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Publisher's Summary

Behind the Throne begins K. B. Wagers's action-packed science fiction adventure, with a heroine as rebellious as Han Solo, as savvy as Leia, and as skilled as Rey.

Hail Bristol has made a name for herself as one of the most fearsome gunrunners in the galaxy. But she can't escape her past forever: Twenty years ago, she was a runaway princess of the Indranan Empire. Now, her mother's people have finally come to bring her home.

But when Hail is dragged back to her Indrana 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.

In a world where the only safe options are fight or flight, Hail must rule.

©2016 Wagers (P)2016 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Excellent SF adventure debut." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

"Full of fast-paced action and brutal palace intrigue, starring the fiercest princess this side of Westeros." (B&N.com)

"Promising science-fiction series...for fans of stories with plenty of action and political maneuvering." (Booklist)

What listeners say about Behind the Throne

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't stop listening.

I truly enjoyed Behind the Throne. I was hooked from the first chapter. Hail is a tough as nails woman but she’s shown to have emotions and vulnerabilities without them making her seem weak or whiney. The mutual trust between Hail and her tracker turned bodyguards develops slowly and realistically as the book progresses. The political intrigue along with the character development and world building propelled the first half of the book. The author described the Indranan Empire’s founding and it’s matriarchal society and Hindu inspired ceremonies as well as Hail’s past little by little as needed for the story without the pages long information dumps so often found in this type book. The last half of the book is more action packed but I think the time spent developing the plot and people make their peril and sacrifices more intense.
I thought the narrator was superb. She was perfect for this book. Since the ruling body of the Indranan Empire are descendants of India her Indian accent enhanced the characters and brought the story vibrantly to life.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating story with a vivid, kickass heroine

I read the print version of this book, and loved it. I enjoyed it. The rich world with its Indian influence is fascinating. Yet Hail is as far from prim and traditional- a kickass combination of King Arthur and Wonder Woman, yet with human foibles. So I bought the audiobook and found the narration added another nice layer to the story. Good work all around.

5 people found this helpful

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Fast Paced Story

Any additional comments?

What do you get when you kidnap a gunrunner and haul her home to be heir to the throne. A fast paced, action packed story about characters that pull you into their world and give you reason to want to stay.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Narrator of an excellent book!

I really loved this book and loved this narrator. When I first started this book I wasn't sure about the accent of the author, but the more I got into the book the more I realized how perfect this narrators accent was for the characters. The characters were very intriguing, especially the main character and her snarky attitude. The story grabbed my attention from the first chapter and kept me intrigued until the very end. I didn’t want to put this book down it was so fun and action-packed. Can’t wait to start the next book.

2 people found this helpful

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Will keep you up reading way past bed time

This book was a blast!

If you like witty banter, strong friendships, and political intrigue -- all set in space -- you will love this book! Plus, sprinkled throughout the book's fun and intrigue are often some seriously beautifully written lines.

More detailed feelings about the book below. (Spoiler-free, of course)

I love how the author used the matriarchal society to point out how stupid the lack of gender equality is in our current society...yet also give female readers something that is sadly absent in sci-fi: a female heroine that isn't hyper sexualized, isn't too perfect, and isn't just a side character set up as a prize for the male hero. Furthermore, it was super cool to me that the heroine wasn't "strong" because she acted like a man. She was strong because she trusts her own intuition.

What a powerful message that is.

I wish I'd read this kind of book when I was younger. It would have seriously inspired and made an impression, because it shows so many different types of women, in so many different kinds of roles -- all with their own agency, being treated with respect by the author. From the villains, to the side characters, to the hero -- it was so cool to see SO MANY female characters, each with their own motivations, flaws, and personalities. We need more of this in fiction. THANK YOU for writing this.

Gender equality gushing aside -- the story was also really well executed; the author does a fantastic job of making the book feel satisfying by the end, but also setting up the underlying, larger plot at play for the next book.

Highly recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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captivating political drama and

great action sequences. There isn't a dull moment, even with the exposition. This is a must.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lot's and Lot's of Setup for Series

For those that read the summary and see the words Gunrunner and Indranan War and think action packed book, you might be disappointed. This is more a cloak and dagger story that unfortunately waited way too long to really flesh out the characters. It was just good enough in the beginning to finish and see the entire thing through. As for the narration it too got better as time went on but only a little. The Indian accent,though thoughtful for the story, seemed to suck the emotion and any action out the more peaked
moments. That said , I did like the story once the final act played out but I was considering setting it down through most of it. My final grade was lowered more for the narration than the book itself. I may have been better off buying the copy instead.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great!

I enjoyed this story. It kept my attention throughout, which is what matters most for me. I do feel like it was missing something, but I can’t put my finger on it.

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  • GR
  • 10-22-21

What it is VS what it isn’t

The blurb compared this to Star Wars and the main character to Han Solo. At least for this first book, I feel it is a bad comparison on both counts. The main character is like Han Solo only insofar as she used to be a gunrunner and can fight, but she’s not a Han Solo-esque personality at all. She’s very diplomatic, noble and unselfish, but she can’t come up with a better catchphrase than “bugger me”. The story so far isn’t much like Star Wars either. There is some action, but it is mostly court intrigue on a single planet with the limited action scenes being concluded quickly. There might be more action in the next two books. This also isn’t a romance. It never said it was but that’s what some people look for, so I’m just clearing that up right now. I love that this is a single woman fighting for her family and her empire.

If you like court intrigue and political thrillers, this is an uncomplicated and satisfying story. I enjoyed being introduced to this universe. It’s also kinda refreshing to see a world where women rule and men are traditionally considered weak, powerless, incapable of leadership etc. Like: wow, finally a female lead who doesn’t have to overcome THOSE particular obstacles. I feel I should note that the protagonist does seem to believe in equality for the sexes, though it’s not her priority to address so far.

I love the balance so far and I’m on to the next!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Gunrunner to Empress

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, because it asks a lot of interesting questions about power, authority and human nature

Did Angèle Masters do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

The main characters were clearly defined. The less important people took some sorting out,

Any additional comments?

I want to find out what happens next.