FeaturedYoung Adult Fantasy

Wren and the Tarnished Tiger


Must read 🏆

A bit of a mixture between Epic Fantasy and Romance, but the characters carry the day.

This novel has a great Epic Fantasy battle-filled prologue, full of action, gore, wonderful description and people we don’t need to know for the rest of the story.

Then the main character, Wren, appears, and the tale takes on the genial tone of her personality. Also, the plotline appears, and we realize that we are starting out on a Hero’s Journey. So far, so good.

The main attraction in this story is the personality of the two main characters. Nobody else really matters. It’s no spoiler to reveal the ending of their courtship, because from the very first they have an electricity that cannot be ignored. The twists and turns of their relationship are fascinating and beautifully wrought through their personalities, but there is never any doubt of the magical connection between them.

The first half of the book works through the usual multiple layers of conflict we expect from a well-written novel, but as we read on, we detect a weakness in the external threat. About three-quarters of the way through the reader’s interest starts to fade, and the story needs a ravening horde of monsters or a peasant uprising to boost the suspense. It’s a great romance between wonderful people, but after a while we begin to think these two just need a kick in the butt to figure out what we all know.

And when our attention wavers, we notice another problem. All that wonderful description gives us the setting nicely at the start, but then we want it to back off and let the action take over. In this case, people talk too much, think too much, and the author finds too many details we supposedly must know. But we don’t know why we need to know them, so we start skipping to the next paragraph, feeling guilty because we might have missed something important.

This book is a well-written hybrid that starts as an Epic Fantasy and morphs into a Romance. Despite this glitch, it’s an entertaining read, especially for people who love visual description. These are two people you would love to spend a few hours with.

Reviewed by

Brought up in a logging camp with no electricity, Gordon Long learned his storytelling in the traditional way: at his father’s knee. He now spends his time editing, publishing, travelling, blogging and writing Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Social Commentary, although sometimes the boundaries blur.


About the author

E. M. Leander lives in the American South with her husband, two children, and a grumpy old cat. A life-long lover of all things literary, when she’s not spending free time with family, she can be found devouring books and coffee in equal measure. view profile

Published on January 10, 2023

120000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

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