Monday, 26 November 2012

Tiger's Destiny by Colleen Houck (The Tiger Saga #4)

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy/Mythology, Adventure, Romance
My Rating: 5 out of 5


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 bestselling Tiger'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. 

I'd like to say this was an amazing, beautiful ending to an awesome series. But its not the end! There is another book! How is this possible? How can we go on from this? But regardless, this was unbelievable. The best in the series so far.

I know that I must address the love-triangle. It gets all the attention around these books and I would really like to add my opinion on the matter, so I will get right to it. The first two books in the series focused on Ren and Kishan respectively, and although I loved Kishan after Tiger's Quest, there was no sign that Kelsey would. She remained faithful to Ren. But once I read Tiger's Voyage I was pretty torn. I grew to love Kishan even more, and I was pretty upset at Ren for how he handled the situation. He gave Kelsey up way too easily in my opinion. But Kelsey clearly still loved him, so I had to give him credit for that. Although it almost seemed like she had no choice in the matter. She loved him beyond reason. And I found Kishan to be a better person, far more grounded, easier to talk to, and a lot of fun. But it was Kelsey's choice, not mine, and I guess Ren was more her type. More sensitive and fond of grand gestures. But, although he had lost his memory at the time, I felt like he had no right to be upset over her relationship with Kishan, when he was the one who gave her up. He had still loved her at the time, memory or not.

But then we get to Tiger's Destiny, and I start to see where the Kelsey-hate comes from. I still love her. She is one of my fave heroines because she is so incredibly brave, determined, stubborn, and smart, and even a little snarky at times. But she seriously mistreated Kishan. I would understand if she didn't want to be with Ren. Because he hurt her. Because she was afraid. Because she felt she didn't deserve happiness when so many others hadn't found it. But that did not mean that she had to pretend to love Kishan more than she actually did. She could have decided to be alone. She could have waited until their journey was over before deciding on either brother. She could have done so many things besides leading Kishan on, when it was so clear that it was not going to last. She could barely get through the day without Ren. How could she think she could get through forever? And agreeing to marry Kishan?! That is forever, but their situation was not. I don't understand why she thought that she would feel the same way about herself and her situation a year from then, ten years from then. She could have told him it was too soon, to wait until after their final journey. There is no excuse for committing yourself to someone, when you are in love with another. It was a promise she would never have been able to keep. Kishan deserved better.

And Kishan is the one that made the sacrifice in the end. Kelsey always said that Ren had a superhero complex, but he didn't. He only risked his life for her, never for the mission, for their destiny, or for Durga. Ren is just as bad as Kelsey if not worse when it comes to all-consuming love. And I'll admit, grand gestures aren't my thing, but Ren could be really sweet. I did love him first, back in Tiger's Curse. I seriously swooned when he gave her the fireflower in the fire world. And I was really moved when he leapt in front of the gae bolga, and I saw the severe pain he was going through, all because he loved her. And Ren was extremely brave and was amazing in battle.

But Kishan is still my hero in the end. The more noble and selfless brother. I would never want to diminish Kishan's love for Kelsey, but he was willing to look at the bigger picture, willing to make the sacrifice that Ren refused. But I'm sure there was still a part of him that only did it because he knew it was what was best for Kelsey. And that is why I think the ending was so perfect. I knew that Kelsey would end up with Ren in the end, it was inevitable, but I really didn't want to see Kishan hurt. This way, the choice was Kishan's, not Kelsey's, and he eventually found happiness. I really appreciate that we got to see the letter from Kishan to Kelsey and Ren, and how he said that part of him loved her for centuries. As I said before, I don't want to diminish Kishan's love for Kelsey. I would have felt betrayed if he had found someone that he loved more than her. Colleen found the perfect alternative.

This series, and this book in particular, is so emotionally engaging, with characters that I love so much. It was so important to me that the ending be just right so that my heart would not be broken, and Colleen nailed it. I cant even say how much I loved the love in this book. A few poor decisions on Kelsey's part cannot overshadow the depth of the characters and the love that all three have for each other.

I feel like there isn't much else I can say about this book. Everyone who has read even one book in the series knows the reason it is so appealing is the unique focus on eastern mythology and its amazing adventure. And Destiny continues that trend and took it further. Their visit to the fire world was reminiscent of the journeys in book 1 and 2, but their journey to the past and their final battle against Lokesh was epic and amazing. The action and the fulfillment of destiny was breathtaking. Colleen really outdid herself and I really really hope and pray that Tiger's Dream will be a worthy successor, because I really can't think of a better way to end this incredible series. Thank you Colleen for officially writing my second favourite series of all time!

“There is still a piece of my heart that belongs to you. I have cherished it all these centuries.”

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