Did you have that series that you adored when you were younger? I had many. My bookshelf was overflowing with books stacked on top, in front of, and next to each other. My favorite activity was to curl up with a book and the fluffiest blanket I could find. Books opened new worlds and taught me so much. However, very few books stick with you over the years. Recently, the crisp royal blue cover of this book called to me from my bookshelf. What book was it?
Well, it is called Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck. It is a part of a 5 book series that follows the adventure of Kelsey Hayes (girl from Ohio), Ren (boy from India), and Kishan (boy from India). They work together to help free Ren and Kishan from their curse were they turn into tigers against their will. I can easily spend the day curled up with this book without looking up. Since purchasing the series, I have reread it 5 times.
1. New folklore/mythology explored
If I was asked to name a folklore or mythology off the top of my head, I would lean towards Greek or Roman mythology due to my school experience. Often the mythology or folklore explored in young adult novels are European based in their origin. You can see this in the majority of fiction novels on the shelves featuring shifters are werewolves. Catching my drift? There is not a ton of diversity in this section of American thinking if they haven’t been exposed to much else. Tiger’s Curse brings figures from Indian culture such as Durga, a goddess many worship. It is different from the standard mythology and is a breathe of fresh air.
2. Adventure is out there & on the pages
Adventure is across every page of this series from the start. Watch this band of heroes travel across America and India. They explore cultural landmarks and artifacts that are throughout their travels and tied into their storyline. Some of these historic landmarks are Kanheri Cave and Vittala Temple. Don’t know what they are? Ask Google. You won’t be disappointed.
3. The characters have dimensions
All the characters in this series have complexities to them. No one is perfect and no one stays consistent throughout the novel. Kelsey, the main heroine, is not a damsel in distress. She grows in maturity and independence as she helps Ren and Kishan. Ren and Kishan are far from perfect princes. They get angry and lash out. They lust and love in equal parts.
4. Fantasy to Escape Reality
When I pick up a fantasy novel, I need to be pulled in enough to forget the world around me. So the complexity of this unknown curse that plagues Ren and Kishan had me intrigued andstarting to dive fully into their world. The unique shifter look made the fantasy original, and let’s not forget the magic that jumps out of the pages into the scenes playing in your head. Need I say more?
5. East meets West
This is an underlying theme you can see during the adventures. Ren and Kelsey bump heads about how one should grow into maturity since their experiences growing up are very different. They even argue about how they handle things like relationships, what is proper, and what a role of man/woman should be. They sometimes sit on different sides of these issues because of the culture they grew up with. However, they do build bridges over the similarities that they find in between all their differences. Ren and Kishan tended to argue about tradition vs. accepting parts of a more western culture. As bothers often do, they sit on different sides of the same issue. Maybe has to due with a sibling rivalry. It is interesting to see these little moments pop up among the adventure and exploration. It makes the characters more relatable and the story more engaging.
So if you need an escape from the mundane or seeking an adventure of a lifetime then I suggest reading Tiger’s Curse. Before moving through the rest of the series:Tiger’s Quest, Tiger’s Voyage , Tiger’s Destiny , and Tiger’s Dream. If you want the entire series then I suggest The Tiger’s Curse Saga Set. What fantasy adventure story is your favorite?