Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Review: Queen's Peril by E.K Johnston

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Loving Padme never came easy to me. I'm a Leia generation fan. When I first say Padme in the prequels I was impressed with her presence, and her flashes of temper. After many repeat viewings I became more impressed with her, and fascinated by the handmaidens. The Clone Wars show gave fans more insight into Padme's skills as a senator and how her heart could be joined to a very problematic love.

I fully surrendered to Padme love in E.K.'s first Padme novel Queen's Shadow. With E.K. you get full handmaiden immersion and also facets of Padme's personality that aren't a direct reflection of her senatorial duties, or her relationship with Anakin. It's these  pieces of Padme that I connect with more than anything, and these parts of her I'm in awe of.

Queens Peril is a prequel of it's own. For new readers I would recommend reading this one first and then going on to Queen's Shadow.  For me reading this book was like sliding back into a happy cocoon. Many times while reading this I thought of the phrase " The company of women". Though much has improved in Star Wars over the years it's still a galaxy full of male stories.  With QP I felt such a contentment listening to the voices of these young women. Their personalities are so different but they all take their new responsibilities on with a strong sense of courage and loyalty. The main challenge they all face as handmaidens is not losing themselves while the give all in service to their Queen. 

The community these women build with Padme is the crux of this book and also their response to the first major threat to the Queen's rule. Johnston knows the prequel trilogy well. There are lots of little story threads she adds that play directly into events in The Phantom Menace.

I devoured this book in a day, and found it immensely satisfying. Even knowing where the events of the story go after the end of this book I still found myself sad to leave the world. The cocoon of friendship and courage that these young women live in. I was also left with a strong desire for E.K to write Mace Windu and Yoda again, she has a few pages of interaction with them that is such a fresh take on their friendship and the little games Yoda uses as teachable moments.


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