Tiger Moon

Tiger Moon

3.7 4
by Antonia Michaelis, Anthea Bell

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How does a story of India begin? Does it begin with the three great rivers—the Ganges, the Yamuna, the unseen Sarasvati pouring her dreaming waters down from the snowy mountains to the hot, dry plain?
This bewitching story within a story, set in magical India, explores the power of narrative to change the course of lives. Raka, the


How does a story of India begin? Does it begin with the three great rivers—the Ganges, the Yamuna, the unseen Sarasvati pouring her dreaming waters down from the snowy mountains to the hot, dry plain?
This bewitching story within a story, set in magical India, explores the power of narrative to change the course of lives. Raka, the doomed young bride of a violent merchant, weaves a tale of rescue so vivid, it might just come true. She tells a servant boy the story of Farhad, a thief and unlikely hero, who must retrieve a famous jewel in order to save a kidnapped princess from a demon king. Farhad’s unforgettable companion on the journey is a wisecracking white tiger with an unnatural fear of water. It is their unusual and funny friendship, and the final sacrifice that they must make, that is the heart of this grand, beautiful novel about summoning the hero within.

F&P level: Z+

F&P genre: F

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In her U.S. debut, Michaelis tells a sweeping story about a thief-turned-hero named Farhad, who mounts a sacred white tiger and journeys across a desert to rescue the god Krishna's daughter from a demon king. Amid the chaos of colonial India, Farhad calls often on the Hindu gods, but different faiths live in close proximity. Among other people and places, Farhad is led to a beautiful, spiritual Englishwoman, to the Bodhi tree under which the Buddha found enlightenment and to an Islamic mosque. Farhad's quest is relayed as a story within a story, set into an overarching frame about a poor girl named Safia, married off to a rich man who may kill her when he discovers she is not a virgin. Readers may feel as if they've encountered one of the many tricksters populating this book when this thrilling frame first opens upon Farhad; a third of the novel will have elapsed before Safia reappears, just when Farhad's story is finally taking off. Fortunately, the evolution of the relationship between the sacred tiger and Farhad is ripe with emotion, and the eventual resolution between the two stories is satisfying. Michaelis's novel takes commitment, but proves thoroughly worthwhile. Ages 12-up. (Nov.)

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KLIATT - Ashleigh Larsen
This story within a story bears all the soulful qualities of great Indian storytelling. A young bride, Raka, is awaiting her fate at the hands of her dangerous, greedy husband. Her dreamy and defiant personality separates her from her husband's other wives, yet attracts a young servant named Lalit. Raka spends her last hours spinning him a tale of a far-off place in India where magic still exists and people are rescued. She describes to Lalit the hero of her story—a young thief who steals the amulet necklace of the gods, and is therefore given a mission to rescue Krishna's daughter from the demon king. The thief—and his most unusual companion, a sacred white tiger who is deathly afraid of water—must battle wind, water, and fire on this dangerous journey. The two struggle to survive their enemies who are hungry for the precious stone the young thief carries in order to make his rescue of the princess possible. YAs will enjoy the uncanny friendship between the boy and his fearful tiger. Reviewer: Ashleigh Larsen
Children's Literature - Amalia Selle
The culture, religions, and traditions of India are the lifeblood of this story. In this world, as the line between realism and the otherworldly blur, even a magical snow-white tiger and the daughter of a god take believable forms. Truth and story weave seamlessly together, as a young bride, sure of her approaching death, chooses to tell the tale of two unlikely rescuers. When face-to-face with the god Krishna, Farhad, a petty thief and master of disguise, agrees to undertake a desperate mission to save Krishna's daughter. His companion, a magical tiger, is strong, invincible, and deathly afraid of water. Miles of India must be crossed in order to gain the ill-fated jewel that will ensure the princess's release. Deserts are crossed, sandstorms endured, and monsoon rains survived, but at the end, the unlikely companions discover the truth all stories are made of and the sacrifice truth demands. As the young bride casts a spell over her listener, so this story engrosses the reader. While the story contains numerous cultural lessons, several questionable passages make this more suitable for young adult readers. Reviewer: Amalia Selle
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up

In this fairy tale of India set during the early 1900s, Raka, a young bride who is awaiting certain death at the hands of her evil husband, spins a story for Lalit, a servant in the Rajah's house. In her tale, a con man and a thief, Farhad, is recruited to rescue the Hindu god Krishna's daughter from marriage to a demon king. He is aided by a sacred white tiger and carries a bloodstone that almost causes his death. As the two stories intertwine, the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred. The plot is fast paced and exciting, and the story gives an excellent overview of the conflicts of India at the time of British occupation, and of Hindu religious beliefs. The factual background adds to the overall feel of a wildly colorful and diverse country. The character development is also admirable, as readers see Farhad grow from a scared 16-year-old thief to a hero willing to die for his cause. What is most amazing about the story is the beautiful language and phrases that make readers feel as though they are sitting in India listening to Raka's story. A distinguished book for older fairy-tale fans.-Jennifer-Lynn Draper, Children's Literature Consultant, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Lindsey Bollinger
In early twentieth-century India, a wealthy merchant named Ahmed Mudhi is on a journey when he sees a young girl daydreaming under a tree. Captivated by her beauty, he immediately finds the girl's family and arranges to marry her that evening. Thus Safia becomes the eighth wife of a man she has never met. Safia knows it is only a matter of time before her husband finds out her secret, a secret that will surely mean her death. As she awaits her fate, Safia tells the story of Farhad, a clever thief turned hero on a quest to save a beautiful princess from marriage to the demon king. Like a Hindu Scheherazade, Safia weaves her tale of magic, adventure, and romance in an attempt to save herself. As the two stories intertwine, Safia and Farhad learn about courage, love, and what it means to be a hero. Reviewer: Lindsey Bollinger

Product Details

Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.50(d)
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Antonia Michaelis has lived and taught in India. She is the author of several award-winning books published in her native Germany, where she lives. Anthea Bell is the translator of Cornelia Funke’s bestselling Inkheart books. Her work has won the Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation, the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize, and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. She lives in Cambridge, Great Britain.

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Tiger Moon 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lindsey_Miller More than 1 year ago
Skillfully interlacing Indian mythology with its history and culture, this ornately woven tale shows the beauty and power of India during the twentieth century. Michaelis's captivating words, blossoming somewhere between poetry and prose reveals the influence of storytelling. Strong themes of redemption, rebirth, forgiveness and personal conviction toward the greater good are delineated powerfully throughout the text, and even though some of the content is for more mature audiences, its handled in a way that makes things like sexuality, evil, and death appear symbolic in the overall journey toward life and growth. I recommend this text to all readers 14+. -Lindsey Miller, www.lindseyslibrary.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago