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Tiger Honor: 01/27/22

Tiger Honor

Tiger Honor by Yoon Ha Lee is the sequel to Dragon Pearl (2019). Sebin is the youngest member of the Juhwang tiger clan. They have been recruited to the Thousand World Space Forces on the same day that their clan learns that Uncle Hwan has been declared a traitor.

From Sebin's first moments on the ship they know something is wrong. But they're thirteen and homesick and in awe over this new path in their life and so they hesitate. That hesitation is all the time needed for things to go pear shaped. Before their first day on board is over, Sebin and the other recruits are the only hope to save the ship.

The Thousand Worlds universe is richly diverse built on Korean lore. Sebin is nonbinary (and not the only one). Besides tigers there are fox spirits, celestial beings, ghosts, dogs, and snakes. It's a rich universe that's full of familiar details but woven together into something new — something with potential to spawn numerous more stories.

Chart showing the progression on the Road Narrative Spectrum from Dragon Pearl to Tiger Honor.

Like Dragon Pearl, Tiger Honor is set on the Road Narrative Spectrum. While Min's journey in the first book is that of an orphan (figuratively), Sebin is traveling with family (33) and the burden of balancing family honor against duties to their ship's captain and crew. Family involvement ups the stakes and potential danger for Sebin. Their journey is home (66) — though what home is changes through the course of the novel. The route is the maze (CC) — as represented both by an unfamiliar ship and by machinations Sebin isn't privy to.

Five stars

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