Review: After the Crown by K.B. Wagers (The Indranan War #2)

July 28, 2017 2017 Review Challenge, 2017 The "All Your Book Are Belong to Us" Challenge, Book Review, paperback, prickly pear heroine, series, spunky spitfire heroine 1 ★★★★½

Review: After the Crown by K.B. Wagers (The Indranan War #2) four-half-stars
After the Crown by K.B. Wagers
Series: The Indranan War #2
on December 13, 2016
Genres: Sci-Fi Adventure, Science Fiction, Space Opera, War & Recovery
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
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The adrenaline-fueled, Star Wars-style sequel to Behind the Throne, a new space adventure series from author K.B. Wagers.

Former gunrunner-turned-Empress Hail Bristol was dragged back to her home planet to fill her rightful position in the palace. With her sisters and parents murdered, the Indranan empire is on the brink of war. Hail must quickly make alliances with nearby worlds if she has any hope of surviving her rule.

When peace talks turn violent and Hail realizes she's been betrayed, she must rely on her old gunrunning ways to get out of trouble. With help from an old boss and some surprising new allies, she must risk everything to save her world.

I love Empress Hail:

I took the glass. “To vengeance.”

[Redacted] raised his glass. “I have seen that look before. I would have pity for those you seek, but for the fact that I know they deserve whatever you have planned. May you find your revenge and may it taste sweet.”
-p208-209

“I want a bounty on [redacted]’s head, for forty-five million. Alive is optional, his head is required.”
-p296

After the Crown was another action packed read and I was soooo here for it! I was supposed to be reading Malice. I was almost 25% into my Malice read but I was so bored…and there sat After the Crown. Taunting me with its actiony-ness. Seducing me away from my Malice read.

And seduce me it did. I decided to pick up After the Crown for “just a chapter or two” and didn’t put it down until I finished. Hubby did all sorts of annoying things like try to talk with me and ask for food. Ugh. Reading here.

After the Crown starts almost immediately after the ending of Behind the Throne. In fact, the timing is so close that an execution decided at the end of book one is in the first chapter of book 2. I’m glad Haili stood by her word and killed those two. They needed to be killed.

Haili is still the same short tempered gunrunner she was before – but you can tell she truly cares for her people. She’s going to fight her ass off to save those that she loves.

As with Behind the Throne, I really enjoyed the world building. This book gives the reader much more of the Chinese influence instead of the previously heavy Indian influence. I found it passingly strange that the descendants of today would still speak fluent Cheng – which is currently spoken by a small population in Laos – years in the future in space. Regardless, I found it fascinating.

There seems to be two major disputes happening in The Indranan War series:
1) Haili’s fight against unknown (and known) conspirators to keep her crown 2) the issues of sexism: men are second class citizens in Indrana (with almost all of the same issues of sexism we have today) and thus there is a rebellion of (some) men called Upjas. They seem to be made up of formerly noble men either disowned or leaving their mother’s houses in order to fight the power. The Upjas are further split into a non-violent and a violent group.

2) The conspiracy to overthrow the Bristol Dynastic line as well as the matriarchy in its entirety. This is the biggest conflict in the series as the Upjas are a smaller problem but together the two problems cause additional confusion – giving the conspirators an even more effective smoke screen.

I really enjoyed the fact that After the Crown explored some of Haili’s gunrunner past. It allows the reader to get to know a lot of the people who used to surround Haili – and why she is such a badass today.

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