Title: Tiger Queen
Author: Annie Sullivan
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Publication date: September 10th, 2019
My rating: —
In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.
But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.
“The desert doesn’t scare me. I am my father’s daughter, and Tamlin’s blood is in my veins just as it was in my ancestors’. He faced the desert and lived, and so will I.”
After reading the synopsis of Tiger Queen I was so bumped because honestly, the book had a lot of potential. I was so intrigued by it and went into it with pretty high expectations, and though I can 100% say that I enjoyed the story and found some elements very well done in the novel, there were some things that were lacking or I was expecting to see more and weren’t there.
One of the main issues that I have with fantasy novels is the info dump on the first couple of chapters of the book, and this totally had that. I’d rather see for myself the world and the society than having the author explaining it to me, and I think that Tiger Queen was one of those cases. I feel I don’t retain as much information as I would if that information was provided throughout the novel and not at the very beginning, and though there were things about the characters’ backstories that were addressed more in the middle of the novel, I got a bit confused at first, because not much was actually happening apart from that info dump thing.
However, though I had my problems with the first half of the book, the second half was absolutely fantastic. I had a fair view of what was happening in that place and knew a bit about the character dynamics to understand their motives and reasons, and I enjoyed the book much more in comparison. It was more fast paced and there were a lot of action packed scenes that kept me interested and wanting to keep reading, along with some twists and turns that were nicely done.
“There was an old myth that the sun was made up of stars. When the sun rose furing the day, bits would break off and linger in the sky, visible at night.”
Another thing I couldn’t help but notice about Tiger Queen was that I found it extremely predictable, and that affected a bit my reading experience. I don’t know if it was because I have read many fantasy books throughout the years and the way the book was done was similar to those YA fantasy stories or what exactly, but for me Tiger Queen lacked that expectation that I’ve had with other books. I could tell from the very beginning where the story would go, and the plot twists weren’t that surprising because I mostly predicted them way before they happened, and though I can say it wasn’t a bad book and it was well written, I was hoping to be more surprised and shocked.
The characters were actually pretty good. I must admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of our protagonist Kateri at the beginning, but she grew on me as the story kept going, and I liked her character arc at the end. Her interactions with the rest of the cast were actually pretty interesting, and I enjoyed her and Cion’s dynamics throughout the story, and the romance that happened, and how it wasn’t purely focused on that only and more on the plot and characters.
Overall, though I had a few issues with some elements of Tiger Queen, I still think it was a solid read and really enjoyed it. It was quite a fast paced read and so easy to get into, and though it didn’t blew my mind, it was quite and entertaining book and I’m happy I’ve read it.
TW: thirst or lack of water, starvation, murder, animal cruelty
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
“You may not know how to stop, Kateri,” he said, “but you sure know how to fly.” His arms released me, but his eyes didn’t.
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