Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck

Houck, C. (2011). Tiger’s Quest. Canada: Sterling Publishing Co.

ISBN-13: 978-1402784040

Genre: Fantasy, Animals, Magic, Romance

Reading level/ interest age: 15+

Plot summary:

This is the second book in the Tiger’s Curse saga. Ren and Kelsey begin their quest to end Ren’s curse when they end up bumping into Ren’s brother, Kishan. Unlike the kind, caring white tiger Kelsey has grown close to, Kishan is every bit as moody as his black tiger form suggests. Ren wants nothing to do with his brother but Kelsey is intrigued at the possibility of having more help. Plus, Kishan can’t be that bad, he’s such a charmer! Having two tigers as protection sure is nice. 

Relations between the trio get off to a rough start and just when things begin to look as if they might be getting better, Ren gets captured! Kelsey and Kishan have to halt their progress and rescue Ren. The two become closer as Kishan opens up about his past. Kelsey learns that appearances can be deceiving as Kishan is not as tough as he appears. They manage to successfully rescue Ren but then discover that he has been tortured and cannot remember Kelsey at all! Kelsey will have to make a choice of whether to pursue her budding relationship with Kishan or nurse Ren back to health. What would you do?

Reader’s annotation:

Ren and Kelsey need help completing their quest to break the curse. Enter Kishan, Ren’s brother with a dark side, and a very large chip on his shoulder. Will Kishan be more help or hindrance?

Information about the author:

“Colleen Houck was born in Tuscan, AZ on October 3, 1969. She went to Henry Elementary, Gridley Middle, and Sahauro High School before attending Rick’s College (later renamed Brigham Young University – Idaho) in Rexburg, Idaho, where she attained her Elementary Education associate’s degree. She met her husband, Bradley Houck, by going on a mission for her church and serving deaf people using ASL – American Sign Language. They met in the Missionary Training Center. A few years of playing cat and mouse later, they were married.

“She’d been inspired by Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (people, don’t groan or snicker – you know you liked the story too) and, after getting sick of waiting year after year for other books to come out, she grabbed a pen, paper, and started writing. Voila, the tiger princes were born!” (EDUBlogs.com, 2014).

Curriculum ties: N/A

Booktalking ideas:

1.       What do you think about love triangles?
2.       If you were stuck in a love triangle, how would you handle it? Do you think your partners would be ok with it?

Critical evaluation:

Tiger’s Quest is full of small snippets of poetry and the characters sometimes write poems as well. This is a fantastic way to expose readers to a different writing from and perhaps get them interested enough to pick up a book on prose. Though the poems included in the novel could have been selected better, they are easy for readers to understand their meaning and are all from prominent poets.

Like Tiger’s Curse, Tiger’s Quest is told in the first person perspective of Kelsey. She is an extremely naive character that can sometimes get on the nerves of readers for her absolute lack of common sense. Kelsey has no idea the damage she does to those around her and having to be on board for every selfish thought can sometimes be frustrating enough to make the reader want to jump ship.
However, the story is intriguing and exposes readers to rich culture of India. Should someone hold on long enough, Kelsey’s inner thoughts will even out as the book continues and she matures more.

Literary elements include allusions to a few Indian gods and goddesses. Shiva is portrayed as a mother figure to Kelsey and has more prominence in the story than Kelsey’s own parents. Shiva serves as a guide and watchman over the group as they complete their quest together. Kishan could be best described as an antagonist. His sole purpose upon introduction is to get underneath Ren’s skin. What begins to drive a wedge between the brothers is when Kishan begins to develop feelings for Kelsey. His role then changes to more of protagonist as Kelsey returns his feelings. The book is rife with dramatic monologue and dialog as well as figurative language to describe certain scenes.

Challenge issues: N/A

Why included:

Tiger’s Quest is the second book in a series that has a large focus on animals. I wanted to include this book because it could serve as a good transition from J Fic to YA for those children who loved reading stories about animals. There are many other genre the book falls into as well and I think it could capture the interests of multiple readers.


EDUBlogs.com. (2014). Meet the Author. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from

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