Razor’s Edge

Times are desperate for the Rebel Alliance.  Harassment by the Empire and a shortage of vital supplies are hindering completion of a new secret base on the ice planet Hoth.  So when Mid Rim merchants offer much-needed materials for sale, Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo lead an alliance delegation to negotiate a deal.

But when treachery forces the rebel ship to flee into territory controlled by pirates, Leia makes a shocking discovery: the fierce marauders come from Leia’s homeworld of Alderaan, recently destroyed by the Death Star.  These refugees have turned to pillaging and plundering to survive — and they are in debt to a pirate armada, which will gladly ransom the princess to the vengeful Empire…if they find out her true identity.

Struggling with intense feelings of guilt, loyalty, and betrayal, Leia is determined to help her wayward kinspeople, even as Imperial forces are closing in on her own crippled ship.  Trapped between lethal cutthroats and brutal oppressors, Leia and Han, along with Luke, Chewbacca, and a battle-ready crew, must defy death — or embrace it — to keep the rebellion alive.

Well, I almost don’t know where to start with ticking off all the things I like about this novel — almost because the characterization of Leia has to be number one on my list of faves for this book.  Wells has captured a quiet, contained Leia, but within that quiet containment she showcases Leia’s tenacious strength and cleverness.

A close second favorite is Han’s characterization and it’s a testament to Wells’s skill that while Han is his usual larger-than-life self, he does not steal the show from Leia.  This is very much a Leia book, and Han is along to add flavor, including in the area of not a romance quite yet.  And any writer who can balance this duo at this stage of their saga is aces in my book.*

*Luke is in this book, but his participation is relatively minor.  However, as with Leia and Han, Wells characterization of Luke rings true.

I’d say third comes in at Wells’s inclusion of females in significant roles.  On of them is cleverly evil, one is rationalizing her bad choices, and one or two are smart enough to grab opportunity when it presents itself, but they are all clearly defined people who happen to be females.  Wells manages to effortlessly make the GFFA an inclusive universe.

And then there’s the story itself.  For me it was just rollicking Star Wars adventure.  The heroes typically keep getting into and out of trouble while the overall situation complicates and gets worse, of course.  It is Star Wars.  This is a pretty action packed story, but within the action, the true character of the individual is revealed.

Wells has managed to create a good story with characters we know, in a time period where there can be little surprise.  Razor’s Edge takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.  We know Han and Leia are going to survive.  More than that, we know they have to come out of things okay because they, along with Luke and Chewie, are there on Hoth at the beginning of ESB, and everyone’s just fine.  To write a book that keeps you eagerly turning pages even when you already know everything has to ultimately end well is quite an accomplishment.  Wells has succeeded admirably with Razor’s Edge.  Ultimately it isn’t about the destination, but the journey to get there.

Razor’s Edge is a good jumping off point for someone just starting with the EU, but diehard EU fans will also enjoy this new “early” Leia story.  In it the fiery determined rebel, the young woman who’s lost everything, the Leia in between Episodes IV and V is fleshed out.  The best praise I can give a Star Wars author is that I want to read more Star Wars from them, and I want to read more Star Wars written by Martha Wells.

I give Razor’s Edge a solid 4/5 metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Geralyn for Roqoo Depot.

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  1. […] Razor’s Edge, Martha Wells’s Empire and Rebellion Leia novel, releases today.  It’s a classic Star Wars adventure and you can read our review right here. […]

  2. […] at Roqoo Depot calls it a “rollicking Star Wars adventure,” giving it a […]


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