After the Crown Continues the Saga of a Heroine Who’s the Princess Leia/Han Solo Mashup of Your Dreams

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After the Crown Continues the Saga of a Heroine Who’s the Princess Leia/Han Solo Mashup of Your Dreams -

gunrunnerWhen last we left Her Imperial Highness Hailimi Mercedes Jaya Bristol, the hero of K.B. Wagers’ Behind the Throne, the one-time gunrunner, scoundrel, as well as rogue was perched upon the highest seat of the Indranan Empire. A royal daughter as well as heir who had long ago abandoned her duties in favor of a life of freedom was forced to claim the throne following a devastating coup which left her alone with the pedigree as well as power to lead an empire as well as bring stability inside wake of chaos.

Wagers’ followup, After the Crown, picks up very shortly after, inside aftermath of the deadly plot as well as Hail’s ascension. She is usually confronted by threats coming from within as well as without, as well as court followers with varying agendas. She’s forced to put her grief as well as doubt aside when a diplomatic mission is usually revealed as a murderous trap, as well as the Empress has to fight for her crown against a plot which unites factions among her own people, as well as her longtime enemies the Saxon Empire, against her.

The Indranan Empire is usually a fascinating, lived-in world, nevertheless we never get much of a ground-level look at the idea. The worldbuilding is usually almost entirely in service to the Empress, as well as which’s better than OK. In Behind the Throne, we got to know the Empire coming from her perspective as a prodigal daughter coming home to fulfill her duty under the most extreme form of duress. Here, we’re privy to the political machinations which will be familiar to George R.R. Martin fans. Hail is usually absolute ruler in name, nevertheless, inside style of most absolute monarchies throughout history, she’s limited by precedent, tradition, political expediency as well as the shifting will of the people.

Though Indranan culture is usually based on an Indian product, the monarchy feels very Tudor in style, as though Queen Elizabeth I had ruled coming from Agra or Kabul rather than Westminster. which cultural influence is usually hugely significant: science fiction is usually growing in popularity on the subcontinent, nevertheless there’s been precious little sci-fi or fantasy which suggests a future by way of one of the most populous as well as fastest growing nations inside earth, as well as even less which makes the idea to print inside United States (Ian McDonald’s River of Gods as well as Cyberabad Days come to mind). One can argue which representation is usually important for its own sake, nevertheless you can also make the case which variety is usually the spice of fantasy as well as science fiction. The history of SFF is usually full of stories with white, western-centric cultures projected into the future, seemingly to the exclusion of anyone else. the idea’s refreshing which we’re beginning to imagine futures which are less exclusively white.

Of course, Hail is usually also a woman—a middle-aged woman, at which, ruling a matriarchal society. Though the idea’s generally taken for granted inside way which a male-dominated monarchy might be in any number of fictional (as well as real life) political systems, Wagers has some fun with the idea of men pleading for equal rights as well as equal representation to women who find the idea slightly ridiculous. Men, after all, have their places…as well as if they hold few leadership positions in government or inside military, isn’t which just the way things are supposed to be?

Star Wars feels like a strong influence on the series, given the well-worn universe the idea is usually set in as well as the assortment of charming rogues who make up much of the cast. The Empress herself fits which description: we all know Princess Leia has the best resume, nevertheless Han Solo gets most of the action as well as the best lines. Those qualities combine in Hail; though becoming Empress seems to have mellowed her a bit inside early going, her many years as a gunrunner as well as smuggler come in handy once the plot comes into focus as well as the action ramps up. The well-meaning cadre of advisors, frequently men, who have been prodding as well as encouraging her all along are entirely out of their element once the structure of the imperial court are no longer to be relied upon, which means which Hail is usually back in her element: using guns, her many shady underworld connections, as well as her wit as well as instincts to fight to reclaim her throne.

The princess isn’t just a princess, she’s a queen, one who sees most of the action as well as gets the best lines. The prospect of a loss of her empire, as well as the consequences to her people, force Hail to come to terms with her brand new life. There’s no time for mourning, nor for self-doubt. With the odds stacked against her, she regains the determination as well as clarity of purpose which she’ll need, which means we get to spend more time than we did even inside first book among the underworld elements of Hail’s past.

The first part of the book favors behind-the-scenes political intrigue as well as an exploration of Hail’s grief as well as doubt, as she relies on advisors to steer her decisions, many of whom have their own doubts about her qualifications. Once she’s forced back into the game, the tone shifts, as well as Hail is usually Once more the hero the Empire (as well as we readers) needs.

After the Crown is usually available right now.

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