Thursday, December 15, 2016

"After the Crown"

K.B. Wagers lives and runs in the shadow of Pikes Peak. She loves flipping tires and lifting heavy things. She's especially proud of her second-degree black belt in Shaolin Kung Fu and her three Tough Mudder completions. When not writing she can be found wrangling cats with her husband, or trying to keep up with her teenage son.

Wagers applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, After the Crown, and reported the following:
In After the Crown we see Hail settling into her role as empress (a job she never wanted) and page 69 puts us smack in the middle of a meeting of the matriarch council where they’re discussing various issues the empire is facing. The need for an heir to the throne has been raised and Hail reacts in a manner that no one is expecting.
“We’re done here. Alice is my heir; if anyone would like to formally dispute that, let Matriarch Desai know.” I waved a hand. “Now get out.”

Everyone left except for Alice and Clara.

“I’m going to be sick,” Alice murmured.

“Not on the carpet.” I grinned at her. “Don’t worry—you’ll get used to the idea.”

“Majesty, the fallout from this—”

“We’ll handle it, Clara. Alice can do the job if something happens to me. That’s the important part of this, if I recall.”

“At least until Your Majesty has a child.”

I cleared my throat and forced a smile in Clara’s direction. “Of course.”

You are going to have to tell someone about that one of these days, Hail, the voice in my head cheerfully reminded me.

I snarled silently at it as I left the room.
Hail’s choice demonstrates her ability to plan ahead, as this is something she knew was coming long before anyone else did, as well as her ability to read people. Her solution—naming Alice Gohil—is more long term than anyone realizes. I tried to keep Hail’s inability from having children from being the central focus of the plot, tricky when you’re talking about a lineage-based ruling system! This scene provided us with the perfect opportunity to show Hail stepping up to the plate in terms of ruling and gives us a hint of how things are changing in the empire of Indrana.
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--Marshal Zeringue