Published by: self-published
ISBN 13: 9781542565851
Published: April 2012
Format reviewed: mobi
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Three out of Five
Those born in this region are said to take on characteristics of the animal that marks the year of their birth. Tiger Lily, as one may guess, was born in the year of the tiger (like myself, in fact.) She is unlucky and low born, however this is all set to change when she comes across the highborn son and saves his life.
The tone of the novel emulates the setting, which helps the reader get into the story. While this usually works well (as it does for the majority of the book), at times it shudders the reading to a halt as you pause over a clumsy sentence. The book is short and yet packs into it a decent tale that isn’t predictable, and does some interesting things with magic. It also does interesting things with gender, which didn’t really do anything for me – it didn’t feel like it was done in a calculated or clever way – more like it was shoved in to shock, or go HA, bet you didn’t see THAT coming! (Edited to add: my interpretation only, I hope others loved this reveal.)
While we’re supposed to like Tiger Lily, she was a little too self-loathing and drudgey, to me, (though perhaps this is just something that’s currently shown in a few too many YA on my personal reading list.) I would have liked to see Tiger Lily have a few more facets to her reactions and choices in the book – she’s due to wonder about things, after all.
This book is labelled as historical fiction, and some parts are interesting. Others are perhaps a little clumsy, as is up to the reader’s interpretation of what they may already know or understand about the culture/location, as if often a tricky line to walk when writing of a culture not your own. Still, most of the book is quite lovely.