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"The Courtship of Princess Leia," by Dave Wolverton [Bantam, 1994]

Discussion in 'Literature Review Forum' started by dp4m, Jun 10, 2003.

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"The Courtship of Princess Leia," by Dave Wolverton [Bantam, 1994]

Poll closed Mar 25, 2012.
  1. 10 (Excellent)

    26.9%
  2. 9

    12.6%
  3. 8

    15.6%
  4. 7

    12.6%
  5. 6 (Average)

    3.6%
  6. 5 (Average)

    9.0%
  7. 4

    1.8%
  8. 3

    3.6%
  9. 2

    1.8%
  10. 1 (Poor)

    12.6%
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  1. Chaotic_Serenity

    Chaotic_Serenity Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 10, 2004
    I give this book a 6/7. I apologize in advance for this review, since it comes off as a bit rambling...

    Over all, I like COTP. It's funny, light-hearted, clever, and fairly original. It certainly captures the feel of the OT for me, in that regards. It also gives us a very innovative, early look at one author's intepretation of the Jedi some time before Lucas began making the prequels. Unfortunately, the idea behind the Chu'unthor has thus been sank by the PT, though I'm sure we could find some way to wedge it into continuity. I'm also fond of the witches of Dathomir to be an interesting concept. The author did a nice job of tying together the threat of the Sith and the Imperials to provide a fairly suspenseful conflict for a good portion of the novel. I also quite liked the writing style - it flows nicely, and there are some beautiful descriptions of the native flora and fauna of Dathomir. The planet is very well conceived, certainly far more detailed than the average, run-of-the-mill planet in the SW EU.

    The characters are really what drags this book down. There are points in this book where the Big Three are positively spot on. Luke is powerful, adventurous, patient...but also human. His interaction with Han (would you believe it? An EU authors actually made them *interact!*) was nicely done, same with Leia. Once the plot got underway, the characters were, for the most part, fairly IC. The problem is that the entire crux of the story relies on Han and Leia making decisions that are distinctly OOC for them. Han's attitude toward the alliance is borderline unbelievable. Han winning a planet for Leia is very Solo-esque, but kidnapping her because she's magically fallen in love with an attractive, rich, foreign prince is just an awful stretch for both. Luckily, Han Solo for the majority of the rest of the novel once they land on Dathomir is otherwise very well done. He's rough but sentimental, goofy, witty...stupid. ;) The wuffa-catching scene remains one of my most favorite passages in any SW book. Han's characterization really shines in some areas, but fails miserably in others. Leia, on the other hand, gets pushed back alot. We see some of her fierce charm come through, but the otherwise plays alot of angry, reluctant damsel throughout this novel and actually spends more time working off of her relationships with Han, Isolder, or Luke more than her own personality. While Leia is certainly there, alot of her feels missing in this novel.

    I think Luke Skywalker was probably my favorite character in this novel. He runs the full gambit of his character in here - confidant, powerful, amiable, controlled, calm, (com)passionate, empathetic, and even a bit shy. He was overly ethereal in some parts for my liking, but I'll chock that up to him trying to make an impression on Isolder. He also seems a little overly calm toward the Isolder/Leia/Han matter, but perhaps Luke feels it's something that needs to left to his sister's hands. (I actually get the feeling that he wasn't entirely sure of what was going on and wanted more information first before he made any judgements.) But I commend Wolverton for not falling into the trap of giving Luke another girlfriend or angsty, tragic love to whom he has to say goodbye in the end. Instead, he handled the attraction between the two in a mature, but sweet, fashion. It's nice to see an author pick up on the idea that Luke doesn't have to fall in love with *every* girl he runs into. He can just, y'know, *like* them. ;)

    The Dathomir natives are fairly well done. I get the feeling they're in many ways meant to parody one of the oldest myths seen in sci fi movies - that of the matriarchal race of beautiful, Amazonian women. It's also interesting to see an author explore the idea that force use is not restricted only to Jedi, that as a universal variable, it can be mastered by others, as well. (I thought the idea that they called the Jedi "Jai" was also a nice detail.) As a whole, they were well developed, It's kind of odd to think there's a plane
     
  2. ReconSEAL

    ReconSEAL Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 3, 2003
    It was about average. My main problem was that the character's were totally out of character at times, and that the writing seemed childish also.
     
  3. gromas

    gromas Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2005
    10 - Out of all of the Bantam novels, this one remains my favorite, just a fun read! I agree, the Whuffa scene with Han is classic, and it's been many years since I've even read the book.
     
  4. FelsGoddess

    FelsGoddess Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2004
    I didn't like this book much. The Han and Leia were so off character! It doesn't fit at all.
     
  5. padawanlissa

    padawanlissa Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2005
    This book wasn't bad, but it could definitely have been better.

    I give it an 8.
     
  6. Qui-Gon-Matt

    Qui-Gon-Matt Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2005
    I didn't like this book much. The Han and Leia were so off character! It doesn't fit at all.

    I agree! I rated it poor. My least favorite of the EU books so far. I just didn't feel like I was reading about the same characters, they seemed so different in this one.
     
  7. Anapad Nabooine

    Anapad Nabooine Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2005

    At least, any novel where Luke Skywalker gets imprisoned as a sex slave is worth a read. ;)

    I agree! Chaotic_Serenity came close.
     
  8. Anapad Nabooine

    Anapad Nabooine Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2005
    At least, any novel where Luke Skywalker gets imprisoned as a sex slave is worth a read. ;)

    I agree! Chaotic_Serenity, I enjoyed your insightful post in particular. It's been a while since I've read COPL and my memory is fuzzy; posters here have refreshed it somewhat. But I do remember liking it very much. I jumped at the chance for some SW romance stuff. I've just started reading EU again after a long time and there doesn't seem to be much of that. (Thank the Force for fanfic!)

    COPL seemed to have a little of everything: intrigue, sci-fi, fantasy, romance and interesting characters overall. I mistakenly gave it a 7 before reading the thread, but now I mean 8 - just because something has to be near perfect to rate 9 or 10 for me. Courtship came close.
     
  9. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jan 27, 2000
    I give it a 4- overall, it's not too bad of a book and the Imperial and witches plotline is pretty solid. I hate the Hapans though. Additionally, I felt the Han and Leia characterizations were WAY off in this book- and I'll note this is probably the only SW book I've ever said that about any SW character. Crap like "Do you love me yet?" was just annoying. yet, I didn't mind the overall structure of their story (I even liked the kidnapping thing) with exception to NR officials pressuring Leia into the Hapan marriage.

    So average to decent book that gets points deducted for bad Han/Leia characterization and the Hapans. Reading the Wraith books before this helps improve the Imperial plotline, though it detracts from the Han/Leia stuff by showing just how poorly written they were in COPL by comaprison to the XW titles.
     
  10. MsLanna

    MsLanna Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 2005
    7
    Bordering on eight, but, well.
    I liked the way the OT characters were done. Once you accept Isolder as a plot device and the resulting behaviour of Leia as well, things brighten up. And I can see Han acting downright stupid for Leia...
    I enjoyed reading the nove, the way of narration is easy-going and affectionte. Another big bonus (IMHO) is the fact that the NR is not on the brink of destruction for a change.

    The big happy end with a "double" wedding was a bit over the top for my taste, though. In the end things resolved a little too easily, too. (Did I mention I like deviously twisted plots?)

    I liked the way the rancors were reintroduced, how Luke struggels with 'his girl' as well as with his understanding of the force.

    Still it's a book worth reading.
     
  11. goblin_fire

    goblin_fire Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2005
    This one is among my all time favorite EU novels. I mean come on let's face it, how often do we get treated to C-3PO playing match maker? The witches were interesting and in some ways scary to read. Not everyday you read about a villan that even the Emperor feared. Han and Leia I think were portrayed well, though others have stated otherwise.
    People can do some crazy, out of character things when the one they love is smitten by looks and muscles of some other person. If I had been Han I would have kidnapped Leia too. And if I had been Leia I probably would have drooled over the prince as well.
    All in all, this book is an entertaining read and one that had me laughing for hours over C-3PO's "Han Solo what a man" song.
     
  12. Eddie

    Eddie Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 16, 2001
    8, I liked the book for the most part. Would have been a 9 however but I found the Hapen prince a bit unbelievable.
     
  13. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    May 24, 2001
    This book was a nice surprise.

    I got into the EU big time about 2 years ago, so I'm an EXTREMELY late bloomer. But when I started, I started with the X-Wing books and was determined to read them chronologically. So when I got to Courtship, I was really looking forward to seeing Han, Luke and Leia again (as much as I loved the Rogue and Wraith squadrons). But I also found it a bit hard to get excited about a book called...The Courtship of Princess Leia? I'd known about the book for YEARS since I love bookstores and saw it when it debut on hardcover, but that was a dull title. Fortunately, I didn't judge a book by its cover and read it. Really, really good stuff. Particularly after the first two chapters or so. I also loved the Rancors. Very cool.

    EnriqueH
     
  14. Corellian_Cutie

    Corellian_Cutie Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 13, 2005
    awesome...loved the Han/Isoder interaction.
     
  15. Fettist

    Fettist Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Jan 27, 2006
    8

    I thought it was a great book. The characters seemed to be right on and the action was intense. I liked how Luke was defeated and barely revived by his confidence in the force towards the end of the book. And his realistic understanding that he never knew if he was really tested by Vader was on the money. He came out with this realization when he thought, ?So this is how it would have been, if Vader had tried to kill me? after Gethzerion overwhelms him.

    One error I saw:
    Han says something about being around when the old republic existed, but he is too young understanding that EpIII is 20 years before EpI?
     
  16. Golden_Jedi

    Golden_Jedi Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Awful book.
     
  17. Jaina-Strife

    Jaina-Strife Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2006
    It was an entertaining read. It definitely could have been better though. I'll give it an 8.
     
  18. 1_4_Jedi

    1_4_Jedi Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2006
    8/10

    I really liked this novel. It was great to see Han taking care of business with Leia (finally !) and the Dathamorian Force-witches were interesting and different, yet formidable in their own right. The Hapans were refreshing if not a bit overbearing, and Isolder is a total pimp. I thought Luke was handled fairly well in this book as well, and his confidence in himself was an important step in the direction of the future. I can see alot of future potential (books) materializing out of this book,
     
  19. Twinky_Stryder

    Twinky_Stryder Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 16, 2003
    7.

    For me, this was basically the SW equivalent to a romantic comedy. Plus any book where C3PO sings and a warrior woman decides to take Luke as her man slave gets extra points.
     
  20. PrinceEspaaValorum

    PrinceEspaaValorum Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Zsinj is not Thrawn, but who can be? Still, a great read.
     
  21. Darth_gloom

    Darth_gloom Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Not the greatest SW book ever, but surely enjoyable. It had many classic moments, like Luke floating down from the sky, getting hit over the head by Tenenial Djo, riding on Rancors, and Leia and Han's wedding. The kidnapping was great. 6 or 7 out of ten, a solid Star Wars novel.
     
  22. padawan3

    padawan3 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 1999
    I agree, not the greatest but definitely pleasent reading. I give Wolverton a lot of credit in creating both the Hapan civilization and the Nightsisters. He created two radically different societies and a dark cult that inspired spinal shivers. Very few authors take that much of a risk when they write global societies and almost none write, female dominating ones. I gave it a 7.
     
  23. Jedi Vince

    Jedi Vince Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Aug 2, 1999
    This book never interested me, but when I read its section in The New Essential Chronology, I thought the story was cool enough to give it a shot.

    Sorry ... I really don't feel like forming any sort of ideas about this one, so I'll list some things I liked and didn't like.

    I LIKED:
    - Hapans and The Nightsisters
    - Presence of stormtroopers -- it provided a nice Star Wars feel.
    - Overall sense of exploration and uncertainty, which also helped create a solid Star Wars feel.
    - Mixture of fantasy and sci-fi elements with pretty edgy action and violence.
    - Overall space-opera tone.

    I DISLIKED:
    - Han's dialogue. I didn't mind his actions, but I don't think he would ever talk so long-winded -- no matter how much he evolved.
    - Although the action built, I still felt pacing problems.
    - Some of the perplexing syntax. Wolverton's prose was solid overall, but every once in a while, he couldn't get tenses to agree, and it drove me nuts.


    It was too much of a mixed bag for me. I like the story, but I don't think it was executed properly. However, I do wish more books were written in more of the space-opera tradition.

    6/10
     
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