BBY/ABY is used to position items along the Star Wars Timeline. BBY refers to Before the Battle of Yavin. ABY refers to After the Battle of Yavin. The Battle of Yavin in Episode IV: A New Hope occured in 0 BBY/ABY.
The Youtini Expanded Universe Ranking system is a 1-5 scale that ranks EU book quality, difficulty, and importance. Books closer to Level 1 are easier to read and understand, more important, and of higher quality.
In this prequel to 2019’s Queen’s Shadow, EK Johnston follows Padmé through her election as Queen of Naboo, her introduction to Captain Quarsh Panaka, and the assembly of her entourage of handmaidens. In individual vignettes, we see Panaka recruit each one and get a glimpse of the unique strengths each brings to the group, and the novel shows how they integrated into a cohesive team to serve and protect their Queen. Johnston deftly weaves this arc into the events going on in the galaxy at large, and we see how the foresight of Padmé and Panaka pay off as the handmaidens each play vital roles in the momentous events about to embroil their homeworld.
Along the way, Johnston successfully imbues each of these characters with unique personalities despite their work in a calling that demands they blend into the background. She also excels at portraying an ensemble of strong female protagonists who succeed because of their distinctly feminine strengths.
The book is set prior to Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, just after Padmé Amidala has been elected Monarch of Naboo.
A prequel to the New York Times best-selling novel Queen's Shadow, further exploring the life of the iconic Padmé Amidala!
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.
While Bloodline is scandalous politics, Queen’s Peril is FUN politics. Seeing these young girls having the time of their lives while capitalizing on their unique talents for the sake of their home world helped me realize that I did my teen years all wrong. But most importantly, the faces that I previously saw as anonymous background characters are now incredibly unexpendable and vital players in the big picture. I never understood how Eric was able to name all of the handmaidens and explain each of their personalities up until now. It’s like the author is letting you in on a big secret and it’s so exciting to be a part of it! After finishing this book, I’ve never been so eager to re-watch the prequel trilogy and see the story in a completely new light. Thank you E.K. Johnston for opening my eyes to the truth in the funnest way possible.
The prequel to Queen's Shadow is an excellent expansion of Padmé and her handmaidens as well as the events surrounding and during The Phantom Menace. She takes the best of Queen's Shadowand gives us more of what made it work—the drama of what it means to be in service to her planet while making relationships with those who protect her without treating them as inferior. What would it have been like for Padmé and her handmaidens during the invasion of Naboo? Queen's Peril goes all in on that question. Stylistically, it's certainly more of the flavor of Queen's Shadow—a book that gets better the second time and won't be for everyone. Johnston definitely puts a lot of love into the characters, though, and it shows. Padmé is a character who is tragically underutilized in Star Wars literature, and I'm glad for more books like this that finally do her justice.
The small, minute details that I did not appreciate during the Phantom Menace were detailed in Queen's Peril (and Queen's Shadow for that matter) that will make me view The Phantom Menace in a whole new light. I really enjoyed how E.K. Johnston broke up the handmaidens' backstories and gave distinct reasoning to their selections. I am a sucker for the details elaborated in a book that are not seen in the movie where you can say, ""see, Darth Maul had the whole fight landscaped laid out before the Jedi arrived."" There are a lot of details that go into the wardrobes that didn't seem too important to the overall story, but I can see why E.K. Johnston added that amount of detail. Definitely a good read for someone who loves the backstory on characters in The Phantom Menace but it doesn't feel like must read to bridge movies or past books.