With three of the goddess Durga's quests behind them, only one prophecy now stands in the way of Kelsey, Ren, and Kishan breaking the tiger's curse. But the trio's greatest challenge awaits them: A life-endangering pursuit in search of Durga's final gift, the Rope of Fire, on the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. It's a race against time--and the evil sorcerer Lokesh--in this eagerly anticipated fourth volume in the bestsellingTiger's Curse series, which pits good against evil, tests the bonds of love and loyalty, and finally reveals the tigers' true destinies once and for all.
My relationship with Colleen Houck's Tiger Saga has had it's ups and downs, to say the least. I've fallen under the spell of the history and legends it has to offer, unable to tear my eyes from the page, but at the same time, I grew absolutely frustrated with the characters. It's a love/hate relationship, but Tiger's Destiny did bring out my more affectionate side with it's fast pace, endless action, and long awaited closure.
I'm going to put it right out there from the start ~ I'm not a fan of Kelsey Hayes. She's selfish, self-centered, and outrageously ungrateful, and I have no understanding as to why everyone she comes in to contact with becomes enamored with her to the point that their other relationships become placed on a barely simmering back burner. She strings along Ren and Kishan with no intention of allowing either of them to be happy without her. She chooses Kishan, as we know from the previous book, but when Ren receives attention from anyone else, when he might have a smidgeon of a chance to be happy without her, she wants "to sink a golden arrow into Ren's unfaithful heart." Hmmm.. You can't be unfaithful to someone if you aren't with them, Miss Kelsey. She always complains about how difficult everything is, but every time she turns around she's using Durga's gifts to create soft bedding, comfortable clothes, delicious food, and even hot baths. She's never without comfort or luxury, but she always finds something to wine about. And when destiny finally catches up with them, and the center of the universe no longer spins around her, Kelsey throws the tantrum of the century, completely forgetting the path they have been set upon since book one. She becomes jealous, petty, and power-hungry, pissy to the max because her precious tigers are too busy organizing a war to lavish 24 hour attention upon her. Oh, Kelsey. Grow up.
Ren and Kishan remain strong, steady, patient, and worthy. I'm not sure what they see in Kelsey, but the heart wants what the heart wants, I suppose. They are placed in an awkward situation, with Kelsey in the center of the entire emotional mess, but their love and loyalty to each other as brother's remains at the core. Of the two, however, I admire Kishan the most. He does what needs to be done, the right thing, despite his own heart's desires, something I interpret to be the measure of a real man.
I've struggled with this series off and on, but I will say that this fourth book is the best of them all. There's never a dull moment as the characters experience a heavy mix of tragedies, surprises, and joy. The research done for this novel is extensive, creating this huge, expansive and beautiful universe that's easy to become caught up in. The world-building is incredible, especially when it came to places that we could never visit in real life. A beautiful fire world, amazing creatures I'd never even imagined, the truth of the Pheonix... Well played, Houck.
I was frustrated with the characters at times, but in the end, they all finally faced the tough decisions that had to made in order to set things right. It wasn't an easy ending, full of heartbreak, tears, and hope, but I feel that it was perfect. Kelsey even redeemed herself somewhat by chucking aside her damsel-in-distress demeanor and finally kicking butt.
I hear there's supposed to be a fifth book in this saga, and although I'm not sure what else there is to tell about Ren, Kishan, and Kelsey, I will say I'm curious to see what Colleen Houck's vivid imagination will come up with.
Characters play a huge role in a story, but as annoyed as I get with Kelsey, I'd recommend this series. It's beautiful, imaginative, and original and it never stops surprising you.
I'm going to go with my gut and give this one 4 out of 5 stars.
****Happy Reading Everyone :)
~ Keely ~