December 15, 2005

The Courtship of Princess Leia

This book, by Dave Wolverton, occurs about four years after "Return of the Jedi", so we're beyond the temporary alliance between Rebels and Imperials that occured mere days after the death of the Emperor in "Jedi" described in "The Truce at Bakura" and also through the year or so of events chronicled in the first eight books of theX-Wing series.

The focus returns to the major characters. We learn that Han and Leia have kind of gone their separate ways, not seeing much of each other. Leia is busy administering the New Republic, and Han is trying to figure out if he wants to be a big shot in the New Republic or a semi-respectable and very profitable smuggler. This changes when an important political power wants to cement their entry into the New Republic by marrying off one of their handsome princes to Leia. Han decides to kidnap Leia instead, and so you have your major plot point.

Meanwhile, Luke is starting down the path to restarting the Jedi order. He begins by trying to track down some of the history of the Jedi in the Republic, and his explorations lead him to a planet populated by lots and lots of weak dark-side force users ("witches") who threaten to overwhelm him. As these things go, Han and Leia end up on the same planet. Who woulda thunk it?

Ok, so besides the contrived plot, the lack of any real danger for the major characters, and the other typical flaws of the Star Wars genre (at which point 95% of typical sci-fi readers are already out), this one is probably as good as the X-Wing series, which puts it in the middle part of the quality scale for this series, with the Thrawn trilogy up on the top tier with precious little else. I like the part of the book that occurs on the dark-side planet. Han and Leia don't have much to do here but react to plot devices, but Luke is portrayed well in this book. I really like how Wolverton shows his growth since "Jedi".

Posted by Observer at December 15, 2005 06:54 PM
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