Warning: This review will contain spoilers
The Courtship of Princess Leia – Dave Wolverton
Star rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars
Summary: Princess Leia receives a marriage proposal from a prince from a wealthy star system, who could potentially help her to create a permanent home for refuges from her home planet of Alderaan. Han Solo begins to become jealous and scared that she’s actually considering the offer, he makes a failed attempt to make as good an offer and once he’s absolutely desperate he kidnaps her to try to get some time alone and convince her that way.
Reasons behind picking this book: I have wanted to read this book since before I hit puberty. I never got around to it even though I read a lot of Star Wars novels. Now, this book isn’t considered canon anymore but I still love the Han and Leia romance so I figured I would go ahead and read this.
Review: I am actually really upset this book is no longer canon. It was really good. Everyone was in character and I thought it was written very well. Everything was descriptive and could easily be imagined in my minds eye.
There was a sort of love triangle, which I’m usually not a fan of but here it was good. You find out later that Leia is considering marrying Isolder to benefit her people and he is looking for a wife that will fill the criteria his people want. He is from a matriarchal society and whoever he picks as his bride will be the next queen. So they’re both moved by political reasons not love.
Threepio was highly entertaining in this novel. He takes on the role of Han’s wing man to woo Leia again and those moments are so good. I laughed out loud when I read them.
I liked how this book had two matriarchal societies within it that you could compare and contrast. It was really interesting to read about all the different political differences between the New Republic, the Hapans and the witches of Dathomir. I think Wolverton did a good job explaining them without going overboard. He used a lot of instances of showing the reader rather than just telling which I always appreciate.
I like that Wolverton focused a good deal on Luke and Leia’s relationship and also on Leia’s Force sensitivity. I haven’t read them in a while, but I don’t remember many novels really emphasizing that while her powers are no where close to being a Jedi, Leia is sensitive to it. Overall his portrayal of Leia was spot on. She was vastly complex and I really could picture all of the original trilogy characters perfectly.
One of the most interesting things I found, was his take on rancors. He showed them as being intelligent creatures with unique thoughts and feelings. I wasn’t expecting to read such complexity in the same creature we saw under Jabba’s Palace. And the way he explained space travel was excellent as well, he showed it wasn’t instantaneous jump into hyperspace and you are there. I really appreciated all of the details he put into this novel. Even if it hadn’t focused on one of my all time fictional couples I think I would have really enjoyed this book.
Recommendation: I think this book is well worth the read, probably more so if you are a Star Wars fan. Just keep in mind that this book is not part of the current canon and is considered part of “Legends”.
Up next: Throne of Glass – A New York Times bestseller