charlotte,'s Reviews > Fireheart Tiger

Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard
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Rep: Vietnamese coded characters & setting, lesbian mc & lis

CWs: implied domestic abuse, sexual assault

Galley provided by publisher

I’ve read 5 or 6 books by Aliette de Bodard this year and consistently loved them all, so it was no surprise that I enjoyed Fireheart Tiger as much as I did. It’s on the shorter side for a novella and it so effectively tells the story that it sets out to, you feel at once satisfied with what you have and desperately craving more of the world and characters.

The story follows Thanh, who has returned to her mother’s court, after years away in Ephteria and following a mysterious fire in the royal palace. Now she is a diplomat, but this places her directly in the path of her first love, Eldris, a princess of Ephteria. Eldris wants Thanh for a wife, and her country in the bargain too wouldn’t go amiss, and Thanh has to choose between this or fighting for something more.

One thing I love about Aliette de Bodard’s writing is how easily it builds a world for you to immerse yourself in. It’s like, there aren’t any excess words used (if that makes sense). There are no long passages of exposition, it’s all built seamlessly into what’s happening. As someone who periodically skims over exposition, I really enjoyed that about this book.

At the centre of the book is a love triangle. I’m not someone who really likes love triangles as a trope, but here, both of the love interests were women and it was so refreshing. Of course, it isn’t the type of love triangle where you’re actually conflicted over who the mc ends up with, so I suppose that also helped. But my point is, the book was overwhelmingly sapphic in the best possible way. I never want to read a love triangle that’s not between three women ever again.

So if you were at all on the fence about reading this book, let this be a sign to come down off the fence and do so. And all the rest of Aliette de Bodard’s works while you’re at it.
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Reading Progress

June 11, 2020 – Shelved
June 11, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read-unpublished
June 11, 2020 – Shelved as: adult-lit
June 11, 2020 – Shelved as: aoc-et-al
June 11, 2020 – Shelved as: sapphic
June 11, 2020 – Shelved as: lgbtq-authors
June 11, 2020 – Shelved as: lgbt
June 11, 2020 – Shelved as: magic-and-fantasy
June 11, 2020 – Shelved as: non-white-characters
June 11, 2020 – Shelved as: novella-or-standalone-short
June 11, 2020 – Shelved as: southeast-asian-characters
December 3, 2020 – Started Reading
December 3, 2020 – Shelved as: review-copies
December 3, 2020 – Shelved as: 4-stars
December 3, 2020 – Finished Reading

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