Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan

Image result for tiger queen annie sullivanIn the Kingdom of Achra, a princess has to fight for the right to rule and Princess Kateri has more riding on the line than just the throne.  She must fulfill a promise to protect her people from the drought and windstorms that ravage them.  The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raid 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.

When Kateri’s final opponent is announced she knows she is doomed and in desperation she seeks out the one person she never thought to 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 received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and all opinions are my own.  Tiger Queen is set to release on September 10, 2019.

I don’t know what to say after reading this story besides wow.  This tale was based upon the short story of A Lady, or the Tiger and I feel that Annie Sullivan has done the story justice by creating a world in which a princess learns that life is meant to be filled with family, love, and the strength that comes from the spirit as well as the body.

First, I have to exclaim about how stunning the world building was.  Sullivan brought to life a kingdom in the desert barely surviving a drought.  She builds upon the strength of nature and emphasizes the fact that humans cannot bend the forces of nature to their will.  The creatures and twisting sand dunes seemed to howl and spin before my eyes and the writing created vivid imagery that pulled me into the story.

And if I thought the creation of the world was phenomenal the characters were even more so.  Princess Kateri is a girl who is focused upon making her father proud and becoming the queen he wants her to be.  But when she is forced to seek the help of her enemy she comes to realize that her world is not what she thought it was.  Kateri grows into someone who realizes the power of family and who recognizes her people and sees them as more than mere pawns.  Through mental and physical challenges she grows and prevails beginning as an arrogant royal who knows little of the sufferings of the daily people into someone who fights for her people and understands their daily struggles.  As a reader, it was wonderful to watch the main character become better and wiser.

Image result for great support gifThe side characters added to the tale especially Cion who assisted in the growth of Kateri.  He made her see the shades of gray in between the black and white way she viewed the world.   He challenged and supported her but was a strong character without Kateri.  The other side characters added dimensions to the tale creating strong villains and heroes alike.  As the story continued Sullivan expanded the growth of the supporting characters for in the beginning it was minimal and I was slightly upset by the lack of growth.  However, it was made up for later in the tale when the author truly began expanding her characters.  In the end, I loved all the wonderful people that inhabited the world created in Tiger Queen.

This tale is phenomenal and I would definitely recommend it.  The author lives up to her first book by continuing the creation of wonderful stories based upon previous works.

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Sharing Saturday Fifty-Three

Sharing Saturday is here and today I have decided to share with you a short story that I recently read and would recommend to all of you.  This short story is generally believed to be an allegorical expression for a problem that is unsolvable.  The Lady, or the Tiger? by Frank R. Stockton was an intriguing story that I would simply suggest all read.  Below is the first paragraph of this four-page story.

In the very olden time there lived a semi-barbaric king, whose ideas, though somewhat polished and sharpened by the progressiveness of distant Latin neighbors, were still large, florid, and untrammeled, as became the half of him which was barbaric. He was a man of exuberant fancy, and, withal, of an authority so irresistible that, at his will, he turned his varied fancies into facts. He was greatly given to self-communing, and, when he and himself agreed upon anything, the thing was done. When every member of his domestic and political systems moved smoothly in its appointed course, his nature was
bland and genial; but, whenever there was a little hitch, and some of his orbs got out of their orbits, he was blander and more genial still, for nothing pleased him so much as to make the crooked straight and crush down uneven places.

Sharing Saturday Twenty-Two

The weeks are simply flying and Saturday is here again.  Today’s post will be more on the creative side instead of research based.  It is a less than three hundred word story telling of a girl who does not know who she is until she meets an evil creature bent on destroying her.  It is called Imaginings.  Let’s get started!

A storm filled the sky, lashing out at the cold, brittle branches of winter.  I huddled by the fire’s dancing flames, praying for an answer to who I was. My fire died, and I was left in a sea of utter loneliness.  I fumbled to restart it when a cold, wet thing slithered around my neck. I tried to scream but was silenced by the creature at my back. A slippery voice hissed in my ear, “At last, my child, you have arrived.  The one destined to fill all of my dreams. To provide the life that is slowly leaking from me.” I stilled, scared but curious Did this creature have information regarding who I was? “You,” the creature continued, “the child who was prophesied to fall from the sky to save this Earth.  Fie! I will have you and your power to myself. I will take it and live beyond the time that this world has ordained. Now, come my pet to the Sacred Lake of Imaginings to begin the transference of your life to mine. I have prepared for this for a long time and at last it is coming to fruition.”  His voice cackled, reaching a pitch that forced me to cover my ears. He lifted me up. I screamed, suspended upside down just inches off the ground. He crawled through the woods, expertly avoiding the branches that grasped at us like papery fingers praying for life. Soon we reached a clearing where a lake lay silently reflecting the moonlight.  I was in the air…falling, falling and hitting the water with a spontaneous splash. I struggled to stay afloat, but the water washed over me, dragging me down to the disastrous depths. As darkness enveloped me, the creature howled in laughter.