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Tiger Moon

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  789 Ratings  ·  143 Reviews
Fate brings together a talking tiger, a doomed princess, and a rascally thief in a thrilling, old-fashioned tale from an exciting, internationally acclaimed new talent.

How does a story of India begin?

Does it begin with the three rivers—the Ganges, the Yamuna, the unseen Sarasvati pouring her dreaming waters down from the snowy mountains to the hot, dry plain?

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Hardcover, 448 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Harry N. Abrams (first published December 1st 2005)
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Oct 19, 2011 Catie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Catie by: Thomas Tomato
Shelves: read-in-2011, ya, fantasy
I didn’t realize that this is an English translation of the German novel, Tiger Mond until I opened it up and read the names of two authors. It feels like kismet because I was just having a chat with a friend of mine about non-English novels. Isn’t it frightening how much great literature us poor, ignorant, English-only speaking people probably miss out on? I know that I’m frightened. What if my book soul-mate is out there right now, but I can’t read it because it’s written in…Japanese?! I bette ...more
May 16, 2012 TheBookSmugglers rated it did not like it
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

Warning: this review contains spoilers, SmuggleRAGE and Caps Lock of Fury

Trigger warning: rape

Set in magical India, Tiger Moon pays homage to Arabian Nights and Scheherazade by featuring a story within a story. Raka, a young bride married against her will to a powerful merchant who will surely kill her once he discovers she is not a virgin, tells a tale of rescue to a young servant boy (a eunuch, who is not actually a eunuch) called Lalit. She tells th
May 17, 2012 jesse rated it did not like it
Shelves: india, dropped, code


tiger moon is professed to be a bewitching story set in magical india and from the get go the story is peppered with generalisations, words and descriptions that show how exotic, magical and chaotic india is. incredibly offensive things like:

“life is worth so little in india”

“in india, all stories are outlandish”

“life in itself isn’t valued highly in india”

the book has 448 pages. on page 433, raka, the main character is [..] raped by her husband. but this is ok because she is rescue
Dec 20, 2013 Kerstin rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! LOVED LOVED LOVED it. The writing was immensely beautiful. I won't use this space to describe the plot, I will just use it to list the quotes that melted my heart. If you could see my book, I have little napkin pieces marking my favorite pages throughout the book. It looks like my book had a cold with as many tissues and napkins sticking out of its openings.

"She was different from all the women Lalit knew. She cast her eyes down like a timid girl, but when he met her gaze for
How does a story about India begin? Does it begin with the three great rivers? The Ganges, The Yamuna, the unseen Sarasvati pouring her dreaming waters down from the snowy mountains to the hot, dry plain. .. With a leap right into the midst of chaos? Yes, that is how it should begin.


This story sucks you in right from the beginning. The descriptions of India are beautiful, and rich. You are truly transported into India and feel as if you're travelling alongside the h
May 08, 2012 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magical-realism
{This review originally appeared on Clear Eyes, Full Shelves.}
And the heart of the hero who wasn't a hero felt both light and heavy.

Tiger Moon, Antonia Michaelis's beautifully written tale of two intertwining stories of hope, despair, love and friendship glows as well with each turn of the page. The book is filled with mystical images laced with magical realism which guide the reader into a world of sacrifice and heroism.

Safia, the stunningly beautiful daughter of an impoverished high-caste fath
La Coccinelle
Sep 07, 2016 La Coccinelle rated it it was amazing
Never heard of Tiger Moon? I hadn't, either. After finding myself thoroughly frustrated by listening to glowing online reviews (only to find that I didn't agree with the reviewers' conclusions at all), I went to our local children's bookstore to see if the salespeople there could recommend anything I might enjoy. I specifically asked for something that was well written. One of the women working there handed me this book and said it was one of her favourites. I'd never even heard the title before ...more
Aug 31, 2012 Chelsea rated it really liked it
This book was beautiful, and sucked me in fairly quickly. To be honest, I wasn't sure about it when I started reading. I picked it up at the library on a whim (and because of a slight obsession with India) and I am so very glad I did. It tells the story of Safia and Lalit, both trapped in the own way, and Farhad, an unlikely and unwilling hero, accompanied by Nitish, the sacred white tiger who knows little of the world. Other characters are sprinkled in with a wonderful ease that makes the story ...more
April Helms
Jun 28, 2009 April Helms rated it really liked it
A really neat story, that did NOT end the way I thought it would. It's almost two stories in one, but it's hard to tell where the story ends and reality begins, which is part of the charm. Farhad, the unwitting and reluctant hero of the story, is charged with trying to rescue a princess from a demon. He is aided by a sacred white tiger, a tiger with a sarcastic tongue and issues of his own. Meanwhile, in a distant land, the young bride of a tyrannical, wealthy merchant keeps her spirits up by te ...more
On the one hand, this was kind of a beautiful story! Fiction becomes reality, words bring life, the princess is saved, heroes are born, and all is well in the end. And it's not at all a predictable story, either, which is kind of unusual these days. BUT. The characters are likeable, not lovable. And the action is...action and not suspense. I didn't feel like I ever truly CARED about the outcome for individual characters, just for where Michaelis was going with this story--the big picture. There ...more
Jul 20, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This book was written as an Indian epic folktale. We have an unsuspected hero who starts out as a theif and is given the mission to save Krishna's (the Hindu god of love and some other things I can't remember just now) daughter from an evil demon king. That is the story within the story because the main character, a girl from the dessert is telling this story to her future husband's servant/eunuch, which reminds me of Arabian Nights where, if i remember correctly, the new wife tells her husband, ...more
Jan 23, 2010 Leslie rated it really liked it
I was not expecting very much out of this book and it surprised me. The author is a German woman who spent a while in India. She writes about it with the enchantment of the outsider. The story is fast-paced, engaging, a kind of fairy tale in which the power of transforming virtue, trust, friendship, and love drive the plot.

A young woman is sold in marriage to a powerful Rajah, who becomes ill before consummating their marriage. In terror for her life, because she is not a virgin, she tells a st
Nov 23, 2008 Rah~ri rated it really liked it
Left smiling.
Am very well satisfied.
A kids book, though not so much for the overly young?
The manner it was written, the way the story was told,
reminded me of "The Never Ending Story".
The way reality and fantasy grew together and apart
only to merge again, and were then left in a sweet exhausted embrace.
A perfect story of thieves, Gods, heros,
Amazing mystical animals, demons, and antagonists,
innocents, innocence, birth and death
and the craziness of ever changing life?
It took place in such a
Oct 05, 2009 Doris rated it really liked it
The official reviews list this as a grade 9-12 read but if it had been available I would probably have read it in the 6th.

The tale is a Scheherazade style tale of a tale told to forestall certain death. The story is well written, weaving together past and present, bringing the reader in as a viewer of the story as the young bride crafts a tale to persuade her young admirer to rescue her.

It layers Indian history, culture, and mythology, into a story of a powerful man who will kill to preserve hi
Aly the Reading Rabbit
Dec 27, 2014 Aly the Reading Rabbit rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews, fantasy
Yay! I just finished this book! Took me forever to read. I'm not really sure why.

Maybe it was the fact that I really couldn't immerse myself in most of the book. Some parts were really exciting and made me keep turning the page, but much of it was really quite the opposite.

Put aside the very little bad feedback. Haha. I loved this book! It was really imaginative and fun to read. Nitish, the tiger, was definitely the best character.

I hope you take time out of your day to read this book. It may ju
Aug 18, 2009 Miriam rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A beautiful young girl is sold into marriage with a cruel sheik and carried away from her beloved desert. Waiting to be killed when he discovers that she is not a virgin, Raka tells her a young eunuch the story of a poor thief who must rescue Krishna's daughter from a demon who wants to marry her.

The cover is a bit misleading, as the character is supposed to be older -- in fact, there is some casual sex which I wasn't expecting from a YA book.

I wavered between 3 and 4 stars on this one but deci
Jun 23, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
I found this book really accessable. The presentation of the Hindu Gods was very understandable. The frame of the story-a woman waiting to consumate her marriage knowing that it will lead to her murder (she is no longer a virgin and knows her husband's rage will lead to her demise)might me a bit much for 6th grade readers, though they would love the adventure of the tale. This might be a good choice for 7th grade lit circles, but I question the authenticity of it as the author is German and acco ...more
Alma  Ramos-McDermott
Aug 25, 2010 Alma Ramos-McDermott rated it did not like it
A Romeo & Julietesque adventure set in India, complete with Indian gods, superstition, a sacred stone, talking tigers and more. Antonia uses her year spent in India to craft a tale that rings of Scheherazade and her quest to stay alive by telling tales each night of her captivity. I think she went a little overboard by throwing in 2 very unnecessary, very adult love scenes in a book of children's fantasy, which spoiled it for me.
Kelly Moore
It took me a little while to get into this book, but once I did it completely took over my brain. While it's a traditional story in many ways, it was also unlike anything else I've ever read. I felt like I really was in India during a time when the British were steadily controlling more and more of the country, yet a widespread belief in old, powerful stories and faith persevered. Instead of being just another story about magic, it was a magical story - corny, but true.
Sep 15, 2014 Michele rated it liked it
While not horrible, I realized by the end of it that if you changed the names of the characters and the cities and the flowers, it could have taken place anywhere. I'm very interested in Indian mythology and was disappointed to have read an ordinary fairytale.
Aisha Cooper
Oct 21, 2012 Aisha Cooper rated it really liked it
This is one book I can't wait to read again. Two tales one seemingly fantasy and another a sad reality connected through possibility.
Oct 25, 2016 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Indian peasant girl named Raka is sold to a wealthy merchant to serve as his eighth wife. But she knows that when he discovers she is no virgin the merchant will gladly kill her. Raka's last nights alive are spent telling the story of a thief, a tiger, and a demon to a eunuch in the merchant's palace.

I am so glad I read the Ramayana before picking up this book. It's über satisfying to hear the names of the Gods and references to the stories in the Ramayana and know exactly what they're
Sep 27, 2016 Virna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the story with action, adventure, drama, mystery, humor, suspense, intrigue, secrets, romance and this book has all. This was the first time I have read a book by this author but have to admit it was interesting. This book kept my attention and even I have to admit I got caught up in this story. It was interesting trying to figure out what was going to happen next. I love the characters and plot and I enjoyed the narrator of this audiobook. I was good.
Mar 10, 2016 L.J.Spiller rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 08, 2015 Tasia rated it it was ok
I'm finding it hard to make a decision on this one. It's a very entertaining read that seems very aware of the British influence in India and its effect on the people, one that tries to celebrate Indian culture and history… but has some really problematic views of India as well. It's like it can't decide.

(view spoiler)
Jul 30, 2016 Eskana rated it really liked it
This book in one word? Fresh.

"Tiger Moon" tells the story of.... well, several people. First, it is the story of Safia, a beautiful young woman living in colonial India who is chosen to be the eighth wife of a rich merchant. She is taken to his household, but unbeknownst to him, she is not a virgin, and she knows that as soon as he finds out, she's as good as dead. Desperate but unable to escape, Safia begins telling a story to Lalit, the young eunuch who guards the women, and so another story u
Jun 10, 2009 Mandy rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was originally written in German and is a fairy tale set in India. What surprised me it was set during the time that Britain occupied Indian. I normally wouldn't think of a fairy tale being in that time period.

The story is about a woman who is 'sold' to a Muslim merchant as his eighth wife. The woman is expecting to die on her wedding night as she is no longer a virgin. Therefore, her husband will kill her for not getting his money's worth. A number of things happen that keep delaying the
Kimberly Steele
Nov 05, 2009 Kimberly Steele rated it really liked it
Antonia Michaelis has an admirably concise yet lyrical style of writing. Tiger Moon is Rudyard Kipling-esque in the way it exoticizes the East. There is the charm of old books of Rackham-illustrated fairy tales in Tiger Moon, as if it were a modern day Arabian Nights, but the ending is disappointing. Tiger Moon is the story of a young thief who becomes transformed as he goes on a quest to rescue a desert princess. Along the way, he meets a talking tiger, Nitish, who believes that he will turn to ...more
Libby Ames
Feb 03, 2011 Libby Ames rated it really liked it
I am fascinated by these books written in another language that remain poetic when translated. Sadly, the only recognition given to the translator is in small print on the title page. My personal admiration goes to Anthea Bell (also translator of the Inkheart Trilogy) for another book well done.

Tiger Moon is an interesting story of a hero in the making (actually multiple heroes with intertwined stories). Fahrad, a street thief, is sent on a mission by Krishna after stealing a magical amulet plan
Sagarika Maitra
Jan 24, 2013 Sagarika Maitra rated it it was amazing
Antonia spins a beautiful tale. Her story takes place in India, mainly Madras and Rajasthan. It starts off with a very rich merchant who falls in love with beautiful native girl of Rajasthan, marries her, and takes her with him to his home in Jaipur. Complications Incoming! The merchant is Ravan the Demon King of Ceylon and Safia is Lord Krishna’s daughter. Safia is in danger just by living under the same roof as Ravan. Farhad is given the task of saving Krishna’s daughter and Krishna gives him ...more
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Antonia Michaelis has lived and taught in India. She is the author of several award-winning books published in her native language German.
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