Grand Admiral Thrawn has discovered some weapons hidden away on a backwater planet. He plans to use them to wrestle control of the galaxy from the New Republic. Princess Leia is trying to elude kidnappers while bringing the Noghri, who are powerful enemies, to the side of the New Republic. Luke Skywalker is receiving summons from a new Dark Jedi, who desires to bring him over to the dark side.
This is the second book in the Thrawn trilogy, which takes place five years after Return Of The Jedi. It builds on the action and new characters introduced in Heir To The Empire. I enjoyed the development of Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, and Grand Admiral Thrawn. They are such unique characters that help balance out the characters we are already familiar with. Thrawn is incredibly good at reading people, and thinking strategically. These abilities are what make him such an excellent leader for the dwindling Empire. Talon Karrde is also intelligent. His intelligence is more about the information he gathers, knowing how to put it together, and how to benefit from selling this knowledge. Mara Jade is a powerful soldier that is working on her new role. She is conflicted about fulfilling the Emperor's dying wish that she kill Luke Skywalker.
I like the action of this series. This book continues the action and plot of the first book in a pleasing way. I like that the characters do not all rush into action all the time. Some of them are shown thinking strategically, and trying to use tactics to win, and not just relying on brute force. I did get a little annoyed at some points with Luke's naivete, but that is part of his personality, and it is balanced by the presence of more practical characters.
I would recommend continuing to read this series if you liked the first book. The second book keeps the plot moving, and will make you excited to read the last book in the trilogy.