(Note: This was originally published on 2/21/2019)
This is officially my favorite book of the year (so far). Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston follows Padmé and her loyal (and lethal) handmaidens from the last day of Amidala being Queen, through her first year as the senator for Naboo.
This book seamlessly blends the prequel canon, Padmé from the Clone Wars and other little canonical things into a wonderful adventure. We learn more about Padmé as a leader and her ideals on how the Republic should act. I think this is super important because though we hear a lot about Padmé being a leader and strong, we don’t often see it play out.
The key part of this book is the amazing detailing around the handmaidens. In the movies we know she has decoys, but in this book we learn so much more, not only about their skills, but about the handmaidens themselves. Sabé is sent on her own cool side mission, which is well-worth spending time on. We pretty much learn the handmaidens are like Agent Carter, they’ve weaponized everything from Padmé’s clothes to her hair pins, and they have a multitude of codes.
I feel like this book also drops a couple of really nice threads for potential stories in the future, and I really hope Johnston or someone else writes them. I think this is a really nice nod to the prequels and retcons a lot of little things that needed attention.
What you should drink with this: Hibiscus iced tea with a splash of lemonade
Who should read this: Padmé stans.
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