Books : reviews

Katy B. Wagers.
Behind the Throne.
Titan. 2016

rating : 3 : worth reading
review : 31 May 2017

‘I just said I wanted to kill someone. Giving me a gun probably isn’t the best of ideas’

Hail Bristol has made a name for herself in the galaxy for everything except what she was born to do: rule the Indranan Empire.

When she is dragged back to her home planet to take her rightful place as the only remaining heir, she finds that trading her ship for a palace is her most dangerous move yet.

Cressen Stone is a successful gun runner. But she was once Hail Bristol, heir to the throne of the Indranan Empire. And her mother the Empress is dying. So Trackers are sent to bring Hail home. The home she deserted over a decade ago. The home she doesn’t want to see again. Or at least, that’s what everyone back home thinks. And when she gets home, her gun-running skills may be all that can keep her alive.

Hail rapidly recalls all the royal protocols, much to her dismay, but she needs to work out which faction is trying to destabilise the Empire before she ends up as dead as her sisters. Her gunn running skills may allow her to beat assassins hand-to-hand, but they won’t save her from bombs, or shield her from politics. It seems that the current troubles may be related to why she left the Empire in the first place.

This is a great page turner with a full cast of lost heirs, sarcastic bodyguards, misunderstood Empresses, evil cousins, scheming prime ministers, gentlemanly ambassadors, and rival empires. The Indranan Empire is descended from Hindu India, with a matriarchal overlay, which results in some interesting cultural features. I’m looking forward to the next book, seeing how Hail copes with her changed circumstances in very perilous times indeed.

Katy B. Wagers.
After the Crown.
Titan. 2016

Former gunrunner Hail Bristol has been dragged back to her home planet to take her rightful position as empress. But violence and betrayal from all sides are pushing Indrana to the brink of civil and interplanetary war.

Unsure whom to trust, Hail must rely on her gunrunner instincts to survive and save her people and her empire.