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The Tiger's Watch

(Ashes of Gold #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

Tashi spies on Xian’s every mov
Kindle Edition, 180 pages
Published August 22nd 2017 by Harmony Ink Press
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Julia Ember Hi Shade! Thanks for your question! Tashi is a genderfluid protagonist. Although they were born with a male body, they do not identify this way. Tashi…moreHi Shade! Thanks for your question! Tashi is a genderfluid protagonist. Although they were born with a male body, they do not identify this way. Tashi is really adamant about being seen as a person, without the expectations of gender. They don't want to feel bound to a series of "shoulds" and want to express themself according to how they feel at the moment. Some of the ways their body is changing (Tashi is 16) also cause them anxiety, as Tashi wants to maintain their androgynous look.

Being misgendered and forced to change their appearance in order to hide is a source of conflict in the novel. It is not the central plot conflict, though.

Hope that clears it up!(less)
Julia Ember This book is written in first person, past tense. Thanks for your question!

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Average rating 3.63  · 
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Failed BR with Lorenzo il Magnifico and this crossover person between Inej Ghafa and Santa Elena

I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

DNF @ 45%

How sad. I really wanted to like this book. I was prepared for not loving it, which is fine because not every book can be your favorite, and it’s not even fair to say I completely hated it. If I had more time and if I was a faster reader I would have forced myself
Elle (ellexamines)
I'm officially DNFing this out of frustration. This was a FAILED buddyread with Silv and Rin -links lead to their reviews. All of us DNFed which doesn't seem like a great sign??

➽ The biggest issue here was the worldbuilding. The beginning of this book is incredibly frustrating. We are thrown into the middle of war with Tashi and their friend running away and it's not explained... at all. I think Julia Ember wanted to avoid info-dumping and made up for it by explaining... nothing. That's not a g
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
For a book that boasts a fantastic premise with very needed representation, I was excited to read this book and I was ready to love it. Unfortunately though, I am sad to say that I was a little disappointed by The Tiger's Watch. I have such mixed feelings about this book too, but I'll do my best to articulate them all.

There were many things that I liked about The Tiger's Watch. What had attracted me to read this book was the idea of humans, or inhabitors, sharing a magical bond with an animal, a
Avery (Book Deviant)
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
See more of my reviews on my blog the Book Deviant

I would like to thank Julia Ember and Harmony Ink Press for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was so much fun! Can't wait for the sequel.

Check out my full review here.

Trigger warning for misgendering, violence, moderate gore, abuse, and animals in a war situation.
Laura (bbliophile)
AMAZING. I loved this book so much I don't even know what to say. My review is going to be a mess, that's for sure. ...more
After reading The Seafarer's Kiss, I was really excited to jump aboard The Tiger's Watch. Though I was a bit hesitant about the length of the book (a high fantasy novel written in 180 pages?), the premise promised me awesome things, and on some levels, it delivered; on others, it did not.

First of all, the length of the book showed in its lack of development. While we did get a sense of the world-building and ongoing politics, it was just that - a sense. I would have liked a little more history i
Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
I wish I had paid more attention to the synopsis before I requested this from Netgalley. If I had, I would’ve noted that the MCs are all 16-17, usually much too young for me when it comes to books. I haven’t been that age in quite some time and really can’t related to stories told from the POV of teenagers.

I requested this for 2 reasons. 1) Because I thought the idea of someone having a “bondmate” with an animal, where you can feel each other and see through each other’s eyes, sounded really fu
Morgan Blanch
I have wanted to read this book for so, so long. A fantasy inspired by (I think) Bhutanese mythology and folklore, and is queer all over the place to boot. I'm hooked. I'm ready. Give it to me.

Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. But, lets start with the things I did enjoy about The Tiger's Watch.

- The magic system was absolutely spectacular. People called inhabitors bond with one animal throughout their lifetime and are trained to connect and control the animal that
Manon the Malicious
*3.5 Stars*

I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I will not summarize this book, I’m gonna throw you into the review, just like I was thrown into this book.
See, when the book started, I was lost, I almost wondered if my file was defective and I started it in the middle of the story. But, no. This book just has an abrupt start.
After that, the main character, Tashi tried to give us some backstory but still, even though I liked this captivating, original world, I felt
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I received a digital copy of this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest and voluntary review

Rating: 4,5 stars!

I'm! Screaming! This was so cool?

The world building was impeccable. Julia Ember's writing immediately hooked me from the start. The Tiger's Watch is obviously a fantasy book, which usually requires a helluva world building and info about how this particular world works, what makes it tick. In this book, this is done extremely well despite its shortness. We never get overwhelmed wi
The Captain
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this young adult fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .

Well, yet again, an interesting cover led me to take a look at this book. Gender-fluid protagonist who is bonded with a giant golden tiger? Yes, please. This book certainly was a quick read at 180 pages. I read it in one evening. It was an enjoyable read for me but not a fantastic one.

The pros:

- Gender-fluid protagonist. Hooray for diversity! Also Tash
we_tried_br w/ birthday girl 🎂 and this cutie

did someone curse me and silvia or smth, we only had 1.5 good BRs???

DNF @ 59%

so i requested this arc because i found the idea very intriguing. genderfluid MC in a fantasy world (not my place to speak about it, but i think genderfluidness was presented really well)! bounded to the tiger (kind of feels like soulmates but with an animal)! who has to spy on enemy invaders!

sadly, apart from promising idea and great take on Tashi's (the MC) genderfluidness,
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so excited to hear Julia was writing a YA fantasy series with a gender fluid main character, something that is sorely lacking in literature today. The fact that The Tiger’s Watch was also going to have human-animal bonding, magic and a badass heroine going behind enemy lies to spy was just the icing on the cake! It instantly became a must read. However as much as I wanted to love it, I’m sorry to say that I had a few issues with The Tiger’s Watch.

I had a slight issue with Tashi, well more
lobelyys (tired af)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it

At the beginning I was a little bit confused as the whole gender world is a bit new to me and I needed some time adapt to it. Do not get me wrong I have nothing against non binary people nor the way they decide to define themselves I am totally OK with that. 

This clarified let me jump into the


The cover! Seriously it is cover-porn I could stare at it for hours and would not get bored

Image result for mesmerized gif

0.0 should I be worried about this??

The Asian vibes I am all about Asia
Jul 30, 2017 rated it liked it
"The animal sees something in you that draws them, but as you bond,the thing that makes you successful as a pair may be something else entirely. Balance. At all times balance within yourself. Do not focus in on that one trait."

I am having very hard time gathering my feelings for this book. You see, it has every thing that I like about a Young adult fantasy book : interesting plot, great setting, complex characters. But then there were so many things missing that stopped me from enjoy
Melissa Souza
Aug 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy, lgbtq
**Thank you to Harmony Ink Press and Netgalley for sending me an ARC in return for an honest review.

2.5 to 3 stars!!!

When I had first read the synopsis for this book, I was pretty excited. The concept of the novel really hooked me. However, I'm quite disappointed because the story hasn't really lived up to my expectations. All in all, this book was a rather average read for me with a few key highlights.

Firstly, I'd like to applaud the author for creating a genderfluid protagonist. I liked how th
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I already feel I will not be able to do this book justice with my review. When I read the blurb for The Tigers Watch I was intrigued. However, I wasn't sure if it was going to be for me. I'm so glad I gave it a shot. The writing style sucked me in, and I really enjoyed the story. The Tigers Watch just got better, and better. I can't wait for the next one. I want it now!

Tashi has a bonded animal who helps her to spy and kill enemies. She has to leave the capital after it is over run. She end
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first heard about this book when I was browsing through diverse book lists back in January or February (somewhere around that time), and I remember being very intrigued by the plot because I had never read a book containing a gender fluid character, much less as the main character! This made me realize two things. One we are finally progressing toward a broader representation of genders and sexualities. And two, that due to this being the first book with a gender fluid MC for me, it means that ...more
Lilly (Lair Of Books)
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
***4 STARS***

Full review can also be found on my blog Lair Of Books:


The Tiger’s Watch is a diverse YA Fantasy centered around Tashi our gender fluid main character. Tashi is a inhabitor which by definition means you are bonded with an animal. This also means your life lines are linked & so when one dies, the other does too. Tashi is bonded to a golden tiger named Katala who if need be they can inhabit. As a soldier trained to be a spy, Tashi and their
Lea (drumsofautumn)
Here's my full video review!

The Tiger's Watch was an enjoyable read with an interesting set of characters and intricate world building.

I was excited to receive this ARC through Netgalley as I had heard so many great things about Julia Ember as a writer but hadn't read anything by her yet. I was interested to see the world she has created and how she would portray the bond between the inhabitor and their bonded animal.

There was a lot packed into this book even though it had just 180 pages. Even t
Nina Rossing
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, 2017
Vivid descriptions and a world painted in rich, delicious detail. Action-filled plot where loyalty, deceit, adrenaline, and emotions are at the core.
Ends with a great build-up to the sequel :)
A copy of this novel was provided by Harmony Ink Press for review via Net Galley.

I really enjoyed The Tiger’s Watch. And here are four thoughts I had when reading it:

1) I wish it had been longer.

I actually enjoyed the tightness of the plot and storyline, but if it had been a little longer I feel like some of the characters, relationships, and world building would have been more fleshed out.

In regards to Tashi and Pharo’s relationship I think length would have benefitted that a lot, because I did
CR Daylex
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Julia Ember's other books, so when I was offered an advanced review copy of this by the publisher I was so happy! I loved Tashi so much. They were this precious little pacifist forced into being a spy&assassin, connected magically to this wild killer tiger, when all they wanted was to be left alone to build a life with their best friend who they loved. The magic bond between Tashi and Katala was unlike any magical animal book I've ever read. You couldn't exactly call this is a shifter no ...more
Sharon Mariampillai
I received a copy from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

Thank you Julia Ember for the opportunity to read your book. This was an alright read. I was supposed to read this in July, but I am glad that I finally read the book. I thought the book started off great, but then started to get more boring as I continued to read. I thought the characters were interesting, but I did also find them a bit annoying and stupid at times. I did not love them, but I did not dislike them either. I felt
Hannah Welch

This book has everything I've ever wanted in life. A genderfluid protagonist. They as a third-person non-gendered pronoun. M/M and F/F pairings, too.

Thank you, Ms. Ember. I have been waiting for a book of this caliber to come along for so long!
Olivia Chanel's Stories in Space
Thank you, Julia Ember and Harmony Ink Press, for my ARC of The Tiger’s Watch. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

As Julia Ember’s third published book, The Tiger’s Watch manages to still contain all the things I love about Ember’s work and continue to surprise me with new stories and concepts. The Tiger’s Watch is about Tashi, who is nonbinary, genderf
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
I received a copy of this book through the publishers in exchange of an honest review

Actual Rating: 2.5 stars

Full review originally posted on my blog: Word Wonders

CW: Murder, torture, mild gore, violence, misgendering, animal death

Well, this review is about to be tough because I have many many conflicted thoughts and feelings. I had such high expectations for this book because the premise sounds brilliant, it has a genderfluid main character -which is severely lacking in books- AN
I'm in two minds about this novella. While there was a part of me that was intrigued by the general premise, there were still too many moments of confusion and poor characterisation for me to fully immerse myself in the story.


One of my issues is the world building, or lack thereof. The novel starts after the conclusion of a major battle, with Tashi, the protagonist, and their best friend on the run. We don't actually discover what happened until further in the novel, which is
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Julia Ember’s books include The Seafarer’s Kiss duology, a Norse myth inspired retelling of The Little Mermaid, published by Interlude Press (Duet Books), and Ruinsong, a standalone high fantasy reimagining of The Phantom of the Opera, published by Macmillan Kids (FSG) in November 2020.

Ember’s work has been featured in USA Today, Bustle, Book Riot and Autostraddle, among many others. Julia has a

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