Tyger, Tyger (Series in September)

Book: Tyger, Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

Series: The Goblin Wars

Book Order: Tyger, Tyger* (1); In the Forests of the Night (2) - coming November 2011
* indicates a book I have read

Teagan Wylltson, also known as Tea, is a more or less average teenager with an artistic mother, a bookish father and a younger brother Aiden who has a gift for karaoke.  She has a great internship working with primates at the local zoo and is on track for a college scholarship, yet things start to get strange when Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives.  Introduced as a not-quite-cousin, Tea and her best friend Abby are pretty sure that Finn is trouble despite Tea's attraction to him.  Finn leaves almost as soon as he arrives, but when malevolent shadows strike out at Tea's family, she soon discovers that the Irish stories and legends her parents used to read to her are more than just myths and fantasy. She learns that Fear Doirich - the goblin king - is frighteningly real, and when he spirits away Tea's father it's up to her, Aiden, and Finn to mount a rescue.  Delving into a land that she barely understands, Tea must learn the truth about the stories she thought she knew, including the secrets about her own identity and the normal life she's always known.

Kersten Hamilton weaves an enchanting young adult urban fantasy story in this book.  I loved that it was set in Chicago with ties to Irish myths and legends.  Teagan was an exciting and dynamic heroine who displayed honest emotions - fear, concern, uncertainty, regret - while still possessing a bold spirit to face the challenges in front of her.  Finn was intriguing, a good conflicted hero, and I hope there is a bit more development of his character in the second book.  The supporting cast was also delightful and musically-minded Aiden and Teagan's friend Abby - who may have ties to the mafia - added a spark of humor to the novel.  Filled with action and imagination, the book was well paced.  At times chilling, funny, sentimental, and surprising Tyger, Tyger was a great blend of modern storytelling with Irish mythology.  Continuing on with William Blake's influence for a title, the second Goblin Wars book In the Forests of the Night (due to be released in November of 2011) promises to carry on the beautiful setup of this novel and hopefully deliver more of the same.  

Along with featuring this book for Series in September, I want to include it as part of my 2011 Fairy Tale Challenge (8 out of 12).  The incorporation of traditional characters from Irish legends make this a great work for those that love updated versions of classic stories.  I was originally attempting to blog one fairy tale a month, so I'm a little behind on my schedule, but I hope to still make 12 by year end.  I'll happily take recommendations for tales I should read, too!  And if you want more information about the genesis of the 2011 Fairy Tale Challenge check out the blog that started it and got me hooked on fairy tales once again: Tif Talks Books!

2 Response to "Tyger, Tyger (Series in September)"

  1. StephanieD says:
    September 29, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    I loved all the Celtic folklore in this book, as well as the fearsome world of the goblins. I still shudder thinking about it but can't wait to go back in the sequel!

  2. lisa :) says:
    September 30, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Yes! Some of the goblins and their world were darker than I expected but part of me would also LOVE to see the illustrations by Teagan's mom that were described in the book!

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