I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Title Tiger Queen
Author Annie Sullivan
Release Date September 10, 2019
Description from Amazon
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.
I love retellings of classic stories. There’s something fascinating about familiarity mixed with a new spin. Tiger Queen is a retelling of The Lady, or the Tiger by Frank Stockton. Before I read this, it reminded me of a dangerous game of Let’s Make a Deal (that reference might be too old for some readers 😉). In both stories, the basic idea is that there are two doors, behind one, is a tiger, ready to devour the criminal, behind the other, is a prize of sorts, representing freedom. Justice is in the hands of the criminal and theoretically, freedom is always on the table.
Cion – it was obvious (to me at least) from the beginning of the story that the Desert Boys were a vilified group who were actually trying to help the people. Kateri had been blinded by her Father and Roderic’s ideas about them.
I thought Cion was too good for Kateri (at least in the beginning of the story). She was pretty bratty about her kingdom and how dare they steal from her (and the usual nonsense someone who is brainwashed spouts). But even after, she was still pretty cold.
Cion, however, was trying to teach her about family, love, and working together, despite how Kateri acted. In my opinion, it took too long for Kateri to realize how good he was.
So glad this didn’t end like the original story (I hate cliffhangers). I really did like the ending.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- The Assassin’s Curse and The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke
- Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
- Dividing Eden and Even Conquered by Joelle Charbonneau