We knew that Leia was clever, but this book from Claudia Gray I think is one of my favorites and proves that she is far more clever than we could have thought.
It was never a secret that Bail and Breha Organa had adopted their daughter, everyone on Alderaan, even everyone in the galaxy new. When the book begins, we meet 16 year-old Princess Leia of Organa, on her day of demand, when she presents herself and her challenges of the body, mind and heart, to her parents, in order to be formally named heir to the throne of Alderaan. To achieve her challenges for she partakes in rigorous survival courses, practicing politics in the apprentice senate, and leading relief missions all over the Empire to worlds who needed it.
While the challenges Leia undertakes worry her, however, she finds that she is more worried about how distant her parents have become, always throwing banquets and excluding her, speaking in hushed tones in the palace library and keeping things from her. They had never done this before. As she tries to figure out what her parents and their friends are up to, we see how she grows and relationships she has with characters we haven't met or have only recently met.
This is the first book that I have read from Claudia Gray in the Star Wars canon that I have read, and I can tell you that I can't wait to read more. The way she captures characters we have always known, and introducing characters we want to know more about.
The thing I liked most about this book is that Claudia Gray gives us not only introductions to characters that we haven't known too much about, but she gives us closure to characters and star systems long forgotten from the prequels. Of course in those closures she also gives us a twist in knowing what we know, and wondering if characters in the story knew about.
I highly recommend this book, which can be read in canon or as a stand-alone. If you have not read it, go get either the audiobook or the printed/e-book version. Then keep an eye out for another review to come later where I will dive deeper into the book and talk about everything - i'll warn you now, there will be SPOILERS in that break down.