BOOK CLUB: The Queen’s Tiger

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Author: Peter Watt
ISBN: 9781760555351
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to read The Queen’s Tiger by Peter Watt.

Peter Watt is one of Australia’s best historical fiction authors. The Queen’s Tiger is the second book in the Colonial Series. I have actually read the first book, The Queen’s Colonial. It is not necessary to have read it to enjoy and follow the characters in  this second book. The back of the book gives a guide to the characters. Explaining that Ian Steele bears a striking resemblance to  Samuel Forbes.

They swap identities and lives. Ian was a blacksmith in Sydney dreaming of becoming a soldier and serving in Queen Victoria’s Army. While Samuel Forbes is from an aristocratic family, he doesn’t want to be in the army, but for him to inherit from his Grandfather’s estate he is required to serve 10 years in the  Queen’s Army.  Hence the swap of identities.

Ian is now known as Captain Samuel Forbes and has just finished fighting for Queen and Country in Persia and is then posted to India.

The book is set in Colonial India in 1957 where  there is about to be a rebellion. The sepoys turn on the English .The rebellion arises from religious, political and The British east India Company meddling in India’s politics.

Army surgeon Peter Campbell and his wife Alice ( nee  Forbes, Samuel’s sister) are in India on their honeymoon and are subsequently caught up in the chaos. We follow the rebellion through the eyes of Alice, Peter, and Ian. You feel like you are there witnessing the events.

Meanwhile back in England, Charles Forbes ( Samuel’s brother) suspects that Ian is an imposter. He thinks  Ian is trying to swindle the Forbes family of  Samuel’s inheritance. So the plot thickens as Charles plans to bring Ian down,  expose Samuel and be able to inherit Samuel’s share himself.

There is plenty to keep you interested! Will Ian and Samuel’s deception be found out, will Ian  even survive his  time in the army. The book is full of action, romance and family betrayal.

Thoroughly recommend this book. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Queen’s Tiger. You can read their comments below, or contribute to the discussion by leaving your own feedback.

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Queen’s Tiger

  1. The Queen’s Tiger by Peter Watt, and published by Pan Macmillan, is an adventurous historical fiction novel that is largely set in colonial India. It centers around the exploits of Ian Steele an Australian settler and skilled soldier.

    Ian bears an uncanny resemblance to Samuel Forbes, a rich English noble. The two made a pact to switch places in order to help Samuel meet the required military service he needs to receive a large inheritance. As a result Ian ( under the guise of being Captain Samuel Forbes) is thrust into several battles. Initially fighting the Persians in Iran, but for most of the story he battles in India, where a mutiny against the British East India Company is threatening to destabilise British rule.

    The story is quite convoluted as Ian’s and Samuel’s lives and family dilemmas are mixed into each others. Initially I found this quite confusing and had to re-read to keep track of who is who. However after the first few chapters things became clearer. I later discovered that this is the second book in a series, the first being The Queen’s Colonial. So perhaps things would have been a little less confusing if I had had this background. Nevertheless The Queen’s Tiger was able to be read as a stand alone novel.

    The blurring of lines between all the relationships is perhaps most apparent when Alice Forbes, (the real Samuel’s sister) is in India on honeymoon with her surgeon husband Peter when Ian (as Captain Samuel Forbes) arrives to help thwart the rebellion.

    Meanwhile back in England Samuel’s brother plots to keep the family inheritance all to himself…

    An interesting read which provides some vivid insight into colonial India and what the English faced when pitted against a mass rebellion of Indian soldiers.

  2. The Queens Tiger by Peter Watt is set in Colonial India in 1857.

    The story is partly a continuation of his previous novel The Queens Colonial, and I wonder if readers might be confused with the characters without having read this prior book.

    The story was a good read, but lots of switching between the characters involved, so one had to concentrate. I also felt the book lacked a bit of depth compared to a lot of Peter Watts earlier books (I have read them all).

    I enjoyed the historical background, but personally I felt the book was lacking depth. However, I will be waiting for the next one in the series to follow the outcome.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to read and review.

  3. Initially I was thrown by the complexity of the characters and the assumption of information, until I realised this was the second book. Whilst the author does a good job of bringing you up to speed in what happened in the first book, knowing that this was the second before starting would have made this easier to catch up as I kept thinking I must have missed something.

    Once you got into the swing of the jumping story lines the story was well written although did seem to gloss over some of the detail which would have added depth and flavour to the story.

    I generally do not read historical books but this was an entertaining story.

  4. The Queen’s Tiger is a fascinating historical fiction about love and family betrayal in times of war.

    Ian Steele (a blacksmith who wants to serve in the army for Queen Victoria) and Samuel Forbes (a man who does not want to be a soldier but must in order to receive his inheritance) decide to swap their identies to mutually benefit each other.

    It is 1957, and Captain Samuel Forbes (Ian) is posted to India to serve his country but a rebellion is about to take place. Alice, who is the real Samuel’s sister, is also in India with her newly married husband, Peter Campbell, an army surgeon.

    Meanwhile in England, Samuel’s brother, Charles Forbes is suspicous of Ian (the real Samuel). He is a very selfish man driven by money.

    I was a little confused at the start by the swapping of identities of Ian and Samuel but with real life characters and excellent descriptive scenery, Peter Watt has written a story that I enjoyed reading very much. I did not know The Queen’s Tiger was part of a series but it didn’t matter. Every page kept my interest and I had to keep reading to find out more.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillian for the opportunity to read this interesting book.

  5. The Queen’s Tiger by Peter Watt is the first book that I have read by this author and has left me with mixed feelings. I read it quickly although I did skim a bit as the writing style was a bit more formal than I like and I had difficulty in picturing some of the events.

    I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read “The Queen’s Colonial” first as that would have explained why and how Ian and Samuel swapped identities and introduced some of the other characters.

    The ending was a bit frustrating as I will need to read the next book in the series if I want to find out what happens to all of the characters and I am not sure that I want to.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for my copy for review and for introducing me to a new author.

  6. Peter Watt has written an enthralling book full of fact intertwined with his twists.
    If you hadn’t read the previous book, The Queen’s Colonial, do not worry,
    there is enough background refrences that tie in with this story.
    Watt is a master of description, as such you can picture yourself in his story.

    I think this is his best book so far and will appeal to lovers of historical fiction.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Pan Macmillan
    ( I hope this answers what I think, Cher 🙂 )
    for the oppertunity to read and review this wonderful book.

  7. Thankyou for the opportunity to read this novel. I enjoyed it so much.
    This was a great period novel. It follows on from the Queens Colonial, though it was a great stand alone novel.
    Ian and Samuel are in their respective positions as each other, Samuel living with his partner and Ian doing battle.
    Watt is a painter with words, he creates perfect pieces of art allowing for the reader to become emersed in the story line, apart of the story and feel compelled to read on (regardless of the time of day or night).
    I found the storying to be intreaguing, vibrant and enjoyed the to-and-fro action between characters and events.
    I do feel like people who havn’t read a period novel may find it heavy reading and some may also struggle with the jumping between events.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this novel but do recommended reading the first book before this to ensure you’re satisfied with the continued beginning of the story line.
    Thankyou also to Pan Macmillian

  8. Hi this is the first time I’ve read Peter watt books it wasn’t too bad I just found it a bit hard jumping events all the time thank you for the opportunity to read different authors

  9. The Queen’s Tiger is Book 2 of the Colonial series following on from The Queen’s Colonial. I would recommend reading book 1 , which I haven’t, to get a better idea of previous events.
    I really enjoy Historical Fiction and I have rarely read any set partly in India. I found the whole history side of this fascinating with descriptions of the anti-British swell of violence as the Indian forces rebelled against British rule.
    The Queen’s Tiger is a compelling read, fast paced and filled with action danger and intrigue. This was my first book by author Peter Watt and I will definitely be looking out for more books by him.
    Recommended for fans of military fiction.

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