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Fantasy Novel Audiobook Review: The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera (Their Bright Ascendency #1)

audio copy courtesy of Audible Studios

Synopsis from Goodreads
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.

Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository


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The best thing about this book is its narrator, Caroline McLaughlin. I found her voice very easy to listen to in an otherwise pretty boring book.

It always surprises me how someone can take a sound, exciting idea and flush it down the drain with the execution. The promise of this plot sounded amazing. Two lesbian warrior queens destined to fall in love and fight demons with their special magical powers in a vaguely Asian fantasy background.

The reality is there is very little actual plot development or demon fighting or anything. Instead, the plot consists of Shefali's love letters to Shizika in which she reminisces about what actually happened to them both in a flowery prose. A lot of it happened in her head, I might add. And she felt the need to write about it.

As a consequence, what the characters know and don't feel the need to explain is not spelled to us, and a lot of possibly fascinating details and nuances are lost.

There is a whole backstory of their mothers, legendary warriors larger than life, whom are barely mentioned. There are complexities of Shizika's position as a heir to the throne to her evil uncle emperor, and the tension between them is explored on the shallowest level. There is an issue of Shefali's contamination and her early ability to speak to demons which is never explored. At last, there are magical powers both girls are born with, and author's lack of enthusiasm in using them.

At last, the heroines themselves are not likeable. Shizika is distant, angry and has a huge chip on her shoulder. Shefali is introverted and awkward with a puppy adoration she carries for her best friend, which I found slightly annoying.

There was just so much unused potential and missed world-building opportunities, folks, that I ended up being disappointed and annoyed instead of enjoying The Tiger's Daughter. In all honesty, not recommended.

* * *
Рассказчица - Кэролайн МакЛафлин оказалась лучшей частью этой аудиокниги. В остальном, формат этого фэнтези нудный и неудачный.

Ну вот, всегда меня удивляет, как можно взять оригинальную, интересную идею и полностью провалить ее исполнение? К. Арсенот Ривера это хорошо удается.

Вроде бы, история о двух королевах-воинах, влюбленных в друг друга с детства и обладающих магическими способностями, которые помогут им побороть демонов, заразивших их мир, звучит очень сочно.

А по существу, здесь практически нет борьбы с демонами, использования магических способностей, сложных политических интриг или ясного, глубоко построения мира. Есть цветастые, занудные любовные письма от Шефали к Шизыке, в которых она вспоминает об их приключениях и восторженно описывает свою возлюбленную и как она ее недостойна.

Вновь и вновь автор берет интересные сюжетные линии и гробит их своим форматом, да так, что хотелось головой биться об стенку.

Я бы могла еще побурчать, но мне лень переводить все, о чем я уже пожаловалась на английском. Если подытожить одной фразой, то потенциал книги погряз в описании бытовых деталей и растекании мыслью по древу. Не советую. Неудачно написано.
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