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!

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