Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by E.K. Johnston

Pub Date: April 5th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-368-07593-0
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm

Adventures continue in this follow-up to Star Wars: Queen’s Peril (2020).

With the tumultuous tides of war sweeping the galaxy, Senator Amidala and her former look-alike handmaidens grapple with their changing relationships as they embark on their own missions of politics, espionage, and self-discovery. After the Battle of Geonosis, Padmé Amidala returns to Naboo for healing and for her wedding. She has dedicated her life to serving others, but now she wants something entirely for herself—as well, of course, as Jedi Padawan Anakin Skywalker, the man she loves. However, the secret of their relationship weighs on her heart, and she struggles with how much to share with the handmaidens who once knew every facet of her life. Meanwhile, duty returns Sabé to being Padmé’s double, though she discovers the role may not fit her anymore. Back in the Chommell sector, Saché adjusts to the responsibilities of her own political career. Johnston delicately twists together multiple, disparate perspectives and drama with strong social and political themes, like colonization and community-led justice initiatives. The wider cast reflects a diverse galaxy, including one transgender and one nonbinary/genderfluid character (although their identities are explored through the gaze of cisgender characters, which detracts from the otherwise casual nature of their inclusion). This sequel builds on relationships established in the earlier books and demands familiarity with the events of Star Wars: Episodes I and II. A satisfying resolution models healthy boundary setting in loving relationships.

Cohesive and engaging.

(Science fiction. 12-18)