I was anxious to read Tiger's Quest because I had heard that Kishan got to play a bigger role. Remember him? The black tiger who turns into the younger of the two princes? He of the beautiful golden eyes and smart mouth? *grins* Yeah, I have quite a thing for Kishan and I was excited that I would get to see more of him.
So, did Tiger's Quest measure up to the very high standards that Tiger's Curse set for it? Read on and find out.
The Plot: (Summary from GoodReads)
Back in Oregon, Kelsey tries to pick up the pieces of her life and push aside her feelings for Ren. But danger lurks around the corner, forcing her to return to India where she embarks on a second quest--this time with Ren's dark, bad-boy brother Kishan, who has also fallen prey to the Tiger's Curse. Fraught with danger, spellbinding dreams, and choices of the heart, TIGER'S QUEST brings the trio one step closer to breaking the spell that binds them.
I felt that the way that Tiger's Quest was plotted was very interesting. We pick up right where Tiger's Curse left off, with Kelsey back in Oregon, and the story goes from there. We get to see Ren and Kelsey together again, never fear! And it's totally fabulous. But then Ren is taken by people sent by Lokesh and Kelsey and Kishan must go on quite an amazing journey to find the next item that will help break the curse, hoping it will lead to another vision which might tell them where Ren is so he can be saved.
I liked the way that the plot in the book flowed. I really enjoyed getting to see Ren win Kelsey back and then see how determined she was in doing everything in her power to rescue him. I liked seeing the similarities and differences of Kelsey being with Ren on a quest in comparison to Kelsey being with Kishan on one. I also liked the overall structure of the quest in this book, and found the mix of mythologies that Collen Houck used very interesting. I also like the fact that Kelsey is becoming a far more capable heroine. She actually got to genuinely kick some butt this time. Much better!
The only other thing that I really need to warn readers about is to be ready for another heart-wrenching ending that will likely make you cry. I liked this one a lot better, though. It actually carries far more interesting plot possibilities then what happened in TIger's Curse and it makes me very anxious to see what will actually happen in Tiger's Voyage.
We get to see some genuine growth in Kelsey during this book, in part because she finally clues in that Ren really is madly in love with her, and in part because as the story continues the stakes become much higher. She became braver, more sure about what she wants and more willing to fight for what she believes in. In short, she lost a great deal of the passivity that concerned me about her when I read Tiger's Curse. I had hoped this would happen, that since this is a series that we were going to see Kelsey grow, and it's nice to see that this actually happened.
Seeing Ren and Kelsey together and happy has definitely made me a much bigger Ren fan. I liked him a lot in Tiger's Curse, but seeing him with Kelsey in Tiger's Quest really cements the fact that they do deserve to be together. They really seem to fit together perfectly and I caught myself thinking, "Man, I would love to be the one in *that* situation" several times. The whole aspect of him winning her back was both amusing and swoon-worthy and they, as a couple, are adorable.
Kishan was his usual charming self. It is interesting to see him and Kelsey together, and I felt genuinely sorry for him since he had feelings for her but she was totally devoted to Ren. While it might be interesting to see the two of them together, I sort of feel bad for Kishan. I do not feel that this is an even love triangle. I am pretty sure that Kelsey is meant to be with Ren. With this being the case, I hope that as the series continues that we will eventually see Kishan have some kind of happiness. He is an awesome character and he truly deserves it.
Whether her characters are making me go "Aww!" or making me reach for a tissue, there is no arguing that Colleen Houck writes fabulous romance into her books. Kelsey and Ren steal every scene they are in together. When the two of them are involved, whether it is a happy scene that is making me smile or a sad scene that is tearing at my heart, I cannot put the book down. They have incredible chemistry, and an incredible connection that leaps off the page.
In Tiger's Quest we have the addition of an interesting love triangle between Kelsey and Kishan. While I do not think that this will ultimately threaten the main pairing, I think that (since this appears like it's going to be a lengthy series) this is somewhat that will likely be explored and that will certainly not be dull. I really felt for Kishan during the quest, and it is clear that while he is a totally different guy from Ren, that his feelings for Kelsey are genuine.
I had a great time reading Tiger's Quest and I feel that it is a worthy addition to the series. It was fun to get to be reunited with characters that I really love and a story that I am really interested in. As with finishing Tiger's Curse, finishing Tiger's Quest makes me want to open Tiger's Voyage and read it right now. (Yes, even neglecting my Moon Dance edits.) If you haven't started this series yet and you love fantasy, romance and mythology do yourself a favor. The Tiger Saga is, in my opinion, a series not to be missed.