When I look into a new series and don’t have time to read every book, I usually ensure I read book #1 in addition to the book of interest. I didn’t do that this time, and I think my enjoyment of the story suffered for it.
Kris Longknife is both a princess and a naval officer. She and her entourage (personal security plus staff plus maid) are taking “shore leave” on New Eden, where she again becomes the target of unknown assassin(s). Kris discovers that New Eden never emancipated its citizens when it should have (probably fully explained in previous books). This stratified society, with strict definitions of who can vote, has a great divide between haves and have-nots. It also has communication barriers between law enforcement organizations, resulting in a significant black market as well as an insecure environment for a princess with many enemies.
Because I didn’t read any of the previous books, I had no idea of Kris’s past struggles and because of this, she seemed a bit too perfect. There were hints and references to prior flaws, but already overcome. Kris’s maid Abby is interesting, but once again, I would have benefited by having more background. An Amazon reviewer said that this should not be the first Kris Longknife book that one reads… darn, I should have followed the reviewer’s advice. However, the characters are complex and likable, so now I’ll probably go and read some of the precursor books.