Annotation: After being captured by Lokesh, Kelsey uses her cunning to escape the clutches of the evil sorcerer and must travel to a fiery underground realm to complete the final quest and end the curse that has plagued Ren and Kishan for centuries.
Personal thoughts: This is one of my favorite series for young adults, so I was very excited to get an advanced reader copy. I think that Tiger’s Destiny might be my favorite installment thus far, for a variety of reasons. I really enjoyed all of the action in the story. In past novels in the series, I was a bit critical of Colleen Houck’s very descriptive writing, but this actually worked really well in terms of setting the stage for Kelsey, Ren and Kishan’s journey underground and in the epic battles that ensue. I also liked how Kelsey and Kishan’s relationship was intensifying, adding another layer of conflict to the love triangle between Kelsey and her tigers. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this series concludes, and to finding out what Colleen Houck comes up with next.
Plot summary: The quest to end the Tiger’s Curse is almost complete, but Kelsey finds herself imprisoned by the evil sorcerer Lokesh. Using her cunning and convincing him that she wants to be his bride, Kelsey learns that Lokesh wants a son, a strong heir who can continue his father’s legacy of treachery. Before she can be wed, Kelsey is rescued by Ren and Kishan and the three return to India where Mr. Kadam informs them of their next task. The final gift of Durga, the Rope of Fire, lies in a fiery underground realm full of vampire-like demons, the walking dead, and powerful phoenixes. Kelsey wants nothing more than to complete their quest and end the curse that has plagued Ren and Kishan for centuries, but something is proving more difficult even than venturing deep into the Earth and battling vicious creatures: although she is in a relationship with Kishan, Kelsey can no longer deny that her love for Ren has anything but diminished. Can one girl from Oregon end the Tiger’s Curse, defeat Lokesh once and for all and decide where her heart truly lies?
Review: Colleen Houck’s epic story continues in this fourth installment in her best-selling series. What draws so many readers to these novels are the combination of fantasy, romance and action, and Tiger’s Destiny is chock full of all three. What differentiates this fourth book from the previous three is the amount of battle it contains. Kelsey, Ren and Kishan are always fighting some mystical creature in their efforts to break the Tiger’s Curse, but Tiger’s Destiny is the first novel in the series to have full on warfare as a major part of the story. Houck does a good if incredibly descriptive job of setting the reader down in the midst of a battle, and fans are sure to enjoy scenes of Kelsey and her handsome tigers wreaking havoc on their enemies. The romance aspects of Tiger’s Destiny also get more intense, with Kishan and Kelsey’s relationship becoming more serious, along with her conflicted feelings towards Ren. The end of the novel is sure to leave the reader clambering for the fifth and final installment in the series, Tiger’s Dream, which is set to be released in 2013.
Reading level: Grade 7+
Similar titles: Previous installments in the Tiger’s Curse series by Colleen Houck
Themes: Destiny, romance, magic, curses, India, adventure, war.
Awards/Reviews: Fourth installment in best-selling series.
Series Information: Fourth installment in the Tiger’s Curse series. Previous novels in series: Tiger’s Curse (2011), Tiger’s Quest (2011), Tiger’s Voyage (2011).
Discussion questions:- Including Tiger’s Destiny, which is your favorite novel in this series? Why?
- Why do you think Lokesh wanted to marry Kelsey? Do you think it was a smart move for her to convince him that she felt the same way? Why or why not?
- Do you think that Kishan realizes that Kelsey still loves Ren? Would you want to be in a relationship with someone who had feelings for someone else?
- Describe the role that each of Durga’s weapons plays in the novel. Which is your favorite? Which was the most important? Why?
- What are you hoping to see happen in the fifth and final novel in this series?