Behind The Throne

Featured
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
1126 0
Behind The Throne
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
16+
Release Date
August 02, 2016
ISBN
978-0316308601
Buy This Book
      

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.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A Deadly Heir
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
An action-dense sci-fi full of politics and intrigue—with strong crossover appeal for fantasy fans, especially those who enjoy works along the same lines as The Queen Of The Tearling trilogy.

Set nearly two millennia into the future, the story is told in first-person past-tense entirely from the perspective of Hailimi Mecedes Jaya Bristol; a runaway “princess.” It starts out with high action, and the pacing never lets up for too long throughout the “headstrong, reluctant ruler” premise.

Twenty years ago, Hail fled her home planet—and all her royal responsibilities—to hunt her father’s killer. She never found the person responsible, but she did find a taste for the gun-runner life. So when the Indranan Empire hauls her back home, literally kicking and screaming, she’s in no mood to exchange her freedom for the leadership her people so desperately need. But not only can she no longer return to the life and name she’d made for herself, but someone is determined to prevent her from ascending to the throne she never wanted.

Disclaimer: This reader originally screened Behind The Throne for potential crossover appeal to a YA audience. While the tone and content are closer to New Adult, the belated coming-of-age aspects could potentially be appropriate for select mature YA readers. (Abundant strong but in-context language; casual sexual commentary, but no graphic depictions.)

What I Liked:

The Indranan Empire is a true matriarchy—complete with the open regard for males as the lesser of the two sexes. But it isn’t merely the novelty of a female-dominated society that held my attention, it was the plausibility of the way in which it came about. (When one sex proves significantly more prone to the sanity-destroying side effects of space travel, it makes sense that the more impervious half of the species would take over in the realm of judgment calls.) The issue of gender-based discrimination was handled with a subtle and believable keenness, ratcheting up the conflict in all the right places. The author could have easily gone heavy-handed in the reversal on the historical norm, but she didn’t.

Personally, this reader very much enjoyed the distinctly Indian aesthetic and cultural elements, along with the consistently personalized Hindu references. It's refreshing to see a book buck the religiously sterilized mainstream "norm" and add that extra layer of depth to the work. Hail’s character was made all the more convincible—and relatable—by the inclusion of spirituality into her inner struggle.

I also found the Tracker concept intriguing--however inefficient the idea of somehow bonding two militaristic hunters together so thoroughly that the death of one will make the other go insane. It was interesting to have it openly suggested that their close proximity and mental link would commonly result in a sexual relationship as well--regardless of their genders. I would have liked to see more clarification on this partnering process, but that is perhaps being reserved for future books.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to track especially well with the emotionally disconnected MC until well past the story’s middle. Initially it seemed like the idea of having killed the guy she was casually sleeping with gave Hail little or no regret. (Her only real attachment seemed to be to her ship, Sophie.) But as the story progressed, it began to sound more and more like she was actually attached to Portis. Attachment eventually progressed to marital-level love, upon ongoing reflection. This unfolded in a way that felt more like an afterthought than a realization.

As much as I like tough women, Hail fell more into the callous range than I generally find sympathetic in a heroine. The potential YA appeal here would be primarily in that Hail’s personal growth seems to have been stunted at the age she ran away from home. For the first half of the book she behaves more like an angst-addled 18-year-old than a 38-year-old. This stubborn immaturity does ease up, but this requires a good deal of patience on the part of readers.

While the plot may drive some readers more than the character arc—and enough questions are left to justify the need for a sequel—there wasn’t much by way of twists or surprises.

Minor Note: The two primary expletives (i.e. "Bugger me" and "Holy cowsh*t") felt somewhat overused, and did little to enhance the book’s futuristic setting.

On the whole, this is a solid debut with a great deal of potential. An advisable try for flexible fantasy enthusiasts or fans of lighter sci-fi.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 1

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Mall
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Poems to Live Your Life By, Chris Riddell, political...
The Claires
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Four beautiful girls. Quadruplets. They are not identical.But each is...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
4.0 (1)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo,...
What He Hides
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
She wants the truth... or does she? They say...
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Pirate King,...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
"more forgetting time. more midnight dances with yourself."...
The Upside of Falling
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
It’s been years since eighteen-year-old Becca Hart believed in...
More Than His Best Friend
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
She’s got a strict rule against dating. Could her...
Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to...
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s...

Latest Member Reviews

 
4.0
"POEMS TO LIVE YOUR LIFE BY is a collection in which each poem has been hand-picked by Chris Riddell, for..."
Breaking Through: How Female Athletes Shattered Stereotypes in the Roaring Twenties
 
5.0
"One hundred years ago. When I was growing up, this seemed like an impossibly long time in the past. The..."
No Map, Great Trip: A Young Writer's Road to Page One
 
4.0
"'No Map, Great Trip: A Young Writer's Road to Page One' by Paul Fleischman tells the story of the author..."
When the World Didn’t End: Poems
 
4.0
"Caroline Kaufman, otherwise known as @poeticpoison, has published her latest poems in WHEN THE WORLD DIDN’T END. The collection, which..."
Suffragette: The Battle for Equality
 
4.0
"While there are a number of excellent books about women's suffrage available, including Kops' Alice Paul, Zimet's Roses and Radicals,..."
Imperfect: A Story of Body Image
 
3.5
"A memoir in graphic novel form, offering the personal account of a young Muslim girl’s nearly lifelong battle with perception,..."
Fearless Public Speaking
 
N/A
"If you have weak, wobbly knees and a pounding heart when you face an audience--don't worry, that's good! In Fearless..."
Abraham Lincoln: The Making of America #3
 
4.5
"A highly accessible biographical overview of (arguably) the most renowned and history-altering of all the United States presidents. The book..."
The (other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat and Fierce
 
5.0
"3 Reasons You Need THE OTHER F WORD on your shelves: 1.) The list of contributors: The range of..."
Susan B. Anthony: The Making of America #4
 
4.0
"Why we still need biographies of first wave feminists: "A married woman taking her husband's name reflected that under legal..."
Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets
 
4.0
"June 28th marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, New York City, so it's great to..."
Hello Girls: Friendship on Fire
 
5.0
"Some friendships are unbreakable. In “Hello Girls,” the latest novel by Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry you will find a..."
The Rule of Many
 
4.0
"The Rule of Many is an action-packed sequel to “The Rule of One” written by Ashley and Leslie Saunders, twin..."
 
4.0
"THE YOUNG ACTOR’S HANDBOOK by Jeremy Kruse is essentially a 101 course on acting. With a bare bones approach, Kruse..."
A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
 
4.5
"This is a enthralling telling of the brave Soviet airwomen who flew missions during World War II. They fought in..."
Seven at Sea
 
4.0
"SEVEN AT SEA is told in alternating point of views between Erik and Emily Orton. After watching sailboats drifting on..."
Dear Ally, How Do You Write A Book?
 
5.0
"DEAR ALLY, HOW DO YOU WRITE A BOOK is perfect for anyone interested in writing. It doesn't matter if you're..."
What is Poetry? The Essential Guide to Reading and Writing Poems
 
4.0
"WHAT IS POETRY: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO READING AND WRITING POEMS by Michael Rosen is a nonfiction, how-to book intended..."
Secret Soldiers: How the U.S. Twenty-Third Special Troops Fooled the Nazis
 
5.0
"During WWII, there were dozens and dozens of departments and units doing things that 95% of the population still has..."
Captured: An American Prisoner of War in North Vietnam
 
5.0
"Jeremiah Denton was a naval aviator who was shot down and captured by the North Koreans in 1965, and was..."