Review: Xena: The Empty Throne by Ru Emerson

Xena the Warrior Princess continues her adventures in The Empty Throne when she happens by a village that has an odd problem: all the men have disappeared without a trace. With the king and his men gone too, no one’s there to protect the villagers… until Xena and Gabrielle arrive.


The reason I read this book was simply that I’m a huge fan of the Xena TV show and figured I’d give this novel a chance.

Unfortunately the book fell short in quite a few areas.

First was the actual story. There’s mystery in the beginning with the missing men but unlike I thought from the book’s description, that’s not the main focus of the book. The rest of the story deals with another problem and that section (the largest section) was the weakest. Perhaps it would’ve worked if these plots had been worked into separate short stories, but as a book it didn’t hold my interest. There was no mystery, no suspense, nothing really to drive the plot forward.

Another disappointment was the way the book handled Xena canon. There were at least a couple of errors, which is always bad when basing your work on something that already exists. Someone not so familiar with Xena might not notice, but I’m having a hard time imagining anyone who doesn’t like Xena reading this book.

The thing this book did fairly well was how it depicted Xena and Gabrielle, especially together. There was that sense of friendship and their main traits were recognizable, but the book brought very little new into the table.

All in all this book was a very short, quick and easy read. It was kind of like those silly dramas and reality shows that run on TV during the day; perhaps not something you deliberately want to watch but since there’s nothing else on…

If you’re an absolute hardcore Xena fan, maybe you’ll want to pick this up. Otherwise I would recommend you spend your time with another book. I have three other books in this Warrior Princess series but they’ll probably be sitting in the shelf for a long while, waiting for a time when all I’m looking for is a way to null my brain and for whatever reason the TV doesn’t offer anything that’d work.



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