Hello everyone! Today I am super excited to be part of the blog tour for Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan! Annie is the author behind A Touch of Gold, which I loved reading last year, so I was super excited to be included on this tour for her latest book. Read on for my review, a book cover review, and a giveaway!
About the Book
Release date: September 10, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
Page Count: 336
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.
About the Author
Annie Sullivan is a Young Adult author from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her work has been featured in Curly Red Stories and Punchnels. She loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s teaching classes at the Indiana Writers Center and working as the Copy Specialist at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. You can follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram (@annsulliva).
Book Cover Review
Take a look at any bookshelf at a bookstore and you’ll see a wide variety of book covers, ranging from photo-realistic, text-based, illustrated, overly complex, and simple ones. The bottom line is that the cover needs to appeal to the target audience and be eye catching on the shelf.
Well, Tiger Queen accomplishes both of those.
the majority of Tiger Queen‘s dust jacket is a bold bright red, which is definitely an eye catching color. In a world where many YA fantasy covers have darker colored covers, this one will definitely stand out on shelves. It even has a red spine, which will help it continue to stand out even when displayed spine-out in bookstores. The red color in the background is actually a very uniquely textured image that resembles sand. It ebbs and flows along the jacket, wrapping all the way around. Around the edges of each page are a gentle “dusting” of a sandy texture, in keeping with the sandy desert setting of the novel.
In the foreground of the cover is where the magic really happens. In a warm golden tone, we have the title, Tiger Queen. There’s an effect used on the text that makes it seem to gleam golden, which will make the text look beautiful even when its not printed on glossy paper as it is here. Beneath the title is what is argueably the most stunning part of this cover: the eyes of the tiger. We have some basic tiger stripes in black, which help to contextualize the fierce green and yellow eyes. These are also printed as a spot gloss, and they’re gorgeous and shiny on the cover. Also in golden text we have Annie Sulivan’s name and a three line tagline written in a unique swirling font.
This cover is unlike most on the market today, and I think that will not only help it stand out on the YA shelf, but also appeal to older readers of YA who might not want a book with the traditional YA tropes on it. It’s striking, elegant, and simplistic, and I hope this is a new trend in cover design!
Let me know what you think about the cover for Tiger Queen! I’d give it a 4/5 for being unique and testing the normal conventions of the genre! I personally prefer more complex and intricate covers, but I can’t deny how pretty this one is!
Annie Sullivan truly has a way with fantasy worlds. And not just fantasy worlds, but fantasy standalones as well. It seems like these days every YA fantasy is part of a duology or trilogy or long saga, which makes standalones like this and her first novel, A Touch of Gold, such a breath of fresh air. They let you escape into a world, enjoy it for a time, and when it’s over, it’s over. No waiting for a new installment, no cliffhangers, just satisfaction.
Tiger Queen had such a unique premise. Just read the synopsis above! The setting is so lush and unique. I love desert settings and was so excited to get into this one, especially because it deals with a lack of water, which is a big issue! It’s a retelling of The Lady, or the Tiger? which is a story I wasn’t familar with before reading, so I didn’t base my review or reading on it. That being said, it’s still such an enjoyable story.
I really fell in love with our POV character, Kateri. Seeing her beliefs and opinions change during the story really helped her feel realistic, and I also just loved that she’s a badass princess with a short-temper and wields a sword! There are some really nice fight scenes, which I loved to read!
Also, did I mention that this is a fantasy world that doesn’t rely on magic? At all? The market is so dominated by magic or supernatural fantasy stories, so this was such a breath of fresh air. Rather than learning about magic systems and the rules of the world in that regard, you get to learn about our desert world of Achra and the cultural systems within it. In just the first few chapters, we get to learn so much about things like politics, law, and a woman’s place in society, which is so interesting. It constantly begs new questions and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire novel.
I would recommend Tiger Queen to those who want something new, refreshing, and (in my opinion) un-put-downable! I’d give Tiger Queen 5/5 because I read it all in one night because of how intriqued I was by the narrative! Definitely give this (or her other novel if you want a cool retelling of the Midas’ Touch greek story!)
Prize: Tiger Queen poster and signed bookplate (USA only)
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