Mini Reviews: The Tiger’s Daughter & The Hollow Girl

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

Release date: October 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Format: eBook

Goodreads | Amazon

Even gods can be slain….

The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach―but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.

Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.

This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

I was beyond excited to pick this book up, even if the reviews I read on Goodreads hadn’t been very positive. It’s a f/f fantasy epic (the book is 500+ pages long) about warrior princesses. Everything about this book sounded perfect when I requested it on NetGalley…the cover, the story, the fact that it was a f/f romance (we need more of these), etc. and it didn’t let me down. I loved it!

One thing I think readers need to keep in mind when they pick this book up is that it’s a slow burn. There are a lot of pages and the story takes time to build. Yes, some sections were a bit too slow for my liking, but the author took her time building up the world and characters. Everything felt fully formed…as if I could reach out and touch it, which to me is the hallmark of a beautifully written fantasy world.

What I really enjoyed about this book was how the relationship between the two main characters, Shefali and Shizuka, took center stage. Their adventures, challenges and love for each other took hold of my heart. I just wish that I would have gotten to see both sides of the relationship as it is mostly told through letters from one POV. Besides my love for the main characters, the supporting cast was also superbly written. Ren, a little used but intriguing transgender character, really stood out. I hope that she has a larger role in future books.

Overall, I was quite pleased with this book and look forward to picking up the sequel. The author has created a gorgeous character-driven world that completely hooked me from the very start. So, while it may have been a little too long with some slow sections, it’s well worth it! This really is a book that you need to read.

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan 

Release date: October 10th, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young adult, horror, fantasy
Format: eBook

Goodreads | Amazon

Five boys attacked her.
Now they must repay her with their blood and flesh.

Bethan is the apprentice to a green healer named Drina in a clan of Welsh Romanies. Her life is happy and ordered and modest, as required by Roma custom, except for one thing: Silas, the son of the chieftain, has been secretly harassing her.

One night, Silas and his friends brutally assault Bethan and a half-Roma friend, Martyn. As empty and hopeless as she feels from the attack, she asks Drina to bring Martyn back from death’s door. “There is always a price for this kind of magic,” Drina warns. The way to save him is gruesome. Bethan must collect grisly pieces to fuel the spell: an ear, some hair, an eye, a nose, and fingers.

She gives the boys who assaulted her a chance to come forward and apologize. And when they don’t, she knows exactly where to collect her ingredients to save Martyn.

This book….it…wow. I don’t even know where to start with it. I knew I would like it based on the description alone but didn’t expect to be so blown away. It was a dark (very, very dark) story about a Romani girl who becomes a victim of rape and embarks on a journey of revenge.

Now, with such an important and sensitive topic, the author could have totally messed it up, but Hillary Monahan handled everything with great care. The writing style plunges the reader into the inner thoughts, emotion and complete turmoil felt by the main character, Bethan. Here rape is not just treated as a physical assault, but an emotional one as well. To be completely honest, some parts were very difficult to read. Breaks were necessary, as the book can be very graphic and violent. The entire rape isn’t described in the book, but enough of it is. So, it can be very difficult for some people to read. I also appreciated how the author discussed the issues and gave warnings about it the author’s note section.

As much as I loved this book, it felt uneven in some sections, like the pacing was off. Some parts were just too slow and broke my emotional connection with what was happening in the story. Some chapters could have easily been cut in half.

This is a book that you need to check out! It’s dark, violent and emotional. Of course, it isn’t for everyone and I would tread with caution if you are triggered by violence and sexual assault. However, I applaud the author for handling difficult situations in a very sensitive manner. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

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