The Tiger At Midnight by Swati Teerdhala – Thoughts

I’m trying to diversify my reading by joining in different reading challenges hosted by awesome book bloggers. I might end up sticking to a particular genre more, but I’m happy I’m reading the same genre by diverse or own voice authors.

I picked up The Tiger at Midnight as part of one such readathon – The Indialitreadathon. This readathon started from 27th July and ends on 3rd August. There are different roles a reader can take on to participate in this readathon, but the basic premise is that you have to read a book by an Indian author.

One of the roles was that of a Scholar, where you read a book written by an Indian author, which is more than 400 pages long. As a side quest, the reader has to recommend three Indian authors or books by Indian authors to other readers.

Here are my thoughts on the book I picked for the readathon 🙂

What I enjoyed about the book:

  • First of all, getting to read a fantasy written by an Indian author with Indian protagonists, world building that is very Indian, be it food, language, names, clothes, custom was a treat in itself. The book had some good Indian representation I felt.
  • The cat and mouse chase and banter between the two leading characters. I just adored every scene between Esha and Kunal
  • Esha’s fight scenes were really good. The way she crouches, ties up her saree, or uses her whip, had me completely picturing the scenes with her fighting. I wish I could see them on screen
  • It was complete entertainment from the word go. A fast paced plot that keeps you interested in the story throughout
  • Most Indian fantasy is based on mythology or adaptations of the same. But I liked this one, because it was original. Not sure if it is based on a mythology that I’m not aware of though
  • The first book has well wrapped ending, so even though its a trilogy, you can read the first book and choose not to read the second or third. No cliffhangers! yay 🙂

What I didn’t enjoy as much:

  • The writing and the world building was a little simplistic for me. I’ve read some really good world building in fantasy, so I ended up comparing it sub consciously 🙂
  • Although Esha and Kunal’s scenes kept me thoroughly entertained, I somehow couldn’t buy into their chemistry. Especially when I read about Esha and Harun. I had the same problem with the rest of the supporting characters. I felt like I couldn’t care about any of the characters and some characters were introduced too late in the story and we were just told that they are important to Esha, instead of really feeling it from the story
  • However, I think this is going to be a trilogy and this was just the first book. So maybe things get more interesting in the second and third books. For me however, I’m still debating if I will read the rest of the series or not..

Here are my three book recommendations (books written by Indian authors) for the side quest:) :

  1. The Queen of Jasmine Country by Sharanya Manivannan
  2. The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  3. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara

Bookish discussions with you guys:

If you’ve read Tiger at Midnight, do you think I should continue with the series, now that the second book is out too?

What are some books by Indian authors that you would recommend? Would love to hear in the comments 🙂

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