STAR WARS: BLOO DLINE
The Leia Tapestry
released 5 May 352 pages | Hardback/ ebook Author Claudia Gray Publisher Century
There’s an added level of excitement to Star Wars novels these days – now they’re part of Lucasfilm’s new all- encompassing continuity, every plot point is ripe for dissection and analysis. In fact, the events of Bloodline – set six years before The Force Awakens – are so integral to the new mythology that it should probably be considered essential reading for any fan.
While Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath arrived to greater fanfare last autumn, this is the more compelling novel – and not just because Gray’s prose flows more elegantly than Wendig’s. For starters, it has the advantage of focusing on Leia Organa, rather than a bunch of unknown characters on a planet you’ve never heard of. It’s also a cracking political thriller that reveals plenty about how a foundering New Republic spawned both the First Order and the Resistance. The reinvented Expanded Universe has already established itself as an exciting place to explore, and Gray embraces this brave new galaxy to tell a story of government corruption, criminal gangs vying to fill a Jabba- shaped void and a political system buckling under bureaucracy. Bloodline is undeniably talky – though Leia does get some fun action scenes – but that hardly matters when the corridors of power are so ripe with intrigue. Scoundrels come in all shapes and forms in Star Wars, and – aside from some familiar faces – you never quite know who to trust.
Beyond the politics there’s a sad, very human tale of a woman who’s sacrificed her entire life for the greater good, yet sees everything falling apart around her. Ultimately you’re left wishing she could fly off in the Falcon for a few years of fun with Han and the future Kylo Ren ( at this point still Ben and in training with Luke). Best not tell her about The Force Awakens, eh?
Leia’s intern Korr Sella appears in The Force Awakens – she’s on Hosnian Prime when it’s destroyed by the First Order.