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The Tiger at Midnight: 01/13/20
The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala is the first in a fantasy trilogy set in a landscape inspired by Indian history and myths. It's told in alternating points of view between a soldier, Kunal, and an assassin, Esha.
The country is one recovering from a bloody coup where the royal family was slaughtered, save perhaps one daughter. Drought too has settled in, parching the landscape. Believers say the gods have forsaken them because the ancient rituals can no longer be performed.
But mostly it's a cat and mouse game that settles into something similar to The 39 Steps (the film, not the novel). Kunal and Esha end up having to work together even though he has been sent after her. He's supposed to capture her and take her back to the garrison.
In all of this chase northward, one is reminded of the title. It's the first part of an adage that says a tiger at midnight is the manifestation of unfinished business. Kunal and Esha both have their own tigers — figurative and literal. The figurative one is the hook for the second book, The Archer at Dawn, which is released on May 26, 2020.