Star Wars books are a fantastic way to read about the ever-expanding Star Wars Universe. You’ll be introduced to new characters and welcomed by familiar faces with this list of the best Star Wars books according to Goodreads data.
Where to Start with Star Wars?
If you’re new to the world of Star Wars books, you’ve come to the right place.
While the movies, TV shows, and comics are incredible, there are characters in the Universe fans didn’t get enough of, and that’s where the books come in!
Some are series all their own, introducing new characters set in times between Episodes. Others feature favorite characters like Ahsoka and Thrawn. A few novels focus on the formation of the New Republic, while others force you to watch the dark side grow strong.
Canon or Legend, emotionally charged or action-packed, there’s a Star Wars book for everyone.
Best Star Wars Books
Now it’s time to take a look at the best Star Wars books that every Star Wars fan should have on their reading list. This list was compiled using Goodreads ratings to judge which books readers enjoyed the most.
Some are standalone books, while others are series or trilogies. Everything is listed in descending order, saving the best for last.
13. Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy Trilogy
Kicking off our list of the best Star Wars books, we have the Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy by Timothy Zahn. The first novel is Chaos Rising which has a 4.25 average on Goodreads with nearly 10,000 ratings.
The Unknown Regions are dangerous, chaotic, and uncharted, but within it all lies the Ascendancy. The Ascendancy is home to the Chiss and the Nine Ruling Families, but their peace comes to an end after an attack on the capital.
With no trace of the enemy, the Ascendancy dispatches Thrawn, a young military officer that was adopted into the family of the Mitth.
As Thrawn searches for answers and uncovers truths, he begins to realize that this mission is not what it seems. The threat that’s looming is only the beginning.
12. Star Wars: Novelizations
Next we have the Star Wars: Novelizations. These books are novelizations of the Star Wars movies we’ve all come to love. The first book in the series is The Phantom Menace by Terry Brooks with a 3.61 average rating by over 17,500 readers.
In Naboo, Master Qui-Gon and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, are tasked to protect the young Queen while she seeks a diplomatic solution to end the siege of her planet.
On Tatooine, Anakin Skywalker is a slave boy who dreams of becoming a Jedi Knight so that he might free himself and his mother.
When the Jedi, the Queen, and the young boy meet, it offsets a journey that becomes legend. An evil legacy is stirring, the dark side of the Force is challenging the light, and only the Jedi stand between the darkness and the galaxy.
11. Star Wars: The Old Republic Series
Star Wars: The Old Republic Series is written by Drew Karpyshyn. The first book in the series is Revan and has a 3.98 average rating by over 17,500 readers on Goodreads.
Revan is a Jedi who sought to defeat the Mandalorians after leaving the Coruscant. After turning to the dark side, his new goal was to destroy the Republic.
The Jedi Council gave Revan redemption but erased his memories. Now all he knows are nightmares and fear.
He can’t remember what happened beyond the Outer Rim, but when he comes across a secret that could destroy the Republic, Revan must face a powerful enemy to stop what’s coming… or die trying.
10. Dark Disciple (Star Wars Disney Canon Novel)
Dark Disciple by Christie Golden has a 4.04 rating on Goodreads with over 18,000 ratings. It’s based on the unproduced scripts from Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Sith Lord Count Dooku’s efforts have grown more brutal in the war that rages across the galaxy. With casualties piling up and an order to massacre helpless refugees, the Jedi Council decide they must go after Dooku.
But Dooku is dangerous, so the Jedi Council pair Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos with Sith acolyte Asajj Ventress, bringing both sides of the Force together against the Sith Lord. While the Jedi do not trust the former assassin, Ventress’s deep hatred for her former master, Count Dooku, makes her willing to assist Von.
Ventress is determined to have her revenge, but as she and Von grow closer, worries begin to spread about whether their feelings for each other could compromise the mission.
9. Star Wars: The High Republic Series
Next on our list of best Star Wars book is The High Republic Series. The first book, Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule, has a 3.92 average across 18,300 readers on Goodreads.
This series takes place before the First Order, the Empire, and the Clone Wars.
Peace reigns across the galaxy as wisdom and strength are enforced by the Jedi. The Jedi are at the height of their power, and the free citizens look to them for safety.
But when a ship is torn to pieces in hyperspace and fragments emerge from the disaster, the Jedi must help restore balance. Even the Jedi have a limit, and this new task may be it. The warriors must trust the Force, for a tiny mistake could end billions of lives.
What the Jedi don’t know is that the hyperspace disaster is more sinister than they could ever imagine, with a threat growing beyond the boundary of the Republic.
8. Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn Duology
The first book in The Hand of Thrawn duology by Timothy Zahn is entitled Specter of the Past, with an average 4.01 rating with nearly 19,000 ratings on Goodreads.
The Empire’s reign of terror is seemingly coming to an end… but they have saved their most desperate and evil plan for last. Genocide and civil war could destroy the New Republic, but with Grand Admiral Thrawn rising from the dead to lead the Empire, their long-prophesied victory may come true.
Han and Leia race to fight against a threat from inside the New Republic and one from outside forces. Meanwhile, Luke and Mara Jade use the Force to track down a crew of clones. But will it be enough?
With the Empire and the New Republic distracted, a new and dangerous threat looms, ready to destroy them both.
7. Aftermath Trilogy
The next book on our list of best Star Wars books is Aftermath by Chuck Wendig, the first book in a trilogy. It has a 3.28 average rating across 30,000 readers on Goodreads.
With the Empire in a critical state, the Rebel Alliance advances by hunting for the enemy’s scattered forces, who are beginning to strike back on the remote planet Akiva.
Pilot Wedge Antilles can only watch as Imperial Star Destroyers circle the planet. He is taken captive before he can alert the New Republic.
On the planet, rebel fighter Norra Wexley has returned to retire from fighting and reunite with her son. But when she intercepts Wedge’s distress call, she must return to battle.
The Imperial elite are converging to rally a counterstrike, but Norra and her allies will do what they must to end the Empire’s reign of terror and bring peace to the galaxy once more.
6. Bloodline (Star Wars Disney Canon Novel)
Bloodline by Claudia Gray is a Disney canon novel that focuses on the birth of the Resistance. It has a 4.07 average rating on Goodreads with nearly 22,000 ratings.
After the Rebellion defeated the Empire, Leia Organa expected peace. But with so much infighting within the New Republic Senate, peace seems far off.
Senator Leia must do what she can to protect the fragile democracy from inside and outside forces. The galaxy is still in chaos, and the senators are requesting the election of a First Senator, a person who will project hope and leadership across a divided galaxy.
Leia is the daughter of Darth Vadar, which breeds distrust for the idea of a single person in a powerful position. But when a new enemy surfaces, Leia may have to take this position of power and face the mysterious threat.
5. Lost Stars (Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Next on our list of the best Star Wars books, is Lost Stars by Claudia Gray. It has a 4.28 average on Goodreads from over 24,000 readers.
Aristocrat Thane Kyrell and villager Ciena Ree both love to fly. As the Galactic Empire reach the Outer Rim, they enroll at the Imperial Academy together to become fighter pilots. But as Thane witnesses the horrors of war, his dream of flying sours.
Angry at the sight of the horror the Empire inflicts, Thane joins the Rebellion. Ciena must then choose between her loyalty to the Empire and the man she loves.
On opposite sides of the battle, will Thane and Ciena find a way to be together, or will their duties turn them into enemies?
4. Ahsoka (Star Wars Disney Canon Novel)
Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston has an average 4.07 rating with over 29,500 ratings on Goodreads. This novel is perfect for fans of the dual-saber-wielding Jedi.
What happened to Ahsoka after she left the Jedi Order and before she reappeared as a Rebel operative Fulcrum?
After the devastation of Order 66 and her experience with the Order, Ahsoka is no longer interested in being part of a collective.
But her desire to fight and her desperation to protect those who cannot defend themselves is strong. This need leads her straight to Bail Organa and the Rebel Alliance.
3. Star Wars: Darth Bane Trilogy
The next series on our list of best Star Wars books is the Star Wars: Darth Bane trilogy by Drew Karpyshyn. The first book, Path of Destruction, has a 4.32 average with over 25,700 ratings on Goodreads.
Dessel’s life revolves around the abuse from his father and the danger of being a cortosis miner. He dreams of escaping as he excavates the rare mineral on the desolate planet. But after a high-stakes card game turns deadly, Dessel becomes a wanted man.
To outrun the Republic forces, Dessel finds himself in the ranks of the Sith army, joining the war against the Jedi. His command of the Force, his cunning, and his brutality earn him the title of a warrior and a new name: Bane. But his Sith commanders have greater plans for him.
To prove he has given himself over to the dark side, he must complete the trial by fire. To reach his potential, Bane must navigate the treachery of the Sith, defy sacred traditions, and forge a new era of dark power.
2. Star Wars: Thrawn Trilogy
Thrawn is the first book in the Thrawn Trilogy, written by Timothy Zahn and published in 2017. It has an average 4.29 rating with over 38,000 ratings on Goodreads. It does not contradict with its predecessor published in 1991, as this trilogy unravels Thrawn’s origins.
After being rescued from exile by Imperial soldiers, Thrawn quickly captures Emperor Palpatine’s attention. His ambition, cunning, and tactical abilities prove him to be irreplaceable. He is quick to rise through the ranks, as devoted to the cause as Darth Vadar.
But in the mix of all the fighting, Thrawn must grasp the concept of politics as administrator Arihnda Pryce could either be a powerful ally or a ruthless enemy.
When Thrawn becomes admiral, he must use every tool in his arsenal against an uprising that threatens innocents and the Empire.
1. Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy
At the top of our list of the best Star Wars books is The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn. The first book is Heir to the Empire, published in 1991. It has a 4.15 average on Goodreads with over 80,500 ratings.
Five years after the destruction of the Death Star and the end of Darth Vadar and the Empire, everything seems to be at peace. Leia and Han are married, expecting twins, and Luke is to be the first in a new line of Jedi Knights.
But then Luke Skywalker is sent a warning from a voice of the past.
On the outskirts of the galaxy, the last of the Emperor’s warlords have taken control of the Imperial fleet, and he has begun to enact a plan to destroy the New Republic.
13 Best Star Wars Books in Summary
Here is a wrap-up of our list of the 13 best Star Wars books!
Whether new or returning characters, each author brings a fresh perspective to the galaxy far far away. If you’re an avid Star Wars fan and are looking for books that expand the Universe, these books are for you.
- Heir to the Empire (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy – 1991) by Timothy Zahn
- Thrawn (Star Wars: Thrawn Trilogy – 2017) by Timothy Zahn
- Path of Destruction (Star Wars: Darth Bane Trilogy) by Drew Karpyshyn
- Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston
- Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
- Bloodline by Claudia Gray
- Aftermath (Aftermath Trilogy) by Chuck Wendig
- Specter of the Past (The Hand of Thrawn Duology) by Timothy Zahn
- Light of the Jedi (The High Republic Series) by Charles Soule
- Dark Disciple by Christie Golden
- Revan (The Old Republic Series) by Drew Karpyshyn
- The Phantom Menace (Star Wars: Novelizations) by Terry Brooks
- Chaos Rising (Thrawn Ascendancy Trilogy) by Timothy Zahn
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