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Queen's Hope

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Searching for hope in a galaxy at war . . . Padmé Amidala is a former queen, a current senator—and a new wife. But her marriage to Anakin Skywalker must remain a secret, since Jedi are not allowed to marry. And unfortunately for the newlyweds, they are rarely together, with Anakin on the front lines of the Clone War and Padmé fighting her own battle for peace in the Galacti Searching for hope in a galaxy at war . . . Padmé Amidala is a former queen, a current senator—and a new wife. But her marriage to Anakin Skywalker must remain a secret, since Jedi are not allowed to marry. And unfortunately for the newlyweds, they are rarely together, with Anakin on the front lines of the Clone War and Padmé fighting her own battle for peace in the Galactic Senate. Former handmaiden Sabé has returned to Tatooine to once again try to free the people enslaved there, but Padmé summons her to Coruscant with an urgent request. Padmé has to leave on a mission of utmost importance, and no one can know she's gone. Sabé is the only one who can convincingly take her place in the Senate for a long period of time. Sabé agrees, and her decision sets both women on a course that will force her to examine who they are, who they are not, and who they cannot be—and will forever change their futures.


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Searching for hope in a galaxy at war . . . Padmé Amidala is a former queen, a current senator—and a new wife. But her marriage to Anakin Skywalker must remain a secret, since Jedi are not allowed to marry. And unfortunately for the newlyweds, they are rarely together, with Anakin on the front lines of the Clone War and Padmé fighting her own battle for peace in the Galacti Searching for hope in a galaxy at war . . . Padmé Amidala is a former queen, a current senator—and a new wife. But her marriage to Anakin Skywalker must remain a secret, since Jedi are not allowed to marry. And unfortunately for the newlyweds, they are rarely together, with Anakin on the front lines of the Clone War and Padmé fighting her own battle for peace in the Galactic Senate. Former handmaiden Sabé has returned to Tatooine to once again try to free the people enslaved there, but Padmé summons her to Coruscant with an urgent request. Padmé has to leave on a mission of utmost importance, and no one can know she's gone. Sabé is the only one who can convincingly take her place in the Senate for a long period of time. Sabé agrees, and her decision sets both women on a course that will force her to examine who they are, who they are not, and who they cannot be—and will forever change their futures.

30 review for Queen's Hope

  1. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Queen's Hope is a YA-Star Wars Canon novel mainly following Senator Padme Amidala. To put it in timeline perspective, this novel falls concurrently with some of the events of Attack of the Clones and directly thereafter. This is also a time of upheaval in the galaxy as the Clone Wars are raging. Padme and Anakin have decided to take their relationship to the next level, even though they have to keep it 100% secret. They are a committed to one another, completely in love and want to make that commit Queen's Hope is a YA-Star Wars Canon novel mainly following Senator Padme Amidala. To put it in timeline perspective, this novel falls concurrently with some of the events of Attack of the Clones and directly thereafter. This is also a time of upheaval in the galaxy as the Clone Wars are raging. Padme and Anakin have decided to take their relationship to the next level, even though they have to keep it 100% secret. They are a committed to one another, completely in love and want to make that commitment binding. There's no doubt there will be some challenges, but they really want to give it a try as husband and wife, so they do. The honeymoon period is but the blink of an eye, however, as Anakin, a Jedi Knight, is called forth to actively fight in the Clone Wars. Padme's involvement in the Wars is more subtle, but no less important. In fact, as Padme is prone to do, she ends up getting herself way more involved in the political investigations than the average government official would; as in willingly puts herself in harms way. During the time Padme is off on a secret mission, one of her most loyal and best handmaidens, Sabe, takes over the role of Senator Amidala. Sabe makes her own discoveries during her time posing as Amidala. The halls of leadership aren't as copacetic as they would lead you to believe. And of course, looming quietly on the fringes of this narrative is Chancellor Palpatine, like a dark cloud hovering over a picnic. I enjoyed this novel quite a bit. In a way, it felt like I was adding some behind-the-scenes substance to the content I have previously read and watched. That's always what I am looking for with Star Wars novels and why I continue to pick them up. I love the feel of continuously building-out this world that has been a part of my life for practically my whole life. Before I started really getting into Star Wars novels, it was just a fun, nostalgic movie and t.v. franchise that I enjoyed. Having the boosted content of the novels has elevated my fan status to a whole new level. If you enjoy Star Wars films, or any of the t.v. shows, or comics, I highly recommend checking out some of the Canon novels. In my opinion, you can really start anywhere, pick a timeline era you find interesting and just dive in! I personally have been absolutely loving all of the content that has been released over the past few years. There's a great list of contributing authors and the stories are so well done! Padme is a fascinating character to me, so I have loved having this trilogy from E.K. Johnston. It has really enhanced my understanding of her, particularly being able to see and understand her relationships with her handmaidens in a different light. I was slightly disappointed that we didn't get to see more of Padme and Anakin's relationship in this one, but I do understand they really didn't have much of one at this time, due to them both being pulled in different directions during the Clone Wars. So, it does make sense, but I still would have liked to have gotten a little more of them together. Overall, I think this is a great book. The audiobook is freaking fantastic, with the sound effects included really adding to the intensity. You can't go wrong with Star Wars audibooks!! 10/10 recommend that format. Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney LucasFilms Press and Disney Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I had a blast with this one and look forward to more Canon content in the future!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Khurram

    A good book. This has been my faverite book of the trilogy. I like how the characters have grown, how they fit together and apart. This book is set during the begining of the Clone Wars. Right at the start of Padme's secret marriage to Anakin. It is different to seeing yhus from Padme's perspective. Padme has always had to keep secrets not she has to keep them from the people closest to her. An interesting dynamic. Though I have found these book a bit on the slower side this really eorks for this A good book. This has been my faverite book of the trilogy. I like how the characters have grown, how they fit together and apart. This book is set during the begining of the Clone Wars. Right at the start of Padme's secret marriage to Anakin. It is different to seeing yhus from Padme's perspective. Padme has always had to keep secrets not she has to keep them from the people closest to her. An interesting dynamic. Though I have found these book a bit on the slower side this really eorks for this book in particular. Especially the growth of the characters. The handmaidens were not just body doubles for Padme, there were closer yo her then her family, and now I see them all choosing their own paths. The book also gives insight into the web cast by Palpatine. His political manipulations, ruthlessness and patience for the long game. Turning every outcome to his advantage. Finally some great extra passages on the women's legacy for Leia in both nature and nurture.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Eva B.

    Clone Wars-era Padme novel? YES PLEASE.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Happy, happy sigh! I was so delighted when I found out that there was going to be a book about Padme, and that it was going to be written by my friend Kate, one of the most passionate Star Wars fans I know! And then we ended up with a TRILOGY! (So fitting!) A trilogy of books about the badass queen-turned-senator and her equally badass handmaidens! I loved this one in particular, giving us some romance, some fashion, some action, and some Wookiees . . . also, an unexpected Baby Shark reference! A Happy, happy sigh! I was so delighted when I found out that there was going to be a book about Padme, and that it was going to be written by my friend Kate, one of the most passionate Star Wars fans I know! And then we ended up with a TRILOGY! (So fitting!) A trilogy of books about the badass queen-turned-senator and her equally badass handmaidens! I loved this one in particular, giving us some romance, some fashion, some action, and some Wookiees . . . also, an unexpected Baby Shark reference! As well as a glimpse into the lives of some of the other boss women of Star Wars, which I just could not love enough!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kels

    i received an ARC from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. guys, this is the anidala book i’ve wanted my whole life. the fact that it has taken so long for us to get one is crazy but i’m so thankful it’s here nonetheless. padmé and sabé are the standouts, as they should be. i loved each and every one of the new characters that were introduced along with all the appearances of characters we know and love. this is by FAR the best book in the trilogy. be sure to get it on tuesday as it, and i received an ARC from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. guys, this is the anidala book i’ve wanted my whole life. the fact that it has taken so long for us to get one is crazy but i’m so thankful it’s here nonetheless. padmé and sabé are the standouts, as they should be. i loved each and every one of the new characters that were introduced along with all the appearances of characters we know and love. this is by FAR the best book in the trilogy. be sure to get it on tuesday as it, and the rest of the trilogy, are so worth the read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    3.5 Stars I enjoyed some of the scenes in this one, but it was hard not to compare it to Brotherhood which takes place during the same period but is so much stronger. This is worth reading if you love more time between Padme and Anikan, but it does not add much to the larger story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lily Quinones

    I don't even have to tag this for spoilers because absolutely NOTHING happened. In Queen's Shadow, I got to learn more about Padme's struggle with settling into the Senate and how she adjusted to that. In Queen's Peril, I learned about the beginning of her reign as queen of Naboo. In this, absolutely NOTHING happens until the last third of the book and it amounts to nothing. It doesn't change anything about what we all know will happen in Revenge of the Sith. So why does this book exist? I really I don't even have to tag this for spoilers because absolutely NOTHING happened. In Queen's Shadow, I got to learn more about Padme's struggle with settling into the Senate and how she adjusted to that. In Queen's Peril, I learned about the beginning of her reign as queen of Naboo. In this, absolutely NOTHING happens until the last third of the book and it amounts to nothing. It doesn't change anything about what we all know will happen in Revenge of the Sith. So why does this book exist? I really don't know. I'm tempted to say that it exists because of one scene where Johnston shoves her politics into this book. I think it's great when the LGBT community gets representation, even if I'm not a part of it, but this was easily just Johnston putting in representation and doing nothing with it. There is now a transgender clone trooper named Sister. She exists in one scene and NEVER appears again. It felt so forced and amounted to nothing. It was just another filler scene in this filler book. This scene does do one thing: it takes the crown of cringey writing from George Lucas and props it nicely on Johnston's head. Please read: "The Jedi are all about transcending things," Anakin said. "I don't think we can complain if you've transcended gender." This is a 19 year old sheltered boy with anger issues. Leave your politics out of his mouth. Speaking of Anakin, Johnston does NOTHING with Padme and Anakin's relationship, except make me hate both of them more. I love both of them as characters but she somehow made this stale relationship even worse, when she could've expanded on it and fleshed it out more. (That's basically the premise of this book; she could've fleshed out characters but spent more time describing Padme's outfits and inserting her ideas of representation). In the last few pages of the book, Padme even ADMITS that she just loves the thrill she gets when she's with Anakin, all the sneaking around and how they're basically living a holodrama or whatever she calls it.. WTF??? I know that's very realistic for people to get attached to other people based solely on emotion (which is hardly a healthy foundation for a relationship) but now you've condemned Padme to this childish mindset? You could've had their relationship make more sense and you ruined it even more. I last read Queen's Shadow a little less than two years ago and I remember loving Johnston's more simple yet vivid writing style. However, spending time away from her writing and reading other books (and also reading tips on writing for Instagram) made me realize how mediocre her writing actually is. I think she spends a lot of time describing clothes rather than expanding on internal monologues because she doesn't really have much else to write for the characters, which is something she should've worked on. She writes too many dialogue tags rather than just letting the characters go back and forth naturally. Those are my main initial thoughts. I may add more later but honestly I really wanna be done with this book that just spits in the face of Star Wars. I did like how she concluded Sabe and Padme's relationship in the end (without going into spoilers) but I wish more of this substance had been included in the rest of the book. There's too many POVs for there to really be time to spend with Sabe and/or Padme-I'd even say you get less of them as MCs than in the previous books, which is odd considering Padme's face is literally on the cover. I was SO excited when I saw this on the shelf. I loved Queen's Shadow (Peril, not as much) and I was looking forward to the conclusion. Unfortunately, Johnston really failed to deliver-this was a massive train wreck and I honestly don't know how she accomplished that. To conclude my review, I had seen another review talking about Johnston being racist and I did some research into it and honestly, finding the stuff she has written on Twitter has made me very wary and disappointed in her behavior. I already bought Ahsoka, but I honestly feel uncomfortable reading it or supporting her in any capacity while she continues to behave this way. But even if she didn't act that way, this book would be enough to turn me off from her other works. Take this as you will, but I encourage you to do your own research and come up with your own conclusions.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Actual rating is a 3.5 Queen's Hope begins near the end of Attack of the Clones and stretches into the Clone Wars. One of my favorite things about the story was seeing how Padmé has changed since earlier books. She's distanced herself from her friends and staff in order to keep her relationship with Anakin a secret. Watching Padmé try to continue doing good in a galaxy at war made for a compelling character arc. I loved getting to see Anakin through both (view spoiler)[Padmé and Sabé's perspectiv Actual rating is a 3.5 Queen's Hope begins near the end of Attack of the Clones and stretches into the Clone Wars. One of my favorite things about the story was seeing how Padmé has changed since earlier books. She's distanced herself from her friends and staff in order to keep her relationship with Anakin a secret. Watching Padmé try to continue doing good in a galaxy at war made for a compelling character arc. I loved getting to see Anakin through both (view spoiler)[Padmé and Sabé's perspective. Some of the interactions of Sabé-as-Padmé and Anakin made me laugh out loud, which was some much needed levity in this story. (hide spoiler)] Queen's Hope was a solid conclusion to Johnston's Padmé trilogy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Khoury

    As a huge fan of Queen's Shadow and Queen's Peril, I was THRILLED to have the chance to read an ARC of Queen's Hope. E.K. Johnston did an incredible job fleshing out Naboo culture and tradition and breathing life into the Queen's handmaidens in the first two books. I was so excited to see how the full decoy switch would work in the Senate. Unfortunately, where the first two books had the advantage of peaking behind the scenes into large moments of Padme's life that weren't already depicted, Quee As a huge fan of Queen's Shadow and Queen's Peril, I was THRILLED to have the chance to read an ARC of Queen's Hope. E.K. Johnston did an incredible job fleshing out Naboo culture and tradition and breathing life into the Queen's handmaidens in the first two books. I was so excited to see how the full decoy switch would work in the Senate. Unfortunately, where the first two books had the advantage of peaking behind the scenes into large moments of Padme's life that weren't already depicted, Queen's Hope struggles to bring find space between the events of Episode II and The Clone Wars series where we see Padme take on countless risky solo missions on behalf of the Senate. At the end of the day, Queen's Hope seemed to struggle to bring anything new to Padme's story. The storyline with Sabe was definitely interesting, but I had hoped to see something new in Padme's life. To fill the space between Padme and Sabe's narratives, Johnston makes the risky move of jumping into the minds of various key characters from the greater Star Wars universe. Imagine a Star Wars greatest hits playlist that jumps from Anakin Skywalker, to Bail Organa, to Yoda, to Darth Sidious himself still playing the role of Chancellor Palpetine. This for me, was a risky move, as these are beloved familiar characters with their own unique complex motives and background that include distinct speech and thought patterns. In the earlier books, Johnston seemed to take immense care in distinguishing between the narratives of Padme and each of her handmaidens, so I had hoped other characters would receive the same treatment. Unfortunately though, these moments from outside perspectives really disappointed and fell flat for me. One example, Yoda and Jar Jar have incredibly iconic and distinct speech patterns but seem to tire of them mid-way through the page and begin speaking as the other characters do. *Note: I did read an ARC, and do not know to what extent dialogue may have been changed before final publication.* I acknowledge that this novel is geared towards a young adult audience, but the characters are adults, and part of a beloved science fiction pantheon. They should speak like adults. Some of the phrasing and dialogue seemed incredibly juvenile and immature for the key players in an intergalactic war. Maybe its just me and I should read Star Wars books aimed at older audiences, but this doesn't seem to be a problem in the other YA Star Wars books coming out. All in all, I will read every Padme Amidala adventure that Disney cares to create, but Queen's Hope seemed rushed and careless. I DNF'ed it pretty close to the end. Queen's Shadow remains my favorite of the series and I will probably never tire of re-reading it. Thank you to Disney Publishing Worldwide and E.K.Johnston for the Netgalley e-ARC.

  10. 4 out of 5

    TheGeeksAttic

    Star Wars : Queen’s Hope was written by bestselling author E.K. Johnston. This YA novel is published by Disney-Lucasfilm Press. Queen’s Hope is the final Padme book, in the YA series. SUMMARY: Padme and Anakin are in love. They want to live a life of secrecy and risk by fulfilling their personal desires by committing themselves to each other in marriage. This is forbidden in the Jedi Order, but it’s a risk Anakin is willing to take. When they return to Coruscant the first true test of how they wi Star Wars : Queen’s Hope was written by bestselling author E.K. Johnston. This YA novel is published by Disney-Lucasfilm Press. Queen’s Hope is the final Padme book, in the YA series. SUMMARY: Padme and Anakin are in love. They want to live a life of secrecy and risk by fulfilling their personal desires by committing themselves to each other in marriage. This is forbidden in the Jedi Order, but it’s a risk Anakin is willing to take. When they return to Coruscant the first true test of how they will maintain their relationship begins. Anakin is shipped out to fight in the Clone Wars and Padme goes on a secret mission behind Separatist lines. OVERALL THOUGHTS: The Padme trilogy, is one the most bizarre trilogies we’ve had. One book was a retelling of The Phantom Menace through a different perspective. One book jumps back in time as Padme adjusts to being Queen, and finally we close out the trilogy with the start of the Clone Wars. Padme is tired of serving others before herself. She does like being a servant of the people, but she also wants to fulfill her own desires. When facing death on Geonosis, she realized the love of Anakin Skywalker, is just what she needs. Padme touts that she handles aggressive negotiations. In this story, she has no fear, but she risks exposing so much, with her decision to go on a secret mission. There is something that felt off with this story, and that would be the timeframe. Little things don’t balance well with timeline of the relationship status between Anakin and Padme. This book suggests they had a lot more time together than what we witnessed in Attack of the Clones. They knew so much about each other and how each other would react to specific things, it was strange. I’ve always felt that Padme’s character is mistreated. I don’t believe an author has truly been able to tap into the character and give her an appropriate story that feels realistic or isn’t full of cringey fluff. I really don’t think anyone knows how to write the character of Padme. She’s a senator, not a secret agent… or is she? She is treated like an errand-girl, doing work that she shouldn’t be doing. RATING: This book receives a D+. I really didn’t understand the point of telling this story.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Larson

    EK Johnston is a great writer and no disrespect to her at all. I don’t know what constraints were put on this story and what scenes were edited out. The love she put into this book is very apparent and appreciated, so please don’t mistake my displeasure as disrespect. I’m disappointed. Full review coming at Star Wars News Net soon but this character deserves more than another book filled with stitched together scenes and prequel shoutouts. There are some wonderful moments in this story, and Quee EK Johnston is a great writer and no disrespect to her at all. I don’t know what constraints were put on this story and what scenes were edited out. The love she put into this book is very apparent and appreciated, so please don’t mistake my displeasure as disrespect. I’m disappointed. Full review coming at Star Wars News Net soon but this character deserves more than another book filled with stitched together scenes and prequel shoutouts. There are some wonderful moments in this story, and Queen’s Shadow remains one of my favorites, but ultimately this novel feels more about the scattered people hovering around Padmé than Padmé herself. Anytime we get close to introspection or the emotional weight of Padmé’s new secret duality in her marriage to Anakin, the novel abruptly pulls back or shifts to another scene about a fleeting character, subplot, or verbose description.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tarria (sagittariadarkness)

    "For one of the few times in her life, Padmé Amidala had no idea what to do." First of all, the cover art is beautiful but misleading. That image of Padmé is from a deleted scene in Revenge Of The Sith yet this story takes place during and after the events of Attack Of The Clones, three and a half years prior to that. These books were obviously not planned as a trilogy. As I finished rereading Queen's Shadow, the beautiful epilogue broke me but all I could think of was how much more effective "For one of the few times in her life, Padmé Amidala had no idea what to do." First of all, the cover art is beautiful but misleading. That image of Padmé is from a deleted scene in Revenge Of The Sith yet this story takes place during and after the events of Attack Of The Clones, three and a half years prior to that. These books were obviously not planned as a trilogy. As I finished rereading Queen's Shadow, the beautiful epilogue broke me but all I could think of was how much more effective it could have been had it been placed at the end of this book instead, the final one in the trilogy. Of the three books, this one featured Padmé the least, maybe for like a third of the pagetime. Sabé and Saché have many scenes, plus there's a handful from Yané, Anakin, and Bail Organa's POVs - and unfortunately, Palpatine's. WHY WERE THERE SO MANY PALPATINE POVs??? They added absolutely nothing to the 'plot' except to hear him cackle over how clever he is and how great his plan is blah blah we know this already. "The list of things that Palpatine needed was long and incredibly secret" Wow, thanks for that very insightful piece of information.The multitude of POVs take up too many pages of an already very short book. Queen's Hope feels rather like an unfinished Clone Wars episode; think Dark Disciple but focused on Padmé. Those who have had the misfortune to endure my rants on the franchise will know that Amidala's episodes are *holds up hands some of my least favourite in the animated series, primarily for featuring too little politics (c'mon she's a senator!), too much cat-and-mouse front line Separatist hunting (again, she's a senator not a secret agent) and wayyy too much getting caught and almost dying until her darling hubby and/or his peers come to rescue her. Thankfully the adventure Padmé goes on in this book doesn't fall prey to these - actually, it was a good combination of action and politics, though the actual mission itself wasn't exactly intriguing. Plus there's no Anakin arriving last minute to swoop her up and play the hero. She actually saves herself in this one, just like in Geonosis. Spoilers-but-not-really-spoilers-since-we-all-know-what-happens-anyway ahead I already know I'm being generous with my rating due to my love for the characters and era. Plus it definitely helped that this was much better written than Queen's Peril. The many subplots actually concluded, no matter how seemingly pointless (Saché's chapters almost put me to sleep). Plus Anidala, so yeah. The first 20% of the book was heartwarming, reading about their wedding and the build-up to it. ""Do you think your father would show me how to make this sort of flower... thing?" Anakin asked. "When we visited him, I noticed his garden and how much you liked it. I know we can't do anything like that right now, but maybe someday?"" *cathartic fangirl screaming Unfortunately they're apart for the other 80% and only reunite in the last few pages. Anakin is used as a plot device in Sabé and Padmé's relationship, then conveniently disappears from the story (until the short but sweet ending.) Apart from the aforementioned parts, I'm struggling to think of anything else I actually enjoyed because the rest of the book was a bit of a hot mess, and most problems I have with it can be summed up in one scene; the first interaction in ten years between Sabé and Anakin. For ridiculous reasons, Padmé doesn't tell Anakin about the Sabé switcheroo. Words cannot describe how much I hate the miscommunication trope, but this also made Padmé seem incredibly moronic. And Dormé says she's supposedly careful when it comes to the secrecy of their relationship? She then compares Anakin to "a drunken gundark" in terms of subtlety. How does Dormé know so much about Anakin? He and Padmé literally only just got married and he went to war straight afterwards. We never see Padmé tell her about anything either. See, these are the kind of scenes that the book lacked. I really can't describe Padmé and Dormé's relationship outside of what's seen in Episode 2 and this was a missed opportunity to show some sort of trust, or anything else between them. So Anakin sneaks into Padmé's apartment in the middle of the night only to find Sabé sleeping in her place. Immediately knowing it's not his wife, he proceeds to choke Sabé - come on, he's met her before, wouldn't he have sensed who she was? And sure Anakin isn't the brightest crayon in the box but would he really give himself away that easily? The dialogue between the two gave the same vibe as that of a thirteen-year-old girl whining at her little brother for stealing the remote control to watch Looney Tunes this comparison is not supposed to be suspiciously specific in any way. ""Remember that Padmé is fighting this war, too. She's going to do things differently than you, and she has to act like she's a normal senator. You don't keep secrets very often, and that's how you are, but Padmé's life and work is secrets. Can you respect that?" "I'm trying," Anakin said. "I like it when everything is straightforward."" He was choking her a few minutes ago and now he's accepting her talking down like he's still a little kid? The entire conversation is nothing but childish and doesn't in any way convey the betrayal and fear felt on Sabé's part or the shock on Anakin's. That's essentially the rest of the book too. Characters do dumb things for plot reasons and behave like children. Several characters make the exact same kind of jokes. Star Wars has crap dialogue but I've never seen it this juvenile. Maybe it would've been acceptable in Queen's Peril when they were young teens but these are sophisticated grown women talking now. It's jarring. The writing was a step up from the previous book in the trilogy, but it still needed a lot of work. "Her heart cracked in her chest" "A smile played on her lips" Please no. I suffered enough of this at the pen of SJM. "With his arms around her, he could almost reach her bare feet" - uh? Just how long are Anakin's arms if he can do that??? ""Thank you, Captain," Padmé said. "I really do feel kind of gross."" Can anyone actually imagine these words coming from Padmé Amidala??? Also, if I see another character say "sh**" in these books I'm gonna blow. Really, how hard is it to use kriff or stang instead? ""And then Geonosis happened, and then -" "And then you got married," Sabé said. She tried not to sound judgmental, but it was a challenge." The Tusken Raider incident is brought up by Padmé to Sabé in an abrupt manner, and she says admirably that it's proof of Anakin's "strong sense of justice" - what? And here I thought Johnston was finally going to properly discuss the elephant in the room. Sabé is naturally shocked (finally someone is), but because she's still blinded by her jealousy (more on that in a bit) her reaction seems more petty than anything else. The ending of the book made me nothing short of angry. We all knew that Sabé and Padmé were going to part ways eventually, but here we find out that they sever their bond over ANAKIN. No, seriously, this strong, powerful female friendship is tossed aside because of a GUY. Wow. Bechtel test, anyone? Sure Sabé says Anakin is only one of the reasons, but it's made only too obvious that she's jealous of him. They even argue over it, and Sabé tries to make Padmé choose between them. Also this: "And now he was grown, a Jedi Knight, and connected to Padmé in ways that Sabé feared were deeper than he had admitted to. Maybe she was jealous. But she wasn’t wrong." See? Now, it's been a while since I picked up the Darth Vader 2020 comic run, but I specifically remember (view spoiler)[Sabé seeming shocked at the revelation of Padmé having a child with Anakin (hide spoiler)] . This doesn't make much sense any more after what we learn in this book. "You don't exactly have to be here either," Tonra reminded her. "We're both here because we left something undone and we want to try again." While it was great to see Sabé finally embrace herself as a person and not just as the Queen's Shadow, it still felt like she had no personality outside of it. Freeing the slaves was Padmé's wish after all, not hers. Even at the end of their relationship, she's doing Amidala's work for her. Also, Sabé and Tonra's relationship is incredibly boring. Is it platonic? Is it romantic? Doesn't matter because Tonra is such a tool. He's there to help Sabé on Tatooine and nothing else, and when she's away she doesn't seem to think much of him at all. On the contrary, Padmé behaves and thinks more like a lovestruck schoolgirl than a newlywed senator; giggling over the 'thrill' of her little tryst - really? ""You told me once that when you gave your heart to someone, it would be a disaster," Sabé reminded her. "I should have known you weren't exaggerating."" I feel like I should address some of the problematic aspects of this book, the Queen's Trilogy as a whole and its author. However I'm not sure I'm the right person to do that, so I instead advise anyone who might be interested to do their own research and decide for themselves whether this author is worth their support. Finally, there are these interludes placed throughout the novel that are supposedly tributes to the women of Star Wars. I originally loved the idea of this, and the beginning chapter with Shmi Skywalker was great. But I'm still confused at the choice of their placements in the story. Why does the final book in Padmé's trilogy end with a chapter on Breha Organa? Also I originally thought there were only tributes to Prequel-era women, yet Leia is there? She was literally a newborn at the end of Episode 3. ""My hands are yours," she said. "Please don't ask me for them again."" 2.5 stars. _______________ Pre-review Whyyy is this taking so long to come out I mean we finally get to see Anidala in a canon novel so plz just give it to me rn

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bianca

    After the gift that was Queen's Shadow and Queen's Peril, the brilliant E.K. Johnston gives us Queen's Hope. I've talked about this before, but I think Johnston's strength in this series is twofold: smoothing out gaps in cannon and giving us incredibly vivid characterizations for the handmaidens. This book is incredibly successful in what it is building to. Looking back at it, it's less a conclusion and more of a prelude to Padme's life in the Clone Wars show and Ep. III. I don't think folks goi After the gift that was Queen's Shadow and Queen's Peril, the brilliant E.K. Johnston gives us Queen's Hope. I've talked about this before, but I think Johnston's strength in this series is twofold: smoothing out gaps in cannon and giving us incredibly vivid characterizations for the handmaidens. This book is incredibly successful in what it is building to. Looking back at it, it's less a conclusion and more of a prelude to Padme's life in the Clone Wars show and Ep. III. I don't think folks going into this hoping for everything to feel like the last book in a trilogy will feel fulfillment. Instead, I think if folks go in thinking about this as setting the stage for what comes next in cannon, they might feel more fulfillment. If you wanna feel some Leia feels, this is for you. The book ends on a hopeful note, despite all this. Again, I don't think folks going into this wanting joy will be happy. I don't think any book that takes up two characters recovering from capture and battle, and in the midst of a war, will be able to tactfully weave a story that leaves readers with joy. I think it did what it needed to to bridge Padmé between AOTC and ROTS. And I think in that, it was successful. We know where all the players are on the table, and most readers know where they're going after this. I think this is masterful writing for what had to be traversed and I dearly hope Johnston gets to write more Sabé and handmaidens. Ultimately, I will see this as a love letter to the women of the prequels, and the mothers who had an influence an Leia, the beacon of hope herself, despite early deaths.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine Marie

    Just found out there’s going to be another Padmé book!!! AAAAHHHHH

  15. 5 out of 5

    K

    Quite honestly, I've read fan-fiction about Padmé that was better than this canon entry. Quite honestly, I've read fan-fiction about Padmé that was better than this canon entry.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Drea

    For a world created in a Galaxy far far away, Star Wars has always felt small in its inclusion of diverse people and experiences. In this book, as throughout the entire trilogy E.K. Johnston makes it a point to continuesly expand the Star Wars universe with beautiful and diverse characters. Beyond the representation in this book, we also have a story that shows us the strengths and weaknesses of endless hope. Padmé is a character that lacks no hope, and works her hardest to bring it to the darkes For a world created in a Galaxy far far away, Star Wars has always felt small in its inclusion of diverse people and experiences. In this book, as throughout the entire trilogy E.K. Johnston makes it a point to continuesly expand the Star Wars universe with beautiful and diverse characters. Beyond the representation in this book, we also have a story that shows us the strengths and weaknesses of endless hope. Padmé is a character that lacks no hope, and works her hardest to bring it to the darkest corners of the galaxy. She sees the good in everyone, and loves with her entire heart. That is what makes Padmé wonderful, it is also what blinds her. Throughout the story we continue to get glimpses of how dark Anakin truly is. He loves Padmé but his twisted sense of justice and willingness to react with violence are also at display. Padmé best friend Sabé brings to light these issues. (view spoiler)[ She also questions Padmés own willingness to marry Anakin after he massacres the tuskans (hide spoiler)] Padmés willingness to love unconditionally blinds her to the real dangers of Anakin Skywalker, even when her best friends bring attention to them. I really enjoyed this book. As with all books in this trilogy, it isnt about the action, but an exploration to the unique character that is Padmé and the political machinations of Palpatine. Just a beautiful story that completly displays Padmés complexity and grandeur. TW: Toxic relationship, war, violence, manipulation.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Arezou

    “Begun, the Clone War has” might be an ominous way to declare the galaxy at war, but what does that actually look like? This is a question that Queen’s Hope attempts to address. Whether it succeeds in the endeavour, however, will depend entirely on what you expect to get out of the novel. The story begins in the first few days after the battle on Geonosis (aka the end of Attack of the Clones) with a certain senator and a certain soon-to-be Jedi Knight sneaking off to Naboo for a beautiful sunset “Begun, the Clone War has” might be an ominous way to declare the galaxy at war, but what does that actually look like? This is a question that Queen’s Hope attempts to address. Whether it succeeds in the endeavour, however, will depend entirely on what you expect to get out of the novel. The story begins in the first few days after the battle on Geonosis (aka the end of Attack of the Clones) with a certain senator and a certain soon-to-be Jedi Knight sneaking off to Naboo for a beautiful sunset wedding ceremony. But with war spreading across the galaxy, Anakin and Padmé don’t get to spend much time on their honeymoon before duty calls them back to the capital and away from each other. While Anakin is deployed to the front, Padmé is pulled into a political investigation that requires her specific skillset: namely the ability to be in two places at once. Though her handmaidens from her days as queen have all moved on to their own ventures, Padmé calls her onetime decoy Sabé to ask for her help. I had certain expectations of Queen’s Hope going in. I thought, based on the timing of the story, that it would be an account of the early days of Padmé and Anakin’s marriage. I also thought, after casting so wide a net in Queen’s Peril that the story might narrow down and refocus on Padmé once more. For better or worse, neither of my expectations were met. In terms of a refocused story, Padmé is out of the book more than she is in it. She is “present” in the sense that she is on the minds of all the other characters, and their feelings for her is what motivates their actions - Sabé in particular. That, I could understand, because of what a large role Sabé played in Queen’s Shadow, but when the focus is pulled from the primary character to focus on another former handmaiden whose mission is tangentially related at best, that is where my frustrations really set in. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the political intrigue as a whole. That plus Sabé’s ongoing mission to free slaves on Tatooine - with the help of an unexpected ally - were the highlights of the book, and showed an interesting, quieter side of the war. But while the events themselves were interesting, three books in I’m not sure I know the characters any better than I did after book one. Each interaction between Padmé and her former handmaidens has a particular quality to it, where the writing tries to convey a long history between them that works to mixed effect. Oftentimes, tough conversations are simply not had because the women say all they need to say with a look. I understand between old friends, sometimes things do not always need to be spoken, but in holding the reader at arms length like this, it does very little to endear us to these women and to their friendship. As far as the wedding goes, it’s over fairly quickly. Padmé and Anakin spend most of the book apart, and when they are together they don’t particularly act like madly-in-love newlyweds. I understand the idea is they don’t know each other well, but neither of them seem all that interested in getting to know each other either. It was hard to know what to expect going into the third and final Padmé novel from E.K. Johnston. On the one hand, I greatly enjoyed Queen’s Shadow for what it did in showing us a post-Phantom Menace Padmé first entering the political sphere. On the other hand, Queen’s Peril did both too much and not enough with its premise and left me feeling a little confused. Now, at the close of this Padmé-centric trilogy, I think I am forced to admit that as much as I adore this character, these books simply weren’t for me. Queen’s Hope is available April 5, 2022. Special thanks to Disney Books for the advance copy for review purposes.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    this book was torn between the author's opinions on the franchise and politics on the one hand and constraints placed by established canon and the Disney overlords only allowing minimal representation for the sake of brownie points. this book was torn between the author's opinions on the franchise and politics on the one hand and constraints placed by established canon and the Disney overlords only allowing minimal representation for the sake of brownie points.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Drew's ambitious reading

    I really enjoyed this book! It was a highly anticapited read for me so I was a little dissapoitned we didn't get too see more battles but overall it was full of policatics and love and it was a great star wars novel! I really enjoyed this book! It was a highly anticapited read for me so I was a little dissapoitned we didn't get too see more battles but overall it was full of policatics and love and it was a great star wars novel!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Klaudia Amenábar

    I’ve had the privilege of being able to read almost the entire Star Wars books and comics canon at this point, and I often say that my top tier is the Thrawn novels, the Padmé novels, and the High Republic. This novel is no exception. It’s a wonderful ending to a trilogy that has done the incredible work of trying to give so many women in Star Wars, not just Padmé, additional screentime and development. My jaw truly drops every time someone else is brought into play, and how it makes the univers I’ve had the privilege of being able to read almost the entire Star Wars books and comics canon at this point, and I often say that my top tier is the Thrawn novels, the Padmé novels, and the High Republic. This novel is no exception. It’s a wonderful ending to a trilogy that has done the incredible work of trying to give so many women in Star Wars, not just Padmé, additional screentime and development. My jaw truly drops every time someone else is brought into play, and how it makes the universe richer for it. It makes sense for these women to interact with and know each other and for their effects on different generations to be felt. Reading these books feels like someone really understands the full picture of Star Wars. Much like how the Clone Wars TV show was really about Ahsoka and the clones, this novel and trilogy was just as much about Sabé as it was Padmé, and the message for teens reading, or an adult like myself about determining who you are as an individual, and as a queer woman, was so wonderful to see in Star Wars. In general, the queer representation in the Padmé trilogy, and the High Republic, is astounding. This novel has Star Wars’ first canonical trans woman, and a trans woman of color at that. It also has other queer and trans characters woven into the story in a natural and interesting way. One of the things I loved in this novel was how when queer identity was brought up, it was a part of character or world building, for the character themself, someone around them, or an important part of Star Wars. It made it clear how queer identity can be used as storytelling and how queerness is inherent to Star Wars, something I loved dearly about another recent Star Wars YA favorite, Midnight Horizon. When gender was discussed, it was to give depth to clone or handmaiden identity, to show the development of the Jedi’s early relationship with clones, and to further develop this novel’s main question of what it means to be a handmaiden once you’re all grown up. Chosen names are reiterated as respected on Naboo, which reverberates throughout Star Wars to future generations of women like Rey, who is a descendant of Naboo herself. This is what representation is about - that identity is inherent to who you are and the world you inhabit, fictional or otherwise. There is just so much to love about this novel, and since I am currently reading the Star Wars (2020) comics run where Sabé appears in the time of the Empire with Vader, it made it all the more bittersweet. I could talk about this novel and its parallels to the High Republic for days as well. An all around wonderful end to a tremendous trilogy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sofia

    don't let the one star fool you, if I could give a 0 star rating I would. I knew I probably wouldn't enjoy this book from the start because I believe generally Ek Johnson is incapable of writing Padme. But I had already wasted time reading the other books so I thought to give it a chance in hopes that her writing had improved. spoilers: it hasn't As a book overall it has little to do with Padme herself. it's a pity because padme is a great character, kind and flawed, full of layers and she definite don't let the one star fool you, if I could give a 0 star rating I would. I knew I probably wouldn't enjoy this book from the start because I believe generally Ek Johnson is incapable of writing Padme. But I had already wasted time reading the other books so I thought to give it a chance in hopes that her writing had improved. spoilers: it hasn't As a book overall it has little to do with Padme herself. it's a pity because padme is a great character, kind and flawed, full of layers and she definitely deserves a book dedicated on her. Ek's trilogy is not it. if I could sum up Padme's characterization from this author's trilogy I would say: "Beautiful, kind but sad" because that's all Padme is, right? I also get the sense that the author doesn't even like Anakin. He's completely out of character along with Padme. You could replace their names with someone's else and nothing would change really. Would I recommend this book/trilogy? No. I can only see people who found padme "pretty" in the films and wanna self insert themselves enjoying this book. But if you actually love the character I'd suggest you to head to other books and comics that do thousand times better job.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jena

    2.5...maybe rounded up to 3 because of my Padmé bias, although this novel featured the least Padmé despite being her series. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the purpose of this book. The first in the trilogy was showing Padmé's transition from queen to senator, while the second went back to show us how she became queen. I think this book ostensibly is here to wrap up the handmaidens' stories and show us how they moved on with their lives, but it doesn't feel fully-fleshed out. Instead it 2.5...maybe rounded up to 3 because of my Padmé bias, although this novel featured the least Padmé despite being her series. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the purpose of this book. The first in the trilogy was showing Padmé's transition from queen to senator, while the second went back to show us how she became queen. I think this book ostensibly is here to wrap up the handmaidens' stories and show us how they moved on with their lives, but it doesn't feel fully-fleshed out. Instead it mostly plays out like watching characters going on random adventures. Not to mention we're muddled down with the occasional random chapter from Palpatine, Anakin or Yoda. Enough of that, they've got their own books this one is for the sapphic pining. gtfo with your male perspective - except the cameo by Dexter Jetster, that can stay. Also, this series has really given Padmé's political abilities the spotlight and yet here, in arguably one of the most important times politically for the Star Wars senate, we get very little. Ironically, one of the handmaiden's POVs ends up being waaaay more focused on politicking than Padmé's ever is - instead, Padmé is off on some mission being Action Girl because...reasons. On the positive, this gave Sabé a lot more to do and revisited a plotline that was only starting to be explored in book one. We get a decent amount of Anidala content - so shippers rejoice. I also liked the development/disintegration of Padmé and Sabé's relationship - it reminds me of that codependent, vaguely gay, intense friendship that every sapphic has in high school that eventually ends in a really dramatic way. Johnston really had her hand on the pulse of her core audience with that one. The scene of Padmé and Sabé having a slumber party and Padmé staring longingly at a sleeping Sabé is something that can be deeply personal, and if you understand hit me up with those Ao3 links. It also made me realize that you know what - I really, really liked that first book so lemme go round that up to 5 stars. Book 2 can stay at it's 3.5 though for the weird pacing. Oh, back to negatives I suppose. Take this with a grain of cis-pepctive, but there's a trans character in here that really felt kinda thrown in randomly. I'm all for having more rep (we have a lot of gay handmaidens and a nonbinary character as well and Padmé is bi because I said so) but we just get one little micro scene from Obi-Wan's POV where we're very briefly introduced to a clone that's transitioned gender. And just as quickly (after some gender validation from Anakin), she's gone. Gonna need a bit more than that. Since this is likely the only Padmé content we're ever going to get, definitely worth reading this series overall if you're a simp like me. Content warnings: slavery, Anakin POVs Representation: two characters are in the lesbian handmaiden to lesbian marriage pipeline, the rest of the handmaidens and Padmé are in the closet, nonbinary side character, a blip on the radar of a trans side character

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Koan

    This book finishes up the YA trilogy about Padme, which incidentally has very little of Padme in it. Queen's Hope encapsulates all the reasons that I think that the Star Wars YA books are overall far inferior to their adult counterparts. There has been a slow decrease in my enjoyment, excitment, and impression of E. K. Johnston's books. I thought that Ahsoka was one of the best YA books written in the Canon, and thus gave it a 5 out of 5. Queen's Shadow was a little weird in places, but the poli This book finishes up the YA trilogy about Padme, which incidentally has very little of Padme in it. Queen's Hope encapsulates all the reasons that I think that the Star Wars YA books are overall far inferior to their adult counterparts. There has been a slow decrease in my enjoyment, excitment, and impression of E. K. Johnston's books. I thought that Ahsoka was one of the best YA books written in the Canon, and thus gave it a 5 out of 5. Queen's Shadow was a little weird in places, but the politics in the book were still enjoyable, so I gave it a 4 out of 5. Queen's Peril started having negatives that outweighed the positives, and while I gave it a "postive" review at the time, I think it's actually not a good book. This book continues Johnston's writing slippage, as I'll demonstrate in the four problems listed in this review. First of all, this book is entirely too short. E.K. Johnston's books are generally the shortest of the YA books, and they are not necessary. There is so much plot, both in backstory and actual story that could still be told here. If Johnston took 100 pages and added to some of the plotlines to make them actual plotlines, this would be a much better book. As it stands, it feels more like a conglomoration of scenes and moments with a loose thread connecting it all. The second problem with this book is it's focus. This should be a Padme book, and instead Padme, while probably having the most scenes, still takes up a very small amount of the book. More to the point, While Padme was written fine in Queen's Shadow, I don't think she is written fine here. She feels like an entirely different character, and her dialogue and choices don't seem to fit her at all. Expounding on that point, Johnston has enormous potential with one of the storylines. The storyline featuring Sabe and Tonra was hinted at, but could have been it's own full book. The story of characters who slowly work to free the slaves of a planet is a FANTASTIC story idea...and here it is relegated to being the "frame" for those characters while the main story is entirely different. It is by far the best scene in the book, and it should have been the whole book or at very minimum more involved. I think that if Delilah S. Dawson stepped in and wrote a novel featuring those ideas, it would be most excellent. The third problem this book has is it's callouts and references. If you're going to have references in a book, there should be a reason or a story purpose. Instead, most of the callouts in this book felt unearned and cheap. The fourth problem of the book is it's designated audience. Each E.K. Johnston book has shrunk the audience more and more, and it discourages several readers (me included) from reading her books. Ahsoka really can be read by most readers and they'll enjoy it. Queen's Shadow narrows to female fans and those who really love the prequels. Queen's Peril and Queen's Hope narrow this even further. This is sad because authors should always want to expand their audiences, not shrink them. I read every Adult and YA Star Wars book for two reasons 1. I'm a completionist and 2. I've genuinely been interested in reading them all. I can confidently say that if I wasn't a completionist, I would not be interested in reading any more SW books by E. K. Johnston, and that saddens me quite a lot. Overall, I did not like this book. Not only did this book not have a good plot, but it lacked a coherent overarching storyline and an intriguing writing style. While getting Prequel and other references were cool, they hardly make up for all of the book's other problems. 3.0 out of 10.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was easily my least favourite of the trilogy and it’s sad because it’s the one I was most eager to read. I really struggled to finish it… The 2nd book, set during TPM, worked the best as a YA novel because the characters were actually teens. In here, their friendship comes off as a pair of 24-25 year olds having high school-esque drama between them because one (Padme) is keeping a secret (her relationship/marriage) from the other (Sabe). Also, I can’t say I fully understand Sabe’s being upse This was easily my least favourite of the trilogy and it’s sad because it’s the one I was most eager to read. I really struggled to finish it… The 2nd book, set during TPM, worked the best as a YA novel because the characters were actually teens. In here, their friendship comes off as a pair of 24-25 year olds having high school-esque drama between them because one (Padme) is keeping a secret (her relationship/marriage) from the other (Sabe). Also, I can’t say I fully understand Sabe’s being upset that Padme didn’t “pick her” in the end. I still don’t quite understand the vibe I was supposed to get here - she clearly seems jealous of Anakin… so she’s upset that Padme didn’t pick her romantically? (Though there’s no indication ever that Padme was bi, so why would she?) And if she meant Padme didn’t “pick her” in wanting to have the same kind of life as her that doesn’t make sense either because Padme is doing much bigger things in the galaxy… why would she give that up to stick with her friend who wants a totally different life…? It was an odd line that made me feel like I didn’t understand any of what their relationship was supposed to be. On top of this confusion, EK Johnston has Sabe sub in for Padme who is now *Senator* Amidala and doesn’t have the benefit of the makeup to help her disguise herself. Keira Knightly looks enough like Natalie Portman in makeup, but I can’t see interchanging them and anyone being fooled (their real life heights aside, even). Worse than that - she spent time in Queen’s Peril explaining how the Padme had to learn to deepen her voice as Queen to sound more like Sabe - but Senator Amidala speaks in her normal tone of voice, so how is Sabe suddenly speaking in a high pitched (American-esque vs British) accent…? One of the biggest issues with this book - all the Sabe stuff aside - it was just really boring. Nothing really happens and even when things do happen they are totally out of place (ie. one random scene of Obi-Wan and Anakin that had the scene that annoyed me most - a female clone?? It doesn’t annoy me that she included a female clone, it DOES annoy me that this completely negates the importance of Omega being a special case in The Bad Batch. You’d think a book published in 2021-22 would have been checked against other works at the time make sure it fits with the canon being set up simultaneously… Also, to be honest, it just felt like a very ham-fisted way to stick in the concepts of people being transgender and even non-binary with Sache’s assistant - another part that felt totally out of place. I read that the author wanted a transgender character in the second book, but didn’t feel knowledgeable enough to write that character and I still don’t know that she was ready for it here - especially because the character never returns and serves no purpose in the story or grand scheme of the canon - again, see: Omega. Maybe there’s a difference because Omega was born female versus the clone was assigned male and is female… but I have no idea because there’s no details or further story here!) Lastly, why is it even called Queen’s Hope, aside from needing a matching title? Padme’s not a Queen anymore… it ends on Breha Organa who was actually a Queen, but these random inclusions of one-shots on other prominent Star Wars women didn’t fit into the flow either… For a book that was meant to be about Padme (and her [former] Handmaidens?), cramming in lots of other people’s POVs didn’t make sense. I was really disappointed with it on the whole. 1.5/5

  25. 5 out of 5

    Callum

    Star Wars at its best.

  26. 5 out of 5

    sassafrass

    i cannot believe anakin skywalker coined the word transgender god bless you star wars

  27. 5 out of 5

    phoebe

    i can’t even think of anything to say what the hell i’m devastated .

  28. 4 out of 5

    Laura L

    Thank you NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this, such a great addition to the Star Wars universe.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Zukowski

    My review of Queen's Hope for Dork Side of the Force: The final piece of E.K. Johnston’s Padmé trilogy is finally here, and fans will not be disappointed with the nuance the author brings in Queen’s Hope. Character studies have been the strongest aspects of each of the Padmé/Queen books – from Queen’s Shadow to Queen’s Peril and now Queen’s Hope. The films and The Clone Wars introduced us to Queen Amidala and Senator Amidala, but Johnston’s books made us fall in love with Padmé. And along the way, My review of Queen's Hope for Dork Side of the Force: The final piece of E.K. Johnston’s Padmé trilogy is finally here, and fans will not be disappointed with the nuance the author brings in Queen’s Hope. Character studies have been the strongest aspects of each of the Padmé/Queen books – from Queen’s Shadow to Queen’s Peril and now Queen’s Hope. The films and The Clone Wars introduced us to Queen Amidala and Senator Amidala, but Johnston’s books made us fall in love with Padmé. And along the way, we also fell in love with her handmaidens, the previously unnamed cloaked companions of the queen and the senator who were her shadows, her ears and her hands. That’s especially true for Sabé, the actual queen’s shadow, who donned the elaborate makeup, dresses and headpieces to be the decoy Queen Amidala at key points during Padmé’s reign on Naboo. Sabé, once again, is the co-star of the story of Queen’s Hope alongside Padmé. We also get updates on Saché and Yané, who are now married and foster children together. And just like in Shadow and Peril, Johnston sprinkles in points of view from other prequel-era characters throughout Queen’s Hope, though a bit more sparingly in this book. Queen’s Hope is set after the events of Attack of the Clones. So, the book begins after the Battle of Geonosis, which kicked off the Clone Wars, and Padmé and Anakin Skywalker’s admission of love to one another. That’s where we find Padmé, struggling with a massive secret and working to put together her wedding gown for her quickie marriage to Anakin. The scenes of Padme preparing for her wedding and grappling with the inner turmoil of whether or not to tell her closest friends set the tone for the rest of Queen’s Hope. The book is chiefly about growing up and growing apart, but not losing sight of what and who matter most. It’s also about conflicting loyalties and learning how to find yourself outside the shadow of another who defined much of your young life. While this book is about Padmé, Sabé takes much of the spotlight. Up until this point, her life has been largely defined by Padmé. Sabé’s love for the queen-turned-senator was unconditional and built on a foundation of hard-won mutual respect and empathy. But now that the two women are in their 20s, they find themselves on different paths. These deep dives into the intricacies of Padmé’s and Sabé’s psyches and their relationships with others – set against the backdrop of conflict – are the brightest spots in the trilogy. The character development Johnston has done for Padmé is a gift to the Star Wars fandom. Couple that with the character studies of each of her handmaidens, and it’s hard to fathom a world in which we didn’t know about Sabé’s abolitionist efforts on Tatooine or the admirable sacrifices Saché made to protect Naboo during the invasion. As the conclusion to a trilogy, Queen’s Hope works incredibly well. It gives us even more of that signature Johnston character work we’ve grown to love in the previous two books. Before this trilogy, Padmé’s character was beloved, but the films and TV series didn’t do enough to flesh out why she is the way she is. Johnston’s novels brought her character to stunning life, making her both real and relatable. But the drawbacks of Queen’s Hope are similar to the other two novels – the plot is often not strong enough to keep the story going at a steady pace. There are key moments throughout the book that seem to fall flat except for their exposure of more character feelings and motivations. Even the undercover mission Padmé embarks on with Typho feels distracting and like it would be better suited for an episode of The Clone Wars. And I might be the minority in this one, but I wanted more details about Padmé and Anakin’s weeks on Naboo for their recovery and wedding. Yes, the Clone Wars just erupted, Anakin is about to be Knighted as a Jedi and this is a YA novel. But the transition from the brilliant and bittersweet beginning to the core of the novel – which featured Anakin sparingly and involved some drier political intrigue – felt too abrupt. Overall, Queen’s Hope provides an excellent ending to the story Queen’s Shadow and Queen’s Peril started. All three books have remained consistent in using the characters and their interrelationships to drive the story forward. We already know how Padmé’s story ends, but Johnston’s trilogy adds nuance and depth to the hope-filled tragedy. Even before the story of Queen’s Hope begins, Johnston’s dedication set the stage for an emotional, character-driven conclusion to the stories of these extraordinary Star Wars women: “To all of the queens who are fighting alone, Baby, you’re not dancin’ on your own…”

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alexandre

    As the last volume of the Queen trilogy written by E.K. Johnston, this book is a nice and quick read. Having recently devoured Peril and Shadow, I was glad to have them both fresh in my memory for this last ride, tying again some loose ends between the prequel movies. It really feels like Johnston has a gift of taking potential plot holes and turning them into nice and compelling stories: this book is no exception! First off, I have to admit: I’m not really sure what I was expecting with this thi As the last volume of the Queen trilogy written by E.K. Johnston, this book is a nice and quick read. Having recently devoured Peril and Shadow, I was glad to have them both fresh in my memory for this last ride, tying again some loose ends between the prequel movies. It really feels like Johnston has a gift of taking potential plot holes and turning them into nice and compelling stories: this book is no exception! First off, I have to admit: I’m not really sure what I was expecting with this third volume and I was quite surprised with the story we got. I knew that it was set at the beginning of the Clone Wars, but wasn’t sure how it would include these events in the story, with Padmé having already some substantial character development in the Clone Wars TV show. That said, this book feels quite a bit different by being centred a lot more on Padmé, compared to Peril and Shadow which focused on the handmaidens’ relationship to Padmé as both a queen and a newly appointed senator. Here, the Amidala persona acts more as a background element to tell another story. Coming after Peril and Shadow is already quite a challenge. By itself, Hope has an entertaining plot that gives us some interesting character development, but against its predecessors, it isn’t as thoughtfully crafted. The alternating point of view is always welcome, even though in this case, it leaves out crucial information and development between the chapters, that would help the reader better understand the plot twists and events. To me, it feels like some parts were rushed, when they could have been more detailed, and some parts were too detailed when they could have been shorter. On a more positive note, Sabé was the absolute star of the show. (view spoiler)[Her character is so well written and brings up such an interesting take on Padmé's work! Her parts of the novel were what stuck out the most for me and brought the real tension and conflict. Her being called once again to act as Amidala instead of Padmé, but yet realising how they've started to grow apart got me way more emotionally invested than I had anticipated. Her devotion to Padmé is consuming her and she finally gets to say it out loud, how she really needs to be her own self, with her singularity. Who can, as a human being, wear a mask for that long? (hide spoiler)] That’s what I call great character development! On the other hand, (view spoiler)[I'm kind of sad that we didn't get to see more of Sister. With all the talk about her on social media, I was really looking forward to meeting this brand new character. I'm sort of disappointed because even if it's very nice to get some LBGTQ+ representation, she didn't have any impact on the story other than explaining who she was with one piece of dialogue. Was it worth it? Yes, definitely. Was it enough? Not quite, I would have loved for her to belong on the story rather than just sit on top of it. Make her a part of the plot, not just a one-page-thing to check a box! (hide spoiler)] I know writing about minorities if you’re not part of it can be tricky, so I appreciate what we got and I really hope we get to see more of her in another novel, maybe a comic? I'm so glaad (see what I did there) we get more and more representation! All in all: Queen’s Hope is a riveting story that expands on some blurry moments in Padmé’s life. It gets the job done, it’s entertaining. I find it comforting to explore planets and events we already know about but with a different approach. I will always be fond of this trilogy, it’s empowering, it gives you both nostalgia and hope, and it compliments the prequel movies with a disconcerting ease.

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