The last book of the Padmé trilogy. Out of the three books, I was more excited to read this one and it left me feeling so wretched, in a good way.
Padmé Amidala is asked to go on a secret mission. Sabé, her trusted handmaiden and best friend, is called from Tatoonie to take her place in the Senate and impersonate Padmé. Sabé is discovering that being Amidala is a lot more difficult this time around.
I thought the book started where Star Wars Episode 2 ended but turns out, it takes place before Padmé and Anakin get married. The first chapters were their actual preparation on getting married. Padmé and Anakin stay in a remote lake house in Naboo for about a week to ‘recover’ from the events that occurred in Geonosis. They enjoy their time together before they have to go back to Coruscant and act like nothing has changed. Jedis are forbidden to form any attachments let alone marry. The utter scandal it would cause if the truth is revealed would be damaging to both.
Sabé would drop everything for Padmé but things are different now. Life on Tatoonie with Tonra has become like home in a way. She once hated the desert planet but after being there for sometime, she’s grown to like it. She’s making a life for herself even though her reason for being there was originally Padmé’s mission. Sabé has made it her own to free as many slaves. On doing so, she’s becoming her own person, not a replacement of someone else, not a shadow. As she impersonates Padmé in Coruscant, it’s clear to her that she doesn’t want to do this anymore. Padmé’s life has become so complex and somewhat hard to keep up. When she found out Padmé secretly married Anakin, she was hurt and angry. She wonders what other secrets her friend hasn’t told her. Everything proves to be to much for Sabé that she tells Padmé never to ask this favor again. Padmé is surprised but understanding and admits to herself she should have told Sabé everything from the beginning. Sabé is happy to return to Tatooine and continue on her work with Tonra being at her side.
Despite all the odds against them, Anakin and Padmé made their secret marriage work. I love that you get more insight on Padmé and Anakin’s relationship. The movies do show the love that they have for each other, Anakin more than Padmé. In the book, Padmé’s feelings are known more. She acknowledges that Anakin is so thoughtful and loving but a being with such power and strength. She also sees the anger that he shows from time to time and it’s alarming. Despite that, she loves him. Anakin is an amazing Jedi and Padmé knows how much it means to Anakin to be a Jedi despite the irony of it all. She would isolate herself from everyone, her family and friends, to be with Anakin and to protect the truth. He has a lot more to lose than her. From Anakin’s part, he would never give up Padmé. He would do anything for her.
I very much enjoyed this trilogy and I’m so sad I finished it. Padmé definitely became a loving character. There is so much out there of Anakin/Vader but not really of Padmé. He would turn the world upside down for her. After finding out more of her character, it’s easy to see why Anakin fell for her. The ending of the book is so endearing which makes it so sad because of Anakin and Padmé’s tragic fate. It gives you hope that all will end well and that eventually later in life they’ll be able to live freely without hiding. Padmé is hopeful for the future which left me in tears. A Queen’s hope.