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Review: Behind the Throne by K.B. Wagers (Indranan War #1)

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Behind the Throne by K.B. Wagers // VBC ReviewBehind the Throne (Indranan War #1)
K.B. Wagers
Published: Aug. 2, 2016 (Orbit)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Twenty years ago Hail Bristol left her home in the Indranan Empire for reasons close to her heart. However, she stayed away because she was tired of the politics of what being the daughter to the Empress means, and she made a name for herself as a successful gunrunner.

Things take a turn when Hail is located by two Trackers and brought home on the heels of her sisters’ deaths, and her mother’s untimely illness. She’s thrust into an Empire on the brink of war, and a home planet where certain persons want her dead along with the rest of her family. The two Trackers, Emmory and Zin, are the only ones she trusts to help her sort out this mess. Hail is the last heir to the Empire, and whether she likes it or not, it’s time for her to step up and claim that title.

Behind the Throne was an extremely easy book to get into and read. The futuristic concepts and setting were easy to see in my mind’s eye, which is an aspect to reading sci-fi that I sometimes find difficult. As our heroine Hail muses, all the people of the Indranan Empire, at one point (eons ago) originated from Earth and many traditions carried over and continue in this futuristic world, which I think made it easier for me to form connections.

It also helped that Hail was such a great character. Her gunrunner days have served her well in that she’s really good at assessing situations and people. There’s a lot of conspiracy going on in court when she returns and Hail just doesn’t know whom to trust. Plus, there’s also that fact that she can literally kick some ass if need be. Yes, she has her BodyGuards but she is not one you want to mess with one-on-one either. She was underestimated quite frequently, and it was delightful to see her shut down the naysayers.

Probably the best thing about her character, though, was the fact that she’s put in a situation that she clearly doesn’t want to be involved in, but she steps up because it’s the right thing to do. Not only so she can see those who murdered her family brought to justice, but also because there are millions of people who are relying on her to lead. Even when she doubts herself, doubts she can do the job, she perseveres. Besides being drawn into figuring out who is behind the upheaval, I was particularly drawn to the ins and outs of Hail becoming the monarch her Empire needs.

Hail is aided in her endeavors by the Trackers-turned-BodyGuards Emmory and Zin. These two pose some swarthy, mystery all on their own, and one complaint is that I wish we got more of their story. We learn a lot about them from their actions and interactions with Hail, but their bond and history with one another is undeniable. I’m hoping K.B. Wagers will treat us to some shorts or possibly a novella at some point.

Overall, I was pretty impressed with Behind the Throne. The themes of responsibility and duty rang true throughout, and I’m excited that it seems we’ll get the second book later in the year because while I wouldn’t say it ends on a cliffhanger by any means, there’s just too much upheaval to tie things up nicely in one book.

Sexual content: none

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