Title: Queen’s Shadow
Author: E.K. Johnston
Series: Star Wars Disney Canon
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Young Adult
Narrator: Catherine Taber
Length: ~8 hours (400 pages)
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Source: Library (Libby app)
Written by the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Ahsoka!
When Padmé Naberrie, “Queen Amidala” of Naboo, steps down from her position, she is asked by the newly-elected queen to become Naboo’s representative in the Galactic Senate. Padmé is unsure about taking on the new role, but cannot turn down the request to serve her people. Together with her most loyal handmaidens, Padmé must figure out how to navigate the treacherous waters of politics and forge a new identity beyond the queen’s shadow.
I have always loved Padmé. I think she is an incredibly under-appreciated character, and i was curious to learn more about who she was before she got entangled with Anakin. I also have an extreme case of cover love for this book.
This book focuses on Padmé’s transition from queen to senator and how she must re-learn politics and protocol on the galactic level. The story focuses on her handmaidens and their evolving relationships. While I enjoyed learning more about Padmé’s intense friendships with her handmaidens, I was sometimes confused when the story changed narrators because they all had a similar voice, even if they had different motivations and desires.
This book was not particularly exciting. Early on in the book there is an attempt on Padme‘s life that is never fully explored. The politics were interesting, but not thrilling. Based on The Clone Wars animated series, I expected more drama from Padmé’s relationship with Senator Clovis. This story needed more action and a clear villain. Overall, I just wanted MORE.
I did enjoy the audiobook production. The narrator, Catherine Taber, voiced Padmé in The Clone Wars series, so that was a nice touch, along with the signature music and sound effects included in most Star Wars audiobooks.
I am still waiting for a story that does Padmé the justice she deserves. I hoped that would be this book, but it was not. This book explores the intelligent and compassionate sides of Padmé, but I want to see more of the fierce and fearless leader. However, I will be picking up Johnston’s upcoming prequel, Queen’s Peril, which publishes June 2. It tells the story of Padmé’s election to queen and leads into the events of Episode I. Maybe that will be the book I hoped this would be.