Sunday, November 14, 2010


Tyger Tyger (Goblin Wars, #1) - Kersten Hamilton
Genre: YA Fantasy
# of pages: 305 (ARC)
Publisher: Clarion, Harcourt
Received for review from Harcourt

I realize I'm one of the last reviewers to read Tyger, but the waiting and anticipating only made me more curious and eager to devour this novel - and I sure did!
Every once in awhile, I type something on this blog that sounds a little something like this:
"I've never read anything like this before!"/ "This is seriously unlike anything I've ever read before!"
And I mean it every time I say it. And I mean it now. Tyger Tyger should not be lumped in with all those other fantasy books out there that include faeries and other creatures similar to or somehow related to Celtic mythology. Really, this book is worlds away different from anything I've ever read. As you can probably tell, I really like "different."
Tyger is a book that has incredible strength in its fantasy universe. For one thing, it draws heavily from Celtic mythology...which is extremely hard to do. Celtic myths, I think, are some of the hardest myths to "crack," explore, and turn into a fun but equally noteworthy story. And Kersten Hamilton did just that. I love her portrayal of Mag Mell, the bean sidhe, and the legends of the Finnian Cycle. And you just can't go wrong with such an enigmatic and captivating character like the legendary Finn Mac Cumhaill. *What* a character! Ohh, I definitely have a new Favorite Crush of 2010!
Characterization was so well-done. Teagan was a great character for me to get behind, follow, and root for. I loved her family (and "extended family") also--definitely made proud to be Irish! The supporting characters were so fun and entertaining - there's something about Abby that just cracked me up. What a great friend! I think that the character that made the biggest impression on me was Teagan's younger brother, Aiden. Yall, this is the coolest 1st grader I have ever met!
I think it's really interesting that the little kid character seemed to be the most (or one of the most) "powerful" characters in the novel. Ahh, Aiden is the perfect little Irish boy: adorably sweet but quite a lil' spitfire, too!
And Mamieo, Finn's tough-Irish Traveler granny? Give her a Scottish accent and she's a perfect caricature of *my* grandmother!
(My mom's reading my ARC now, and she just read one of Mamieo's lines and said, "That's sounds JUST like Mimi!)
The story was exciting, the characters were memorable and cheer-worthy, but what makes Tyger so special and unique is its rich mythological tone. I've never read any book that incorporates Celtic myths so effortlessly. And don't you just love it when you get the feeling that authors really did their research? I was incredibly impressed with the amount of detail that was given to this tale. Hamilton is a master storyteller who really knows how to weave a brilliant, breathtaking story. She gives you everything you need and leaves out nothing. Read Tyger because it's an excellent book, read it because it's fun and it's getting loads of great reviews, but if you need another reason: read it because it's just different.
Quick Say:
If you're tired of the "same old, same old" faerie stories (faerie...banshee...Seelie...*yawn*), if you're bored with fantasy folklore that just seems so overdone, if you're tired of roadkill paranormal creatures and blase characters...
I have the perfect holiday book for you! Get Tyger Tyger, read it, love it, and then wait around anxiously with me for the sequel!

14 shout-outs!:

La Coccinelle said...

Thanks for the review! I contemplated requesting this one from NetGalley, but never got around to it. I love Celtic mythology, so I'll have to put this one on my wish list!

Natalie said...

You might be "one" of the last reviewers of this book, but you're definitely not the last! Lol. I still haven't read my copy yet. I swapped ARCs with another blogger way back, but I have to get through my review pile before I read any of my other books. So glad to hear you thought so highly of it though!

Adriana said...

Yay! I'm so glad you loved it. Abby was definitely a fun character, I hope there's more of her in the next book. Aiden and his fear of Elvis impersonators was so adorable! Fantastic review, Amelia! Aren't you so excited for the sequel now??? I know I am. :D

Nic @ Irresistible Reads said...

Great review. Tyger Tyger does sound like an interesting and unique concept.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am a new follower now :)

Reading Lassie said...

Wonderful review, Amelia! This book is on my wishlist, can't wait to read it. :)

Mari - Escape In A Book said...

I haven't read my copy yet, but I do hope I love it just as much as you did. Great review :)

Savannah said...

Glad to hear you like it. It took me awhile to get into it. It was a little slow paced and confusing in the beginning. Nice review :)

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed this one, Amelia! I've been hearing some mixed things, and it's nice to see a great review :)

Anonymous said...

amazing review Amelia. Oh wait, you must be *so tired* of that line. Oh well, it IS amazing

Unknown said...

This sounds fabulous! Thanks for the great review, Amelia.

Tales of Whimsy said...

I LOVED this one too!
Have you seen my contest!
You SO gotta check it out.

Tales of Whimsy said...

PS I want to meet you mimi and love that you mom is reading this now.

Unknown said...

Well, with a review like that, how can I NOT want to read this book. Not only is my family Irish (Dad grew up there) but I LOVE the mythology and even included it in my book coming out in April. Can't wait to read this one.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

So glad to see you loved this book as well. :) It really is one to keep an eye on and enjoy. This is even one I will go buy the hard copy of to have and share with any fellow readers that visit, so they go buy it as well. ;)

Great review!

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