Title: The Tiger’s Watch
Author: Julia Ember
Genre: YA Fantasy (LGBTQIA+)
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.
Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.
When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.
The Tiger’s Watch is a quick, easy to digest fantasy read featuring a genderfluid protagonist. The concept of an inhabitor, a soldier whose life force is bonded with an animal, was so fascinating to me when I read the synopsis, and I was thrilled when I was presented with the opportunity to review an early copy of this title. On top of it all, the cover is totally gorgeous.
I think my favorite thing about this book ended up being the world and the inhabitors. The concept of bonding oneself to an animal and being able to live through them and see through their eyes is so intriguing. As the series continues, I’d love to see more about how this works, and everything that this entails.
The Tiger’s Watch is a very short book, clocking in at less than 200 pages. While I feel like it could have been lengthened and we could have been given a bit more story, I also feel like it did a good job of introducing characters and setting up events to come. I’m especially excited to see Tashi grow as a person. I suspect we’ll see them really find themselves as the series progresses.
I 100% will be picking up the next book in this series when it comes out, and I urge you to pick up a copy of this title when it comes out in the next few weeks. It’s a quick, entertaining read, so even if you’re strapped for time, it’ll be awesome. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.