Claudia Gray who wowed me with her young adult Star Wars novel, Lost Stars, returns to that galaxy, far, far away, this time centering on a story about Princess Leia Organa. Set twenty years after the destruction of the second Death Star at the Battle of Endor, and ten years before the events of The Force Awakens .
Leia is struggling to work within the government of the New Republic, as the two parties the Populists and the Centerists seem about to cause the government they created to fall. And there may be those within it that are working to orchestrate that.
With mentions of both Han (they are still married at this point) and Ben’s training with Luke (their son hasn’t fallen to the Dark Side yet), our rebel princess takes center stage in a story of political intrigue, and conspiracy with that undeniable Star Wars favorite.
At the book’s heart is the secret that Leia has kept from all but Han… That she is the daughter of Darth Vader. With a nomination from the role of First Senator in the offing her political enemies will use anything against her, what happens when her secret is revealed.
Intertwined with that story is the rumors of a paramilitary group training on the edges of the Outer Rim. But what appears to be just the work of some smugglers may be something larger, and more dangerous to the New Republic, than initially suspected.
Tying in elements we were introduced to in the latest film, as well as the Original Trilogy, Gray balances the action and the intrigue in a well-crafted tale. You know what the revelation of the paramilitary group will be, but the behind the scenes machinations of her political nemesis Lady Carise as well as Leia’s friendship with an enthusiastic Centerist, Ransolm Casterfo, make for an exciting tale, that sees the beginning of The Resistance.
Apparently, director Rian Johnson who is hard at work on Episode VIII, added some ideas to Gray’s already enjoyable tale, and once again, like all the new novels to date, it truly ties the films, television series, and comics into one new whole.
There are some great moments, and I like the nods and references to the new characters of the Star Wars cinematic universe, like Korr, ans Snap, but also love her interactions with Han, and seeing where there relationship is, and what happened after the events of Return of the Jedi, which are slowly being explored in this new canon.
Gray has crafted two incredibly enjoyable books, and may in fact be my new favorite Star Wars author. I’ll be looking forward to see if she returns to that realm again. She writes Leia incredibly well, and the whole idea of the secret of her father becoming public is handled so well, and of course it would have a huge impact on her political standing.
Something I never thought of, but of course, makes sense, and makes for yet another great new story in the new Star Wars tapestry that is being woven.
Check it out today!