The Tiger Queens by Stephanie Thornton
Paperback, 496 pages
November 4, 2014
Genre: Historical fiction
Source: Received from the publisher for review as part of HFVBT
“In the late twelfth century on the sweeping Mongolian grasslands, following a violent feud between blood brothers, the victor Temujin ascends to power, declaring himself Genghis Khan. But behind one powerful man stand many strong women…
After her mother foretells an ominous future for her, darkness looms over Borte’s life. She becomes an outcast among her clan and after seeking comfort in the arms of an aristocratic traveler, she discovers he is the blood brother of Temujin, the man she was betrothed to years ago but who abandoned her long before they could marry. And he will only leave her behind again.
Temujin will make Borte his khatun, his queen, yet it will take many women to safeguard his fragile new empire. Their daughter, a fierce girl named Alaqai, will ride and shoot an arrow as well as any man. Fatima, an elegant Persian captive, seeks revenge against the Mongol barbarians who destroyed her city and murdered her family, but in the end will sacrifice everything to protect the Golden Family. Demure widow to Genghis’ son, Sorkhokhtani positions her sons to inherit the Empire when it begins to fracture from within.
As Genghis Khan sets out to expand his conquests and the steppes run red with blood, Borte and the women of the clan will fight, love, scheme, and sacrifice, all for the good of their family and the greatness of the People of the Felt Walls…”
The Tiger Queens is broken up into four parts with each part being narrated by a different women from Genghis Khan’s tribe. This divide into parts is designed to move the reader through over 80 years of time and I think this works well stylistically as each story picks up about where the prior one left off giving the reader a continuity. While these women couldn’t be more different, I like them for different reasons. They are strong, but in their own ways. Borte has seen and been subjected to a lot in her life and that is where she draws her strength from. Alaqai has been pretty much a tom-boy and the Khan’s favorite child, so she got away with a lot growing up, but now must use her skills in a new land amongst people who basically hate her. Fatima, who was taken as a slave, and must learn to deal with her captors. Sorkhokhtani, the quiet, one who takes everything in and then does everything she can to keep her family in power. There is a wide cast of characters here, but the author has done a great job of giving you enough information about each one to make them whole – even the more periphery characters.
The best scenes in my opinion are the times when these women are all together. There is a great scene that stands out for me while reading this novel. All of the daughters (by blood, marriage, and adoption) of Genghis Khan spend time really getting to know each other while discussing what to expect upon two of the girls marrying in the very near future. It was funny, sweet, and solidified the sisterly bonds. It actually broke my heart to see these women have to break up and go the separate ways of their new families after this heart-to-heart moment. I think that was when I really started to enjoy the book – not that it wasn’t an enjoyable read up until that point.
It is obvious that the author has done a great deal of research on the topic of Genghis Khan and the Mongols and the groups that they interacted with along the way. This is an area of the world where I have virtually little knowledge going into this novel. She does an excellent job of weaving even the smallest details into the novel so that the world they live in feels palpable to the reader without it ever feeling overburdened with detail. A great balance of show and tell.
The novel had a little bit of a slow start for me, but quickly picked up and didn’t slow down straight through to the end and left me wanting to know more about these incredible women.
Author Stephanie Thornton also has written The Secret History and Daughter of the Gods. You can visit Thornton’s website for additional information about the book. If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book (scroll down that page about halfway)?
My reviews of other books by this author:
Reviews of this book by other bloggers:
You can follow along with the rest of the tour by visiting the HFVBT site or on Twitter with the following hashtag: #TheTigerQueensBlogTour.
I also have a giveaway opportunity for you all (this is the same giveaway that was posted on my In-Progress review on Tuesday November 25th). I have 2 paperback copies ofThe Tiger Queens to giveaway - one copy will be sent out by me (extra copy I received) and the other will be sent by the publisher.
- Giveaway is open to USA residents only and will be open from November 25, 2014 until December 6, 2014
- Entries are made via the Rafflecopter below - please follow directions provided in the Rafflecopter entries
- I have updated by giveaway policies and made them always available on my "policies" tab at the top of the page. When you get to that page scroll about 3/4 down the page and there are my giveaway policies. Please review these and abide by them. Thanks.
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