Writer Timothy Zahn brings his considerable talents to the Star Wars universe with this book and the two that follow it. I have read other non-Star Wars Zahn novels, including The Icarus Hunt and Cascade Point, and I believe he is at the top of his game in this exciting, character-driven story. In Heir to the Empire, Zahn has brought us one of the greatest villains in the Star Wars saga and, in my opinion, all of science fiction, and that is Grand Admiral Thrawn. This brilliant, cool, calculating, and unbelievably cruel fleet commander is second only to Darth Vader in my book of Star Wars baddies, and the series is worth reading for his presence alone. The plot is thick and very involving, and the author succeeds at keeping the reader on his toes at all times. The old Star Wars characters are back and as good as ever, and plenty of new characters make the galaxy that much more interesting. It's a shame this book and the other two aren't made into movies, for they could rival the original trilogy in story quality and entertainment. For anyone who is as big a Star Wars fan as I, this trilogy is definite must-buy.