fun to listen to on audiobook because the guy reading it can do all the voices!
Dec 31, 2015 Kelsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This second installment in the Thrawn Trilogy is a solid improvement over the first. As in Heir to the Empire, Zahn succeeds at giving us a feeling of the scope of the universe and balancing all of the locations, making them realistic and memorable. What makes this one better than the first is the quality of character development. Leia gets her own plotline as she investigates the Noghri homeland, much to Han's dismay. We finally get better backstory and motivations for Mara Jade and learn more ...more
Aug 18, 2016 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, this book was a good follow-up to the first book in the trilogy. It dipped a little in the middle. Han and Leia's back-and-forth "How do you feel, are you okay? Yes, but what about you? I'm worried, I sense something is wrong" banter got a bit old.

Lando Calrissian is still one cool customer. I could read an entire novel about him. (Or three, given that he has a trilogy.) The Karrde character started out strong in the first book, but now seems like a watered-down version of Lando.

I wave
Nov 28, 2008 Ron rated it liked it  ·  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.
Stephen Richter
Apr 02, 2016 Stephen Richter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The action picked up in the second installment in this trilogy that is no longer Star Wars Canon. The character C'baoth, crazy ass Dark Jedi Master, may become the default cosplay move for me. As always, the audio is filled with special effects which gives the tale that extra star in the rating.
Apr 22, 2015 Akshar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars-books
I can tell that this is following a certain pattern set out by the original trilogy and I do approve. Loved this book. Took a bit long to read it, might take longer with the next one too. Been occupied with studying and tv shows.
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.
Amy Sturgis
Alas, this novel is a study in Middle Book Syndrome.
Jul 27, 2015 Rusty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 17, 2016 Dani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am actually not sure how to review this. It completely failed to generate a response from me, both in a negative and a positive way. I think most of the reason for this is the fact that it is Star Wars and I really want to like it. But it just doesn’t stand up that well.

Although the majority of the characters in these stories were already established in the movie trilogy, some characterization/character development is still required to make this story a success. Zahn was faithful to the origin
C.T. Phipps
Feb 26, 2016 C.T. Phipps rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
Dark Force Rising is the sequel to Heir to the Empire, it's also the first Star Wars book I ever read. Dark Force Rising was pretty nonsensical to me the first time I read it but improved tremendously once I had a context for who Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, and Grand Admiral Thrawn were. It's one of the best Star Wars books ever written and I encourage anyone with a love for the setting to read it.

The premise of Dark Force Rising is a mythical two hundred Dreadnaughts, lost like the Flying Dutchm
Oct 20, 2016 Mac rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book more than the first one. I suppose that can be said for a lot of trilogies. The first book is a lot of set up and establishing new characters and the second book is more of a pay off. I don't have much to say about this book though. I think if I read this when I was in junior high school or high school I would have absolutely loved it. It's very simple and straight forward. There are only a dozen or so characters so it's very easy to keep track of everyone. There is a very nice ...more
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy (3 books)
  • Heir to the Empire  (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy #1)
  • The Last Command

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“Concentration, focus, long-term thinking—those are the qualities that separate a warrior from a mere flailing fighter.” 4 likes
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