Fireheart Tiger

Tor.com. Feb. 2021. 112p. ISBN 9781250793263. pap. $13.99. FANTASY
At age 12, Bình Hai princess Thanh was sent by her mother and Empress to Ephteria as hostage. Now 24, Thanh has been back in her home country for two years, but she is still haunted by a mysterious fire that destroyed the Eptherian palace, a fire that seems to have followed her. While given a position in the court, Thanh knows her mother believes her to be silent and meek, a weakness that cannot interfere with negotiations with Ephteria now. Part of Thanh’s quietness stems from her past affair with Princess Eldris, who has come to Bình Hai as part of the delegation. As Eldris makes clear she wants Thanh back, along with other concessions, Thanh must decide if she will follow her first love, or a future flame. A fascinating story filled with strong female characters and lush prose, the relationships woven around Thanh evolve into themes of reclaiming the self and recognizing that love can hide the truth about people.
VERDICT Nebula and Locus Award winner de Bodard (The House of Sundering Flames) crafts a story of love, power, and what burns within. Highly recommended.
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