Review: The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala

I love YA books by Indian/South Asian authors. I love how much of myself I can see in them and how well they seem to bring bits of the culture I grew up with into their pages. The Tiger at Midnight was no different. I listened to an audiobook version of this book and I really liked reading this book in that format.

The Tiger at Midnight 4/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads: Esha is a legend, but no one knows. It’s only in the shadows that she moonlights as the Viper, the rebels’ highly skilled assassin. She’s devoted her life to avenging what she lost in the royal coup, and 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, training morning and night to uphold the power of King Vardaan. 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 been growing only more volatile.

Then Esha’s and Kunal’s paths cross—and an unimaginable 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 rebel and soldier must make unforgivable choices.

Let’s start with the characters. I loved both Esha and Kunal. Esha was an amazing choice of character for the Viper. She’s tenacious and has so much heart and her quest moved the story along so well. Kunal was so great too. (Side note, I have a cousin named Kunal- what a great Indian name haha) He grew so much throughout the book and him learning that his black and white and his truth won’t always be how everyone else sees things was such a valuable lesson.

The plot moved along at a really good pace. The settings were really well described and the quests/overarching problems moved the story along really well. The love story within that was done in a great way- one where it added onto the storyline rather than detracting from the rest of what was going on.

Overall, I really liked this book and I’m so excited to see where the trilogy goes from here. Have you read the Tiger at Midnight? What did you think of it?

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