Behind The Throne

Featured
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
1092 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

Stuffed
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome, little one. You have been chosen to join us,...
Estranged #2: The Changeling King
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Enter a world of faerie magic and epic adventure in...
The Edge of the Word (Mightier than the Sword, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The exciting follow-up to Mightier Than the Sword, the humorous...
Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A touching story about Japanese American children who corresponded with...
Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded...
The Galactic Adventures of Hazel - Gurecoa
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
What is it like to live in 4519 AD in...
Batman: Nightwalker (The Graphic Novel)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
This action-packed graphic novel based on the New York Times...
Rat Rule 79: An Adventure (Yonder, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the New Yorker “20 Under 40” author of Atmospheric...
Big Nate: Back to Back Hits: On a Roll and Goes for Broke
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Big Nate on a Roll, Nate’s a big deal...
Pippa Park Raises Her Game
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Life is full of great expectations for Korean American Pippa...
Dangerous Alliance
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an...
After: After Zombie Series Book 1
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
A world once overrun by zombies... Jenna grew up...
Michigan vs. the Boys
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
When a determined girl is confronted with the culture...
Hitched: The Bachelorette
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
One innocent human girl. Twenty-five supernatural bachelors. Six weeks...
Adorkable
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts...
Scared Little Rabbits
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
We stand in a tight cluster, high above the...

Latest Member Reviews

Juliet Takes a Breath
 
4.7
"Juliet Takes a Breath is a coming of age story about a Latina lesbian from the Bronx who travels to..."
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
5.0
"Fireborne is a fantasy novel set nine years after a bloody uprising against a brutal regime in which the poor..."
Jason & Kyra
 
N/A
"i am from Italy hello. Can you help me translate? /rardor"
The Galactic Adventures of Hazel - Gurecoa
 
3.0
"THE GALACTIC ADVENTURES OF HAZEL - GURECOA takes place in the far future, where our planet is only vaguely recognizable...."
Batman: Nightwalker (The Graphic Novel)
 
4.3
"BATMAN: NIGHTWALKER (THE GRAPHIC NOVEL) converts the YA novel by Marie Lu into graphic novel format. The plot remains the..."
Adorkable
 
5.0
"ADORKABLE is a book you can easily predict, but the journey is unbelievably delightful. Sally Spitz is a senior in..."
Six Goodbyes We Never Said
 
3.3
"SIX GOODBYES WE NEVER SAID is quite a heavy YA contemporary. We follow Naima and Dew in alternating sections. Naima..."
Wilder Girls
 
4.7
" THIS WAS INCREDIBLE. This book reads like BUTTER...… Moldy, rotten, disgusting butter,..."
The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
 
4.0
"After killing a man in Paris, Celine is forced to flee to a different country and finds herself in New..."
The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)
 
5.0
"Guinevere has one role to play when she arrives in Camelot. She has to protect King Arthur with her life...."
Unstoppable Moses: A Novel
 
3.3
"UNSTOPPABLE MOSES is quite an interesting YA contemporary. With dark humor, grief/healing, and guilt/blame, this book takes on some big..."
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
 
4.0
"The most amazing thing about classic horror stories is how they still influence many writers today. To read 'the..."