TIGER QUEEN by Annie Sullivan is a fun standalone to read if you love story retellings. This post DOES NOT CONTAIN SPOILERS.
I obtained this ARC through NetGalley. Here is the summary and shortened 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.
Note: When you purchase the book with the link above, you are supporting my local indie bookstore, Avid Bookshop. Thank you.
Why I was interested: Story retellings are top of the list for me and I love it when authors take those that aren’t reconfigured as often as others. I had also enjoyed Sullivan’s other retelling of the story of King Midas and his golden touch in A TOUCH OF GOLD. When I read this book was a retelling of Frank Stockton’s short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”, I knew I wanted to read it immediately.
Judge a book by it’s cover: This book is all about sand — and in a good way. The worldbuilding is so well-focused on this small entity that is often forgotten about so it is only appropriate that the sand dunes crest the cover. I love how the dunes create stripes as mentioned in the story along with a nod to the tigers Kateri’s father keeps.
What to expect: This book was great to read after watching the live-action Aladdin while creating a unique retelling based on such a short story. If you finally want to know which gate the lady chooses, you can finally find out! It is a standalone so you don’t have to worry if you want to read the entire series in one go.
Why you should pick this book up: If retellings are your thing — like me — then this would be a good fit. Sullivan creates a strong character who learns how to be a leader by listening to the world around her. Kateri’s fearlessness and determination will make anyone cheer for her to become the next ruler of Achra.
Want more?: This book will be published on Tuesday, Sept. 10. Sullivan is doing a pre-order campaign where you receive a pin, signed bookplate, digital poster, and — my personal favorite — a guide to the creatures of Achra, so definitely check it out! The spoiler review will be posted here on #MediaGalReads on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
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