The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala
Format: ARC provided by Harper Collins Canada
Release date: April 23rd
Top 3 Genres: Young Adult , Fantasy, Romance
My rating: Set it on fire/ If you have nothing else to read/ you need to read it/Run and buy it.
To buy the book: CA•US• FR• Bookdep
Add to: Goodreads
Hey guys! Today let’s talk about my latest fantasy read, a book coming out at the end of the month: The Tiger at Midnight! A fantasy read set in the heart of an Indian and Hindu inspired culture.
Esha is a legend, but no one knows. It’s only in the shadows that she moonlights as the Viper, the rebels’ highly skilled assassin. She’s devoted her life to avenging what she lost in the royal coup, and now she’s been tasked with her most important mission to date: taking down the ruthless General Hotha.
Kunal has been a soldier since childhood, training morning and night to uphold the power of King Vardaan. His uncle, the general, has ensured that Kunal never strays from the path—even as a part of Kunal longs to join the outside world, which has been growing only more volatile.
Then Esha’s and Kunal’s paths cross—and an unimaginable chain of events unfolds. Both the Viper and the soldier think they’re calling the shots, but they’re not the only players moving the pieces. As the bonds that hold their land in order to break down and the sins of the past meet the promise of a new future, both rebel and soldier must make unforgivable choices.
Esha and Kunal, the mouse and the cat (or more, the cat and the cat, not sure who is who)
This book rests on two things: the dynamic between Esha and Kunal, and the war between two neighboring countries. Let’s talk about the characters first! Esha is the Viper, a bandit, a murderer, and a rebel. Also, a beautiful woman and intrepid character. She lives for one thing: revenging the death of her parents and bring the false king to its downfall. Kunal is a soldier with a poet’s heart, he learned to follow the rules and shut down his inside voice. But he has also quite a mysterious past…
And these two characters find themselves in a situation where one is hunting the other down (usually Kunal hunting Esha, but sometimes the other way around). Slowly, they get to know each other, when they don’t try to kill one another, and there seems to be a special bond between them. Their relationship was pretty interesting, and I like both of them, especially Kunal and all his struggles. There were some very predictive elements though, and I think the relationship could have been made even more interesting without them.
« Never greet a tiger at midnight, for they are the manifestations of your past misdeeds. »
I will show you the world…
As for the second main focus of the book, the world building, and the war context, it was very well done even if a bit confusing sometimes. A mix of fantasy, by the shapeshifting power and magical blood of kings and queens, and of political plays. Both of them were very well intertwined in this book, one influencing the other and playing a great part in our characters’ choices.
In addition to that, the author brings us into two countries inspired by Indian and Hindu culture, and that was truly beautiful: nature, the outfits, the houses, the ways to live and the lore. I wish we could have seen even more of that! I hope it will be the case in the second book 😉
In a few words
Not a perfect read, more like an alright one, with promising characters and world building but also sometimes lacking consistency. The author takes some predicting steps, but we are also left at the end of the book with a lot to do to change the fate of Jansa!
See you for a cup,