I was excited to read this book as the last book in the series Tiger’s Destiny came out 6 years ago. The Tiger’s Saga was about two Indian Princes and brothers who were cursed to live as tiger’s until one of the Princes meant a young girl from Oregon. Over the next four books Kelsey, Ren and Kishan go through many trials and tribulations to undue the curse and defeat the evil Lokesh with the help of Goddess Durga. From the beginning author Colleen Houck said there would be five books in the series so it was surprising that the end of Tiger’s Destiny seemed to have wrapped up the story. What did Tiger’s Dream have to offer? To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement. This is what we all waited for? There were several times that I thought about stopping reading because I got so frustrated. I found some of it to be very problematic and uncompelling. The rest of the review is going to be under the cut as it’s full of spoilers.
Tiger’s Dream follows Kishan who has been left behind in time to become the Goddess Durga’s tiger Damon and he’s not happy about it. Kelsey and Ren are back in her time living their happily ever after. Kishan spends the first 200 pages feeling wronged as if he is owed something for all the suffering he has endured in his life. One day he gets a visit from his old mentor, Kadam who died in the previous book that he has traveled through time to tell Kishan and Anamika, the mortal who is also Durga that they have to also travel through time and to ensure certain events happen. Specifically, that the curse that Kishan and Ren had put upon them actually happens. It’s seems strange. Kishan first sees this as a chance to change his fate and be with Kelsey who he is convinced was truly in love with him and he deserves to be happy. Damn the consequences of how he could mess up the timeline. It was infuriating as it reeked of entitlement that he didn’t deserve and it started to be more about his brother always getting what he wants and less about what Kelsey wants. To be fair, Kishan didn’t have the benefit of the readers to know what Kelsey was thinking since he didn’t get to read the other books. If he did, he would have known that as much as Kelsey loved and cared for him, she would always love Ren more. That her and Ren were soulmates. Kishan definitely suffers from the younger brother jealousy. His whole life, he’s felt he came in second to Ren. Ren was the heir to the throne. Ren was to marry Yusabai. Ren was the better diplomat and more charismatic. Ren ends up with Kelsey in the end. I really didn’t have a lot of sympathy for Kishan. Especially when he had a good woman in front of him who clearly was in love with him.
The second thing that really bothered me was Anamika/Durga’s backstory. We first met Anamika when Kelsey, Ren and Kishan traveled back in time to aid Anamika and her army against Lokesh that ultimately lead his defeat and he end of the curse. Anamika was a strong warrior who had the loyalty of an entire army of men and would become the Goddess Durga. How did she get this way? In a trope that needs to end, she started to learn how to defend herself and learn to fight because she was kidnapped as a child and sexually assaulted. Once again the use of violence against women is used as a character motivation. We get a 100 pages of her trauma or to be more accurately we get 100 pages of Kishan trying to save her and feeling shame for not too. Her trauma became all about him. Yes, the narrative was told through his perspective and we do see how it effected her but this is Kishan story so her pain came in second to his. After finding out what she went through he starts to see her differently and starts to notice that he might for feelings for her. He never wants to push her into something she doesn’t want knowing what her experience has been which is admirable but at times misguided. There were multiple times that when she tried to tell him how she felt he would cut her off and not listen because HE wrongly thought he knew what she was going to say and HE didn’t want to hear it. HE didn’t think HE was worth her and didn’t want to hear her say it so he would cut her off. Again it was about him and want he wanted and not about her. And I have mentioned that Anamika was the Goddess Durga but at least twice, Kishan and mere mortal (yes with tiger power) had to save her. Ugh.
The rest of the book follows them as they create the trails of the past books and really I was just over it. The only reason that I finished it was because I’m stubborn and hate not finishing books that I’ve started. In the end, Kishan finally learned to forgive himself. That Kelsey truly loved Ren more then him and was happy that she ended up with him. He finally saw Anamika for who she was and learned what love really is. Yeah I guess. I’m so glad that another man got to have a redemption story thanks to the women in his life. I really wished The Tiger’s Saga ended after the fourth book because this was not worth the wait.