I remember reading about Sullivan’s Touch of Gold and instantly wanting to read it, but as most book bloggers know, some books get left behind. So when I got the chance to join a blog tour for her latest fantasy release I jumped at the chance. This book was such a fun and easy read, and I will definitely be moving her other books up my TBR. US readers, make sure to scroll to the bottom for a chance to win some awesome swag!
Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan
Release date: September 10, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
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 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.
Annie Sullivan is a Young Adult author from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her work has been featured in Curly Red Stories and Punchnels. She loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s teaching classes at the Indiana Writers Center and working as the Copy Specialist at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company,
having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. You can follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram (@annsulliva).
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” My mother taught me an old sand dancer tradition; they used to sprinkle sand over their feet before every performance, asking the desert to guide their steps. I slid my sword from its scabbard and bent down and grabbed a handful of sand, releasing it over my weapon and offering up my own prayer to the desert. It was my way of keeping my mother with me, of asking her to determine my path. And my husband.”
” Maybe we weren’t as different as I’d thought. We’d both made choices, concessions to survive. He’d taken to the desert sands while I’d given myself over to training. Both of us fighting to find our place in the world.”
” His eyes were bright when he spoke. ‘You may not know how to stop Kateri,’ he said, ‘but you sure know how to fly.”
” I hadn’t thought love could truly exist in this desert. I thought it was the biggest mirage of all. Something meant to trick those who sought it out, to distract them from their miserable lives, the ones without futures.”
Whew this book took me on a wild ride. The authors descriptive writing is top notch ( as you can see from some of my favourite quotes)and I couldn’t get enough of reading about Kateri, her fight scenes, descriptions of settings and characters. If you’re looking to be swept away into a lush and rich fantasy world, with some believable and lovable characters then this is the book for you!
Princess Kateri has been raised to believe she has to fight for the right to rule Achra. She has to be able to defeat suitors in battle, and if she fails she must become their wife. Relatively sure of her chances, its not until her father tells her who her last suitor will be that she wonders whether she is , in fact, good enough. Left with no choice she escapes into the desert in search of Cion, the legendary leader of the Desert boys, the only person she believes can train her to be able to defeat her final suitor and claim her right to rule. That is if Kateri can put aside her hatred for the Desert boys, the gang who had killed her mother and baby brother at birth. Little does she know that Cion has a wealth of knowledge that she is unaware of and that their destinies will be forever entwined.
Kateri was a really intriguing character to read about. She has been trained from an early age to be a fighter, and told that to show any form of weakness is to weaken not only her future rule but that of her father. She is strong willed and head strong, but when her father performs what could be the ultimate betrayal, cracks start to show and she realises that not all she has been told is the truth. I thoroughly enjoyed following her on her journey to become the ruler her city needs, kick ass and loyal, once her allegiance changes there is no going back, despite the path her choices place her on. She is willing to give up everything, even the boy she loves for the sake of her people.
While Kateri is the main protagonist, Sullivan brings in an array of side characters that you simply cant help but love. Some are only included for a few pages or sentences, but they stay with you all the same. I found myself thoroughly invested in the outcome of this story, and Kateri’s final battle, so much so that I stayed up hours past my normal bed time to finish reading. And while we all love a good baddy the two included in this book made my blood boil in parts. Both are entitled and have the belief that they are the ‘saviours’ of the city, I took great pleasure in seeing Kateri step up to them and take her rightful place.
Though the book was predictable in parts, this didn’t take away from my enjoyment, I took pleasure in being in the know and not having to go back and read pages to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. The writing flows so easily, I read this book in a matter of hours, partly because of the authors easy writing style and partly because I became waaaaay to invested in the outcome.
Another 5/5 read for me this year! If you are looking for an easy read, with truly enchanting characters and a rich fantasy world then this is the book for you. The only downside for me is that it was a stand alone, I could have read multiple books in this magical world.
Enter here for your chance to win a Tiger Queen poster & Signed bookplate (USA only)