Their Bright Ascendency #1
by K. Arsenault Rivera
Published on October 3, 2017 by Tor
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
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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’m going to be that person and I’m probably going to get some side-eye for this but. . . I didn’t like The Tiger’s Daughter. I wanted to. I REALLY wanted to. It feeds into all that I could want from a fantasy novel, at least on the surface, but beneath the cover I just struggled so much.
A lot of this comes down to the writing style. It wasn’t exactly strange, but it wasn’t what I expected either — and it didn’t work for me. We see the story told through letters back and forth between the two protagonists which details their history. And I was bored. I mean flat out, don’t want to keep reading ever again bored.
I made it about a quarter of the way through and prepared to DNF the book completely but I checked the reviews (you know, maybe I was missing some key element) and it had a bunch of 4-5 stars so there must be something redeemable, right? I pushed through to the end which took a while and I honestly didn’t like the book any more than I did to start. There was just so much filler and I didn’t understand why the novel would be in this format. Obviously I can’t say if it would have been better if a different style had been chosen but I have to wonder.
Now I can’t speak to the East Asian influence in this story as that is not my place but in terms of looking at it as a reader, the world didn’t feel like it had its own uniqueness (if that makes sense). For me, it almost read like historical fiction of sorts rather than fantasy which is totally fine, mind you, but not what I was expecting or how it’s been marketed. That may have just been my reading experience, though.
I don’t have much more to say about The Tiger’s Daughter. I’m happy so many people enjoyed it but I found it boring to the point of nearly DNFing it which is a shame. Can’t say I recommend this book but I encourage you to check out some of the positive reviews before making your own decision!