An enchanting tale full of action and adventure.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
“A Little Princess – with tigers! Orphan and outcast Sahira Clive is a brave and plucky heroine with a brightly burning heart. I was rooting for her all the way to the end of this thrilling – and thought-provoking – adventure.” Ally Sherrick, award-winning author of Black Powder.
Sahira’s family are travelling to England to deliver two majestic Indian tigers to the menagerie in the tower of London.
But tragedy strikes and sickness steals Sahira’s parents from her on the journey. Left alone in London, Sarhira finds herself confined to a miserable and dangerous orphanage. Despite her heartache and the threats she faces, Sahira is determined to carry out her father’s last request – to protect God’s beautiful creatures: her tigers. To do so, Sahira must set out on an adventure and use all her powers of persuasion to engage the help of some new friends along the way.
Can the quest to find her tigers a safe home, lead Sahira to find her own place of hope and belonging in this strange and foreign land?
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
The Tigers in the Tower is an enchanting tale full of action and adventure.
Sahira’s family is traveling to England to deliver two tigers to the menagerie in London. However, they fall prey to sickness leaving Sahira alone in the care of people who want nothing to do with her.
With such a heart-wrenching beginning, the book commanded my attention and did not leave it till the last page. Golding skilfully captures Sahira’s feelings. She is a free-spirited girl. However, she is now not only an orphan but is also trapped in a patriarchal society. As if being a girl was not enough of a punishment, she also must deal with the prejudice against her dark skin, a by-product of being a mixed-race child. Double whammy!
Alas! If the girl’s woes could end here. Orphaned on the ship while traveling to England, she could not even fully process her grief before she has to learn to live in a miserable orphanage. Again, Golding poignantly sketches how dejected Sahira feels about being uprooted from her childhood home and having to deal with vicious bullies in the orphanage. I felt her anger at being patronized by people who did not know her culture.
Yet, even in this utter darkness, our girl remains brave and befriends some souls who help her survive.
However, it was the scenes involving the animals that I admired the most, especially, the scenes with Rama and Sita, the tigers. Golding conjures vivid imagery of the various animals encountered in the book.
Sample this, for instance:
Intrigued, the tiger approached, coming like dawn from the east, a creature of a hot orange sun, striped by bars of black cloud.The Tigers in the Tower by Julia Golding
Being an Indian, I also wholeheartedly treasured the Indian representation in the book. Sahira’s mother was Indian, belonging to the city of Hyderabad. The descriptions of the exotic spices, food, garments, and the bazaar of Calcutta (now Kolkata) were accurate. I could feel myself standing there with Sahira as she reminisced about her visit to the bazaar of Calcutta looking at the various stalls selling a variety of merchandise.
Moreover, there are some clever analogies between life in the jungle and human survival.
Sahira was undoubtedly my favorite character in The Tigers in the Tower. I was rooting for her throughout the book as she fought against every injustice meted out to her. When she could not and instead chose to retreat because she was on the weaker ground, I applauded her intelligence. She was indeed a brave heroine. Further, she is supported by an able cast of supporting characters, whether be it her friends in the orphanage, the kind Mr. Cops, the cruel Mr. Pence, or the pompous people she befriends in the menagerie.
To conclude, regal descriptions of the wildlife, a poignant sketch of the life of an orphan girl, sensitive portrayal of bullying and racism, a fast pace, and a happy ending make Julia Golding’s The Tigers in the Tower worth reading. I heartily recommend this middle-grade fiction to adventure lovers.
However, do heed the trigger warnings below.
Trigger warnings – scenes showing hurting animals, abuse of children, bullying, racism.
Genre: Middle Grade || Pages: 220 || Published on November 18th, 2020 by Lion Hudson
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Many thanks to TBR and Beyond Tours for organizing this blog tour. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.
You can check the other blogs discussing about this book here.
Julia Golding is a multi-award winning writer for adults and young adults. She also writes under the pen names of Joss Stirling and Eve Edwards. Born in 1969, she grew up near Epping Forest. She studied English at Cambridge University, then joined the Foreign Office and worked in Poland, before returning to Oxford University to study for a doctorate in literature of the romantic period. She worked for Oxfam, lobbying on conflict issues, before becoming a full-time writer. Over three-quarter of a million of her books have been sold worldwide in many language.