Tiger Queen

From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”

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.

Goodreads, 2019

I wanted to love this one. I love princesses who can kick ass and take names. I love rulers who want to do whatever it takes to do right by their people.

I don’t love whatever happened in Tiger Queen.

The Lady, or the Tiger? was one of the few short stories I enjoyed reading in high school. And I was intrigued by a YA that was inspired by it. And yet…

AND YET.

There was a lot of steaming misogyny in this one. A lot of focus on the boys being better than the girls. I couldn’t get into this story, no matter how hard I tried. It could have been so good, and yet…

Perhaps this story just isn’t for me. I know this isn’t Sullivan’s first rodeo and she’s got several other books that people love out there. It’s possible I just don’t jive with her writing.

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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