SciFi Month Read Along: Behind The Throne, Week 4

Hail faces a full-blown coup as those behind the recent assassination attempts make a final (desperate) bid for the throne of Indrana – but she’s not doing it alone…

It’s time to finish discussing Behind The Throne. Spoiler alert!



As this is the final week of the Read Along, I’m just going to get straight to the questions!

RIP the empress-mother, who at least got to have as much of a reconciliation with Hail as was likely possible under the circumstances before she met her end. Did this scene and/or the manner of her death change your opinion of her, or earn her more sympathy?

It did improve my opinion of her a little, but with that said I feel like any sympathy I do have is bound to be too little, too late – we got a largely one-sided take on her here, and as with some other characters who are portrayed posthumously, I feel like a lot of context was maybe dropped? But that’s all in retrospect; what is clear is that she was a flawed woman in a position of power, and both of those things had deep impacts on her life and the lives of those close to her. It’s regrettable, but at least she and Hail found some sort of peace with each other – literally right before she died, but nonetheless. So I do sympathise, even if I never quite got to liking her.


Let’s talk about Bial. We get a few more twists and turns out of this book thanks to him, and it appears we haven’t seen the last of him yet. What are your thoughts regarding the former Ekam now that we’re at the end of book 1? 

Now, here’s a character we could very well be learning more about, and I am DYING TO. I was never entirely sure how important Bial would turn out to be – I did not recall that reveal about his Tracker training AT ALL – and I’m still not sure what the heck his deal is. Was he telling Hail the truth when he said he didn’t know about Ganda’s plans, or is he a smarter and much more devious cookie than he seems? He certainly complicated things by taking a bullet for Hail, even after admitting he didn’t want her on the throne. And then disappearing like that? WHAT IS HE DOING. I really want to know! I hope the following books will shed more light on all this, and on him.


Ganda, Nalmari and Laabh have all earned justice at the hands (or at least the will) of the new Empress. Or have they? Do you think Hail’s sentence was entirely just, or is the vengeful gunrunner having her way after all? Or is it both? Bonus question: how about that final coronation scene?

I suspect a little of both, on this one. Hail’s sentence certainly Made A Point about how she intends to conduct herself, and it’s bound to make life very interesting for everyone.

(Though not for long, for some – ahahaha ahem anyway.)

But, yes – I think a little of the gunrunner had her way in the end. If Hail can find a way to make this duality work, to be both the ruthless mercenary and the politically savvy Empress, then she’s bound to become a force to be reckoned with. So long as she doesn’t forget that she doesn’t have to walk that path alone. Take your found family with you, Hail!

As for the coronation scene, I won’t lie: I loved it. Talk about making a statement. If I wasn’t already eager to read further, that scene would have sealed the deal for me. Whoever has been causing all this trouble has no idea what they’re in for, and I’m 100% here for whatever might happen next.


On the subject of royal rulers, let’s turn to the Saxons. Hail is not entirely convinced that the Saxon attacks – within the palace and far without – happened with King Trace’s knowledge, or at least with his blessing. What do you think? And are you intrigued to learn more about Hail’s apparent enemy?

And this is exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about, heh. I’m also not convinced that Trace had a controlling hand in what happened, but I could be wrong. After all, we haven’t even properly met him yet. But for now I’m going with my gut and saying he’s got similar issues to the ones Hail had in this book – not everyone close to him is on the level. Someone’s up to something, over there. And heck yes, I want to know what it is and I want to know more about Trace. Bring on the face-to-face meeting, please!


That’s it from me, but be sure to check out our final Mission Logs at the end of the month for a round-up of takes from everyone else. Also, another little reminder that I will be putting together a Read Along for Book 2 of The Indranan War trilogy, After The Crown, in January! Will you be joining me? Let me know!

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