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The Earth Tigers by Frances Pauli

Giant spiders vs. monster Wasps with a tribal people caught in the crossfire. 

The burrows of the Great Ones are stirring. Horatch, a T’rant scout, is sent into the jungles to find a promising candidate among the scattered tribes of humans. She must be brave, talented, and able to survive the tests ahead.

When he meets Milyi, his hopes soar, but just returning her to the Temple proves difficult. An ancient enemy has also awoken, and if the Wisps have their way, the Great Ones will remain a part of history, the T’rants will fall, and the humans will live as servants to the Wisp cults taking root in secret all across their world.

Note: Also hosted at the author’s website here.

Note: The Earth Tigers contains some graphic violence and harsh language.

A serialized novel, updating sporadically

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Listed: Jun 24, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

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Inventive and Gripping

By Palladian, editor, author of Super

Nov 22, 2015: What if the most intelligent, infrastructure building species wasn’t humans? What if humans merely served as the helpers for these other people? The Earth Tigers poses and answers these questions, and I found the outcome, in story form, to be a gripping read.

The story follows two main protagonists. Horatch, a T’rant, or a spider probably about the size of a small dog, has been given a quest to find a human to help his race rebuild some of their crumbling cities and to prepare for the return of what seems to be his race’s gods. He, in turn, finds Milyi, a young woman struggling to find her place in her village. She lives with her grandmother, who doesn’t seem to like her much, and has tried training for many future occupations, but has been found unsuited to all except becoming one of the tribe’s dancers.

The complication here begins due to the fact that humans do not suffer a spider to live, which causes a spiral of problems for the both of them. I really enjoyed how the author built up this story, and the way she drew both characters. I got a strong sense of the both of them, and liked how they ended up getting to know one another and work together.

I began the story meaning to read a sampling of the chapters on offer in order to give a first look review, but sometime later, after not being able to stop myself from pressing each button for the next chapter, at the end of those that had been published, wanting more. The author does a good job of building the story from the small beginnings described above, and then showing how the consequences of what the characters do draw more and more complications in their direction, as well as some stunning victories.

I don’t want to say any more about the plot for fear of spoilers, but I heartily recommend this story for anyone interested in speculative fantasy, especially those focused on alien/’other’ races, or coming-of-age fantasy. Even if you just like a good story, I can very much recommend this one; you won’t be disappointed.

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