book review, sci-fi

Review: The Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis

The Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis takes place right after Return of the Jedi, finding Leia and Han on Endor on the eve of their wedding. At the suggestion of Mon Mothma and the encouragement of Han, Leia decides to pry herself away from her work to go on a honeymoon aboard a Chandrillan (Mon’s homeworld) luxury star cruiser the Halcyon (also a not-so-subtle plug for Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser experience.)

We all know a couple like Han and Leia could never have a normal honeymoon. Leia cannot ignore the needs of the fledgling new Republic and convinces the captain of the Halcyon to redirect to an ice world rich in fuel. What the couple finds there is the dire situation of near planetary collapse at the hands of the Empire.

A pleasant surprise in The Princess and the Scoundrel was the author’s exploration of each character’s trauma that we don’t otherwise see explored in depth. Han suffers some form of PTSD, claustrophobia, and fear of cold after his year-long freeze in carbonite. What’s more, he must endure the excruciating knowledge that the galaxy–and Leia, went on without him for an entire year. Meanwhile, Leia struggles with the revelation of Vader as her father. While Luke has seemingly forgiven him and/or made peace with the situation, Leia still harbors (and rightfully so) anger, betrayal, and resentment for the man who took so much from her. She is curious about the Force and learning its ways, yet fears what she could become given her father’s path. To start on the path of the Force or not, it is evident that building the New Republic and providing aid to worlds in need is Leia’s number one priority.

What I also found interesting was Leia’s public persona vs her private life. She and Han are essentially hounded by paparazzi aboard the Halcyon. While she is used to being in the spotlight, Han still prefers to lay low. What’s more, the Halcyon is full of the richest and most successful people in the galaxy–many of which profited from business with the Empire. Leia is no stranger to politics and keeping her mask in place, even when overhearing criticisms of the innocent works of the Empire were killed aboard both Death Stars.

Beth Revis perfectly captures each character’s specific, iconic voices and attitudes, making The Princess and the Scoundrel a fun and authentic ride.