The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton takes up immediately after the events of Solo Command. An exhausted Han Solo returns to Coruscant, eager to meet his darling Leia again. He arrives just in time to witness how the Queen Mother of Hapes, a wealthy star cluster, offers riches the New Republic desperately needs for the war effort—under one condition: Leia has to marry the Queen’s son Isolder. Leia struggles to refuse out of her sense of duty, and Prince Isolder being charming and attractive does not help Han’s cause. Jealous and angry, Han applies smuggler-style problem solving and abducts Leia, only to strand them on Dathomir, an unfriendly planet deep in Zsinj’s territory. Luke Skywalker and Isolder team up to find the runaways and find that Dathomir’s native inhabitants might be more dangerous than Zsinj.
Courtship of Princess Leia is one of those books you do not wish were longer. The driving conflict between Han and Isolder quickly becomes embarrassing and reduces Leia to an almost archetypical damsel in distress. Furthermore, Leia and other women seem to swoon a bit too much for grown women. But then, it fits the shallowness of the setup as a whole. Diverting action made Courtship of Princess Leia an entertaining if not gripping read. It should be interesting to fans as the events influence later years in the EU, others can safely ignore it.
The plot line around warlord Zsinj ends in this book. It happens in passing; none of the characters set out to continue the hunt. Zsinj just happens to be in the neighbourhood, gets in the way and is taken out. I think the Zsinj plotline deserved a more focused, explosive finale scaled to fit the sense of danger Zsinj is connoted with in prequels. That would have left this book to deal with the problem of Leia’s choice of husband only. Of course, there would not have been much of an ending left to Courtship of Princess Leia in that case; more proof that the plot idea is rather weak.