Red Tigress by Amélie Wen Zhao
Released: March 2, 2021
"The second book in an epic fantasy series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to liberate her empire from a dark reign."
Ana, Ramson, and the gang are back and just as great as they were in the first book (which you can read my review of here)!
Following the events of Blood Heir, in Red Tigress we follow Ana deeper into the new regime that Morganya has created. Needing all the allies she can get before she can reclaim her throne, Ana meets with old friends and new, traveling to distant lands--only to find out that Cyrillia isn't the only place that's corrupt. To get the alliance she needs, she must first uncover the mysterious happenings in the Kingdom of Bregon. But to do so, Ana must come to terms with her Affinity, embracing it for everything it can do rather than hating it. Can Ana save Bregon and her own kingdom, or will her hope for peace end in blood?
With POVs from Ana, Ramson, Linn, and Kais, we really get to see the story unravel from multiple perspectives which sets up the plot nicely. There were so many twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end.
While I think we delve away from the Anastasia-like retelling we got from the first book, it didn't make me like this book any less! I think it moves on to hold its own agency without that retelling, and I really enjoyed it.
Ana really grows throughout this story. As she learns more about her Affinity, she learns more about herself, and in the end its all about accepting who you are. That journey is really important for her character, and I enjoyed seeing it unfold.
Ramson--oh, Ramson. I loved learning more about him and his background. He becomes more rounded out as a character and it only makes me love him more. It's really great unraveling what makes a character who they are, and this second installment does a wonderful job of doing that for its characters.
I really loved the additions of Linn and Kais as really main characters in this book. They are so opposite, yet so similar. I love them so much, and their relationship serves as a great juxtaposition for what two people will do for who they love.
Also, I was really excited to learn more about Affinities and what all they are capable of. I really enjoyed that from the first book, and I really wanted to explore them more in this one so I'm glad that readers get a larger glimpse into this magical, bloody world.
As always, we love a good love story--especially messy ones--and Zhao delivers. While I never expect Ana and Ramson to just fall in love and give up everything their fighting for, that doesn't mean that's not what I kind of wanted to happen anyway. This will-they, won't-they thing is really starting to get to me because I just want to shake them silly until they decide to just be together already! Alas, I understand why I don't get that, but a girl can dream.
And that ending! I can't say how glad I am that we're still in for another installment in this epic trilogy!
If you were a fan of the first book, you're going to love this second installment just as much! Hold on to your hats because revolution is coming, and boy does it get bloody.