Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Release Date: June 2, 2020
Publisher: Disney Lucas film Press
Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction
When fourteen-year-old Padmé Naberrie wins the election for Queen of Naboo, she adopts the name Amidala and leaves her family to the rule from the royal palace. To keep her safe and secure, she’ll need a group of skilled handmaidens who can be her assistants, confidantes, defenders, and decoys. Each girl is selected for her particular talents, but it will be up to Padmé to unite them as a group. When Naboo is invaded by forces of the Trade Federation, Queen Amidala and her handmaidens will face the greatest test—of themselves, and of each other.
E.K. Johnston's first Star Wars young adult novel, Ahsoka, hit #1 on the New York Times best-seller list, and the companion to this book, Queen's Shadow, debuted at #4 on the New York Times best-seller list in March 2019. Queen's Peril is the prequel to the novel Queen's Shadow, further exploring the life of the iconic Padmé Naberrie Amidala. To put it in further perspective, the events in this novel take place after Master and Apprentice and includes parts of the film, The Phantom Menace.
Even though most people were annoyed with Jar Jar Binks for his over the top theatrics, it was characters like Queen Amidala, Qarsh Panaka, Senator Palpatine, Qui-Gon, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobhi that won me over. It was the villainous Darth Sidious and his apprentice Darth Maul. It was the little boy who would grow up to become Anakin Skywalker as well as his mother Shmi. But, now, readers get an inside look into Padmés hand picked handmaidens Eirtama, Suyan, Sasheh, Rabene, and Hiyon.
Captain Panaka finds a group of girls each with different personalities. Amidala’s handmaidens were each chosen due to their abilities and the book goes through each of them to explain how and why they were picked. Padmes' intentions with her handmaidens are to have them protect her with there identities rather than using a blaster. The first handmaiden was Tsabin (Sabé). The Queen and Sabé reached a strong bond between the two sharing everything to understand each other. In fact, the two are near images of the other.
Four more girls had joined the Queen; Rabene (Rabé) Tonsort, a gifted artist and actress, Eirtama (Eirtaé) Ballory, a scientist and engineer, Sayan (Yané) Higin, a seamstress and maker, and Sashah (Saché) Adova the smallest one in the group. Each girl is as distinct as the skills she brings to the group. Their relationships are complicated and real. Captain Panaka is tossed into the deep end when it comes to dealing with a group of teenage girls; when he thinks he’s in control, he’s usually not.
The Phantom Menace is rehashed in the final 25% of the book but from a different prospective which I think most readers will find enlightening. Do you need to watch The Phantom Menace first? I think it's a good idea since much of the movie doesn't fit into this story. Especially the invasion of Naboo, Qui-Gon, and Obi-Wan fight with Darth Maul, and the final fight between Amidala's new allies and the Trade Federation.