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The Tiger at Midnight

(The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  3,316 ratings  ·  663 reviews
A broken bond. A dying land. A cat-and-mouse game that can only end in bloodshed.

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 Ge
Hardcover, 487 pages
Published April 23rd 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Swati THE TIGER AR MIDNIGHT is definitely an exploration of the moral greys of war, duty, and honor--which I've always been interested in!

I actually had th…more
THE TIGER AR MIDNIGHT is definitely an exploration of the moral greys of war, duty, and honor--which I've always been interested in!

I actually had the idea for The Tiger at Midnight while visiting a fort on vacation. I was looking out one of the windows of the fort, wondering what image would stop a dutiful soldier in his tracks and why. In this case, it happened to be a girl who's in the wrong place at the wrong time. But why?

It was the start of Kunal and Esha and inspired the opening scene of the book! (less)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  3,316 ratings  ·  663 reviews

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Start your review of The Tiger at Midnight (The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy, #1)
This book was... ok. Nothing more. Nothing less. It was just ok. That was the problem.

I spent the entire time reading just wishing to fully dive into the story and not being able to. This isn't a bad book. There is nothing blatantly wrong with the novel. My issue isn't even a specific issue, but rather a collection of small things that kept accumulating and rubbing me the wrong way.

Something that didn't allow me to fully dive into the story was that the book lacked atmosphere. It wasn't for lack
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
Sooo I'm a little biased here, because Swati is actually my writing mentor and a lovely person - but I REALLY loved this book (and I would have loved it just as much even if I didn't know her personally)!

If you know anything about me, you know I'm a huge fan of the cat and mouse trope - and heated banter. Like please give me all the heated banter forever and ever amen. So with that said, my heart was so giddy over Kunal and Esha! They are my children now and I love them and ship them endlessly.
Vibur (semi-hiatus)
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
The Tiger At Midnight was… alright.

The writing is in that weird territory between good and… hmmm. Some admittedly beautiful descriptions, but there are a few nonsensically bewildering and off-putting turns of phrase too (like, what is "bitten by berry kisses" meant to mean?).
But those are small things, right?
While the writing isn't bad altogether, a couple of aspects could, should, have been better. It's the small things all throughout—the uninspired, pedestrian phrasing, and there being not en
Umairah | Sereadipity
Plot: 3/5 Characters: 3/5 Writing: 4/5

The Tiger at Midnight was one of my most anticipated debuts of 2019, however, it sadly fell a bit flat for me. It was just so... average. I felt like I had read it all before.

Let's start with the positives. The world building was excellently done and I loved finding out more about the different places. The imagery of sprawling rainforests contrasted with bustling cities was a delight to the senses.

The book was about two warring countries called Jansa and Dha
May 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
I think me and ya fantasy may need to part ways soon.

This followed every stereotypical plot line nuance and fulfilled every trope to perfection.

Nothing excited me, interested me or surprised me in this book.

Some of the writing regarding the world building was enjoyable - but the characters were mostly insufferable due to their cookie cutter personas.

I’ve read the same book in a different setting repeatedly in the last few years. Now I’m bored of it.
To put into perspective:

I started this book around 1 am. I finished at 6 am and am up writing this review (full one to come closer to publication) because I just cannot stop gushing about it. Definitely add this one to your TBR's, fantasy lovers!

The Tiger at Midnight immediately caught my attention with its gorgeous cover. Before I knew it, the writing sucked me in, and after I got to meet the characters, I was thoroughly ensnared in its pages. This Indian-inspired fantasy is full of deceit, sec
Vicky Again
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
weeeeOOOWWWW i'm so glad I have this on preorder (and it's coming on Tuesday!!!) because that was amazing???

1) actually good romantic tension gimme gimme
2) lush worlds!!! so much!!!
3) if you've seen pictures of the hardcover, it's got this GORGEOUS super shiny gold spine that makes me swoooooon. *grabby hands*
Jananie (thisstoryaintover)
Absolutely loved this. This was a total sleeper hit for me. I had interviewed the author earlier in 2019 and was super excited about reading her book but never got the chance to until now. This was the ancient India/Hindu mythology-inspired, soldier vs rebel, cat-and-mouse fantasy that I never knew I needed. Loved the main characters, Esha and Kunal, both as characters and as a ship. Although I wish we could have spent more time with other characters and the scope of the world as a whole, I do f ...more
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I am SO excited to share THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT with you all in just a few months! Keep an eye out here for more regular updates. ;)

A little Author's Note:

Whenever I'd go to India to visit my grandparents as a child, they'd tell me tales from our Hindu mythology – of honorable warriors and strong queens, star-crossed romances and epic battles. These stories fueled my imagination and showed me that there was rarely pure good or evil in the world, that our lives are a series of choices we make.

Natasha Ngan
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A deliciously twisty cat-and-mouse story that had me racing through the pages. I love stories that challenge their protagonists' beliefs, and both Esha and Kunal face complex, heart-breaking decisions in their journey to discover both themselves and each other. ...more
Emily May
Dec 29, 2018 marked it as lost-interest
Shelves: young-adult, arc, fantasy

ARC provided in exchange for honest review 🐅
steph⁷ (semi-hiatus)
Three words: Overhyped and unoriginal (which describes 90% of the YA fantasies released this year to be honest)
h o l l i s
Coming in at almost five hundred pages in my physical ARC, I thought this would be a book I'd have to chip away at for a day or two. But THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT was such an easy read and I devoured it in only a few hours. That said, I'm not entirely sure this is a fantasy that's going to stick with me. Also arg another trilogy I'm going to have to keep track of amongst all the other things I read.. #bookishproblems

Anyway, I was drawn to this story because of the diversity and wanting more lush, ma
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

The Buzz

I heard nothing about The Tiger at Midnight! I've not even seen reviews of it... I hope my review can spur on some buzz... because it totally deserves the attention!!

My Experience

It was quite easy to be pulled into the war torn world of The Tiger at Midnight. The opening scene is delightful and gives you a real taste of what is to come... because its flirting, sparring, one upping and even more bantering! This eases us into the Indian-i
I may have postponed reading this book for almost an year despite being very excited for it, but I’m glad I finally had the chance to read it now. It was the exact kind of fun fast paced YA fantasy I needed during these anxiety inducing times.

I really liked Kunal and Esha as characters. Their cat and mouse chase, banter, a bit of a slow burn relationship development was all a lot of fun to read. I also thought they both were great individually, with their own values and convictions, and how und
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I really enjoyed this. Inspired by the culture of ancient India and Hindu mythology, The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala features a cat-and-mouse game of deception and thrills between a rebel assassin and the reluctant young soldier tasked to bring her to justice.

Years ago, when Esha was a child, she and her family lived a happy existence at the palace where they were close companions to the royal family. But that was
Ardent Reader

The book was Ok.
The disappointment was that I felt nothing new in the story; that i have read a similar kind of a story before. It seemed to be that the story line was not original.
The positive point is that the story was an easy read.

Since this book is the start of a trilogy, I hope the other remaining books will be much more productive with the story line.
ʙᴇʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.
Jan 07, 2019 added it
Recommends it for: Fans of A Crown of Wishes
Shelves: arc
The Tiger at the Midnight (title which you'll only understand its meaning at the very end of the book) is an Indian Mythology inspired story about two enemy kingdoms but is a character-driven plot. Meet Esha, a girl which happens to be also the Viper: a lethal, legendary assassin. Esha is a morally grey character that works for a greater purpose. Then, meet our hero, Kunal, a soldier which happens to be the nephew of Esha's new target. Kunal and Esha cross paths and while there's no insta-love, ...more
March 15, 2020: Everyone should be knowing how much I love Indian history and Hindu mythology...I was adoring this YA fantasy from afar since last year and now that I've listened to it, I want ALL OF YOU to pick it up too. A romance that gets you a OTP, chase & adventure, cultural references, and an amazing writing! Full review to come someday.

December 10, 2018: Indian MC – Assassin female + Soldier male | Hindu Mythology | Ancient Indian history | PERFECT |
julianna ➹
yes, I will be thinking about Kunal and Esha every single day for the rest of my life. what about it

The randomness of fate once again struck her as being the ultimate cruelty and blessing of the gods. It seemed Kunal truly was her tiger at midnight, there to collect on her missteps.

The old folktales never lied.

Y'all, apparently this is a whopping 487 pages??? But it truly, seriously only felt like about 300 pages to me?? And I sped through this so quickly??

Life's wild when you're having th
Aug 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poc, fantasy

I picked up this book because of the Indian mythology supponding the plot. The book created a beauty yet terribly world for the characters. We follow Esha who is the deadly assassin planning to kill the general to defeat the ruthless tyrant regime. During her journey she meets Kunal, an emperor’s soldier tasked to find the viper. Sparks fly but can they trust one another when they are on different sides of the war?

I think this book had great potential but it did fall short. I still enjoyed re
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m really, really soft for these characters, okay. And the romantic development in this book? Swati Teerdhala writes tension so phenomenally well! Julianna and I just ate it all up. IT WAS GREAT! Kunal and Esha are explosive together.

Although The Tiger at Midnight greatly deviated from my expectations, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the almost literal cat-and-mouse chase across a brutally damaged fantasy land. I liked the elements of Indian mythology integrated into the world-building, as w
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
How is there not more talk about this book?! I'm insanely impressed with this debut! The nonstop cat and mouse game + sexual tension was EXACTLY what my body and soul needed. There was no toying around with the attraction the way a lot of YA enemies to lovers go. I am...shocked to say I also enjoyed this triangle thing. I just want more! My only beef with this is I didn't see much of a peek in terms of plot. It's definitely a "setting things up for books 2 and 3" type of book which I know isn't ...more
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
My feelings about this book are a mixed back of good and mediocre, but what I can confidently say is that I had a fun time reading it, and at the end of the day, that's what matters most, right?

I think a major factor of my enjoyment is that this felt like a very classic YA fantasy with all the typical tropes but with all the diversity I love and infused with Indian mythology. I know that there has been a lot of talk lately about fantasy not doing anything original tropes wise (are any tropes re
Kelly Brigid ♡
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
“Never greet a tiger at midnight, for they are the manifestations of your past misdeeds.”

No one is more disappointed than I, that I didn’t love this one. The Tiger at Midnight was my most anticipated debut of the year, so my expectations for it were wildly out of proportion. It has many elements that are wonderful on their own, but fail to work in harmony with each other. The romance, pacing, and plot are pieces from differing puzzles that don’t quite match up. At the start of this story,
4.5 stars. I was surprised by this book. I went in with low expectations. No fears. This book did not disappoint me. It was just what I needed. I really enjoyed Swati Teedhala's writing, from her characterizations to the world she had created for this book.
The political, cultural and mythological backgrounds of this story are well defined, and it was so great to see a non-Western basis for a fantasy. (I wish I knew what political period in India's history Swati Teerdhala was using as her inspir
Anna lost in stories *A*
This book is just proof that if something intrigues me in a story I have to give it a try myself instead of only looking at the reviews… because there are some mixed opinions about it, and I absolutely loved it :) I read it in like a day and here are some of my random and out of order thoughts and feelings about it :) no spoilers :)

- it wasn’t until after I finished it that I read in one of the reviews that it’s a story perfect for the fans of “Zutara” :) *coughs* Avatar the last airbender *coug
julia ♥
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
read the full review on my blog: here!

"Never greet a tiger at midnight,
for they are the manifestations of your past misdeeds."

The Tiger at Midnight is yet another highly anticipated 2019 favorite of mine, which is why, as soon as I received my copy I started reading. I highly enjoyed the atmosphere, the characters and most of the plot, so let's dig into this review!

What is this book about?
Esha, the legendary assassin by the name of the Viper is out for revenge. Her mission: to kill the mili
The Nerd Daily
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Arina N

Inspired by Indian history and Hindu mythology, The Tiger at Midnight is a gripping adventure about two people who defy their destiny.

Esha is a legendary assassin of Dharka and the renowned Viper that nobody knows is a woman, and Kunal is a Fort soldier of Jansa. Years ago, the two kingdoms were united in peace, but the royal coup orchestrated by General Hotha and King Vaardan changed everything and plunged the land in drought and fear. T
Beatrice in Bookland
*I received a copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

"A truce. No killing you in your sleep, soldier. You let me live and I did the same. Now catch me if you can."

DNF @13%

I'm sorry but I'm not clicking with this book and I'm not in the mood to force myself to keep reading. I decided to stop reading The tiger at midnight because every single chapter I've read was so full of info-dumping that it felt like I was studying instead of reading. No thanks. But I have read just a few chapte
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Swati Teerdhala is a storyteller and writer.

After graduating from the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Finance and History, she tumbled into the marketing side of the technology industry. She’s passionate about many things, including how to make a proper cup of chai, the right ratio of curd-to-crust in a lemon tart, and diverse representation in the stories we tell.

She currently lives in New

Other books in the series

The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Archer at Dawn (The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy, #2)
  • The Chariot at Dusk (The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy, #3)

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Move over tribute volunteers and chosen ones. There's a new wave of heroes in town. This year, the young adult category is...
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“It never failed to Delight her, knowing that all these soldiers, these men, were terrified of her.” 10 likes
“Never greet a tiger at midnight, for they are the manifestations of your past misdeeds.” 10 likes
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