The Tiger Queen Blog Tour + Author Interview

5:00 AM
Welcome to my tour stop for Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan. I'm super excited and Tiger Queen is one of my new favorites!

From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”
In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.
But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.
-from the back cover

Tiger Queen
by Annie Sullivan
Publisher: BLINK
Release date: September 10, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance

Author Interview with Annie Sullivan

How was the writing process for Tiger Queen different/similar to your previous novel?
Writing Tiger Queen was a lot easier in some ways because I knew I’d already written another novel, so I knew I could do it. But every story is also unique in its own way. You have to discover who these characters are and what they want from life. Also, there’s more pressure with a second novel for it to be just as good as if not better than the first one you wrote.

How have you grown as a writer?

I’m more confident in my writing. I’ve learned to trust my gut. When something just isn’t reading the right way, I know I need to stop and fix it instead of assuming it will be okay. I think writing is always a process of learning more and more, and as I said above, each book is a new challenge—so there’s always something new to learn as you go along.

Are any scenes of this book inspired by real life?

Surprisingly for a book set in a desert, I did use a lot of inspiration from my trip to Antarctica. Antarctica is actually one of the world’s biggest deserts because of how dry it is. So I replaced the biting cold with heat and the stinging snow with sand. I will add that since my book is set in the desert, I did work with a sensitivity reader to ensure there were no harmful stereotypes depicted.

Are there any essentials that you must have while writing?

Music!!! I love listening to music when I write. Sometimes I’ll just put the song on repeat and listen to it for hours on end so I’m not tempted to take a dance break every time a new song comes on! I also have to be comfy when I write. I love to write from my couch or my bed—especially while I’m in pajamas!

What do you want readers to take away from your works?

I want readers to feel empowered. I want them to see Princess Kateri facing her biggest fears with sword in hand and hopefully taking away that they too have the strength to face whatever it is life throws at them. I want them to enter the fantasy worlds I create and come out of them believing a little more in themselves and their place in the world.


Prize: Tiger Queen poster and signed bookplate (USA only)
Starts: 9/4/19
Ends:  9/13/19


I first requested to review this book because of Sullivan's first novel, which I loved. This one was no different. I read it in one sitting and adored it.
The character growth was amazing to see in Kateri. She changed from a spoiled princess to a confident queen. She learned what friendship means and that strong has more than one meaning.
As for the setting, it was easy to understand and the descriptions painted an image in the reader's mind. It felt like I was there, with Kateri and the boys as they experienced the hardships. The world-building was not too complicated, nor was it lacking.
I found the 'bad guy' quite villain-like, but I kept on wanting to know how he turned out the way he did. (No names here!)
This book is one that will eventually take a place of honor on my shelves when I'm not rereading it.

Rating: 5 Stars
Content: 3 Stars

*I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. All thoughts are my own and a positive review was not required.

Book Links and Tour Schedule

About the Author

Annie Sullivan is a Young Adult author from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her work has been featured in Curly Red Stories and Punchnels. She loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s teaching classes at the Indiana Writers Center and working as the Copy Specialist at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. You can follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram (@annsulliva).
Website - Twitter

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