The Tiger’s Daughter eBook Ò The Tiger’s Kindle

Even gods can be slainThe Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach―but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people Now their border walls begin to crumble and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forestsAway on the silver steppes the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own having bartered a treaty with the empire exchanging inheritance through the dynasties It is up to two young warriors raised together across borders since their prophesied birth to save the world from the encroaching demonsThis is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior Barsalayaa Shefali a spoiled divine warrior empress O Shizuka and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil

10 thoughts on “The Tiger’s Daughter

  1. says:

    Let me preface this review I wanted to love this book I wanted to see well developed Asian lesbians that has been my dream for so long To see queer representation that looks like me I was so excited to read the first four chapters released early by Tor And I cannot express how absolutely disappointed and disgusted I am at this singular example of everything it is to experience racism as a Japanese woman The shorter one—who was squat and had only one braid—only snorted I don’t know why “Rice eater” is not a piercing insult “Ricetongue” is far worse And on top of that they called both Kenshiro and me pale faced when only Kenshiro is pale I’m dark as a bay Anyone can see that It would take me paragraphs to unpack everything offensive in just this passage the context of thousands of years of animosity between East Asian cultures as well as the colorism that is still very prevalent in modern East Asia can’t be neatly summed up Ricetongue I literally cannot Did anyone run this by a sensitivity reader?????To a Japanese reader it shows Rivera’s clear ignorance of our culture though honestly I shouldn’t be surprised Her author bio on her own website speaks of her interest in Japanese culture as something consumable FYI watching Magical Girl Utena does not make you an expert in Japanese cultureEven the name of the main character is enough to give me pause In the very first sentence of Chapter 1 we are introduced to Empress Yui a name that is confirmed in later chapters to mean “alone” Right off the bat Rivera is using Japanese words in her fantasy novelSo why is this a problem? If a book is set in Japan why should the author not use Japanese words?If Rivera were writing historical fiction that would be appropriate But this is not historical fiction by any stretch of the imaginationThis book is set in Hokkaro a badly concealed analogue for Heian era Japan And if you thought the word Hokkaro sounds an awful lot like the very real Japanese island of Hokkaido you aren’t far offRivera does this constantly changing a letter or a syllable here or there and expecting her readers to applaud her originality The honorifics of san and tan become sun and tun The Mongolian drink of fermented mare’s milk kumis becomes kumaqI find it somewhat ironic that Empress Yui’s name among the Qorin people Rivera’s badly concealed Mongolian analogue is Barsatoq which apparently means “Tiger Thief” It’s nearly self aware as The Tiger’s Daughter is a blatant example of outright thievery from Japanese Chinese and Mongolian culturesBefore her ascension to Empress Yui’s name was “O Shizuka” which is strange on a number of levels For one shizuka means “quiet” or “gentle” in Japanese which is hardly the sort of name you’d expect for a Warrior Empress as she is described in the book’s summaryFor another the honorific prefix O お which is used to exalt or make a word lovely is something a Japanese speaker would never refer to themselves as which O Shizuka does and often You might refer to your own mother as okaasan おかあさん as a sign of respect and someone else’s mother is always given the formal word but generally when speaking of your own mother the word haha はは is used To do otherwise is to seem boastful or arrogantRivera also takes other Japanese words such as kami or naginata to fill in the gaps of her fictional setting The result is a strange mixture of the familiar and the bizarre and it comes with some rather troubling implications namely that Japanese is so exotic a language as to be interchangeable with fictional words or worse fictional itselfBut wait It gets worse Because we also have examples ofHokkarans rely on numbers and superstition than they rely on sense so when you popped out of your mother’s womb on the Eighth of Ji Dao the whole Empire boomed with joyMy mother arrived on the twenty second of Tsu ShaoThose words are distinctly Chinese and according to google “Ji Dao” actually means “to knock down” so if Rivera hoped to make up vaguely Chinese sounding words she didn’t bother to check if they already had a translationDoes Rivera think that there are no Japanese words for the names of months? Japan used the Chinese lunar calendar pre Meiji Restoration but in the 4 chapters I read we are not given any reason to believe that the Hokkaran calendar is a lunisolar oneThere’s also this little snippet which carries a lot of East Asian historical context an outsider might missMy tutors won’t tell me why they don’t like Qorin but I’ve heard the way they talk about your people I’m five years old I’m not stupid They don’t like Xianese people either but they’ll wear Xianese clothes and play Xianese music all the timeThis is horrific on a number of levels The Xianese are obviously meant to play the China analogue to Hokkaro’s Japan Combined with the Chinese inspired names of the month it seems MsRivera has misinterpreted the exchange of culture between Japan and China as “Japan copied China”We adopted the Chinese writing system but we made it our own Our version of Buddhism passed through China into Korea into Japan is not like China’s Buddhism We traded in silk but we had our own forms of historical dress and we do not interact with Confucianism in the same way Chinese culture doesI shouldn’t be surprised After all Rivera has made it her career to copy paste East Asian culture No doubt she thinks Japan would do the sameAnd that’s just one issue The context of that paragraph is explaining the Hokkaran Japanese mindset towards the Xianese Chinese and Qorin Mongolian peoples The historical context of thousands of years of war are not something to be used lightly in a fantasy setting Have another exampleNo one writes to her in Qorin No Hokkaran courtiers bother learning it Horselords are beneath them and thus there is no reason to learn their tongue It’s the same reason only Xianese lords learn to read and write that language the same reason Jeon is a cipher than a tongue the same reason one only ever reads of Doanese Kings in faded musty scrollsThere are still people living today who remember the Second Sino Japanese War Does the Rape of Nanking ring a bell? It should because as much as Japan likes to deny it happened it was one of the largest incidents of mass murder and mass rape in history and it was all done to fuel Japan’s Imperialist agendaOne of the newer pages scurries to the threshold He’s wearing black and silver robes emblazoned with Dao Doan Province’s sealAgain we have a Chinese sounding name of a province of this Hokkaran Empire We don’t know for sure if this is a conquered province or not but considering the nomenclature doesn’t fit with a Japanese aesthetic it’s fairly easy to assume soI am proud of my Japanese heritage but I will never take pride in Imperialist Japan And neither should anyone else There is no glory to be found in genocide and conquest That will forever leave a stain on our history and for Rivera to whitewash the atrocities committed in the name of that Japanese Imperialism does a disservice to those both dead and living who are still suffering its effectsOur animosities cannot be boiled down to elves vs dwarves levels of petty dislike History will not permit Rivera cannot even keep her character descriptions from being fetishizing and racistI liked touching your hair It’s so much thicker than mine Shizuka and so much glossier I wish I still had that lock of hair—I treasure all my remnants of you but to have your hair in a place so far from homeI have my mother’s round cheeks which you always seemed to have an unending fascination for I have her wavy hair her skin her height her bowleggedness her large hands her grass green eyes But of all the features on my wide flat face my nose stands out It is narrow pinched and begging for a fist to reshape it My father’s stamp on meFor the record? No Asian woman would ever refer to herself as “flat faced” That’s an insult that’s often hurled at us for not conforming to Western ideals of beauty We also have an example here of a half Hokkaran half Qorin character facing racism from her own people Asian on Asian racism which carries far weight than the average biracial story of “where do I belong?”The last example is perhaps the smallest and the least significant in the grand scheme of things But it was at this point that my heart broke completely because Rivera has no idea of what it means to hear a Japanese coded woman say this'Why not a naginata?You scoffed “The weapon of cowards” you replied “The weapon of those who think our only enemies come from the North”Considering the entire novel is about the adventures of a Japanese coded Warrior Empress I find it hard to believe the author did not once google “Japan Female Warrior” If she had Rivera would know of the Onna bugeisha an order of women warriors whose signature weapon is you guessed it the naginataThe naginata was the weapon of choice for Japanese women because of its superior reach compared to a sword which could offset the disadvantages of generally having less upper body strength than men With it Japanese women could protect themselves or their families and defend their homesSome of Japan’s most famous legendary women were onna bugeisha Empress Jingu the very first Japanese Empress Tomoe Gozen who fought and was recorded in the Tale of Heike during the Genpei War Hojo Masako known as “The General in Nun’s Habit” who fought to change 13th century Japan’s inheritance laws so that women could inherit equallyThe naginata is not and never will be the weapon of cowards and O Shizuka’s rejection of this is a gross act of misogyny when taken in the context of Japanese culture None of the information listed above is obscure A simple google search will reveal Wikipedia articles on all of it and Rivera has no excuseI’m so tired of this I’m so tired of Doctor Strange and Ghost in the Shell I’m tired of seeing Iron Fist and being told to be grateful for what little scraps of representation we receiveAnd the worst part? Somewhere out there an East Asian woman is trying to get her story our story published And yet this is what slips through the cracks The stolen story of a girl named “Tiger Thief”