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Star Wars
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Darth Vader and the Emperor are dead, but the Empire lives on and the Alliance must continue the struggle with dwindling supplies of cash and resources. Princess Leia, seeking rich, powerful allies to bring into the Alliance and a new planet as a home for the influential refugees of Alderaan, considers a proposal that could tip the balance of power against the evil Empire. The Hapes consortium, a cluster of sixty-three high-tech worlds, is ruled by the Queen Mother, who wants Leia to marry her son, the dashing and wealthy Prince Isolder. When Han Solo hears the news of Leia's impending nuptials, he reacts with shock. Han always dreamed of marrying Leia himself, but in spite of his heroic exploits he feels that she sees him as nothing more than a shiftless rogue and Corellian pirate, unworthy of her hand. Now he makes a desperate last gamble to win her back. Tricking Leia into accompanying him, Han flees with her to the beautiful and untamed planet Dathomir, where he hopes to win her heart. Fearing the imperious queen's reaction to Han's rash move, Luke Skywalker forms an unlikely alliance with Prince Isolder to track down the runaways. Luke has been traveling the far reaches of the galaxy in search of the scattered lore of the Jedi Knights. But when he, Artoo, and Isolder set off to Dathomir, Luke little suspects that it is only the beginning of an adventure that will lead to the discovery of an awesome treasure, a group of Force-trained "witches" ...and a showdown with an invincible foe. The Courtship of Princess Leia relives the swashbuckling epic of the Star Wars film trilogy as starcruisers battle for control of space, knights of a forbidden order rise again, and a pirate sues forthe heart of a maiden.
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Wolverton ( Serpent Catch ) attempts to add nuance and intrigue to the smash-bang atmosphere that propelled to the stratosphere the Star War movies and Timothy Zahn's three books set in that universe. Readers of the present installment, whose events occur after the films but before Zahn's works, likely already know who Princess Leia will marry, so Wolverton deserves high marks just for making the journey along the road to the inevitable interesting. He generally avoids comic book-style action and artificial climaxes such as having a major character appear to die only to be redeemed at the last moment, but his concentration on familiar characters is disappointing. Though there is plenty of graphic violence, true depth is lacking. All in all, the novel raises expectations for Wolverton's future works once he moves on to other things. 375,000 first printing; TV advertising. (Apr.)

Still at war with the Empire, the fledgling New Republic receives an offer of alliance with the 63 worlds of the Hapes Consortium, provided that Princess Leia will marry its heir, Prince Isolder. As Gen. Han Solo and Isolder fight a cosmic battle for Leia's heart, the discovery of a conspiracy of dark-force wielders lures Luke, Han, Leia, and Isolder to a rendezvous with danger on the mysterious planet Dathomir. Wolverton ( On My Way to Paradise , LJ 12/89) is a vivid scene builder, capturing the cinematic flavor of the Star Wars universe while expanding on the outer reaches of the galaxy. Regrettably, his characterizations just miss the mark. There will probably be a demand for this title despite its shortcomings. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/94.

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