Genre: YA Fantasy Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan has been on my TBR for a while, so it was perfect that it was one of the books included in a reading challenge I participated in during November. Sometimes, when books have been on my TBR for a while, the novelty fades for me, and I’m not as excited about reading the book, and that was unfortunately true with Tiger Queen. However, as soon as I started the book, I wished I had picked it up sooner!
The story follows Princess Kateri, the only heir to her desert city’s throne. To prove she is worthy, she must defeat potential suitors in battle before she can earn the right to her crown. Kateri is determined to defeat everyone who challenges her in order to keep the promise she made to her mother; that she would lead and care for her people. However, Kateri’s last suitor is not so easily defeated, and she decides to enlist help from a source she never imagined turning to before.
I have to say that at the beginning of the book, I thought the author was going to ship Kateri with someone who was clearly toxic, but she didn’t, and that honestly made the whole book 1000 times better! The only thing better than reading a cute romance is reading a cute romance that has healthy relationships. Not to mention that I adored the simple, yet adorable relationship she forms with another character.
Kateri’s perspective was unique compared to other YA protagonists I’ve read. She is open-minded, and is willing to change her opinion on things when she is presented with evidence that contradicts her previous opinions. This is honestly not seen enough in YA. I feel like many characters think and feel a certain way, and they are dedicated to that stance throughout the entire book. So, Kateri’s openness was certainly refreshing.
Furthermore, the ending felt complete and satisfying. Much of the story had somewhat of a fairytale feeling, but ultimately Kateri was not living in a fairytale, and had to face some hard truths. Even at the end, she is still facing a lot of hardships. I really appreciated this aspect because I think a lot of authors feel like they have to wrap everything up in a pretty bow to please the readers. However, sometimes a realistic ending is more appealing than a pleasant one, and Tiger Queen is the perfect example of this.
Overall, this book is a quick, fun read! I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy, especially if you love strong female characters. I definitely will be checking out more books by Annie Sullivan! She surely seems like she could be another instant-buy author for me!