Thank you so much to the publisher Macmillan-Tor/Forge for providing me with an ARC copy through Netgalley. This is no way affects my opinion.
Title: Fireheart Tiger
Author: Aliette de Bodard
Audience: Young Adult
Release Date: 9th February 2021
Fire burns bright and has a long memory….
Quiet, thoughtful princess Thanh was sent away as a hostage to the powerful faraway country of Ephteria as a child. Now she’s returned to her mother’s imperial court, haunted not only by memories of her first romance, but by worrying magical echoes of a fire that devastated Ephteria’s royal palace.
Thanh’s new role as a diplomat places her once again in the path of her first love, the powerful and magnetic Eldris of Ephteria, who knows exactly what she wants: romance from Thanh and much more from Thanh’s home. Eldris won’t take no for an answer, on either front. But the fire that burned down one palace is tempting Thanh with the possibility of making her own dangerous decisions.
Can Thanh find the freedom to shape her country’s fate—and her own?
Heading into Fireheart Tiger I was expecting it to be a full-length novel, so I was surprised when I realised that it was only a 100 page novella. But I was amazed at how much I enjoyed reading Fireheart Tiger, it had the majority of things that I want from a 300 page novel, yet it was a third of the size.
I wasn’t expecting the characters to have as much depth as they did; because I immediately felt attached to them and their stories. I liked Thanh as a main character, but she did start to annoy in the middle of the book because she seemed very stuck in her ways and didn’t want to get herself out of it. I would have loved to have found out a bit more about Giang and her origins because I think that would have made the story even better for me and given me a much better understanding of the fantasy elements.
While I liked the relationship within Fireheart Tiger, it did feel a little bit undeveloped. I would have loved to see more interactions between the two characters as I think that would have allowed me to believe in their relationship. I did feel that it progressed incredibly quickly without them spending any real-time together.
One thing that I did absolutely love was Aliette de Bodard’s writing style. She has a very calming writing style that helped with the type of story she was trying to tell. It also flowed really nicely, which helped make sure you didn’t notice how short the novella is.
I would have loved there to have been quite a bit more world building, as I felt that there was quite a bit that Aliette de Bodard could have done with the story. I would have loved to have learnt more about Thanh’s time in Ephteria and what led to her being sent there in the first place. I would have also loved to have learnt more about Giang and her powers.
Overall I enjoyed my time reading Fireheart Tiger, and I definitely think that I will pick up more of Aliette De Bodard’s work in the future.