Book cover
This book is a Star Wars story.  It takes place during Leia Organa's 16th year.  I would like to say that familiarity with the Star Wars universe isn't absolutely necessary, but I cannot be sure of that.  It is, at its base, an exhilarating and sometimes sad, coming of age story, where we see Leia grow from a teen who thinks she's all grown up, to a woman who knows she isn't quite there.

I will warn that there is a LOT of Star Wars style galactic politics in this book.  There are many examples of the Empire creeping further and further into totalitarian rule, and - given the present climate of politics in the USA - some of that can be a bit hard to read.  It is important to the overall story, informing both Leia's choices in this story, but also foreshadowing the choices she will make later in her life.

This story has castles, swamps, mountains, oceans, space-ships, action, danger, spy-craft and romance, and a pretty good mix.  I laughed out loud a few times, and I cried once.

For the Star Wars fan, we get to see Leia meet Grand Moff Tarkin and R2D2 for the first time.  We get to see her form a friendship with Mon Mothma.  We get to see Leia use the Tantive IV without her father for the first time.  We get to really experience some of the personality of Bail and Breha Organa, and the beauty of Alderaan.

I try to keep these reviews from spoilers.  Anyone familiar with the Star Wars movies will be able to automatically know where some plot-points are headed.  I really want to talk about what happens in this book because I just finished it, but I may have said too much for some already.

I really enjoy this book, and I felt invited into the worlds it described easily.  Of course, I'm also aware that I grew up with the Star Wars movies, and I also enjoyed Rogue One and the other recent Star Wars films, so my easy enjoyment with this book may not be true for everyone.  If you don't know or like Star Wars, maybe this book isn't for you.  If, like me, you enjoy the franchise, and especially if you wanted to know a lot more about Leia, then read this book.

Leia, Princess of Alderaan
Disney Lucasfilm Press
Science Fiction
Released: 1 September 2017
Hardcover, 416 pages