Seeking rich, powerful allies to bring into the Rebel Alliance and a new home planet for the refugees of her native Alderaan, Princess Leia considers a proposal that could tip the balance of power against the evil Empire. The Hapes Consortium of 63 worlds is ruled by the Queen Mother, who wants Leia to marry her son, the dashing and wealthy Prince Isolder. Han Solo has always dreamed of marrying Leia himself, and now he makes a desperate last gamble to win her back. Soon he, Isolder, Luke Skywalker and Artoo will be at the center of an adventure leading to an awesome treasure, a group of Force-trained "witches," and a showdown with an invincible foe.
Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!
Wolverton ( Serpent Catch ) attempts to add nuance and intrigue to the smash-bang atmosphere that propelled to the stratosphere the Star War movies and Timothy Zahn's three books set in that universe. Readers of the present installment, whose events occur after the films but before Zahn's works, likely already know who Princess Leia will marry, so Wolverton deserves high marks just for making the journey along the road to the inevitable interesting. He generally avoids comic book-style action and artificial climaxes such as having a major character appear to die only to be redeemed at the last moment, but his concentration on familiar characters is disappointing. Though there is plenty of graphic violence, true depth is lacking. All in all, the novel raises expectations for Wolverton's future works once he moves on to other things. 375,000 first printing; TV advertising.
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Adds to the Mythology
Around the time this came out, I read a number of the Star Wars books, including the three trilogies (Thrawn, Academy, Centerpoint et. al.). This is the only one that I keep on my shelf. It has a well-constructed and (within its setting) believable plot based on the pragmatic character of Leia, the impulsive Solo, and the, perhaps too romantic, Skywalker. Though it is Solo's actions that drive the action, Skywalker is keen to participate because of research he has done in the Jedi archives.
All-in-all, this was a strong effort. I read it twice and the only other Star Wars title I found as interesting was "Children of the Jedi". There are other titles that are good, but this one stands out.
Essential Star Wars Story
I actually consider this book part of Star Wars history (for the record I do NOT include Episodes 1, 2 or 3). It really well written, follows important and logical event following Ep. 6 and is very entertaining. Without giving away too much I hope, it gives the final pieces to the relationship of Han and Leia and I loved every minute of it. Like Zahn's trilogy, this story stays true to the characters as well as intruding new and fascinating ones. Anyone interested in finding a new chapter in the SW world must pick this one up, you won't regret it.
This is my favorite book in the timeline so far.