Title: Tiger Queen
Author: Annie Sullivan
Pub date: Sept. 10, 2019
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Note: I received a free copy of the book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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 was really hyped for this one, as I’m a huge sucker for romances involving the desert and princesses. (I don’t quite know why, desert romances just seem sexier for some reason to me? Weird, I know, let’s carry on.)
I did like the book overall but not going to lie, it didn’t stun me. Firstly, the plot was pretty straightforward. While I liked the twist on the Lady or the Tiger tale, the plot didn’t have any big twists or anything to surprise the reader. So it reads like a pretty straightforward fairy tale. Not bad, but a bit lukewarm for such an exciting premise. Really, this book could have been amped up in so many ways.
For example, I was totally let down by the romance. For two people who are supposed to end up digging each other, the two main characters don’t have a lot of zing moments throughout the book. I’m all for a slow burn romance but there should still be zings you know?!? But nary a zing or spark was found and so when things finally did heat up, I just wasn’t that invested. This probably is a side effect of me reading too many steamy romances…I’m used to a lot of sparks and teasing to get to the good stuff. But this book? No sparks and the good stuff ain’t that good.
Overall, I think it’s still a good adventure story and I admire Sullivan for building a really strong female lead. I mean, this girl was willing to fight herself into the ground just to avoid marrying some idiot. So props for that. But the book just wasn’t engaging enough for me to give it 5 stars.