Queen’s Shadow follows Padme Amidala’s transition from Queen to Senator of Naboo. We get a clearer view of the roles of her many handmaidens, and the politics surrounding a new senator trying to learn the ropes in the fast-moving environment of Corusant. Bail Organa, and noted Clone Wars characters, Senators Clovis and Bonteri all make appearances in the novel.
If I had to categorize this novel, I would say it is mostly a character-driven piece that looks at shifting roles as one grows older and accepts different responsibilities. There is some great slight of hand as Padme’s entourage bands together to provide security and gather intelligence for the senator. There’s also some great detail about the culture of the Naboo in regards to dress and relationships. But what I enjoyed most about this one was shift it takes from the normal Star Wars novel. There are no light sabers or droid attacks (although R2 makes an appearance). This one focuses on the day-to-day business of accepting and using one’s power correctly.
This last point is also a negative in that there isn’t a great overarching conflict in this one. While it does feature some of the central characters of the universe, it seems like Johnson might have been hampered trying to write about a very slim part of the timeline. Palpatine and Organa are major players in the films, but nothing too crazy can happen with them in this book or to Padme because certain plot lines have to stay intact.
Recommended for diehard fans looking to get a little more insight Padme’s character.