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The Tiger at Midnight

by Swati Teerdhala

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1728117,381 (3.29)1
The first book in an epic heart-pounding fantasy trilogy inspired by ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir and Renée Ahdieh. * A Book Riot Most Anticipated Novel of 2019 * B&N Top 50 Most Anticipated Novels * A broken bond. A dying land. A cat-and-mouse game that can only end in bloodshed. Esha lost everything in the royal coup--and as the legendary rebel known as the Viper, she's made the guilty pay. 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. 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 only been growing more volatile. When Esha and Kunal's paths cross one fated night, an impossible 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 the soldier and the rebel must decide where their loyalties lie: with the lives they've killed to hold on to or with the love that's made them dream of something more.… (more)

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» See also 1 mention

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book - it's not really anything new to the genre. For instance, after I finished it I didn't immediately enter it into goodreads and it has taken me nearly a full week to remember that I finished it. And I had to redownload the book just now because I could not remember how it ended. So that tells you how well it stuck out in my mind.

But it was fun and I loved the main characters. Just don't go into it expecting anything ground-breaking. ( )
  zombiibean | Nov 20, 2020 |
In The Tiger at Midnight, first in a same-name trilogy by Swati Teerdhala, Esha, known as the Viper, sneaks into the Blood Fort, a major Jansan stronghold, and assassinates the feared General Hotha. Several elite soldiers are tasked with tracking down the Viper and returning the assassin for punishment. The reward is being named Commander of the Blood Fort. Kunal is one of the soldiers sent out to track Esha down, and he's more motivated than most- General Hotha was his uncle. Turned loose on his own, Kunal begins to see a different side to his country. Strife and poverty rule. The land withers, thanks to the slaughter of the Samyad ruling line. As he and Esha take turns capturing one another and escaping, Kunal realises he must decide which is more important-- loyalty to the usurper ruler, or loyalty to his country and its people.

I adored this world, with its wealth of influence from Indian mythology (and Chinese, if I'm not too mistaken). The history of the two warring countries, with ruling lineages literally founded by deities, captured my imagination. A male Himyad from Dharka, and a female Samyad from Jansa are required to partake in a ritual to charge the magic that keeps the land healthy. With no Samyad female, the ritual can't be carried out, and the land and people suffer for it. This also reminded me of Celtic myths of the Fisher King, and the health of the land literally linked to the rulership.

The verbal sniping between Kunal and Esha added an element of humour to the story. Neither Kunal or Esha seem like bad people. They've both been sheltered from life in different ways, and now they must reevaluate everything they thought they knew. For one of them, a surprising secret lies in their past and decides to rear its head at an inopportune time. I don't want to give it away, but I do hope it's explained more in the next book. I'm very curious because it seemed to come out of nowhere, and the unique gifts that accompany said secret don't seem to serve a useful purpose at the moment. I hope that changes because it's cool!

Recommended for those who enjoy YA fantasy, fantasy, and books influenced by Indian mythology.

***Many thanks to the authors/ publisher for providing an egalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Reviewed via JBN Tours. ( )
  PardaMustang | Jun 8, 2020 |
The Tiger at Midnight was an enjoyable fantasy, a good read for those who are interested in something different than the standard fantasy setting and who like a romance- focused fantasy. For me, it was too romance- focused, to the point where pretty much the entire book was just the two characters. I felt the book suffered from lack of secondary characters for much of the story, and when they were introduced they lacked any kind of depth. I was often confused by the history/ politics/ mythology of the setting, and I wished we had some flash-backs to when the characters were younger. The introduction of shape- shifting late in the story was also a miss for me. Overall, a decent read. ( )
  ad24 | May 28, 2020 |
I am always interested in fantasy novels in a new setting, especially if the setting is realistic, and the characters are compelling. Esha is a young woman assassin, Kunal a young soldier sent to capture her after she is suspected of assassinating a powerful general. There is plenty of banter and flirting between the two young people, and, as usual for a young adult novel, plenty of sighs, worries about the future, and an inflated sense of the importance of their missions and times. The Hindu mythology and setting in an Indian landscape and culture attracted me to the book. I have read similar novels recently with a Chinese and Russian cultural background. The grammar and vocabulary are simple, and the pace is fast, so the 496 pages went by in about 12 hours.

Commercial reviews:
Esha lost everything in the royal coup-and as the legendary rebel known as the Viper, she's made the guilty pay. 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. 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 only been growing more volatile. A young warrior chases an assassin through jungles, towns, and wastelands in this vibrantly imagined South Indian-inspired trilogy opener by debut author Teerdhala. Esha, 17, the mythical Viper of Dharka, is sent to kill Gen. Setu Hotha of the kingdom of Jansa, while his nephew Kunal, 18, is one of four soldiers tasked with finding the mysterious Viper. The general is eliminated before Esha can strike--by someone who seeks to frame her--and she flees the Red Fort hoping to discover who seeks to blame her and why. Although Kunal catches Esha on several occasions, she continues to outsmart the softhearted soldier, and they gradually reveal close-held secrets and dreams to each other as their grudging respect for one another grows into something more. Everything is set against the backdrop of an ongoing drought in Jansa caused by the withdrawal of the gods' favor following the violent coup and usurpation of the Queen of Jansa 10 years ago. ( )
  neurodrew | May 2, 2020 |
This was a good book for a debut author. I gave it three stars because it just didn't leave me wanting enough to continue on with the series. ( )
  KateReads13 | Jan 6, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Swati Teerdhalaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Curtis, DavidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsicano, MichaelCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The first book in an epic heart-pounding fantasy trilogy inspired by ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir and Renée Ahdieh. * A Book Riot Most Anticipated Novel of 2019 * B&N Top 50 Most Anticipated Novels * A broken bond. A dying land. A cat-and-mouse game that can only end in bloodshed. Esha lost everything in the royal coup--and as the legendary rebel known as the Viper, she's made the guilty pay. 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. 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 only been growing more volatile. When Esha and Kunal's paths cross one fated night, an impossible 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 the soldier and the rebel must decide where their loyalties lie: with the lives they've killed to hold on to or with the love that's made them dream of something more.

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