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The Archer at Dawn

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Author: Swati Teerdhala

Published: May 26th 2020 by Katherine Tegen Books

Format: Hardcover , 449 pages

Isbn: null

Language: English


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The Sun Mela is many things: a call for peace, a cause for celebration, and, above all, a deadly competition. For Kunal and Esha, finally working together as rebel spies, it provides the perfect guise to infiltrate King Vardaan’s vicious court. Kunal will return to his role as dedicated Senap soldier, at the Sun Mela to provide extra security for the palace during the peace The Sun Mela is many things: a call for peace, a cause for celebration, and, above all, a deadly competition. For Kunal and Esha, finally working together as rebel spies, it provides the perfect guise to infiltrate King Vardaan’s vicious court. Kunal will return to his role as dedicated Senap soldier, at the Sun Mela to provide extra security for the palace during the peace summit for the divided nations of Jansa and Dharka. Meanwhile, Esha will use her new role as adviser to Prince Harun to keep a pulse on shifting political parties and seek out allies for their rebel cause. A radical plan is underfoot to rescue Jansa’s long-lost Princess Reha—the key to the stolen throne. But amid the Mela games and glittering festivities, much more dangerous forces lie in wait. With the rebel Blades’ entry into Vardaan’s court, a match has been lit, and long-held secrets will force Kunal and Esha to reconsider their loyalties—to their country and to each other. Getting into the palace was the easy task; coming out together will be a battle for their lives.

30 review for The Archer at Dawn

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sahitya

    I was pretty sure it was gonna be a 3.5 but I can’t deny that the ending deserves its own rating, so I’m rounding up. Just like The Tiger at Midnight, I had a lot of fun reading this sequel but I also can’t deny that I saw stuff coming a mile away - if not the exact events, atleast the possible twists and who would be involved. For someone like me who never guesses anything and is totally ignorant of how to analyze any foreshadowing, I would have been happy about this except it was all a bit too I was pretty sure it was gonna be a 3.5 but I can’t deny that the ending deserves its own rating, so I’m rounding up. Just like The Tiger at Midnight, I had a lot of fun reading this sequel but I also can’t deny that I saw stuff coming a mile away - if not the exact events, atleast the possible twists and who would be involved. For someone like me who never guesses anything and is totally ignorant of how to analyze any foreshadowing, I would have been happy about this except it was all a bit too easy and predictable. But the characters are as usual the highlight of the story and their banter mixed with court politics this time around was fun to see play out. We also get more action with the competition at the Sun Mela and I throughly enjoyed that. And finally getting to know more details about the myths this world is built on and just generally get a more expansive view of the world was amazing. Overall, this is a good sequel. Fun and enjoyable, slightly predictable but nonetheless has very good memorable moments. And soooo many mango references to always make me hungry. Also, that explosive ending only makes the wait for the finale excruciating and I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for us.

  2. 5 out of 5

    julia ♥

    ✧・゚: *✧・゚:*   Read the full REVIEW on my BLOG! ✧・゚: *✧・゚:*   Based on ancient hindu mythology and Indian history comes the second instalment in the Tiger at Midnight series by Swati Teerdhala. The series follows assassin Esha, nickname 'The Viper' who sets out to kill the general. Insert Kunal, the general's nephew, and a devoted soldier to the kingdom. When the two of them meet, they fall into an interesting cat-and-mouse game that will have unforeseen consequences. The Archer at Dawn continues ✧・゚: *✧・゚:*   Read the full REVIEW on my BLOG! ✧・゚: *✧・゚:*   Based on ancient hindu mythology and Indian history comes the second instalment in the Tiger at Midnight series by Swati Teerdhala. The series follows assassin Esha, nickname 'The Viper' who sets out to kill the general. Insert Kunal, the general's nephew, and a devoted soldier to the kingdom. When the two of them meet, they fall into an interesting cat-and-mouse game that will have unforeseen consequences. The Archer at Dawn continues where the previous book left off. Kunal and Esha enter the Sun Mela; a competition and time of festivities that give both an opportunity to infiltrate the court. Where to begin with this review... I think this series is definitely an underrated one. The first book contained a lot of elements that make for a terrific YA fantasy debut: a solid plot, rich culture, and a little bit of hate-to-love romance sprinkled in. The second book continued this fabulous road and gave us more insight into the characters using a dual POV that features both characters. I also think the series contains a perfect balance between romance and plot, which is quite hard to do in most fantasies. Kunal and Esha continue to remain at the root of this book, and their relationship develops in an interesting way in this sequel. The author succeeds in adding the necessary intrigue and drama without it being contrived. One of my favorite elements of this series are the nods and hints of hindu mythology and Indian history sprinkled throughout the story. The book also ends on a cliffhanger, which gives the audience all the more reason to pick up the next one when it releases. All in all, I thought this was a strong continuation of one of my favorite books from last year, and I look forward to read the conclusion to this series next year, which earns this book a well-deserved 4.5 stars! **Thanks to Harpercollins for the advanced review copy of this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shealea

    I just think that this sequel tried to be so many things and do so many things that, ultimately and unfortunately, it delivered things in half-measures. Full review to follow.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/05/24/... I adored the first book, The Tiger at Midnight, and thought it was an incredible intro to the gorgeous, resplendent world created by Swati Teerdhala. Inspired by the culture of ancient India and Hindu mythology, this story takes readers to a kingdom in rebellion, and at the heart of the conflict are two characters—once at odds—who are now slowly becoming friends and perhaps something more. Esha, known as “The Viper”, is an 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/05/24/... I adored the first book, The Tiger at Midnight, and thought it was an incredible intro to the gorgeous, resplendent world created by Swati Teerdhala. Inspired by the culture of ancient India and Hindu mythology, this story takes readers to a kingdom in rebellion, and at the heart of the conflict are two characters—once at odds—who are now slowly becoming friends and perhaps something more. Esha, known as “The Viper”, is an assassin for the rebels. Kunal was a soldier for the empire, tasked to hunt her down. However, fate had other ideas, and now they find themselves on the same side, fighting to retrieve a long-lost princess from the clutches of her captors. The Archer at Dawn picks up where the first book left off, with our characters planning a daring mission to infiltrate the Sun Mela, an event that is both a celebration and a competition of wills held at the grand palace. Kunal’s experience in the Senap Guard puts him in position to be the perfect spy; he will return and take up his old post, providing security during the festivities while keeping his eyes and ears open for news of Princess Reha. Esha, on the other hand, will don a disguise and play advisor to Prince Harun, who needs to make a visible presence at the Sun Mela to recruit more allies to the resistance. Unfortunately, problems arise not long after their operation begins. Esha discovers that those who murdered her family are in attendance and is overcome with the desire for revenge, even though it will jeopardize the rebels’ mission. As well, they are not the only faction with a hidden agenda, as the Crescent Blades learn of other players pulling the strings in this deadly game. Kunal also returns to the guard and finds that things are no longer the same between him and his former comrades now that his eyes have been opened to the truth of his commanders as well as rebellion’s cause. Not to mention, as the situation between him, Esha, and Harun grows more complicated, difficult questions are raised and loyalties are tested. All told, The Archer at Dawn was a proficient sequel, though I feel it is quite common for second books to struggle to maintain the same momentum. This one doesn’t suffer the same way, per se, but I did find it just a shade less engaging as The Tiger at Midnight. The storytelling wasn’t as tight this time around, nor was it as exciting, though given how significant the theme of subterfuge was for the premise, perhaps that’s understandable. Admittedly, I was also a tad annoyed with the love triangle that was being teased here. Granted, it wasn’t overpowering, and I appreciated the author’s attempt to make it subtle. Still, it begs the question, then why bother have it at all? The plot would have been perfectly fine without it, and we wouldn’t have had to put up with Esha’s constant whining about her tortured feelings for Harun as she and Kunal grew closer. It just seemed like an unnecessary point of drama. That piece of criticism aside though, I enjoyed seeing our characters continue to grow and find themselves. Kunal probably went through the most drastic change here; he has so much honor and discipline, but his time with Esha and the rebels has made him see that things are not so simple. Although he has a new reason to fight, there are still ties to his past that can’t be forgotten so easily, especially when he finds himself back in his old life trying to play at being the loyal soldier. Esha also continues to grow on me, despite her hemming and hawing over her relationships issues. We knew from the start the romance between her and Kunal would be a journey fraught with obstacles, but it was definitely handled better in the first book when it was a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse replete with innuendo and sexual tension. I do enjoy the progress they’ve made in their relationship, but at the same time I don’t want this tug-o-war of emotions to get too stale. Still, there’s so much to get excited about. The world-building is superb as always, and we’re showered with even more historical and mythological elements in this sequel. The Sun Mela celebrations and games provided many opportunities to showcase the people and cultures of the world, and Teerdhala deftly weaves magic and wonder into the mix. There were also some rather cool revelations towards the end, which certainly ratcheted up the pacing and interest in the next installment. Bottom line, if you were a fan of the first book, you owe it to yourself to pick up The Archer at Dawn to find out how the story continues. I found myself amazed and delighted, even though this novel took the series in a slightly different direction by emphasizing subterfuge and political intrigue. Ultimately, it was done in a clever and compelling way, and I am eager to see how the trilogy will wrap up in the next book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cait Jacobs (Caitsbooks)

    *Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review! All quotes are taken from the ARC and are subject to change. All opinions are my own.* Check out this review (and more) over on my blog! Quick Stats: Overall: 4/5 Stars Characters: 4/5 Setting: 5/5 Writing: 4/5 Plot and Themes: 3/5 Awesomeness Factor: 3.5/5 Review in a Nutshell: The Archer at Dawn wasn’t quite as amazing as The Tiger at Midnight, but it was still a solid sequel, and I’m very excited to see where th *Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review! All quotes are taken from the ARC and are subject to change. All opinions are my own.* Check out this review (and more) over on my blog! Quick Stats: Overall: 4/5 Stars Characters: 4/5 Setting: 5/5 Writing: 4/5 Plot and Themes: 3/5 Awesomeness Factor: 3.5/5 Review in a Nutshell: The Archer at Dawn wasn’t quite as amazing as The Tiger at Midnight, but it was still a solid sequel, and I’m very excited to see where this series goes. “She was the Viper, Dharka’s legend. She delivered justice, and she would finish this.” // Content Warning: Violence, Death, War Themes, Murder, Misogyny, Kidnapping/Abduction (Mention) // “And now that his hands were dirtied, he felt as if they’d never be clean.” Release Date: 5/26/2020 Publisher: HarperCollins Page Count: 449 Premise: The Archer at Dawn is the second book in The Tiger at Midnight trilogy, following Kunal and Esha as stakes rise and loyalties are questioned. They must navigate court politics as they work to rescue the lost princess, while also trying to take down the Pretender King. - Writing & Setting - Swati Teerdhala’s writing is fairly straightforward and easy to read, making this a great fantasy series to jump into if you’re less familiar with the genre. And her worldbuilding in this book is just as impressive as the first. The Archer At Dawn deals with more court politics, which is a view of this world we didn’t really get to see before. We also learn more about the mythology and magic of this world, something I found myself fascinated by. - Plot - The plot was the one area of the book where I have mixed feelings. For the first two thirds of the book, I wasn’t that gripped by it as I had been with The Tiger At Midnight. Things were a little repetitive and slow as we set the stage for the finale. There were quite a few things happening, but everything developed very slowly. However, that last act really did hook me, and I’m very excited to see where this series goes. - Characters - I love Esha and Kunal. They both have solid character development, and I especially love their interactions with each other. The romance between them is still there, and it is important, but it isn’t quite as much of the focus of the book, as it was in The Tiger at Midnight. That said, we do have a love triangle. It began at the end of the last book, and plays a role in the plot of this one as well. The love triangle felt inevitable, but luckily it wasn’t an annoying, cringey one. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. One thing I did really love? The side characters. We got to know a lot more about some of them that were introduced in the last book, and it made me so happy. I absolutely adored them, and I really enjoyed some of the new characters we got to meet in this book as well. “There is a future better than the present.” - Conclusion - Pros- Good characters, great worldbuilding, solid ending Cons- Plot is a little weaker, not as gripping as the first book Overall- 4/5 stars. The Archer at Dawn suffers a bit from the Second Book Slump, but it managed to still keep me excited for this series and eager to see what book three might bring. Follow Me Here: Blog ||Tumblr || Bookstagram || Twitter|| Reviews

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult / Fantasy *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* The Archer at Dawn is the second installment in author Swati Teerdhala's The Tiger at Midnight trilogy drawing inspiration from ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology. The story takes place in the lands of Jansa and Dharka, two lands bound together by magic that descended from twins Naria and Narian. The land requires a blood ritual from their bloodline, but thanks to a coup by the pretender King, Dharka is suffering. A P *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult / Fantasy *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* The Archer at Dawn is the second installment in author Swati Teerdhala's The Tiger at Midnight trilogy drawing inspiration from ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology. The story takes place in the lands of Jansa and Dharka, two lands bound together by magic that descended from twins Naria and Narian. The land requires a blood ritual from their bloodline, but thanks to a coup by the pretender King, Dharka is suffering. A Princess who might be able to save the land, is missing. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nandini | Novels and Nebulas

    I'm so thankful for the opportunity to read this early! I received an e-ARC from the author and Harper Collins. ✨ Reasons to Love ✨ ✔ A+ romance ✔ Ancient Indian-inspired world ✔ Political intrigue ✔ Rebels, spies and secrets ✔ Explosive plot-twists ✨ Characters ✨ Since this is the sequel and I was already in love with the characters in The Tiger at Midnight, I was looking for more development and that's what I got. The romance goes down the love triangle route but I surprisingly was on-board with that. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to read this early! I received an e-ARC from the author and Harper Collins. ✨ Reasons to Love ✨ ✔ A+ romance ✔ Ancient Indian-inspired world ✔ Political intrigue ✔ Rebels, spies and secrets ✔ Explosive plot-twists ✨ Characters ✨ Since this is the sequel and I was already in love with the characters in The Tiger at Midnight, I was looking for more development and that's what I got. The romance goes down the love triangle route but I surprisingly was on-board with that. It introduced several new characters, my favourite being Aditi, and a bigger role was given to some familiar ones like Harun. ✨ Plot ✨ The most exciting part of the plot was the Sun Mela and its trials. It's clear that Swati put in careful thought while constructing the world and it was nice to see a bigger part of it in The Archer at Dawn. I enjoyed all the little elements, like the gorgeous descriptions of food, clothing and ambience. ✨ Writing ✨ The writing style was a mix of beautiful prose and clever dialogue between the characters. The themes at the core of The Archer at Dawn were expert commentaries on the traditional morals in Hindu mythology. Ultimately, the combination of amazing world-building and the familiar themes really resonated with my own experiences and identity, which made the book a winner in my eyes. ✨ Verdict ✨ Overall, I thought that The Archer at Dawn was a compelling sequel and didn't suffer from middle book syndrome. If you loved The Tiger at Midnight, I highly recommend that you continue on with the series. If you like the enemies-to-lovers romance trope, high-stakes political conflicts, deadly assassins, explosive secrets and unique world-building, I think this series is right up your alley. For a more thorough analysis of the book, check out my full review posted on Novels and Nebulas.

  8. 5 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) The Archer at Dawn gave the characters I loved space to grow. It asks us if we can ever truly change and how one tries to change. Can we go back to what we knew a completely different person? One moment can change our life and The Archer at Dawn is all about the moment after. Whether it be living with the consequences of our actions or using our past to make ourselves a new future, T (Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) The Archer at Dawn gave the characters I loved space to grow. It asks us if we can ever truly change and how one tries to change. Can we go back to what we knew a completely different person? One moment can change our life and The Archer at Dawn is all about the moment after. Whether it be living with the consequences of our actions or using our past to make ourselves a new future, The Archer at Dawn is all about characters and choices. It has the characters I know and love, Esha and Kunal, and it's full of banter and mangoes. Featuring dual POV, it allows us to experience the new shifts in consciousness and worlds for both Esha and Kunal. They are so different in some aspects, but also driven by a thirst for change. Even more fun, Teerdhala introduces a competition in The Archer at Dawn! While The Archer at Dawn is certainly more political than The Tiger at Midnight, it is action packed on all fronts. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah M

    I think I've gathered my thoughts enough to finally write a review for this AMAZING book. With this second installment, Swati Teerdhala has not only met my expectations for a great book- she has exceeded them! One of my favorite things about this book is the characters. Swati does such an excellent job of writing compelling characters that I can't help but to love all of them. Even the ones I hate, I still love. And some of the characters...*cough* Alok *cough* I would without a doubt DIE for. T I think I've gathered my thoughts enough to finally write a review for this AMAZING book. With this second installment, Swati Teerdhala has not only met my expectations for a great book- she has exceeded them! One of my favorite things about this book is the characters. Swati does such an excellent job of writing compelling characters that I can't help but to love all of them. Even the ones I hate, I still love. And some of the characters...*cough* Alok *cough* I would without a doubt DIE for. The story picks up pretty much right where it left off after the first book. And while I can rave about how amazing the character development was all day long, don't think that there isn't still PLENTY of action scenes with detailed fights, competitions, and near-miss escapes. And the ending.... that ending had me at the absolute edge of my seat and I could NOT put it down if I tried. I am SO lucky to be a part of the street team for this book and had the opportunity to read an e-arc, but waiting for book 3 is going to be difficult! I can't wait to see what's in store next for this series!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    I was given this arc courtesy of Harpercollins and Swati Teerdhala in exchange for an honest review. I will preface this review by stating I have not The Tiger at Midnight. Despite not having read the first book in the series I found it pretty easy to follow this story line. I thought it started out at a very good pace. Despite being thrown into the action it wasn't hard for me to figure out some of the back story from the first book I missed. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of everything from I was given this arc courtesy of Harpercollins and Swati Teerdhala in exchange for an honest review. I will preface this review by stating I have not The Tiger at Midnight. Despite not having read the first book in the series I found it pretty easy to follow this story line. I thought it started out at a very good pace. Despite being thrown into the action it wasn't hard for me to figure out some of the back story from the first book I missed. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of everything from the architecture to food to the clothing people wear. I could picture the beautiful saris and opulent jewels. And the mango obsession was real and felt very familiar to someone I know. There was a bit of a love triangle which I'm generally not a fan of but I didn't find it overbearing. The characters all had chemistry with each other. I think we're supposed to be rooting for Esha and Kunal but I actually preferred her with Harun. I just didn't get enough magic for my liking from this story. The shape shifting aspect was an interesting power that I haven't seen in many YA fantasy stories and I wanted more magical action. I enjoyed how Hindu mythology was weaved into this story. The action was more on the warrior side with grueling competitions and I thought those scenes were well done. Kunal is against killing and he feels conflicted whenever he is put into those types of situations. Esha is a featured assassin with a known reputation however most of this story she has to play the role of subdued lady of the court. I would have appreciated seeing her showcasing her skills a little more. The same with some of the other female characters who I didn't find very memorable. I would've liked to see them fleshed out a little bit more.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Milena

    The Archer at Dawn is the second book in The Tiger at Midnight trilogy by Swati Teerdhala. I enjoyed the first book and was looking forward to reading the sequel. I was a little worried that it wouldn't live up to the first book because I've been disappointed in many sequels, but The Archer at Dawn was just as good as The Tiger at Midnight. We get a lot more political intrigue in this book, and we get to know Esha's rebel team better, which what I wanted since reading The Tiger at Midnight. I es The Archer at Dawn is the second book in The Tiger at Midnight trilogy by Swati Teerdhala. I enjoyed the first book and was looking forward to reading the sequel. I was a little worried that it wouldn't live up to the first book because I've been disappointed in many sequels, but The Archer at Dawn was just as good as The Tiger at Midnight. We get a lot more political intrigue in this book, and we get to know Esha's rebel team better, which what I wanted since reading The Tiger at Midnight. I especially enjoyed getting to know Prince Harun, he is quickly becoming my favorite character. In this book, Esha's and Kunal's romance took a back seat, and I wish they had more interactions. Most of the main characters were making some questionable decisions and keeping secrets from each other, which caused a lot of conflicts and complications. The Archer at Dawn ended on a cliffhanger and I am very much looking forward to the next book. *ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss

  12. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    Well! Wasn't this just a spectacular follow up to what was already a highly entertaining series! Full review at Write, Read, Repeat This book kicks off pretty soon after the end of The Tiger at Midnight. Kunal has turned his back on his Jansa soldier roots and has joined Esha and the Dharkan rebels, the Crescent Blades. Tensions are still high between both nations, but a tenuous peace may be on the horizon. Time is running out before the dying bond created by the gods fails completely, and its neg Well! Wasn't this just a spectacular follow up to what was already a highly entertaining series! Full review at Write, Read, Repeat This book kicks off pretty soon after the end of The Tiger at Midnight. Kunal has turned his back on his Jansa soldier roots and has joined Esha and the Dharkan rebels, the Crescent Blades. Tensions are still high between both nations, but a tenuous peace may be on the horizon. Time is running out before the dying bond created by the gods fails completely, and its negative effects are already spreading across the kingdoms. Their mission now: find the lost Princess Reha and restore the magic to the lands! As with last time, what makes this book so intriguing is the political intrigue and history of this ancient world. Half of the fun is trying to figure out what everyone is doing. Who is lying to who. What any move made by any character could possibly mean in the short and long-term. In TAAD we are treated to a gladiator-esque series of games. While they didn't feel all too high-stakes, and I would have loved more of it, it served a purpose for the story. Not the centre of attention, but an entertaining and interesting way for the plot to advance as it did. A little about our main characters! 🥭 Esha - Darling Esha, oh I felt for you in this. Not only does she not get to be as Viper-esque as she likes—having to play in court as a noblewoman—she also has to grapple with returning to the place where her whole life shattered. This book delves more into her backstory and grief over what happened all those years ago when her parents were murdered in front of her during the coup. Also, the mango obsession is real. 🗡 Kunal - I like Kunal, I do, but I definitely preferred Esha's POV's. Newly turned to the rebels, Kunal is coming to grips with what that means for him as a soldier undercover. He is also trying to understand and accept his newfound royal heritage, and the abilities that come with it. TAAD unravels the story through dual POVs as TTAM did, but it worked so much better this time, and that's because it was formatted a bit differently. Last time, if I remember correctly, each chapter was a POV, but this book jumps between whoever we need to follow as needed. And it worked miracles. It helped draw in the reader more effectively and kept the pace going smoothly. Especially with that ending. I mean, what a game changer! What a plot twist! What am i supposed to do now! TTAM ended on a note of hope, whereas this is the aftermath of some serious shit going down. As with TTAM, the romance between Esha and Kunal is a core part of this book. While no longer enemies to lovers, they're still keeping each other at arms length. I thought this new dynamic between them was an interesting one. Very interesting, actually, since there is a great big ol' wall between spray painted with SECRETS and LIES. They want to be together, but trust is still too fragile. Kunal may have turned on the soldiers and become part of the Crescent Blades, but he's still struggling with this side of Esha, and vice versa. As was hinted at in TTAM, the love triangle between Esha, Kunal and Harun is heating up. Neither boy is getting in the other's face--thank god, since that's what makes me normally despise love triangles--but I think I'm batting for the wrong side of this little threesome. Yes, I am shipping Harun and Esha and I don't care who knows it. Harsha. Erun. Work in progress! While I still thoroughly enjoyed this book, I did have a few problems more with it than its predecessor. Again, there were some parts that felt somewhat repetitive. Too many times it seemed we'd get a scene of Esha out on a personal mission with Kunal tailing her--because her Viper disguise is easy to see through--then pulling her into an alley as she's about to strike. Little stifling, to be honest. I'm also getting a bit bummed by the lack of meaningful female characters. It can be forgiven for TTAM given the events, but now that the large cast is static and everyone is staying in one place, Esha is the only memorable female. Sure, there's a maid, an heir to a neighbouring land, and Esha's rebel best friend, but they're all forgettable. And that sucks, especially since this was written by an incredible woman and one half of the main kingdoms in this is historically a queendom. But I concur! After that ending, I need to know what happens in the third book. I need to know how all of this ends! It's looking like it's going to be an explosive one with no one knowing who to trust, and I can't wait!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Solace_In_Reading

    5.24.2020 Thank you Swati Teerdhala for providing this ARC as part of the TigerWraith Warriors Street Team! I really appreciate it. This is an amazing sequel with a lot of twists and turns that I did not expect at all. While the first book was a chase, this is a maze. The political intrigue was very well done and it was interesting to see Esha and Kunal's motivations change over time. Basically, Esha and Kunal are working to rescue the lost princess, but encounter a lot more than they were expectin 5.24.2020 Thank you Swati Teerdhala for providing this ARC as part of the TigerWraith Warriors Street Team! I really appreciate it. This is an amazing sequel with a lot of twists and turns that I did not expect at all. While the first book was a chase, this is a maze. The political intrigue was very well done and it was interesting to see Esha and Kunal's motivations change over time. Basically, Esha and Kunal are working to rescue the lost princess, but encounter a lot more than they were expecting. I liked how Harun and Kunal aren't competing for Esha because Esha can stand on her own. Esha is definitely one of my favorite characters because she knows that she is strong. I also like how Kunal isn't seen as more powerful even though he (view spoiler)[has magic powers. (hide spoiler)] I liked how the pacing of this book was a bit slower than the first book and that we really got to understand the world that Teerdhala created. I think this is an excellent sequel that I need to re read soon because the world is so detailed and gorgeous while also being deadly and surprising.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Madison

    The Archer at Dawn is the second book in the Tiger At Midnight trilogy. It’s packed full of intrigue, planning, action and court politics. There are secret kisses, secret alliances and big secrets revealed. It’s also slightly torturous as it seems the closer Esha, Kunal and the Blades move toward their goal the more obstacles there are in their paths and the further they are from achieving anything. As I was drawing near the conclusion of the book I wasn’t sure I was going to be up for reading th The Archer at Dawn is the second book in the Tiger At Midnight trilogy. It’s packed full of intrigue, planning, action and court politics. There are secret kisses, secret alliances and big secrets revealed. It’s also slightly torturous as it seems the closer Esha, Kunal and the Blades move toward their goal the more obstacles there are in their paths and the further they are from achieving anything. As I was drawing near the conclusion of the book I wasn’t sure I was going to be up for reading the third book. So much of this book’s plotting and scheming seemed about to come to nothing. But, at the last minute, one final reveal that comes out of nowhere had me hooked again and wanting to know what comes next. There’s a lot happening in in this book but I was a little disengaged as it seems like the characters aren’t going to achieve anything. I like the characters. Esha and Kunal are exploring a new romantic relationship, while also testing the boundaries of their alliance and trust, introducing Kunal to the Blades and relying on him and his new found powers to help them complete the next part of the plan for reclaiming their country. There is also a slight love triangle and Esha is torn between her new feelings for Kunal and the old, unrequited feelings for Harun. Esha is also torn between her desire for revenge on the people who killed her parents and the safety of the Blades’ mission. It means she makes some silly choices, but you can’t deny the depth of her hurt and yearning for recompense. There is a warrior competition Kunal must enter that provides the action in the majority of the book, and Esha and Harun’s scheming provide the political tension. There are lots of near misses, secret alliances and sneaking around places they aren’t meant to be. If you enjoy Indian inspired fantasy, you’ll love this series. The characters are strong and complex and the plot intriguing. You need to read book one in the series first before picking up this second book. It will be interesting to see how the story is brought to conclusion in book three. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anandi Puritipati

    4.25/4.5 ish? 5 star ending tho BHAI Update (17/06/2020): The Archer at Dawn is the sequel to The Tiger At Midnight, and it’s the second book in the trilogy. After the end of the first book, this one starts off on a high-action point with Kunal and Esha following the leads they obtained in the last book in search of the lost princess of Jansa, Reha. I can’t really say much without spoiling the first book, but, essentially, Kunal’s secret is still a secret, the romance is still a “will they, won’t t 4.25/4.5 ish? 5 star ending tho BHAI Update (17/06/2020): The Archer at Dawn is the sequel to The Tiger At Midnight, and it’s the second book in the trilogy. After the end of the first book, this one starts off on a high-action point with Kunal and Esha following the leads they obtained in the last book in search of the lost princess of Jansa, Reha. I can’t really say much without spoiling the first book, but, essentially, Kunal’s secret is still a secret, the romance is still a “will they, won’t they”, and there’s still a lot that we’re yet to find out. Filled to the brim with secrets and drama, political intrigue and action, heartbreak and romance, this book is perfect for a weekend off when you just want to be engulfed into a story and world that is so different from your own. My favourite aspect in this story is definitely the atmosphere and the world-building. No surprises for anyone there, to be honest. I am a sucker for a good setting, and I am a double-sucker when that setting involves any bit of Indian history or mythology. I think it’s really hard to capture the true essence of any culture, especially one that is but a mosaic of thousands of other subcultures, Swati did an amazing job of it. You could taste the air of Jansa in the words that she wrote, and it was just wonderful to experience something like that. The writing in this series definitely straddles the line between flowery and stoic, in my opinion. I would definitely have preferred a style that leans into its purple-ness, but that’s totally a personal preference thing. I do see why this kind of style was chosen, though, and I totally find that it fits perfectly with the action-filled nature of the story. The Archer At Dawn is not a slow-burn in any way, shape or form. There are a lot of plot points happening in tandem, and it definitely needed a writing style that would focus less on the shape of flowers and more on letting you know what’s happening in the story. Which is what the writing style here did. I’m rambling, but what I mean to say is that while the style fits the story perfectly well, I, personally, wouldn’t have minded some long-winded descriptions here and there and some nonsensical philosophizing thrown in for fun! xD The characters in the story are also pretty well-crafted. My favourite was definitely the local cinnamon roll that was Kunal. Swati, in one of her interviews, talked about how she took inspiration from all the virtuous heroes in the Indian epics to build this beautiful baby boy, and you know what? It definitely shows! He’s this annoyingly virtuous fellow, but he’s not a self-righteous prick (well, not anymore), and he’s so kind and humble and loving that you can’t help but fall in love with him. I did not like Harun because he was a pretty nice guy and that meant he was the thorn in my side, meddling with my damn OTP and I wasn’t happy about that. And Esha. OH, ESHA! I have never met a more flighty, impulsive badass than this weird hoe right here. I don’t even know what I feel about her. Do I love her? Yes, kinda. Do I hate her? Also, yes, sometimes. She’s confusing and annoying, but also I would protect her with my soul and that’s all I can say. My favourites outside of the main cast in this book were the Queen from the neighboring kingdom, Yamini, Laksh and Alok, obviously, and Arpiya for that one scene where she flirted with Laksh in front of Kunal, and he just went “EXCUSE ME WTF MA’AM?!” Ah, favourite scenes, I tell you. My internal tendency to reduce every epic fantasy to its romance takes over here as well, and I definitely found myself doing the same here. Kunal and Esha are just perfect together. THEIR SHIP NAME IS KESHA FFS!! And I just couldn’t handle the anxiety of that love triangle. Also, I felt like because whatever was happening between Harun and Esha was rooted in a past we weren’t privy to, the relationship really just felt like a weak thing even if there were words telling you otherwise. We could totally have benefited from some backstory and emotional manipulation, because I don’t see myself rooting for Harun and Esha AT ALL! The second book really helped fill a lot of holes in the mythology that was introduced in book one, and I am sure book three will expand on it more. I still have a few doubts about the whole janma bond thing and the relationship between the twin kingdoms of Jansa and Dharka. Little inconsistencies here and there aside, The Archer and Dawn was just a super fun ride, and it gave me all the right feels! ALSO THAT ENDING LIKE I WAS SCREAMING BECAUSE THE ALREADY FAST PACE OF THE BOOK LIKE DOUBLED AND A LOT HAPPENED IN LIKE FIFTEEN PAGES AND I DON’T HAVE BOOK THREE AAAAAHHH! I’m super grateful to Swati Teerdhala and Harper Collins for having me on her street team for this book, and for providing me with an early copy of it! I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait for it to make its way into people’s bookshelves! Waiting eagerly for book three now!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Athena

    The publisher kindly offered me an advanced reader copy via Edelweiss. Yet, this is an honest review of the book expressing my unbiased opinion. The first book in the trilogy was great, and I loved it so much I couldn't wait for the sequel. But let me tell you that The Archer At Dawn is phenomenal. Along with Holly Black's The Wicked King, The Archer At Dawn is one of the best and most enthralling sequels I've ever read. The book is told in Esha's and Kunal's points of view, and we have gay repres The publisher kindly offered me an advanced reader copy via Edelweiss. Yet, this is an honest review of the book expressing my unbiased opinion. The first book in the trilogy was great, and I loved it so much I couldn't wait for the sequel. But let me tell you that The Archer At Dawn is phenomenal. Along with Holly Black's The Wicked King, The Archer At Dawn is one of the best and most enthralling sequels I've ever read. The book is told in Esha's and Kunal's points of view, and we have gay representation which I squealed over!! It was wonderful to see that perfect pair coming together. The world-building was stellar, as always. The setting descriptions were vivid and full of life; I could see the Pink Palace and taste Esha's mangoes. This series features world-building (in all aspects) at its best. Folklore and tales and mythology, all weaved together in a sweet package that makes you want more. After some big changes in The Tiger At Midnight, our group of characters are adjusting, both emotionally and practically. It was a delight to see their growth. The way the characters interacted with each other, the banter, the wit, the giving and taking, the challenges they presented for each other was magnificent. If I had to pick one favorite thing from this book, it will be the outstanding ensemble cast and their interaction with each other. I loved them all. The overprotective Bhandu, the charming Harun, the firecracker Arpiya, and some characters that surprised me like Alok and Farhan. Esha was magnificent, as always. She struggled with some decisions and made other hard choices, but her intellect and drive for justice remained true and fierce. Esha is everything I love in a main character. I'd follow her anywhere. I'm Team Esha all the way. Kunal struggled the most with the changes, and I don't blame him. His thoughts and his perspective never dulled, however, and they always made sense. He changed a lot, but at the same time, he stayed true to who he is at his core, and I loved how the author managed this. It's another sign of how masterful the author is when it comes to character development. Overall, I have nothing else to say except BUY THIS TRILOGY. Excellent world-building, incredible story-lines, amazing characters, blades, and mangoes. I swear you'll be as obsessed as I am with this series. I have the ARC, but I'll definitely preorder the hardcover to match The Tiger At Midnight. Swati Teerdhala is an author you don't want to miss. 5 stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Author: Swati Teerdhala Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pragati Chaudhari

    As seen on - The Archer At Dawn on The Inked In Book Blog *ARC provided in exchange of an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.* HOLY. FREAKING. SHIZ. I need a moment, or ten. That’s really all I can say. I did NOT see any of that coming. At all. None of it. Wow. I’m gonna gather my thoughts for a second here because there is so much to say, but I don’t even know how to say it. So… talking about the book. This picks up almost immediately after the end of TTAM and fol As seen on - The Archer At Dawn on The Inked In Book Blog *ARC provided in exchange of an honest review. The thoughts are entirely my own and in no way biased.* HOLY. FREAKING. SHIZ. I need a moment, or ten. That’s really all I can say. I did NOT see any of that coming. At all. None of it. Wow. I’m gonna gather my thoughts for a second here because there is so much to say, but I don’t even know how to say it. So… talking about the book. This picks up almost immediately after the end of TTAM and follows our favourite couple (idc about anything else, Kunesha ARE a couple) on their new journey, this time in Jansa. New alliances are forged, new enemies surface, and in the midst of all the conspiracy are Kunal & Esha, trying to do the right thing. One of the first things I noticed in this book is how much Teerdhala has improved in every aspect writing – from the plotting of this book to the characterization. Everything was much more vivid in this book as compared to the last one. I loved that! We got to see the development of Kunal, Esha, and even Harun in this book. I was really surprised by how much I got to see Harun in this one. He grew as a character a lot. We got to learn more about him as a person, and his motivations behind doing what he did, behaving the way he did. His relationship with Esha was explored too, and I really liked their dynamic. But, coming to our main characters – Kunal & Esha. I really liked how Esha shaped in this book. She was still the Esha we’d seen in the first book, but she was much more intense here, with respect to everything. It took me a while to get used to the actual depth of her emotions, but once I did, I could see why she would do the things she did. Her relationship with her best friend, Arpiya, whatever he is, Harun, and even her handmaid, Aditi, was pretty well fleshed out. It wasn’t just Kunal and Esha like it was in the majority of the last book. In fact, come to think of it, Esha had the fewest scenes with Kunal. Yet, their relationship was pretty well done, and we got to see them grow closer, trust each other more, and rely on each other to get them through the whole ordeal. In this book, we got to see Esha struggling with balancing her identity as the Viper, as a leader of the Blades, and who she was herself. The conflict was really nicely put across, and we could see how difficult it was for Esha to exist as all three at the same time. She always felt like she couldn’t do anything without jeopardizing her role as someone else. I really liked the whole narrative where she tried to balance everything, and decide who she wanted to be. While she’s not completely there yet, she’s moving forward and I love that. Coming to Kunal, he was still the same ole righteous Kunal who was only trying to do the right thing, but at the same time, not. Kunal’s sense of duty as a soldier conflicted a lot with the mission he had taken on. On top of that, forces other than the other soldiers and the Blades came out to play and made things even more difficult for him. He did make a lot of questionable decisions in this book, but the motivation behind doing so was always noble, which is why I’m not as mad at him as I should be. Keeping myself in his shoes, the possibility that I would have done what he did are pretty high, so I do see where he’s coming from, even though I wish he had handled things better. The other minor characters that came into play in this story – Aditi, Esha’s handmaid, Lord Mayank, a nobleman, King Mahir, Harun’s father, and Princess Yamini of another neighbouring kingdom, as well as the rest of the Blades – all brought a lot of spin to the story and steered it in directions that I hadn’t even imagined. I will freely admit that I did not see about 70% of the plot twists coming in this one. That made the reading experience so much better for me. Something would happen and I would just gape at the screen like for 5 minutes, trying to process that it actually happened. It was so amazing! We even go into more of world building in this one, ancient history being explored, more kingdoms coming into picture, and learning more about the janma bond. I really liked how all of it was explored and brought to the attention of the reader in bits and pieces as the story unfolded. Another really good aspect of this story was the court politics, which I never thought would play such a crucial role in this book, but it did. And it was really well done too. All things considered, I think that The Archer At Dawn surpassed all my expectations after having read The Tiger At Midnight. The second book in itself is reason enough for you to pick this series up! I absolutely cannot wait to read the third book after how the second book closed, and I’m sure you’ll be the same!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marzie

    The second installment in the Tiger at Midnight trilogy, The Archer at Dawn deepens the complexity of the relationship between Esha, a rebel fighter also known as Viper, and Kunal, her childhood friend, raised to become a military man for Jansa and its ruler Verdaan. Esha and Kunal found each other, and in spite of their differing political positions, are quickly falling in love. But just because a person was been your friend long ago in childhood doesn't mean you know really still know them, do The second installment in the Tiger at Midnight trilogy, The Archer at Dawn deepens the complexity of the relationship between Esha, a rebel fighter also known as Viper, and Kunal, her childhood friend, raised to become a military man for Jansa and its ruler Verdaan. Esha and Kunal found each other, and in spite of their differing political positions, are quickly falling in love. But just because a person was been your friend long ago in childhood doesn't mean you know really still know them, does it? Where do their respective loyalties lie? They still keep each other's secrets, Esha's being the Viper, Kunal's Samyad transformative abilities, but they each have their own agenda in their fight for Jansa. As Jansa plans the Sun Mela celebration, Verdaan has invited opposing forces, including Harun, his nephew and Esha'sfriend and leader, to help celebrate. He also has planned a surprise- that he has custody of Harun's sister, Princess Reha, who is tied to the welfare of the Jansan land. He announces that she is attending and that he plans to broker a political marriage for her. But is it even really Reha? And in fact, is Verdaan himself the man we think he is? Are the Crescent Blades in the right, or is their rival resistance group, the Scales of Justice closer to the mark? In fact, is anything and anyone really who them seem to be? Esha and Kunal have their loyalties tested by their allies, friends, loved ones, and most surprisingly, by their enemies. This YA novel of political intrigue takes the trope of boy meets girl and they fall unquestioningly in love and turns it on end. An emerging love triangle wasn't all that welcome but did serve to emphasize that it's hard to know someone and their inner world, even if you care for them deeply. And that unease can shatter faith all too easily. The audiobook is narrated by the divine Sneha Mathan. I received a Digital Review Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kali Cole

    What an end! I am so excited to see if there will be another book because things are ramping up!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Minca Huiberts

    Thanks to Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for the e-arc in exchange for an honest review. In the first few chapters it felt a little like I was reading A Tiger at Midnight again. But this is ofcourse is a new book, with a new storyline and after a few chapter it did took a different path. Eventhough I didn’t want to lose the feeling of the first book, it happened. The story took a new turn, a different different path and I had to get used to it a little bit. The whole adventures cat and mouse Thanks to Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for the e-arc in exchange for an honest review. In the first few chapters it felt a little like I was reading A Tiger at Midnight again. But this is ofcourse is a new book, with a new storyline and after a few chapter it did took a different path. Eventhough I didn’t want to lose the feeling of the first book, it happened. The story took a new turn, a different different path and I had to get used to it a little bit. The whole adventures cat and mouse game from the first story disappeared and now the characters started looking for the lost princess. More and more new characters are introduced, which made it a little harder to follow because the names that are used, aren’t quite common. Some characters even have nicknames or double identiteis which made things a little more complicated. But all those different characters did make the story more interesting because duet o the double identities and deserters it was hard to tell who to trust or who not to trust. Despite the different setting and amount of characters, the writingstyle stayed the same just like I was used to from the first book. And this is a positive thing, because the first book was pretty nice to read. Now the second book is too. Because there were far more characters involved in book two, there were a lot more dialogs too. Sometimes I wondered if all of the dialogs were relevant to the story, but they kind of gave the story a little more dynamics. They were often alternated with other events and descriptions, but sometimes I missed a good amount of action. Luckily for me, in the second half of the book, there was more action, which increased the speed of the story. So the second part was more interesting and thrilling than the first part and the actual ending of the story caught me by full surprise. Probably because I didn’t know who to believe or who to suspect because of the higher amount of characters. The second book in A Tiger at Midnight trilogie might be a little less adventures or exciting as the first book, but it is more interesting and unpredictable. Even though we have to wait a while for the third book, but after reading this ending, you want to read the final book for sure!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Megara Ryan

    3.5 stars

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sammie

    You can read my full review on my blog, The Bookwyrm's Den, here. Many thanks to JeanBookNerd and Katherine Tegen Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest, unbiased review and for inclusion on this blog tour. I’m always a little hesitant going into book two of a series, because the book two slump of a trilogy is real and sometimes frustrating, and that was my biggest concern when I picked up this book. Honestly, I enjoyed The Tiger at Midnight, but I LOVED The Archer at Dawn. Why was I even You can read my full review on my blog, The Bookwyrm's Den, here. Many thanks to JeanBookNerd and Katherine Tegen Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest, unbiased review and for inclusion on this blog tour. I’m always a little hesitant going into book two of a series, because the book two slump of a trilogy is real and sometimes frustrating, and that was my biggest concern when I picked up this book. Honestly, I enjoyed The Tiger at Midnight, but I LOVED The Archer at Dawn. Why was I even worried? Look at me being all silly and ridiculous. The Archer at Dawn is a fast-paced, heisty book, filled to the brim with strong women, secrets, and betrayal. If the lush, Indian-inspired setting doesn’t get you, the witty character banter will. I don’t usually make these comparisons, but the best way I can think to describe this book is an Indian Six of Crows, because the main plot of this felt very heisty and complex and I was so here for it. Also, the title for book three hasn’t been released yet, but I’m totally going to make a prediction here. I’m gunning for The Chariot at Dusk. You heard it here first. I mean, come on, that would be a kickass title, right? We’ll have to come back in several months to see how close I was, so you have something fun to look forward to. UPDATE: I NAILED IT, GUYS. The third title was released and it IS The Chariot at Dusk, so I win! What do I win? I dunno, just throw cookies at me and I'll be happy. My Thoughts: - I admit that I had a little trouble getting into The Tiger at Midnight because it felt a little slow, but that was so not a problem here. The Archer at Dawn starts with a bang, and once the action gets going, it just doesn’t let up. I do believe the action in this book would be considered a heist, and this is a trope that I absolutely live for. The stakes are high, and there’s action and manipulation around every turn. In short: these are my people. The big theme in this book is trust no one, because everyone has secrets. Even the people you thought you knew. There ends up being reveal after reveal in this book, to the point where it’s clear that there are so many sides to every story that things get twisted and no one actually knows the “truth” of any matter. I just adored the complexity this brought to the story! - Somehow, despite all the dark themes of the book, this book is filled with a lot of hope and soul searching and just devastating realities and reveals that will crush readers. But … in a good way? I’m pretty good at guessing plot twists. I did guess a couple plot twists here, but I was also blindsided by a few others and just … phew. I had no more nails by the end of this book, because I’d chewed them all off. I expected, going in, that there would be backstabbing and betrayal, given the first book, and I wasn’t disappointed. But I was pleasantly surprised by the character arcs and some of the big reveals. The history in this world is so complex and convoluted, and it’s really starting to piece together in this book that not everything is quite as it seems. Perhaps my favorite part about that is how it impacts the characters, who have to come to grips with the realization that everything they’ve based their lives on wasn’t quite true. - The found family in this is just … *chef’s kiss* Since all the characters have basically lost family members or are separated from their family, they’ve built up this support system, as you do. We got a brief glimpse of them in the first book, but here? They really shine. They actually take the spotlight, and I am so okay with this, because I loved them all. I absolutely love banter, and the interactions between the characters really did me in here, and I found that I couldn’t help but love them. There are still a lot of mysteries about them, which is understandable given the line of work they’re in as spies and assassins, but this book does a wonderful job of peeling back the curtain, just a little, and showing the team working together. - Remember how I said I’m tired of love triangles, especially in YA, and really didn’t need this one? I take it back. It’s gotten interesting now. Okay, I will admit that the love triangle that had me so exasperated in the first book took a really freaking interesting turn in this book, and I’m so on board again. The thing about love triangles is that they often feel shoehorned in to add conflict, and the one in this book certainly does that … but in a way that feels much more genuine, more tied into the plot, and in a way that actually makes me stop and take notice because, gosh, emotions are complicated. I loved the more realistic turn the romance took in this book, where Esha really has cause to doubt her own heart and figure out what she wants, which is easier said than done. That’s all I’ll say on that, because honestly, it was a slow turn for me throughout the book, and I think it’s one of those things that you just have to read and experience yourself.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Xerxes

    This is one of the most UNDER-RATED gems of the fantasy novel settings that I’ve picked up. In the fantasy world which is traditionally Medieval European, we are increasignly seeing Chinese/Japanese fantasy is coming onto the forefront, along with African/Arabian inspired fantasy novels, this is another fantastic addition. This book is a combination of Avatar the Last Airbender and Game of Thrones mixed into one. It has the elements of YA tropes and it doesn’t attempt to change it. Which I like. This is one of the most UNDER-RATED gems of the fantasy novel settings that I’ve picked up. In the fantasy world which is traditionally Medieval European, we are increasignly seeing Chinese/Japanese fantasy is coming onto the forefront, along with African/Arabian inspired fantasy novels, this is another fantastic addition. This book is a combination of Avatar the Last Airbender and Game of Thrones mixed into one. It has the elements of YA tropes and it doesn’t attempt to change it. Which I like. Why do I like it? Because the relationship between the two characters, Kunal and Esha will pay off at some point. Throughout the novel, there is an intrigue of politics and backstabbing by rival factions trying to depose of a King. There’s exiled princes and long lost princesses trying to get their throne back. There is excellent world building on a scale that I am really impressed with. I can see the splendour of Ancient Indian cities similar to be described in Ancient Sangam Poetry. (Ancient Sangam Poetry refers to the Tamil Poetry of the South, in Ancient times around 1300 AD, where the Chola Empire conquered parts of South-East Asia) It is only a similarity, as the Pink City is inspired from the Pink Palace of Jaipur. There is definitve elements from Rajasthan and Rajput Culture as well. I was not impressed with Kunal and Esha’s relationship, because as much as I wanted them to be together…Esha is the Viper, an assassin style character that has lost much in her life. Kunal is a Senap, a solider who found his uncle assassinated in the previous book. And they are both young. Esha has never forgetten her love for Harun, and it seems before meeting Kunal, they would have been in an adequate relationship. Hence, I was always thinking that Kunal needed to find someone else because Esha’s past is complicated. I disliked Harun the most, but I understood his motives. There’s a whole bunch of complex relationships playing along here that I leave it to you – it all makes sense in the end. There’s a massive pay off at the end. I did feel that they are still too young and not mature enough yet to figure what they truly want. I get what Kunal did…and I really want to see how their relationship will work out in book 3. This novel should be celebrated for the fact, that with such ease it incorporates chariot races and shows the splendour of society. I like the new combination of a mythology that is very clearly inspired from Hindusim. In terms of characters that I think needed more scenes: Alok, Laksh, and King Mahir. I really liked them and felt they needed more scenes. Vaardan was an alright character, but I really felt I needed to see way more of his cunning. The pacing was slow in some cases, but towards the end it really felt me wanting to read on more. It’s def got the right pace and the right elements in hand. But I did agree with Kunal. All his life he’s been a solider, yet he wants more out of his life. What else can he achieve? I wonder how it will play out with Esha…but the way I’ve read this book feels like I can compare to this Kingdom of Liars by Nick Martell. Not in terms of plot, but the fact that the characters all are asking the same thing which reminds me of Iroh’s quote to Zuko: Who are you? And what do you want? Overall, a fantastic addition that I think needs way more attention. It’s a 10/10 from me and I do you to read this. Read Book 1 first, and then this. The payoff at the end of Book 2 will make your mind ponder with many questions. Oh and one more thing. As I am a reader that likes listening to music when reading. I was listening to Games of Thrones Soundtrack Dragons Theme (S7-8) and when I read through the ending, it fitted PERFECTLY. Every last moment. Every last word. The soundtrack Against all Odds fits rightly. I was hooked onto it. I just feel sadness for Kunal and Esha, and yet I still wonder: Harun will not stop at getting Esha back. Something tells me that this book series will grow much darker (not too dark) but just enough to make the heroes of this book become the villains. That’s my prediction. I hated it when at the end of Season 8, John Snow had to kill the Queen he loved. In this sense, the ending feels similar, but not too much. This is the start of an epic journey across an fantasy land that feels unique and something I haven’t read before – I feel immersed, and feel like there’s much more to this story than what is being shown. Book III will be the unraveling of this.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader

    This is a book two and there will be spoiler for book one (The Tiger At Midnight) in my review. I was a bit nervous to start this 450 page sequel, but I flew through it.  The pacing is great from the start. Kunal is working on his shifting and senses while he and Esha are hoping to stop the caravan they believe Reha to be in.  Things don't go as planned and Esha decides that they need to meet up with the team, Bahandu, Arpiya, Aahal, Frahan, and Harun.  They need to come up with a plan.  The carav This is a book two and there will be spoiler for book one (The Tiger At Midnight) in my review. I was a bit nervous to start this 450 page sequel, but I flew through it.  The pacing is great from the start. Kunal is working on his shifting and senses while he and Esha are hoping to stop the caravan they believe Reha to be in.  Things don't go as planned and Esha decides that they need to meet up with the team, Bahandu, Arpiya, Aahal, Frahan, and Harun.  They need to come up with a plan.  The caravan appeared to be well guarded, so they're even more sure that Reha was there.  Kunal goes back as a soldier to find out what he can undercover.  Even though he was betrayed by Laksh, Kunal decided to confide in his friend, Alok.  Kunal found out that he would need to go to Gwali for the Mela.  It is likely that the princess is being held in the citadel.  Alok decides to join Kunal. The group meets up to come up with a plan to get Reha.   Kunal doesn't feel like a full part of the team, but he goes in completely, even agreeing to enter a competition.  King Mahir, Harun's father, could tell that Kunal is Samyad and starts teaching him their history and how to control his changes.   During this time, Esha struggled with her emotions.  Is she Esha or is she the Viper?  She wants revenge for her parent's deaths, but if she veers off the plans, it risks her whole team.  She still has feelings for Harun and gets confused.  She also knows that she's falling in love with Kunal.  Can she betray her team by hiding things or will she betray Kunal?   "Kunal was saying she had a choice, that she could be the Viper or Esha. The question was, who was she?" Things are weird and off with people battling for power and change.  There are rebel groups and others around and it makes it hard to make alliances with anyone.  A lot comes out about the past and how the stories have changed over time.  Magic isn't even the same and very few people seem to know the truth.  Only the royals.  "Even ages ago, mankind couldn't control their greed for power.  Did this never end?  Would they always be stuck in this cycle?" There is a lot of information in the book, but the pacing seemed good for me throughout.  I was pulled in right away and the ending makes me want the next book yesterday.  There were some crazy things that came out and one was a big surprise for me.  I gave this book 5 stars.  Thank you to Wunderkind and Epic Reads for my review copy.  Quotes taken from arc and may change before final publication.  Warnings for a lot of death, blood, fighting, and betrayal.  

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rich in Color

    Review copy: ARC via publisher I greatly enjoyed Swati Teerdhala’s first novel “The Tiger at Midnight” and was bouncing on pins and needles waiting for the second installment to the series. I had high expectations for “The Archer at Dawn” and I can honestly say every single one of them were met. The strength of both “Tiger at Midnight” and “The Archer at Dawn” are the main characters Esha and Kunal. Both have very strong voices and are characters that everyone can relate to. Both have their own ag Review copy: ARC via publisher I greatly enjoyed Swati Teerdhala’s first novel “The Tiger at Midnight” and was bouncing on pins and needles waiting for the second installment to the series. I had high expectations for “The Archer at Dawn” and I can honestly say every single one of them were met. The strength of both “Tiger at Midnight” and “The Archer at Dawn” are the main characters Esha and Kunal. Both have very strong voices and are characters that everyone can relate to. Both have their own agenda to changing their world, which sometimes comes in conflict between the two of them and sometimes is aligned. And that is the beauty of their relationship. Of course, this causes tension in their romance and makes them really fight for each other, for what they really want. The push and pull between Esha and Kunal that was established in the first book is taken to another level in this second book as the two work to establish their relationship and what they really mean to each other. While “Tiger at Midnight” was more of a quest-like fantasy, “Archer at Dawn” is all the palace intrigue that allows us to learn more about the world. We get to know Esha’s fellow Crescent Blades more as well as her relationship with Prince Harun. We also meet King Vardaan and learn is not quite what his reputation is, which makes him a complicated villain. The court politics in play are so multi-faceted that there is no real way to predict who might even win. Then there comes a wonderful plot twist that was not telegraphed at all that made me just revel in how it caught all the main characters (and the reader) by surprise. It upped the tension ten-fold and led us into the third book which I wish I had already. I’m loving the world that Teerdhala has created, from all the characters, to the palace intrigue, the mythology that shapes the character’s beliefs, the setting descriptions, everything. I get so immersed in Teerdhala’s world as her storytelling is a blend of action and deep character moments. I loved “Archer at Dawn” just as much as “Tiger at Midnight” and I can’t wait for the next book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    "Mangoes. I bet he has mangoes." I'm calling 'The Chariot at Dusk' as the title of the third book. That phrase passed through this book and it's entirely fitting with the rest of the series. The Archer at Dawn is one of those in-between books, although not entirely as you'd expect. It has its good and its bad sides. Mainly, the setting and plot line differ enormously from Book 1. Instead of travelling all over the continent, seeing how two people keep meeting one another, this book is set in on "Mangoes. I bet he has mangoes." I'm calling 'The Chariot at Dusk' as the title of the third book. That phrase passed through this book and it's entirely fitting with the rest of the series. The Archer at Dawn is one of those in-between books, although not entirely as you'd expect. It has its good and its bad sides. Mainly, the setting and plot line differ enormously from Book 1. Instead of travelling all over the continent, seeing how two people keep meeting one another, this book is set in one place and is much more about politics and intrigue. I've always liked that aspect much in books, but somehow it didn't feel entirely satisfying here. Maybe because there are also other things going on. There... doesn't really happen all that much in the book, to be honest. It could have been shorter, I think? And it wasn't even as long as Book 1! I did see what Teerdhala did there with Adati. She tricked us all, I think, in believing one thing which turns out to be true... only to immediately come up with another twist. Nice one! However, the book wouldn't have suffered from some plot twists, if you ask me... And there's a bit of a love triangle. Bleh. Although I immediately have to admit it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected it to be: Apart from maybe five scenes throughout the novel, it's okay. I could have done without it, though. The biggest 'problem' this book has, if you ask me, is the fact that the enemies-to-lovers trope is finished, obviously. Esha and Kunal both know each other now, which makes their dialogues much less interesting and sassy. Thankfully, Esha does keep some of her sass, but not nearly as much as in Book 1. Let's hope that'll change. All in all, a fine book - but it could have been better. 7.8/10

  27. 4 out of 5

    Savannah Porter

    There’s not a lot I can say without spoiling The Tiger at Midnight, so let me just say that The Archer at Dawn takes EVERYTHING to the next level. The political intrigue is more tense, the characters have more dilemmas, the romance grows deeper, and the stakes are raised super high. I think I liked this book better than TTAM, especially the ending. Now I’m not so happy I have to wait a year for the final book. Such a great series so far. One of my favorites!! I can’t wait for more from Swati Tee There’s not a lot I can say without spoiling The Tiger at Midnight, so let me just say that The Archer at Dawn takes EVERYTHING to the next level. The political intrigue is more tense, the characters have more dilemmas, the romance grows deeper, and the stakes are raised super high. I think I liked this book better than TTAM, especially the ending. Now I’m not so happy I have to wait a year for the final book. Such a great series so far. One of my favorites!! I can’t wait for more from Swati Teerdhala.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gayatri Saikia | per_fictionist

    3.5 stars for the book! 4 stars for that wretched cliffhanger ending ! *mind blown*

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lulai

    It was such a fun sequel. What I really love about book one was the relationship between the main characters and I still love it in this sequel. The action was great just the good amount of surprises. I am veru curious about the next book it's gonna be epic.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Atharv G.

    Until the ending, this wasn't better than book 1. But the difference is that I'm invested now.

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