There Before the Chaos

Orbit: Hachette. (Farian War, Bk. 1). Oct. 2018. 480p. ISBN 9780316411219. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316411202. SF
Former runaway princess and interstellar gun runner Hail Bristol, now Empress of Indrana, stars in a new sequel series to Wagers's "Indranan War" trilogy. Bristol has returned to her family and defeated a rebellion; now she must govern. This classic space opera offers plenty of action, betrayal, loyal friends, alien technology, and foreshadowing. Empress Hail and her cohorts struggle to overcome the past and make both old and new alliances work together. Trouble quickly arises from two alien forces fighting for Indranan support. The story starts out a bit talky, but action does take over after the empress consults with her aides and bodyguards and recaps earlier episodes. Indrana is curiously 21st century in culture, with religious conflict, same-sex relationships, organized crime, and constant surveillance, but the Hindu-Indian setting is a welcome change from the usual Western culture-inspired dystopia. The author deftly balances starfaring technology with relatable personal interactions.
VERDICT Fans of the "Indranan War" trilogy and lovers of interstellar intrigue will be pleased.
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