I received this book for free from 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
The Tiger’s Daughter
by K. Arsenault Rivera
Series: Their Bright Ascendency #1
Published by Tor
on October 3, 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 512


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 received a copy of this book for review, this does not influence my thoughts on this book or this review.

Once upon a June, I picked up a fantasy debut I’d been excited for since it’s announcement. It’s been a rough reading year, and I hadn’t actually read a fantasy novel since January which is unheard of for me. It was time, I decided. And it was the best reading decision I’ve made all year.

I. Loved. This. Book. Honestly, love isn’t a strong enough word. I don’t think the words to explain what this book means to me exist. It immediately moved to the top of my favorite books of all time list. If you’re a reader you know how hard it is to answer that inevitable ‘What’s your favorite book?’ question. Without hesitation, The Tiger’s Daughter is my answer to that question.

Clearly this will be more of a love letter than a coherent review, but I will try my best to explain why this book means EVERYTHING to me.

The first thing that stands out in this novel is the writing. The prose is absolutely breathtaking. It’s quietly beautiful +  well balanced and I would very much like to wrap it around myself like a blanket. There were so many passages that just burrowed under my skin and bled into my heart and if that’s not the sign of a great book, I don’t know what is.

The world-building is expansive and detailed but never overwhelming. The story never gets lost in the minutiae of its setting, and it’s very obvious with every small detail that the world of the Qorin Steppes and Hokkaran empire was well-thought out and lovingly crafted.

The characterization is, in a word, magnificent. There is not a single character who is left undeveloped and they are all so beautifully realistic. Nobody is just one thing and this book illuminates that. Our heroes and rulers are just as messy and flawed and make as many mistakes as the people they are trying to save. The characters in this novel are a shining reflection of everything that makes humanity both great and terrible and that is a significant part of what made this such an important book to me.

And then of course there is the most important aspect of this novel – and that’s the love story. Don’t come at me over this, because I will die on this hill. Like any good fantasy, this story is full of magic, perilous adventures, difficult decisions, bloody battles, and political machinations, but the beating heartbeat under all of it is the friendship and love between Shefali and Shizuka. They may have been fated at birth to always share a connection and to be the saviors of their world, but it’s the fierce loyalty to each other over everything else that makes them the most beautiful love story I have ever encountered and that love is what drives every other part of the novel and makes them the f/f OTP that dreams are made of.

Also this story has my favorite final scene of any book in the history of the universe.

Basically The Tiger’s Daughter is my heart and utterly flawless and you should all do yourself a favor and read it immediately.

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