Star Wars: Queen's Shadow

352p. Disney/Lucasfilm Pr. Mar. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781368024259. POP
Gr 6–10—Johnston offers readers a plot-driven science fiction tale chronicling Padmé Amidala Naberrie's transformation from the Queen of Naboo to its representative in the Republic. Set after the events of Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace, this title follows Padmé as she takes on her role as Senator while navigating the perilous reality of politics in the glistening cosmopolitan capital of Coruscant. After an attempt is made on her life, she works together with her royal handmaiden, Sabé, to discover the culprit while being thrust into the spotlight during the start of her senatorial duties. Through diplomacy and courage, Padmé forges a new identity as a heroine beyond the queen's shadow. Young adults will find an iconic "Star Wars" novel that follows Padmé's rise within the Galactic Senate. Padmé discovers through wit and cunning that she can grapple with everyday responsibilities while overcoming personal and professional obstacles. Though the ending is a bit too convenient, this volume bridges the characters and elements of the prequels in a well-written adventure that fans of Johnston's previous titles will applaud.
VERDICT A fascinating perspective into the backstory of a beloved and well-known character within the "Star Wars" universe, this is a must-have for reluctant readers or for fans of the franchise.

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