The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala

Release date: April 23, 2019

Rating: ★★★.75

Esha is a legend, but no one knows. It’s only in the shadows that she moonlights as the Viper, the rebels’ highly skilled assassin. She’s devoted her life to avenging what she lost in the royal coup, and now she’s been tasked with her most important mission to date: taking down the ruthless General Hotha.

Kunal has been a soldier since childhood, training morning and night to uphold the power of King Vardaan. His uncle, the general, has ensured that Kunal never strays from the path—even as a part of Kunal longs to join the outside world, which has been growing only more volatile.

Then Esha’s and Kunal’s paths cross—and an unimaginable chain of events unfolds. Both the Viper and the soldier think they’re calling the shots, but they’re not the only players moving the pieces. As the bonds that hold their land in order break down and the sins of the past meet the promise of a new future, both rebel and soldier must make unforgivable choices.

Inspired by ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology.


Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for providing me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Note: All the quotes used in this review are from the e-ARC provided by the publisher and may be subject to change upon publication. 

This is one of my most-anticipated releases of the year and it’s one book that I particularly chose to read for the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2019. Can you believe that I’m almost at my tenth book for YARC??? My brain can’t believe it either. It’s been having a hard time shaking off the parasite I call a reading slump. SAVE ME FROM THIS TRAGEDY PLEASE.

Anyway, I enjoyed this book immensely. I’m glad that it gave me a brief respite from the aforementioned parasite. Bless all these page-turners.


• I was instantly enchanted by this book’s premise. The Tiger at Midnight revolves around Kunal and Esha—one soldier and one rebel—who embark on a cat-and-mouse chase which led them to a series of adventures that changed everything they believed in. Kunal and Esha have great chemistry and it’s not a surprise that I rooted for them almost instantly. Their relationship wasn’t really the kind of intense enemies-to-lovers setup I usually love but I enjoyed reading about the element of rivalry that bound them together. 

Esha is also a badass queen I have decided to stan forever. I love how men just shake in fright when they hear her alias. Even Kunal can’t deny the power that she has. I see a legend who can squash the patriarchy right here.

“Before, he would’ve thought twice before fighting a girl, but if he’d learned anything over the past weeks, it was to not underestimate any girl. Esha was dangerous and skilled.”


“She was a risk, the biggest risk he might ever face, but Kunal knew in his bones it was one he wanted to take.”

I also applaud Swati Teerdhala for writing such a detailed world with deep-rooted politics and mythology. The war between Dharka and Jansa is the force that spins the motives of all the characters and I’m excited to know how this war plays out in the next books. Will my faves conquer all evil and restore peace? Will they die while trying to save everyone? I’ll be over here in my little corner overthinking and possibly crying.

• ‎There are also A LOT of characters I need to know more of. I’m so intrigued of Harun who seems like the next schemer I will either hate, love, or inevitably tolerate. I also crave more of Esha’s team and the quality banter they can offer. I should put “a trash for soft found families” on my personal description. Or maybe I should tattoo that on my forehead. Either can work for sure.

• ‎Even though I found this to be an entertaining read with its captivating storyline and dialogues, I think that it didn’t really deliver enough punch as a first book in a trilogy. There were more filler chapters than important plot twists. Furthermore, the twists it did have were quite predictable. There were still a lot of unsolved mysteries that I expected to be solved in this book. I HAVE QUESTIONS YOU KNOW. I’ve got quite a handful of them. Maybe a hundred or so.

• ‎The Tiger at Midnight might not have been the most gut-punching first book in a series but I have faith that the next book will drop bombs on my soul and will shred my entire being from the inside out. It really has A LOT of potential. I’m excited to read more about Esha and Kunal. I’m thrilled to meet more characters and see my faves develop in the best (or worst) ways. I’m definitely looking forward to giving this series the power to rule my life. I really do hope that the sequel can give me the answers and the gut punch I’m looking for. 


Is The Tiger at Midnight in your TBR? If yes, are you excited for it? Also, tell me your most favorite first books in a series! 


  1. Ahh, this sounds good, despite the fact that you say it didn’t punch you in the gut. It sounds like it set up a really good BOOM for the later books by giving you characters that you root for and adore, so I’m still excited for it! Thank you for your review.


  2. I never heard of this book, to be honest, but I became curious while reading the plot. I’m a shallow person and you had me at the word “assassin” but that’s not all, your review is interesting and now I have to put the book on my wish list 🙂


  3. Okay, so I didn’t particularly have an interest in this book before but god gracious it actually sounds really good!! (even if it isn’t really gut-punching)
    I’m participating in YARC too so that would be a great addition to my goal of reading diverse books!


  4. I am so excited to read this one. I hope I can get it next month. Great review! When you’re left wanting more, it definitely is a sign of a good book 😀


  5. YESSSS I am so glad you enjoyed this book, Rain! I am REALLY EXCITED for it, and I am glad it was a page turner for you that kept the slump parasite at bay. It’s a bummer there are unresolved questions at the end, but that gives me hope for a solid and action-packed second book in the trilogy. Great review!


  6. i love your review!! I’m so excited to read this lol if anything badass female assasins and ANY type of mythology will make me faint in excitement


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