Title: Tiger's Watch
Series: Ashes of Gold (Book 1 of 3)
Author: Julia Ember
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release date: August 2017
Cover design: Meghan Moss
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BOOK SUMMARY:Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as an inhabiter, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But when the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.
Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi sees a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander – a side that draws them to Xian.
When their spying reveals that everything the inhabiter's academy taught was a lie, Tashi faces a choice: save their country or the boy they've started to love? But while Tashi grapples with the decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn't question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabiter’s bond to their animal is for life – when Katala dies, so will Tashi.
Name: Tashi Pema
Born: A mountain village in the valleys near Tongsang
Status: Inhabiter student. Although they seemingly posess average abilities, Tashi is considered very special to the academy because a golden tiger chose them as a bond mate. Currently hiding in the Tongsang monastery.
Tashi was born in the remote mountain region of Shien. When they were eight, a travelling inhabiter who had come to bless the village's fields discovered Tashi and convinced their family to give them up.
Although an average student, Tashi made waves at the academy when Katala, a rare strawberry gold tiger chose them as their bond mate. Katala is considered a creature of legend by many in Shien, so when the city falls, the academy's leaders take extra precautions to send Tashi to safety.
From a young age, Tashi has chosen not to identify with one gender. Androgynous in appearance, Tash doesn't want to behave or think in a certain way based on gender. They are bothered by the concept of 'should' based on established norms. Tashi regularly changes their appearance according to what aspect of themself they wish to express. While in hiding, Tashi is often forced to pass as a boy at the monastery, something that causes them insecurity and stress.
At the monastery, Tashi catches Commander Xian's eye. They use their new position to spy and continue gaining information for the emerging rebel movement.
A world traveler since childhood, Julia has now visited over 60 countries. Her travels inspire the fictional worlds she writes about and she populates those worlds with magic and monsters.