The Last Command concludes the masterful Thrawn trilogy just as it began--with fantastic storytelling!
Picking up right where Dark Force Rising (Volume II) left off, this novel continues with the (very quickly) rising-to-power of Grand Admiral Thrawn. No longer a mystery, the New Republic is very aware of his presence and are in the middle of trying to figure out how to handle it. While the political maneuvers of Councilmen Borsk Fey'lya--from the previous volume--have sorted itself out, a security leak from within the Republic, called "Delta Force", seems to be supplying the Grand Admiral much needed intelligence. If this is bad enough, there is the new revelation that Thrawn seems to have in his midst the abilities to clone soldiers--and he has not wasted time in using this technology! In a desperate attempt to strike back at Thrawn, Han and Lando--with the assistance of Talon Karrde--are in the midst of trying to make, and then hold together, a weakly formed alliance of smugglers. Meanwhile, Leia is all alone in the heart of the enemies territory desperately trying to make a new ally that may change the tide of the war. On the other side of the galaxy, Luke and Mara are on a deadly mission ready to take the war directly to the enemies source--the cloning facilities. But standing in their way is the Mad Jedi clone, Joruus C'Boath...
In this concluding story, there are no significant characters introduced. It is now time to wrap up all of the loose ends.
While all three novels of this trilogy can be easily considered as one story, each volume has its own unique feeling and identity. In the beginning of The Last Command, we get the sense that Thrawn is in full control of his own destiny, and it is a matter of time before he attacks the heart of the Republic. In fact, he will focus on Coruscant early in this novel.
You may have noticed that Volume's I and II received a (slightly) higher rating than that of The Last Command. This is for one reason only. While the earlier editions have focused on the Grand Admiral, the climax of this story (and hence, the entire series) focuses on C'Boath--a character that, though well-developed--is just not that interesting. (At least when compared to Thrawn.) If there is a silver lining, the climax of this story (that does primarily feature C'Boath) is simply amazing storytelling. Timothy Zahn once again writes in a way that causes the reader to become entirely engrossed in the surroundings. Once things start to come to a head, there is no putting this novel down until it is over.
So, do not waste any time, and read the Thrawn trilogy now! I have read many Star Wars books, and I have not discovered another storyteller like Timothy Zahn yet in this genre. This trilogy is an excellent addition to George Lucas' universe and can tie up the Star Wars saga just nicely and conclude it in a satisfying way. However, as we know there are dozens of novels that have been written after this one and have continued the Star Wars storyline. While, the authors have used Zahn's characters, they are just not that compelling as in this series. In fact, Zahn ends this book with an obvious conclusion of what should come next. The following authors, however, do not make this obvious connection. So, when Zahn writes his next novel about six years later, Spectre of the Past, he straightens things out and moves the story back in line once more. In fact, I suggest you skip all of these other novels in between (based on the Star Wars timeline) and go directly to Spectre. After you read The Last Command, you will be wanting more! And this is the place to start.