Smugglers and empires and murder, oh my!
It’s time to talk about Behind The Throne. Spoilers follow for chapters 1-8.
- Week 1: Chapters 1-8, questions posted on or by Thursday 2nd November, hosted by Dear Geek Place
- Week 2: Chapters 9-15, questions on/by Thursday 9th, hosted by Bookforager
- Week 3: Chapters 16-22, questions on/by Thursday 16th, hosted by The Book Nook
- Week 4: Chapters 23 to End, questions on/by Thursday 23rd, hosted by Dear Geek Place
The story begins by hitting the ground running, with the introduction of Hail Bristol in a literally messy predicament, quickly followed by her return home to power and status as an Imperial heir. How does this introduction to the story – and to Hail – grab you so far?
I tend to really appreciate a story that can not only start with a bang, in the middle of a tense or dramatic situation, but transition well from there to what comes next. Behind The Throne certainly starts off strong in that regard, and as a bonus I feel like we get to know a few of the (numerous!) cast of characters fairly well already, too. K.B. Wagers shows a skillful hand as a writer.
As for the story and characters, I’m definitely settling easily back into this story after having read it for the first time quite a while ago. Not a lot of the story details are coming back to me yet, but that can be a good thing when you’re enjoying a book!
Let’s talk about the Indranan Empire in general next: we have a matriarchal society that’s judged by some (including Hail) to be antiquated and perhaps unnecessary, not to mention unequal. What’s your take on such a society, and on this one in particular?
Another thing I appreciate is that this worldbuilding seems to have been carefully considered. A matriarchal society that’s had time not only to take root, but to begin to wither somewhat in public opinion, is an aspect of this story that I can already tell I’m going to deeply appreciate for its critical approach to the idea. Women are capable of incredible things, but we’re certainly not immune to reproach or incapable of screwing up. Especially women in political positions of power. The fact that the heir to the Indranan Empire is one of the people viewing it critically makes this story even more fascinating, and it’s barely begun.
We’re also introduced to quite a cast of characters in considerably short order. Do any of them stand out to you thus far, for better or worse? Got any fascination or suspicion that grabs you regarding anyone we’ve met?
Hail, obviously, has my attention immediately. Emmory and Zin are really fascinating to me as well, for their partnership dynamic and the personal flaws it’s highlighting as they’re thrust into a new position of responsibility – and forced into such close proximity with Hail, and that’s another budding relationship I’m going to enjoy chewing on. Hail doesn’t pull her punches much, and seeing the effect this has already had on her BodyGuards is going to make things very interesting…
We also have more than one murder mystery (sort of?) going on where Hail is concerned. Given the apparent events that introduced her to us, do you have any thoughts yet on what might have happened to put her in that position, and/or how they might be related to the events that brought her home (if you think they are related, that is)?
Not a single one, except that they’re most likely probably related. Right? I think the fact that my memory is that of a goldfish is going to work in my favour on this reread – I like to be surprised sometimes, and I feel like I’m going to be. Bring on the revelations!