Why Bloodline is THE Must Read Star Wars Canon Book

I’ve always been a reader, but I’ve never quite matched the pace of devouring books that I hit when I was about 13 – 15. It was before the internet really kicked off, and before the current renaissance of top quality TV shows (thus much less distractions) and there seemed to be almost infinite brilliant stories out there for people my age. I also had a good relationship with our school librarian – she knew what kind of books I liked, and could recommend me a new book to start whenever I finished the last one. I think Young Adult books can contain some of the most brilliantly crafted worlds, and sometimes calling them ‘Young Adult’ books is a shame, as it might put off some adults reading them.


Reading ‘Bloodline‘, the new canon Star Wars book by Claudia Gray, reminded me of first falling in love with reading. Its first and foremost, a well written and engaging story. I ignored my wife for a few evenings back to back, because I just had to know how it ended and I was so engaged with the plot. It has to be the best canon book since the old EU was scraped in 2014. It’s such a key story to the Star Wars saga, and it’s defiantly not just for young adults.

Bloodline is not Claudia Gray’s first Star Wars book, she also wrote Lost Stars, a book dealing with two Empire recruits throughout the galactic civil war. Lost Stars added more texture and detail to some well-known Star Wars events (such as the destruction of Alderaan, or the Battle of Endor) and while it’s a brilliantly written book it doesn’t deal with the main story of the Star Wars saga. It’s more of a companion story. Bloodline, however, takes place 7 years before The Force Awakens and deals with some key events leading up to the film – the state of the Galactic Senate, the origins of the First Order and the origins of Resistance. When watching The Force Awakens for the first time, many fans were a little unsure of the political state of the Galaxy – who were the Resistance? How were they linked with the Senate? Who knows about the First Order, and how did the come to be? Bloodline answers so many of these questions, it really feeds into the Force Awakens and gives you a much better understanding of the events of the film.


I don’t want to give away too much of the plot here (we’ll have a full summery of the plot soon on the product page, hidden behind a ‘Spoiler’ tag for anyone who wants more detail) but the setup is this: Leia is a key member of the Galactic Senate 7 years before the Force Awakens. She sees the senate has become ineffective and bloated over the years since the fall of the Empire, and she’s struggling with the lack of adventure in her current bureaucratic position. At the same time, many senators think that the Galaxy needs stronger leadership (they’re known as Centralists in the book) and the other half (Populists) think that planets should govern themselves. As is often the case with Star Wars there are heroes on both sides, but Leia is firmly in the Populist camp. When an independent world comes to the Senate claiming their world is being slowly taken over by a criminal / gangster, Leia sees the opportunity to finally do some real good and to have the kind of adventure that she’s missing, and volunteers to investigate. A Centralist senator comes along, and the two form an unlikely friendship while discovering the criminal network may be more than it seems.

As with Lost Stars, Grey does a good job of showing The Empire and its supporters as more than just pure evil – they’re real people who have actual motivations. There are characters in Bloodline who argue that the Empire wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, and while we know the whole truth of the Empire, you can see both sides of the argument. A galaxy with millions of planets must be difficult to govern effectively.


All in all, I’d say if you were only going to read one book in the new Star Wars canon, let this be it. While we don’t currently know how important the ‘Aftermath’ trilogy is going to be, Bloodline adds so much context and explanation to the new Star Wars sequel trilogy it’s a must read for any fan. Once you’ve finished it, be sure to mark ‘Completed’ and leave a review on the Bloodline page

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Here’s a link to the UK Amazon product page if you’re not in the US

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