Book Review: Leia, Princess of Alderaan By Claudia Gray

Sixteen-year-old Princess Leia Organa faces the most challenging task of her life so far: proving herself in the areas of body, mind and heart to be formally named heir to the throne of Alderaan.

GENRE: 

Young Adult,  Science Fiction

PAGES: 

409 pages

PART OF A SERIES?:

Standalone, part of the Star Wars Universe

RELEASE DATE: 

September 1st, 2o17

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GOODREADS SUMMARY: 

Sixteen-year-old Princess Leia Organa faces the most challenging task of her life so far: proving herself in the areas of body, mind and heart to be formally named heir to the throne of Alderaan. She’s taking rigorous survival courses, practicing politics, and spearheading relief mission to worlds under Imperial control. But Leia has worries beyond her claim to the crown. Her parent, Breha and Bail, aren’t acting like themselves lately; they are distant and preoccupied, seemingly more concerned with throwing dinner parties for their allies in the Senate than they are with their own daughter. 

Determined to uncover her parents’ secrets, Leia starts down an increasingly dangerous path that puts her right under the watchful eye of the Empire. And when Leia discovers what her parents and their allies are planning behind closed doors, she finds herself facing what seems like an impossible choice: dedicate herself to the people of Alderaan – including the man she loves – or to the galaxy at large, which is in desperate need of a rebel hero…

MY REVIEW:

To start off, I’ll say this: I normally don’t tend to like extended canon novels. I usually like my stories the way they are, and if I feel like any extra, I’ll go read some fan fiction. I love fan fiction. I’ve had a hard time with some of the new novels that have come out in this new canon Star Wars universe because it often times feels like I’m reading fan fiction. Now, to be fair, its really GOOD fan fiction, because its written by really great authors but it still just feels weird and I think that’s why I give it four instead of a full five stars.

That being said, I did really enjoy it. This could potentially be because I have an extreme bias when it comes to anything Princess Leia, because she has been my absolute favorite fictional character since I was about five years old. It helps that I am obsessed with the original trilogy and feel more of a connection to the Rebel Alliance (check the tattoo on the back of my neck) than I do to Jedi or Sith or Empire. So getting extra stories and insight on my favorite character and the creation and beginning of the Rebel Alliance was plenty enough to keep me reading from page one until the end.

But again, I did enjoy it! I liked that we got to see so much more of Leia’s character outside of being an integral part of the rebellion. There has always been so much to her character, how smart she is and all of that but to see her actually put that in action was fantastic. I liked seeing all the different ways she had to prove herself worthy of the throne. I liked that it was physical and mental and emotional. I liked that these trials made sense to me, knowing the person that she becomes in the future. I enjoyed watching my favorite character climb mountains, and delve into the issues plaguing the galaxy and make connections. Its a wonderful beginning to the strong and diplomatic character that we know.

I did also like that they gave her a love interest in the novel. Some people may not necessarily agree with that but I loved every bit of that. It makes 100% sense to me. She’s heir to a throne, and a huge plot of the novel is her undertaking the challenges to prove her worth as an heir and of course that is eventually going to include choosing the right person to be her viceroy, her partner in crime for life when she becomes queen. I, of course, love Leia and Han so much. They are my original OTP and all that. But I think it makes their relationship that much better to know that Leia has experienced love prior to that. It just makes everything seem so much more realistic and relatable to me.

Lastly, I really loved that this novel addressed something that we don’t see much when it comes to the Rebel Alliance. This is the very very small beginnings of it (though i think technically this slightly around the same time of Star Wars: Rebels, the animated television show I’ve recently started watching) and I loved how they tackle the tough questions. In the original trilogy, the Rebel Alliance is painted very much as the good guys but let’s be real, there was a lot of bloodshed in order to make the rebellion a reality. They weren’t completely innocent and they had blood on their own hands. They had to, to make change happen. I like that we see the characters in this novel come face to face with that. They’re at the very beginning and they sometimes can be idealistic but they realize they’re never going to make any change if they don’t make those sacrifices and I thought it was really to see that brought up.

All in all, a totally enjoyable book. If you’re not a Star Wars fan, at all, you most likely won’t enjoy it much but I think if you are a fan, and you’re interested in learning more of the backstory and more about the history of Leia and her parents, its a definite must read. Claudia Gray is a great storyteller and I think she does an excellent job with Leia.

RATING:

4 out of 5 Stars

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