Book Spotlight: Queen’s Hope by E.K. Johnston

Welcome to book spotlight where instead of giving you another book review, I’m just going to talk about books I’ve read recently that I enjoyed. Prepare yourself for the fangirl gushing.

I’ve slowly been making my way through the Star Wars Disney canon books via audiobook. I’ve been listening to a lot around the Original Trilogy timeframe, but I jumped back to listen to Queen’s Hope by E.K. Johnston because I will forever stan Padme Amidala.

I’ve listened to all of E.K. Johnston’s books about Padme, and they never fail to impress and entertain. Queen’s Hope is no exception. In fact, it might even be my favorite since it gives us the wedding!

Yes! That wedding. The forbidden, secret wedding between Padme and Anakin. This book reveals all with all the details about them preparing for the wedding, designing the wedding dress, everything. Along with a lot of adventure and planet negotiations and all types of fun Star Wars-y things.

What I adore most about the Padme Star Wars books—other than the fantastic narrator, Catherine Taber, of course—is that they’re about more than Padme. They always include her handmaidens, even after they’re no longer her handmaidens. I love how involved they are in different ways when it comes to her wedding. One of them helps design the wedding dress. One of them is her decoy on Coruscant so she can have time away to get married. And more. It’s so fun and I love all the girl power and positive female friendships in these books.

This is such a fun Star Wars book, especially for fans of Padme and other female characters in the Star Wars universe. There are so many moments where Padme does or says something that make me think of Leia, which just shows how great the writing is and how much more can be included in the books than the movies show. Plus, Anakin is so dramatic and over the top about everything and it’s amazing.

My only hesitation is something that happens a lot with Star Wars books. When picking up this book to read or listen to, I want this book to be about Padme. That’s why I’m reading it. But this book randomly has chapters about other characters. Anyone from Shmi Skywalker to Yoda and Bail Organa to Sidious/Palpatine. I understand that every book is trying to tie together with the bigger universe of Star Wars and the movies, but it just throws me out of the story so quickly when it suddenly switches to a completely different point of view about events that may or may not be connected to the main plot. I love that we get to see the handmaidens. That feels like it fits with the story line and should be represented. But it’s all the other parts that I confuse me. What was the point of including Shmi’s perspective? Why do we need to know Sidious/Palpatine is trying to mess with people? This is information we already know if we’ve seen Star Wars movies. It’s not necessary for a book about Padme’s struggles to balance her public and private life as a senator. 

This doesn’t change anything about the book as a whole and I will 100% read anything else Johnston writes about Padme, especially if Catherine Taber continues to narrate the audiobooks.

~Thank you to the publisher for providing an early digital copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.~

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