Book Review: The Tiger at Midnight

Title: The Tiger at Midnight

Author: Swati Terrdhala

Genres:  Fantasy

Pages: 496

Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books

Review Copy: ARC from publisher

Availability: Available now

Summary: 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 break down and the sins of the past meet the promise of a new future, both rebel and soldier must make unforgivable choices.

Inspired by ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology.

Review: OMG, this book was so much fun! It was another of those “read all night, can’t put down” novels that luckily for me I read during a vacation. Terrdhala’s writing is snappy, yet delicious as her descriptions of the world she created are beautiful, yet the back and forth between Esha and Kunal and their witty banter is perfect.

For me, Esha and Kunal’s relationship make this novel. They are both intriguing characters in their own right and their own individual stories really highlight the tough decisions people make during times of war and revolution. They each grow in their own way through their experiences in the novel, with themselves, and with their growing relationship. Esha pushes Kunal to question his world a lot more than Kunal pushes Esha, but he also allows her to be more open to people, to show a bit of her heart. Their budding relationship is a prime example of a good partner who makes you better by pushing you to be your best self.

The world building is also perfect in this novel as Terrdhala creates a complete world that I could completely imagine. Many of her setting descriptions of the various villages and cities both Esha and Kunal, I could picture in my mind as if I was watching a movie unfold in front of me. In addition, the story has numerous twists and turns that I didn’t see coming, and definitely set up a good mystery that will take at least 2 more books to solve (I hope!). When I was done with the novel, I wasn’t quite ready to leave Esha and Kunal and their wonderful world because Terrdhala’s writing brought me into this country on the brink of change and I enjoyed every minute of the journey. I can’t wait for the next book and continue with Esha and Kunal on their adventures. 

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