The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala

*Spoiler free*

Thank you Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

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 General Hotha. Kunal has been a soldier since childhood, training morning and night to uphold the power of King Vardaan. His uncle, the general, has ensured that Kunal never strays from the path—even as a part of Kunal longs to join the outside world, which has been growing only more volatile. Then Esha’s and Kunal’s paths cross—and an unimaginable chain of events unfolds. Both the Viper and the soldier think they’re calling the shots, but they’re not the only players moving the pieces. As the bonds that hold their land in order break down and the sins of the past meet the promise of a new future, both rebel and soldier must make unforgivable choices.

I have seen this book all around on Twitter and everything I’ve heard has been rave reviews. It wasn’t one that I wanted to devour right away, but I thought I would give it a shot.

I just didn’t love it. It falls firmly into the category of ‘alright’.  The plot always seemed to take a direction completely different than I thought would happen. There was such amazing possibility for tension, high stakes, and good use of two POVS. But it just didn’t deliver for me.

I feel like characters were mashed together too quickly and too much. This completely ruined a major plot point for me and I just didn’t get as much out of it. I wanted to feel the stress of the action taking place, but it all felt very one dimensional and easy to just shrug and move on.

Everything felt just very basic. It was frustrating, when there’s so much potential in the story. I wish we could’ve gotten a better look at life from both the main characters to have a better understanding of them and why their doing what their doing. The way it was explained just didn’t fell full enough to me.

The romance also didn’t feel very authentic to me. It happened way to fast and I didn’t really feel the connection between the characters, even after they go through a lot with each other. Through everything, I just don’t understand their connection. Maybe I will in later books, but this wasn’t for me.

This book has one of the best tones and moods that I’ve read in a long time. It’s what kept me reading when I got bored or wanted to stop. I was able to feel the world and the backstory behind it. It was so easy to picture what was being described. I was able to connect with overall messages really easily and I felt like I could really understand the world. It was gorgeous.

I really liked Esha and Kunal’s characters. While I think there could have been things done better regarding how their story played out and how their arcs happened, I was able to fall in love with them. I was able to connect with them and their struggles and just really get a good feel for them.

While I had issues with this book, there is certainly a nugget of greatness in it. It pulls you in and keeps you reading. And there are hints dropped about what future books are going to like and I’m actually pretty curious what they are going to be like! I think they will better than this one and I’ll be able to enjoy them a lot more!

Thank you for reading!

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