Star Wars books reviewed

Star Wars books, by Michael A Stackpole, Drew Karpyshyn, Joe Schrieber and Karen Traviss reviewed.

Recommended Reading

Tassaa Bareesh, a matriarch in the Hutt crime cartel, is holding an auction that’s drawing attention from across the galaxy. Representatives of both the Republic and the Sith Empire are present, along with a Jedi Padawan sent to investigate, a disenfranchised trooper drummed out of the Republic’s elite  Blackstar Squad, and a my...

Star Wars: Hand of Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
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From Hugo Award-winning author Timothy Zahn, whose unprecedented bestselling trilogy continued the saga of George Lucas's blockbuster films and became a landmark in the history of science fiction publishing, comes a dramatic new chapter in the greatest science fiction epic ever told. Now Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo must battle to safeguard the fledgling New Republic from a dead Imperial warlord--and from itself. Once the unquestioned master of countless solar systems, the Empire is tottering on the brink of total collapse. Once commanding an invincible armada of Star Destroyers, its fleet has been reduced to a skeleton force. Day by day, neutral systems are rushing to join the New Republic coalition. But with the end of the war in sight, the New Republic has fallen victim to its own success. An unwieldy alliance of races and traditions, the confederation now finds itself riven by age-old animosities. Princess Leia struggles against all odds to hold the New Republic together. But she has powerful enemies. An ambitious Moff Disra leads a conspiracy to divide the uneasy coalition with an ingenious plot to blame the Bothans for a heinous crime that could lead to genocide and civil war. At the same time, Luke Skywalker, along with Lando Calrissian and Talon Karrde, pursues a mysterious group of pirate ships whose crews consist of clones. And then comes the most startling news of all: Grand Admiral Thrawn--believed to be dead for ten years--is reported alive. The most cunning and ruthless warlord in Imperial history has seemingly returned to lead the Empire to triumph. As Han and Leia try to prevent the unraveling of the New Republic in the face of this fearful and inexplicable threat from the past, Luke sets out to track down the rogue pirate ships. To do so, he will team up with Mara Jade, with whom he will share his growing mastery of the Force and the ever-present threat of the dark side. All the while, lurking in the shadows is the enigmatic Major Tierce, a disciple of Emperor Palpatine, sharing his long-dead master's lust for power, schooled in the devious stratagems of Thrawn himself, and armed with his own dark plans for the New Republic and the Empire.

"Timothy Zahn is one of the reasons why I read Star Wars novels, and his continuing storyline continues in these books and really makes you live the Star Wars universe. The bad guys are real bad guys, and you love watching them get deeper into trouble. The good guys are good guys, and you are on the edge of your seat as they face trouble and hopefully get out of it.If  you’re looking for good Star Wars, this is where you should go (though wait a little while and we’ll have earlier Zahn books reviewed and why you should read those ones first)." Fantasy Book Review

Star Wars - Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide by Daniel Wallace
Star Wars - Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide cover image

Set in-world, Star Wars: The Imperial Handbook shares the knowledge of a newly promoted Commander in the Imperial Military, providing a comprehensive overview of the Imperial war machine.

"This is the perfect present for fans of the original series, or those who enjoyed watching the latest movies and animated TV series on one of the most talked about science fiction franchises. Along with the information about the running of the Empire, Luke, Leia and Han have left notes that stop it from being too serious."

Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber
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In the time immediately following the destruction of the Death Star and the years between the Battle of Yavin and the foundation of the Rebel Base on Hoth, the Empire's grip on the galaxy has become an unyielding fist of retribution. Pressed into action by Emperor Palpatine, Imperial forces have stepped up efforts to hunt down and imprison Rebel sympathizers, shipping them off to newly formed detainment moons via huge prison barges. By necessity these barges are floating chambers of degradation and vice, notoriously unreliable spacecraft staffed by Imperial corrections officers whose cruelty rivals that of the inmates. The Imperial Prison Barge Virtue is hauling its load of prisoners, criminals and murderers, human and non-human, across the galaxy, when it breaks down in deep space. Soon after, the ship's warden discovers a derelict Star Destroyer, seemingly abandoned, and sends a boarding party to scavenge parts to repair the Virtue. Half of them don't come back. The ones that do are infected with a virus so deadly that within hours, it has wiped out ninety-nine percent of the barge's population. But for the handful of survivors -- two brothers, the Virtue's female chief medical officer, and a sadistic captain of the guards, along with a certain rogue smuggler and his Wookiee sidekick - the true horror is just begun. Because those inmates and guards who died of the virus don't stay dead...and when they come back, they're extremely hungry. Against their better judgment, the survivors take refuge aboard the massive creaking emptiness of the Destroyer, only to discover that its original population has not disappeared at all -- and that they've been waiting for them.

"The Star Wars universe offers rich source of material for any author willing to use it, and Schreiber has shown with Death Troopers that you do not need to be limited to the traditional Sci-Fi / Fantasy guidelines in order to make a Star Wars novel really work. While there are some big flaws, they are for the most part cosmetic and are overshadowed by some brilliant action scenes towards the end of the book. While this is a must read for all Star Wars fans, it can also be enjoyable for anyone who likes their horror set to moderate." Fantasy Book Review

Star Wars: New Jedi Order by Various authors
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Twenty-one years have passed since the heroes of the Rebel Alliance destroyed the Death Star, breaking the power of the Emperor. Since then, the New Republic has valiantly struggled to maintain peace and prosperity among the peoples of the galaxy. But unrest has begun to spread and threatens to destroy the Republic's tenuous reign. Into this volatile atmosphere comes Nom Anor, a charismatic firebrand who heats passions to the boiling point, sowing seeds of dissent for his own dark motives. And as the Jedi and the Republic focus on internal struggles, a new threat surfaces from beyond the farthest reaches of the Outer Rim--an enemy bearing weapons and technology unlike anything New Republic scientists have ever seen. Suddenly, Luke Skywalker; his wife, Mara; Han Solo; Leia Organa Solo; and Chewbacca - along with the Solo children - are thrust again into battle, to defend the freedom so many have fought and died for. But this time, the power of the Force itself may not be enough...

"The New Jedi Order, or more commonly referred to as NJO, was started. The brains trust behind the Star Wars novels decided it was time for a change, and the change would leave a lasting impression on the Star Wars universe." Fantasy Book Review

Star Wars: X-Wing by Michael A Stackpole
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Join the most elite fighting force in space on a do-or-die mission only the X-wings would dare to embark upon!

They are sleek, swift, and deadly. They are the X-wing fighters. And as the struggle rages across the vastness of space, the fearless men and women who pilot them risk both their lives and their machines. Their mission: to defend the Rebel Alliance against a still powerful and battle-hardened Imperial foe in a last-ditch effort to control the stars.

X-WING ROGUE SQUADRON

Its very name strikes fear into enemy hearts. So when Rebel hero Wedge Antilles rebuilds the legendary Rogue Squadron, he seeks out only the best - the most skilled, the most daring X-wing pilots. Through arduous training and dangerous missions, he weeds out the weak from the strong, assembling a group of hard-bitten warriors willing to fight, ready to die. Antilles knows the grim truth: even with the best X-wing jockeys in the galaxy many will not survive their near-suicidal missions. But when Rogue Squadron is ordered to assist in the assualt of the heavily fortified Imperial stronghold of Black Moon, even the bravest must wonder if any at all will survive...

"X-Wing: Rogue Squadron is really a gem of a book, and if you’re at all interested in reading more of the Star Wars universe, this is definitely one of the best places to start. Set so close to the end of Return of the Jedi, it’s a great jumping on point with a great story and a great writer." Fantasy Book Review

Star Wars: The Old Republic by Various authors
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3,500 years in the past of the far-away galaxy, when the Jedi and Galactic Republic clashed with the Sith Empire, smuggler Jet Nebula has stumbled across a treasure richer than he ever dreamed. The Hutts want to auction it to the highest bidder, be it the Republic or the Empire, both of whom hope to bolster their chances in the coming conflict. But the Sith are interested too, and they don’t bargain with anyone, the Jedi High Council is sending someone to investigate, a mysterious Mandalorian is chasing something connected to a long-forgotten crime, while a spy plays every side at once. What Jet has unearthed will surprise all of them, and leave none of them unchanged.

"All told this is one of the most solidly entertaining Star Wars novels I’ve read since Deathtroopers and a great stop gap for those who can’t wait to throw themselves into the world of The Old Republic." Fantasy Book Review

Star Wars - Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side by Daniel Wallace
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The Sith have existed in the galaxy for centuries, lurking, waiting for their chance to seize control. In his quest for domination, Darth Sidious tracked down five pivotal Sith texts written by his most powerful predecessors. Then, drawing on the knowledge within the compiled pages, he wrote a sixth text his own manifesto. Together, these documents shed light on the philosophy, achievements, and failures of the Sith Order.

"The artwork is great and again it’s the details that really make this book a treat to have in your collection. Couple this with The Jedi Path and you’ve got two very attractive tomes that are not only good reference books but there’s something appealing about owning something dressed as a genuine artefact that brings that far, far away galaxy into your home."

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Recommended reads by sub-genre

Select a sub-genre below to see which books we highly recommend.

High fantasy books
High fantasy

Fantasy set in an alternative, fictional world
Epic fantasy books
Epic fantasy

Fantasy with epic characters, themes, and plot
Heroic / Sword and Sorcery fantasy books
Heroic / Sword and Sorcery

Fantasy with heroic adventures
Contemporary / Urban fantasy books
Urban fantasy

Fantasy narrative with an urban setting
Historical fiction / Alternate history books
Historical fantasy / fiction

Historical fiction with fantasy elements
Parallel worlds.
Parallel universe

Fantasy set in parallel worlds
Science fantasy / Speculative fiction books
Science / Speculative

Draws elements from both science fiction and fantasy
Children's fantasy books
Children's Fantasy

Fantasy for ages up to 12
Young adult fantasy books
Young Adult

Fantasy for ages 12+
Adult fantasy books
Adult Fantasy

Fantasy for ages 18+
Dystopian fiction
Dystopian / Post-Apocalyptic

Fiction set in dark, nightmarish worlds
Image derived from Mark Lawrence's Emperor of Thorns book cover
Monarchy / Empire

Fantasy books with empires at their core
Gothic fiction books
Gothic Fiction

Fiction with elements of fear, horror, death, gloom and romance
Vampire fiction
Vampire Fiction

Fiction with vampiric characters
Werewolf fiction
Werewolf Fiction

Fiction with werewolf characters
Steampunk books
Steampunk

Fiction with steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology
Dragon fiction
Dragon Fiction

Fiction with the legendary, scaled, fire-breathing creatures
Fantasy books featuring dragons
Wizards / Magicians

Fantasy with wizards, witches, magicians, sorceresses...
Lore, Legend and Mythology
Lore, Legend and Mythology

Inspired by ancient folklore and mythology
Fantasy books featuring dragons
Military Fantasy

Fantasy books focusing on mailtary life
Praetorian cover image
Roman historical fiction

Explore the ancient Roman Empire
An image of Darth Bane, taken from the cover of a Star Wars book
Star Wars

Books exploring the galaxy of the ever-popular franchise
An image taken from the front cover of The Wind in the Willows
Animal fantasy books

Fantasy with sentient animals
An image taken from the front cover of Giant Thief.
The Thief / Assassin

Fantasy books starring the thief or the assassin
An image taken from the front of hush, hush.
Supernatural

Fiction exploring beyond the laws of nature
An image portraying manga art.
Manga

Japanese comic books and graphic novels
House of Small Shadows
Horror

Liked to be scared? These books will do that...
An image portraying comic fantasy.
Comic Fantasy

For the reader who loves to laugh
An image of J. R. R. Tolkien
Inspired by Tolkien

Love Lord of the Rings? Now try these...
The Time Traveller's Almanac
Anthologies

The best science fiction and fantasy anthlogies