All my other reviews of this series have been gushing fangirly squees about amazing these books are- and I'm sorry, but this one is going to be exactlAll my other reviews of this series have been gushing fangirly squees about amazing these books are- and I'm sorry, but this one is going to be exactly the same!
How much do I love this series?!! It says a lot that despite my massive pile of books I still had to pick this one up as soon as it landed through the door. I just love Ren and Kishan- the two brothers, and the whole magical world that Kelsey is transported to in each book. There really is nothing similar out there- this story is totally unique, and so different.
But I especially just love how emotional the books are- I really do feel right there with Kelsey throughout all the ups and downs of her journey. I'm afraid for her, sad for her and as much torn in love as she is! She is a great heroine, I love that she is so smart and inquisitive, but brave and self-sacrificing when she needs to be too.
But I also feel for Ren and Kishan as well, and everything that they have been put through. The love and loyalty, but also brotherly rivalry between them is great. This is definitely an emotional rollercoaster of a book with ups and downs, and some shocks and surprises.
It had come to point where I honestly didn't know which brother I was rooting for- I loved them both in their own different ways, but I really feel that the way the book ended was just perfect, and I couldn't have imagined any other route for the story. Everything came together in last 100 pages, and felt very satisfying.
These four books have taken me with these characters on an epic quest to break an ancient curse, through heartbreak, kidnappings, fights with mystical creatures, battles of wits, love and tragedy. It's exciting, heroic, magical and deeply romantic- what more could you ask for from a great read?! I love it! Amazing books that I will definitely keep re-reading. ...more
<4.5 of 5 stars The quest to free the two Indian princes from their curse continues in this second book in the series. Kelsey has moved back home to<4.5 of 5 stars The quest to free the two Indian princes from their curse continues in this second book in the series. Kelsey has moved back home to Colorado, but has been given her own house, college is paid for, and she has a generous allowance to live on. She has decided to continue to help the princes by conducting research from afar while she tries to sort out her confused feelings about Ren, and throws herself into her studies and resuming a normal life again. But when Ren shows up in Colorado determined to win her back again, it is only the start of the complicated battle of emotion between them. I just adore Ren, who is beautiful, sweet, generous, patient and understanding and who fusses over Kelsey like a mother hen! He keeps gazing at Kelsey with his lovely blue eyes and quirky smile and finding reasons to hold her or touch her hair, making Kelsey (and me) melt. Not to mention literally fighting off other guys for her. The course of true love definitely doesn't run easily for Kelsey and Ren, with struggles and separations, and as Kelsey continues on the next stage of their quest with Ren's brother Kishan, the two of them grow close and complicate things even further. Kishan is very much devoted to Kelsey, but torn between whether he is protecting Kelsey for his own sake or looking after his brother's girl. The former bad boy with his rogueish charm is haunted by the decisions he made years ago and plagued by guilt. When the two brothers are together it brings out the worst side of Kishan- he is all cockiness and posturing, but when he is travelling alone with Kelsey we see a completely different side to him- a tenderness and vulnerability, and a sense that all he really wants is some stability. The love triangle aspect of the story is done so well- we really get a sense of Kishan's personality before he declares his love for her. Even when Ren and Kelsey are separated and she and Kishan are off travelling together, she still has dreams about Ren and their communication through these dreams is so moving and a real affirmation of their relationship. But Kishan also has dreams of a future where he is with Kelsey, and the bliss he feels in these dreams confuses him even further, and gives us a real insight into the depth of his desire for Kelsey, and his wish for the future he glimpsed in his vision to become real. We can see how painful it is for him to step aside, and help Ren- so that he doesn't repeat the mistakes of his past. One of the things I loved about the first book was all the vivid detailing and description throughout, however, I did start to find this a little bit wearing in book 2. I wanted to scream at Kelsey sometimes- "I don't care what you had for dinner, and what he had for dinner, and all about these different tourist sites you visited while you're trying to blend in- Ren has been kidnapped, you need to rescue him, lets go- just get on with it!". There were some parts in the middle where there was just no urgency! That was my only major complaint about this book. It just seemed like the author wanted to show off how much research she had put into the book, but it damaged the flow of the story. I still do love the descriptions and little details, and did again love the beautiful writing and the way that everything is always so well explained, giving us a real sense of both the Indian jungles and the mystical places that the characters travel to. But in moderation! I love feisty, intelligent Kelsey, but have to say that her biggest flaws are her stubbornness and her inability to see the truth right in front of her eyes. She is also quite isolated, constantly pushing others away, and has very few friends because of this. When she starts at University she doesn't have any old friends to keep in touch with, she barely lets her foster parents know that she has come back from India, and she spends the first term pretty much on her own, burying herself in studying and research. She regards Ren, Kishan and their guardian Mr. Kadam as her family though, and puts all her trust in them completely. She only really comes into her own while she is India with these friends. Tiger's Quest is an absolutely wonderful novel, filled with magic and adventure. This really is a fantastically imaginative story with visits into other worlds, magical creatures both good and bad, and stories and legends from other cultures and realms. Kelsey gets to travel the world, meeting all kinds of people, and creatures, enduring trials and challenges, using skill and intelligence to solve puzzles and working together with the brothers to lift an ancient curse. She storms a fortress, fights seriously evil bad guys, and develops a useful power of her own. This really is a quest story with a difference, it is magical and action packed. The thing I love most about it though is the bond between the main characters and the confusing relationships between them. I love the way that the author can pull on your heartstrings so completely, in the way that Ren and Kelsey's story develops with a passionate love and a crushing loss. After a fraught rollercoaster of emotions the book ends on a heartbreaking note. This is one of those books that I can't stop thinking about long after I've finished reading it. I definitely can't wait to continue on with Kelsey's story in book 3, but I'm so confused now, who do I like more- white tiger Ren or black tiger Kishan?...more
I absolutely love all of Maria Snyder's books and the way she writes her characters, but I thought that this one was one of the better ones- back up tI absolutely love all of Maria Snyder's books and the way she writes her characters, but I thought that this one was one of the better ones- back up to the standard of the fantastic Poison Study. I love the fantasy and the beautiful world building, but also the fantastic characters, and the camerarderie and companionship between them. In this new series, magical healer Avry has been on the run and alone for three years. In the past, people with magic were respected, but now they are met with fear and suspicion- healers most especially. When she is kidnapped/ rescued from execution by a group of travellers determined to make her heal their friend, (a prince who Avry hates) she initially fights back. But as their travels drag on she gets used to them, and grows to think of them as a family, and I loved the bonds between them. She jokes around with Vinn and Quain, learns to fight from Belen and teaches little Flea how to juggle, as well as improving the standard of cooking on their travels. After a time she cannot imagine being without her new little family, and can't bear the thought of being on her own again. In turn, her determination, stubbornness and self-sacrificing nature earns her the respect of the group, and makes a strong impression on the group's leader Kerrick. And when Avry is taken by the nasty Tohon, the group fight tooth and nail to get her back again. As well as the great cast of characters adding fun and heart to the story, there is the seriousness of the politics of the fifteen kingdoms, and the scheming and treachery involved in the fight for power. There are also the magical new creatures and plants of the world, the most intriguing of which are the Peace and Death Lilies, which I'm guessing the mystery of will be further explained in later books, and the different powers of the people as well. Some of the characters have more power than others, and there are also some new powers developing- keeping everything very interesting. Despite the fact that there was a lot of travelling and camping the story never seemed to drag at all- it always felt like there was something going on, even if it was just a shift in the dynamics of the group. There is plenty of action in the form of attacks on the group, and Avry is still trying to discover more about what happened to her family and also trying to uncover the secret of the mysterious plague that has swept the land, and why the healers were blamed for it. Avry makes a great heroine because she is good and self-sacrificing, but also smart, feisty and courageous. She is very witty and speaks her mind no matter what. This frustrates Kerrick no end, and makes their banter so much more interesting to read about. Maria Snyder has done it again- she has created a world where I get so completely sucked in and absorbed in that I don't even notice the pages turning. This is a completely compelling book mostly because of the relatable and lovable characters. Even those not fans of fantasy books can't help but be warmed by their friendship, amused by their quirkiness, and saddened by their losses. This is a story full of companionship, history, magic, danger, betrayals, and a sweet love story aspect that kind of sneaks up on you. Beautiful- I loved it.
Thanks to Harlequin publishers and Netgalley for the advance e-copy of this book for review. ...more
Book 1 in the Tiger series A-mazing book! This book is the perfect example of the way novels are supposed to be- original, very in depth, with a rich pBook 1 in the Tiger series A-mazing book! This book is the perfect example of the way novels are supposed to be- original, very in depth, with a rich plot-line and lovable well-developed characters. This is easily one of the best books I've read this year. I could re-read it over and over. Love it! The story focuses on 17 year-old Kelsey, who finds a temporary job working with a circus for the summer before she is due to leave for university. Among the many duties she performs, her favourite task is working with the white tiger, who she has a terrific rapport with. When a wealthy benefactor buys the tiger- Dhiren- he offers Kelsey a job escorting the tiger back to a sanctuary in India, offering to pay all her expenses, first class travel, and take care of all the plans for her. It turns out that the tiger is an Indian prince who has been cursed for hundreds of years, and can only be a man for 20 minutes of each day. Dhiren (nicknamed Ren by Kelsey) is warm, kind and determined to lift the curse upon him with Kelsey's help, and become a man again permanently. He is crazy about Kelsey and although he sometimes puts her in danger in their quest through caves, and tunnels, and enchanted forests, he is also extremely protective and would never want to see her hurt. The two of them travel through India, deciphering a prophecy, and trekking through jungles hunting for lost treasure from the stories that can help them to break the curse. They also have to look for Ren's brother Kishan who was also cursed to be a tiger but who has preferred to stay hidden. He is cheekier than Ren, and perhaps where he has been left alone for so long it has made him coarser and a little rough around the edges. But I did enjoy the rivalry between the two brothers and the bickering between them, but also the loyalty that is there. The best thing about this novel is the vivid detailing and the rich descriptions of the places, and people. We get such a constant insight into Kelsey's thoughts and feelings, and why she is always so conflicted. I also enjoyed all the myths and legends woven into the tale, and the old Indian stories that Kelsey is told, which had an impact on what was happening with her and Ren, and which sometimes gave them some clues as to how to break the curse. All the old stories of the magic are interwoven with the modern day, and a strong modern heroine. I love Ren, the cursed Indian prince/ white tiger, and the slow boil of their affection for each other as they gradually learn to trust each other and the friendship between them turns to love. It's not all plain sailing between them however, and Kelsey is determined to keep her head rather than let herself be swept away, and is constantly questioning her feelings, and the right course of action. Ren though is everything you want the romantic lead to be, thoughtful and with a good heart (and sexy of course!) I love this book so much! This is everything that books are supposed to be- well written, descriptive, thrilling, heart-breakingly romantic, and full of action and magic. This book blew me away! Everything from the characters, the setting and the story just kept me engrossed in this beautiful and mystical world. I want the next one NOW!...more
I really liked this book- a fantasy quest story full of danger, heartbreak, and an unconventional love story. I loved the main characters in this fromI really liked this book- a fantasy quest story full of danger, heartbreak, and an unconventional love story. I loved the main characters in this from feisty Kaede, and quiet but powerful Taisin, through to their guard Shae with her stories and quirky sense of humour and her stubborn independence. My favourite character was Con- the king's son, who is not at all spoilt or arrogant as you might expect a prince to be, but incredibly honourable with a great sense of humour. He is extremely protective of the girls, and as he has known Kaede all her life, he is very affectionate toward her and jokes about with her like she is a little sister to him. He thinks nothing of camping on the ground at night, and treats everyone as equals- viewing the trip as a way to better understand the kingdom and the people. He also wants to prove himself, and to be the one to re-establish a connection with the Xi people. And as they travel he also develops a really sweet crush on the guard, Shae. The book is mostly based on Kaede, Taisin and Con and their small group of guards, their individual stories, and the story of their long journey out of the kingdom. Kaede is battling with the wishes of her family and trying to escape an arranged marriage, and Taisin is under the intense pressure of being the most gifted magical student at the academy. But there is a connection between them. At first the trip seems like an adventure and an opportunity, but the further away they get, the more unknown the territory, and the more dangerous. First is their perilous journey through the kingdom and all the dangers lurking in the woods to go and meet the queen of the fay (also called the Xi) and find out what is causing all the odd happenings in the kingdom, and why all the crops are failing. From there they are set on a mission to right the magic and restore a balance to the world. The half Xi evil sorcoress is seriously evil, and determined to stop them, and Taisin's visions of the future start coming true, and so there is always the very tense possibility that they might not all make it back home. I loved the scale of this book, and the detail in the describing the people and places that they encountered made it seem so real. ...more
3.5 stars Finnikin of the Rock is a sweeping fantasy story set in another world of kingdoms, princesses, warriors, magic and curses. The story is set in3.5 stars Finnikin of the Rock is a sweeping fantasy story set in another world of kingdoms, princesses, warriors, magic and curses. The story is set in the prosperous kingdom of Lumatere, where Finnikin as a child plays with his friend Prince Balthazar and they plan their futures- Balthazar as King and Finnikin as head of the guard. But during what they call "the 5 days of the unspeakable" the kingdom is attacked, the royal family is murdered and replaced with an imposter king, and a curse is put on the kingdom which traps half the citizens inside Lumatere under a tyrannical reign, and half the citizens outside, left to wander the other kingdoms as exiles. Years later, Finnikin now a young man is travelling the kingdoms as an ambassador for Lumatere with his guardian and mentor Sir Topher and trying to negotiate a patch of land so that the scattered exiles of Lumatere can live together united and try to rebuild. This is when he meets Evanjalin- a determined young woman who believes that the curse can be fought and they can return to Lumatere to fight the imposter king, reunite their people and reclaim their homeland. This book is full of twists and turns, unexpected revelations and a developing romance. My favourite aspect of the story is the author's ability to really "get" human emotions and focus on the important aspects of the feelings and interactions between others. She is describing a people suffering tragedy after tragedy and still finding hope and love - people who still love each other after years and kingdoms apart. I really liked the description in the book- and how a glance or a touch of the hand could say more about the character's feelings than stating it explicitly. The main characters speak to each other with just the right amount of humour and snarkiness. This wasn't a story about war and politics, but humanity, sorrow and the power of belief. Desiny versus choice, and finding your identity and belonging. My mistake was probably in getting the audiobook version. Although I enjoyed the story, I sometimes found myself a little lost among all the unfamiliar names and words and the description of the politics of the kingdoms, which I had forgotten everything about by the time I next came to listen to it again- and it is impossible to refer back in a story that you are listening to. I agonised over what rating to give this book because it is not a bad book- it is excellent actually, and the kind of thing that I would have loved reading about 4/5 years ago, but I think my reading preferences have changed over time, and I just couldn't enthuse over this book as I thought it deserved. Recommended though for anyone who loves a good fantasy story about war, love, hope, magic, tragedy, revenge and loyalty. ...more
Book 4 in the Iron Fey series The Iron Knight is a great addition to the series and a fantastic ending to Meghan and Ash's story. This book has the samBook 4 in the Iron Fey series The Iron Knight is a great addition to the series and a fantastic ending to Meghan and Ash's story. This book has the same depth of detail in describing the faery realm and the same sparkling banter between Ash and Puck. I love the detailed description of the world, the humour, and the amazing epic romance. We are taken on a dangerous journey through the Nevernever meeting all kinds of fantastical creatures, dangers, and put through a heart-wrenching rollercoaster ride of emotions! As well as meeting up with sarcastic cat Grimalkin there are a couple of surprise new characters, who are fantastic additions to the group. I liked hearing the narrative told from Ash's point of view for a change, but Meghan is absent from most of the story and it just seemed that without the bond between them it was missing something. Ash though, is his usual honour-bound self, and I liked him more in this book, perhaps because we see more of his thoughts, the depth of his feeling, and his drive to be with Meghan. We also see memories of his long past life, and glimpses of what he has had to deal with from his family in the winter court and also many past regrets. We see his guilt and vulnerability, and how his love for Meghan has redeemed him. This is a fantastical, imaginative and romantic series, and my favourite faery series. I liked the way that the story ended, and put this book down feeling all snuggly and contented. What a fab series!
Thankyou to Harlequin and Netgalley for the advance copy....more
Cornelia Funke is the queen of dark fairytales. She writes new stories that make you feel as if you've heard them all your life, as if they are centurCornelia Funke is the queen of dark fairytales. She writes new stories that make you feel as if you've heard them all your life, as if they are centuries old, but with the modern world woven in seamlessly. Funke has created a believable new magical realm beyond a magic mirror. The world of the fairytale is not childlike and simple, but harsh and dangerous and evil lurks around every corner. You also know that the author will not go easy on the characters just because it is a children's tale, and main characters can and do die. Bad things can happen in the real world, and fiction is no different. This leaves you feeling tense and emotional the whole way through the book- genuinely not knowing if they are going to make it through the next danger. Jacob has been travelling into the world behind the mirror since he was a child and is an expert treasure hunter finding things like rapunzel hairs, a glass slipper and other magical objects. He knows which trees will bite you if they get the chance, which stream is safe to drink from and which will enchant you, and which variety of snail you should collect for it's invisibility slime. Jacob feels more at home in the mirror world than he does in his own world, even though he recognises its dangers. Jacob's brother Will is not so savvy, and as the tale starts off Will has been poisoned by the goyle- an angry warrior race with skin as hard as stone. Formerly sweet Will is slowly forgetting everyone he knows and is transforming into a hostile jade goyle, but Jacob is determined to find a cure for him no matter what it takes. Clara, Will's girlfriend also stumbles across the mirror world and joins them on their quest, along with Fox, Jacob's best friend who can transform between a woman and a vixen and who has always been in love with Jacob. Their journey takes them across the mirror realm meeting money-loving traitorous dwarves, seductive fairies that would enchant them and a whole cast of other characters. This is a unique and dreamlike story set in a magical world where absolutely anything can happen. There are familiar elements from the tales of the Brothers Grimm woven into this story, and names or stories that you would recognise (such as cinderella, sleeping beauty). It is part 1 of a series, but could work just as well as a stand-alone book. If you are a fan of Funke's Inkheart series (which I loved), or a fairy story retold then I would recommend this. A perfect book for 11-17 year olds, gripping, pacy, dark at times, but with a smidgeon of romance thrown in. ...more
This series has been going from strength to strength with each book. This was the best one so far. Ash and Megha4.5/ 5 stars 3rd in the Iron Fey series
This series has been going from strength to strength with each book. This was the best one so far. Ash and Meghan are together (aww), and along with Puck and Grimalkin they journey through Faery, first to rescue Meghan's human father, and then into the iron realm to halt the Iron King's advance into the Nevernever, meeting some new and interesting characters along the way. This is action packed, emotional, funny in parts, and leaves you yearning to know what will happen next. Bring on book 4!...more