The Tiger at Midnight

496p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Apr. 2019. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062869210.
Gr 8 Up—Caught between rival kingdoms, an assassin and a soldier discover that they have a shared background of secrets and old magic. An abrupt coup means a change of leadership in the kingdom of Jansa and the breaking of the bonds that tie the monarch to the land, but for Esha, the coup is more personal—because of it, she loses her parents and her home. Adopted into the rival kingdom of Dharka, she trains in stealth and subterfuge, becoming known as the Viper, working with the rebels to topple the pretender king in Jansa. After the assassination of the king's general, Esha is on the run with a price on her head. Meanwhile, Kunal, the general's nephew and a soldier for Jansa, is on her trail. When their paths cross, they become drawn to each other. Caught up in games of intrigue larger than themselves, Esha and Kunal must decide whether they can trust each other or whether they truly are on opposite sides of the coming confrontation. Set in a fantastical South Asia, this combination of romance, action, and magic will appeal to fans of Sabaa Tahir and Renée Ahdieh.
VERDICT A strong choice for YA fantasy shelves.

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