I’ve been excitedly keeping this one quiet, because I’ve heard a great many friends want to read it, and I have, but I didn’t want to spoil it. But now I get to share with you lovely folks and I’m thrilled that I get to do so! It was such a good read. A bit quick, but very good. You should check out the other Tour Stops and enter the Giveaway! (<–Do it!!)
Now…let me get you acquainted…
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Blink
- Publish Date: September 10, 2019
From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”
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 raid 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.
I was very intrigued about this story just from the blurb above and when the opportunity came to review, I jumped on it. Ms. Sullivan’s prose is a joy; she understands that this is a retelling and keeps true to that, but she also embraces world and character building, drawing you in entirely. I read this in a few hours, which is quite the feat, as I’ve been in somewhat of a slump lately. I loved Kateri, even though when we first meet her, she’s about to jump into the arena and cut someone down. She’s a strong character, one who you think at first, ‘Oh geez. Hothead teenager.‘ However, she’s far more than that. She’s complex and layered, put into situations that at sixteen, none of us would ever have dreamed of.
Little do we know, of course, that the odds are beyond stacked against her. Fortunately, she’s a girl with a brain and the gumption to want to defy them. Initially, it is for her mother’s memory, but it becomes more because she sees and knows that the people need a change. With the drought that is plaguing them, water is scarce. A gang of outlaw boys keeps stealing more than the allotted two buckets a day. If Kateri wants to be Queen, she’s going to have a lot on her shoulders. Is she strong enough? Or will she be relegated to marrying some foolish man who is more interested in being a king for the wealth and power it’ll bring to them? Are the Desert Boys what they all think? Is everything as it seems?
Rife with tradition and rich, vivid descriptions, along with a really vibrant cast of characters from all manner of backgrounds, This is definitely a fantastic book with a valuable lesson at the end.
Four stars for sure!
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Annie Sullivan grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. She received her Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Butler University. She loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling. Her wanderlust has taken her to every continent, where she’s walked on the Great Wall of China, found four-leaf clovers in Ireland, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, and cage dived with great white sharks in South Africa. You can follow her adventures on Twitter (@annsulliva) or on her blog: anniesullivanauthor.wordpress.com.