What Does It Take To Be Queen of Naboo? (Star Wars: Queen’s Peril book review)

Padme fans have more reason to rejoice!

E.K. Johnston returns to the world of Naboo in her follow-up prequel (wrap your mind around that) to Queen’s Shadow. This time around, Johnston goes even deeper into the past to reveal more about the young Queen’s life, specifically how she became Queen of Naboo and how she developed such a close relationship with her first group of handmaidens.  The story is riveting, fluid, and clever and will appeal to Star Wars fans of all ages.

The cover to Queen’s Peril – thanks to the folks at Disney for letting me read a preview copy

It also answers many questions fans have probably wondered about.  Just as Queen’s Shadow covered the time between Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, this novel covers the time from before Phantom Menace through the end of the film – and a tad bit beyond (cryptic hint for which you’ll have to read the book).  It doesn’t dwell hardly at all on what happened in the film.  That’s covered already.  Instead it focuses primarily on the events leading up to the droid occupation of Naboo.  When it gets to events covered in the film, there are nods to the action happening on screen, but instead the book focuses on what we didn’t see.  And apparently there was plenty.

The droid occupation of Naboo

How come the Naboo didn’t resist the droid occupation?  Why didn’t Sashe and Yane go with the Queen when she escaped from Naboo?  What was behind some of the cryptic communications between handmaidens and Queen?  Johnston weaves such a rich narrative behind all of these things that it never feels forced or written just to explain some of the actions seen on the big screen.  She also adds depth to some of the other characters we don’t see on the screen – like how did Obi Wan and Qui Gon Jinn end up battling Darth Maul in the reactor chamber?  E.K. also made the lives of the handmaidens fascinating.  Who they are and how they ended up in service to Padme was all done exceptionally well.

Star Wars: Queen’s Peril is technically a YA book, written for the tween and teen crowds, but any Star Wars fan will be more than happy to read along and see the added depth and storytelling style E.K. Johnston continues to add to the Star Wars universe. If you’re a Padme fan, this is a must read.

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