Behind the Throne by K.B. Wagers
Reviewed by Ginny!
Meet Hail: Captain. Gunrunner. Fugitive.
Quick, sarcastic, and lethal, Hailimi Bristol doesn’t suffer fools gladly. She has made a name for herself in the galaxy for everything except what she was born to do: rule the Indranan Empire. That is, until two Trackers drag her back to her home planet to take her rightful place as the only remaining heir.
But trading her ship for a palace has more dangers than Hail could have anticipated. Caught in a web of plots and assassination attempts, Hail can’t do the one thing she did twenty years ago: run away. She’ll have to figure out who murdered her sisters if she wants to survive.
A gun smuggler inherits the throne in this Star Wars-style science fiction adventure from debut author K. B. Wagers. Full of action-packed space opera exploits and courtly conspiracy – not to mention an all-out galactic war – Behind the Throne will please fans of James S. A Corey, Becky Chambers and Lois McMaster Bujold, or anyone who wonders what would happen if a rogue like Han Solo were handed the keys to an empire
Synopsis from Goodreads
What I drank prior: so much wine. After bookcon celebration.
Spoiler-free Overview: cress/Haili is introduced right after an attempted takeover of her ship. Only to be kidnapped by her royal family as her years of gunrunning come to an end. As she returns home she has to deal with a lot of politics, some assasination attempts, and a lot of drama.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: I did enjoy this book. I’ll get into this more but I loved this world, there was sich a depth to it.
Characters: Haili is so conflicted about what she is going to do which makes this book that mich more fun. I really enjoyed characters like Emmory, Zin, Alba, and so many more. I think a number of people weren’t super fleshed out but they didny nevessarily need to be. I did think that for a matriarchal society the number of main female characters seemed a littlw bit low. It made sense in the book but still. I really did like Haili’s main bodyguards. Emmory and Zin are very different but at the same point so in sync. The cast of guards followed the walking dead theory of personality(any background means iminent death). Some of the characters seemed pretty obviosuly shifty but Im not in politics. Maybe theyre all prettu shifty.
Plot: political machonations can be super hit or miss with me. This was a hit if only because the main character was as bugged with them as I generally am. The twists and tuens were relatively constant though a number of them were obvious.
Writing Style: do i ever have something to say here?
World Building: I loved the world building. Im a big fan of a space opera. While this book focused mainly on one planet(consortium?) The gunrunner past showed off or at leaat hinted at a bumbet of the different planets and systems. I wanted so much more of that. I loved the explanatiom about how the matriarchal system developed but would have loved more interaction between the main focus and everyone else.
I thought the action at the end of the nook came on tok quickly and was resolved to easily. I know that physical fights dont necessaroly take all that long but it doesnt change the fact that with so many political machinations the actual answer would have taken more than 8% of the book (complete estimate, I dont actually know).
What to pair it with: the fox mulder (gonna be honest I looked up space themed drinks on google) and this one sounded pretty good. Like I said, it sounded right. I have no actual information on it.