I was always a massive fan of Han Solo and Leia Organa’s love story, but even as a kid, I felt it was never enough. We needed more. Though they returned to us with a bittersweet storyline in The Force Awakens, it was never quite the “more” any of us had in mind. And so, we have to rely on novelizations to fill the gaps, which Claudia Gray’s Bloodline does so well that it could’ve (maybe) been enough. Cut to August 16, 2022, where The Princess and The Scoundrel by Beth Revis finally does what so many of us were hoping for by delivering a true Star Wars romance.
The Princess and The Scoundrel is a romance novel. In every way, Revis delivers a soaring adventure and tender moments meant to stir our hearts through a happy ending. While you might add that it’s not necessarily joyous when we know the future that follows them, the novel underscores the detail that no matter what happens and where they go, Han Solo and Leia Organa will never stop loving each other.
The novel finds the couple after the events of Return of the Jedi, and it provides fans with the burning moments we’ve been hoping for since the credits rolled, such as Han learning the truth about Leia’s parents and when or how he proposed. What happened to them afterward? Where did they go? How many adventures aboard the Millennium Falcon did they have before little Ben joined the family? In a true romance fashion, what happens after the final searing kiss? While the novel doesn’t get far enough to show us Ben Solo’s childhood the brief way Bloodline does, it still brings to life quiet moments that fortify the promise of “I know” beautifully.
Revis’ writing style mirrors that of a romance novel with a third-person dual point of view that thrusts readers straight into the crux of Han and Leia’s development. We get both of their insecurities front and center while simultaneously looking into moments in the films that were glossed over, like Han’s capture and just how much Leia suffered in the hands of The Empire. And because we’ve watched the entirety of Obi-Wan Kenobi at this point, nothing is more apparent than the detail that Leia would struggle to forgive and accept that her biological father was the man behind most of her losses. Thus, exploring these components seamlessly threads the narrative as a romance novel by giving readers a solid balance between angst and tender moments.
The Princess and The Scoundrel is a character and plot-driven story that understands the importance of layers and jagged edges that make relationships worth fighting for. Plenty within the text is surprising, and it should largely be kept that way by avoiding plot spoilers. At one point, it feels like you’re a kid again, watching the most timeless love story come to life on your screen, except this time, you’re reading about it.
Han Solo and Leia Organa have always been worth the fight, and the novel continues to remind readers of this by taking them through challenges within the worlds they’re best known for. Revis intermingles the good, bad, and ugly so effortlessly that the love story is now better than you thought possible. If you believed you were a Han and Leia fan before, the adoration is about to increase tenfold. They get to be messy and broken. They get to be charming and needy. We see them long for each other, bask in the wonder of their quiet intimacy, argue, and come out stronger than ever before.
In short, Beth Revis brilliantly knocked it out of
the park hyperspace. The Princess and The Scoundrel is, without a shadow of a doubt, the kind of five-star read that’ll perpetually become a comfort novel. I’m already itching to re-read it, and I just put it down less than an hour ago.