Review: The Tigress and the Yogi by Shelley Schanfield (Sadhana #1)


The Tigress and the Yogi by Shelley Schanfield // VBC ReviewThe Tigress and the Yogi (The Sadhana Trilogy #1)
Shelley Schanfield
Published: Jan. 30, 2016 (Shelley Schanfield)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Reviewed by: Beth

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Mala is the daughter of a tanner—an outcaste girl who knows she is less-than. However, she also has a secret—the gods have spoken to her. In fact, they kept her safe as her father was killed, then when her mother was raped and murdered. As life does, hers follows a twisty path, from the young girl who was too afraid to name her mother’s killer, to a brutal killer herself…and then beyond. Woven throughout the story of Mara is that of Siddhartha, the Sakyan prince who would one day become the Buddha.

I grabbed The Tigress and the Yogi on a whim, and Im so glad I did. The writing is beautiful—almost poetic in places. Its a lovely combination of mythology, Buddhism, and magic that really drew me in. However, as in real life, with beauty always comes tragedy, and oftentimes horror and cruelty. There is an ever-present fear of rape for Mara and many of the female characters in this book, and beyond that, a few descriptions of such. However, it’s not gratuitous—it’s wrapped up in the truth of the times and the story itself.

The mythological elements were woven in extremely well, neither pushy nor so fantastical that it took away from the story. The tiger of the title is one of these elements, representing just one of the many facets of the god that makes her presence known to Mara, who must choose which facet she will follow.

The characters were fascinating to me, though I’ve always been curious about Buddhism anyway. The idea of weaving in the early life of the Buddha is wonderful, and as with any religious figure, carries more than a bit of risk for the author. However, Siddhartha is treated with utmost respect and honor here, and the way he is portrayed gives him a depth that can be hard to find in other stories about him.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone curious about it.

Sexual content: sex, rape

One Response to “Review: The Tigress and the Yogi by Shelley Schanfield (Sadhana #1)”

  1. H.A. Fowler says:

    You had me at “Buddha!” LOL Women’s issues, history, AND Buddhism? I’m SO there!


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