Queen’s Peril Review

Queen’s Peril by E.K. Johnston details the events of Padme’s life leading up and into the events of The Phantom Menace. I have to say that I wasn’t too particularly thrilled with this novel in the beginning mainly due to having just read Master & Apprentice with Jedi’s and whatnot. However, it quickly settled into a rhythm that eventually made me want to learn more about Padme and her role as Queen Amidala of Naboo. I vaguely remember Padme having body doubles in The Phantom Menace and Queen’s Peril details how that came to be. Is the novel exciting with lots of breath taking action sequences to keep you on the edge of your seat? Hardly. But it does what it set out to do and that is to give us a glimpse of Padme herself, her handmaidens and of Naboo’s Royal Security Forces, especially Captain Quarsh Panaka. Since I’m only beginning my real adventure in to Star Wars, this is a good read to get whatever info I can.

The girl in the white dress was going to be Queen, and she was ready.

A lot of time will be spent in the first half going over how Padme’s handmaidens came to be. With each girl having been chosen possessing a skill that will compliment Padme in and out of the courts to protect her, I expected something far more intriguing than having to read about how each of them helps the queen gets dressed up each and every time. There’s a very small section dedicated to each of the handmaidens and how they came to be selected but it lacked depth. It would have been far more interesting in my opinion if certain scenarios were thrown at the queen and somehow the handmaidens came to her rescue utilizing their skillset. As it stands, it is more about the group sticking together and learning about each other, how they think, how they feel, etc. This just never materialized into anything exciting as each handmaiden basically blurred from one to the other. It’s definitely interesting to learn about these events for any fans out there but it doesn’t make for too exciting a novel.

Pacing also felt a bit weird. I was used to the slow pace but all of a sudden it felt as if the author needed to bring things to a close and start blending in events from The Phantom Menace. It literally felt as if the author had the freedom to tell whatever story she wanted to in the first half with Padme and her handmaidens but realized that the book is coming to an end and needed to wrap things up. Certain events that happened we were only told of the outcome and not how it had happened in the slightest. Maybe it was meant to be that way because the movie explains it better? I thought the events of Queen’s Peril would only lead up to The Phantom Menace but it actually included events in the movie as well.

Queen’s Peril is only interesting because Padme is such a central figure for the events to come. It was a good read to learn however much I can about core Star Wars characters but its just not a very exciting one.


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