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Tiger Honor is the second book in the Thousand Worlds series written by Yoon Ha Lee and published by Rick Riordan Presents. It was released January 4, 2022 and might have a third book following it.

Synopsis

Sebin desires nothing more than to follow in the footsteps of their legendary Uncle Hwan and join the Thousand World Space Forces and one day captain their own battle cruiser. As luck would have it, though, on the same day Sebin finally receives their acceptance letter, Hwan is declared a traitor to the Space Forces. Turns out the tiger captain has been accused of stealing a magical ancient artifact known as ... wait for it ... the Dragon Pearl.

Now it's up to Sebin to clear their Uncle's name and restore honor to the Juhwang Clan. That is, if they can survive a deadly explosion of a ship Haetae and, along with three other cadets, uncover the true villain among them.

Development

This book was initially announced on Yoon Ha Lee's website[1], with more information included on a ReadRiordan article published May 19 2021[2]. May 21 ReadRiordan released an article with the cover and title[3].

Plot

Prologue

Juhwang Sebin sits in a holding cell aboard the Haetae after causing trouble for the crew, being thrown into the brige by Kim Min, calling them a traitor. They inspect the cell and wait for the opportunity to escape. As Sebin waits for the right moment, they think of what lead to their imprisonment.

News from the Space Force, Arriving at the Base, and Setting Out

Juhwang Sebin

As Sebin is training with their aunt Sooni, the two hear the mail arrive. Hoping it is an acceptance letter into the Thousand Worlds Space Forces, they go to get the mail, but their aunt tells them to wait as they are still training. After completing the session, the two race to the mailbox as tigers. Sooni gets to the mailbox first and the two find a package along with two letters from the Space Force, one addressed to Sebin and the other addressed to the Juhwang Matriarch. Sensing something is wrong, Sooni tells her nibling to take the packages and the letter and to head to the matriarch. After arriving at the Matriarch's residence, a building on the side of the clan's estate, and give her the package. They find Hwan's sword in the parcel and read the letter, Sebin listens in disbelief as they learn Hwan has betrayed the Thousand Words and is missing, a warrant has been issued and they learn Hwan will be court marshaled if found. Feeling betrayed and angered that the clan's honor has been tainted, the Matriarch calls for a meeting of the clan council with Sebin being permitted to attend if they only speak when spoken to. After Sebin's parents and a few great aunts and great uncles arrive,the Matriarch informs them that Heaney has been branded a traitor by the Thousand Worlds. As the council members are outraged for their clan name to be tarnished, the Matriarch calls Juhwang Hasun, a rear admiral in the Space Forces, for clarification. Hasun answers and confirms Hwan has indeed been branded a traitor for going after the Dragon Pearl. When the admiral is berated for not doing enough, Sebin speaks up saying they should not interfere to much. Upon realizing Sebin is in the room, the admiral congratulates them. Sebin is confused about when the admiral mentions a letter, the Matriarch forces them to read it out loud. Sebin learns they have been accepted into the Space Forces and are given a time and place to report to basic training. Some of the clan find it suspicious of the timing of the acceptance, but Hasun reassures the clan it has nothing to do with Hwan. After sighing off, the Matriarch says Sabin will join the Space forces, but will report to the clan first and do anything to clear the family name.

After bandaging their hand after the matriarch scratched it, Sebin is accompanied to the entrance of the estate by their mother and aunt, the others having family business to tend to. Sooni gives Sebin a small blade for luck as their transport arrives to take them to Starbase Borasekbam. When they arrive, Sebin is amazed by the architecture and locates an information kiosk to learn where to go. After arriving, Sebin is surprised by the other recruit, a human named Baik Jee, who they did not sense. The two are greeted by Ensign Hak and given forms to fill out to determine their position in the Space Forces. Sebin is hesitant to reveal their family name for fear of facing scorn for what Hwan did. Sebin finishes a few minutes before Jee and someone enters the room. The three focus on the newcomers, a tall person and a teenager girl accompanying them. The investigator introduces themselves as Special Investigator Yi and their assistant Kim Min. Yi tells everyone in the room to come with them as the investigators lead them to a hanger as the ship they are going to the, the Haetae, is being filled with supplies. Yi has Min explain that the mining colony of Norandol in the Fortress Sector is under siege from the neighboring Phoenix Empire and Sun Clans after wind storms on the planet unearthed Gate Crystals, crystals used to power star drives on spins to let them travel through gates. The investigators say they are to deliver aid as the Space Forces are to busily. Sebin feels the two are leaving something out but leaves it aside for the moment. When they receive word that the Haetae is ready to depart and Sebin requests they and Jee be sworn in. However Yi says someone on the ship will do it, annoying them.

After Sebin and Jee fill out more paperwork and get their military idies, they head to the Haetae. The cadets are impressed with the ship and board. The ensign letting people on takes notice of Sebin's family name, much to their horror, but Hak cuts her off before she can say anything. After boarding, a lieutenant takes Yi and Min to their quarters as Hak takes the cadets to Quartermaster Yang for uniforms and supplies. After getting what they needed, Hak starts to take them to their bunks and to meet the other two cadets, but decides to take them to a view port after an announcement says they will go into a gate soon. Sebin and Jee watch in amazement as they go through the gate.

Meeting the Cadets and Sabotage

After exiting the gate, Hak takes Sebin and Jee to meet the other two cadets. They find one, Euna, in the bunks, but the other, Namkyu, is in the rec room. Hak has Sebin and Jee change before having Captain Chaewon swear to two in. On the way to the office, Sebin catches Hwan's scent in the corridors, and determines if it is real then their uncle is on the Haetae. Sebin tries to tell Hak, but she does not believe them. They meet the captain and swear in, however while Jee's wearing in goes smoothly, Sebin's is interrupted by an explosion before it even starts and the captain orders everyone to their battle stations. Sebin, Jee, and Hak go into the corridors and run into Euna and Namkyu just as the security barricades close. Hak tells the cadets to return to their bunk until further notice and to contact lieutenant Han-gyeol if they have questions. They reluctantly obey and return to the bunks. Soon after they elect Namkyu leader and Jee hacks the security cameras to find that the captain and auxiliary commander are. The group tries and fails to contact anyone and Jee says all cameras are offline and an intruder alert has been triggered. Euna grabs a blaster she smuggled with her as Sebin transforms into a tiger. The brace themselves as the door opens.

Juhwang Hwan

The door opens to reveal Min, who is staying down the hall from them, holding a blaster to the cadets as Sebin reverts to human form. The cadets explain how they hacked into the security system and found no crew as well as failing to contact anyone. Min says she could not contact anyone as well and they set out to find someone. The group runs into Yi along the way, who confirms that it is sabotage and they pass unconscious crew members as they reach an elevator. Jee gets it operational and they head to the bridge. Before the doors open, Sebin tells Min and Euna to cover them. Sebin transforms into a tiger and sees a larger white tiger among the unconscious crew. They recognize it as their uncle Hwan and he tries to recruit Sebin to his side. However Sebin tries to reason with their uncle as Euna fires a flashgun. Hwan leaves and the others interrogate Sebin after realizing they know the tiger. They say he is their uncle Hwan as Namkyu confirms that the crew is all alive. Min blames it on her luck as Yi orders her to escort Sabin to the holding cells for interrogation.

Kim Jun

After being placed in a cell, Sebin tells Min everything they knew about their uncle being on the ship and Min has her doubts about their story. After Min steps aside to take a call, Sebin's mind starts to clear, they realize Min is a Fox Spirit and think she is behind the sabotage. When Min returns, she says she knows Sebin knows what she is as a ghost manifests. They read the name tag and realize the ghost is Min's brother. Jun tells his sister to go easy on Sebin as the young tiger spirit believes Jun might be inadvertently sabotaging the ship. After a brief conversation between the siblings, Sebin learns of Hwan's plan to weaponize the Dragon Pearl and starts to think Hwam might have had a hand in Jun's death. The siblings leave and, when Sebin thinks they are alone, they call out to see if anyone is their to inform them about Min and Jun. However Min reveals herself and calls them a traitor before leaving.

Joining the Saboteurs

As Sebin contemplates on the events of the day, as well as their future in the Space Forces, they try and fail to escape from the holding cell. They notice a breeze and Hwan appears before them. Hwan tells his nibbling about how Min snuck onto the Pale Lightning and stole a Dragon Pearl before it could be used for the glory of the Juhwang clan. Sebin listens as Hwan tells them how he has taken control of the Haetae by using its own security system against the crew and how he plans to use Min to make them obey him. They accept their uncle's offer to join him as he frees the young tiger spirit. As Hwan leads Sebin to the cargo hold, he says he has an associate who can help him control Min. When the two arrive, Sebin notices barrels that have the scent of living beings in them.

Sena and Shield

At Hwan's orders, the barrels morph to reveal forty outlaw mercenaries from the Sun clan along with a shaman and her dog. Hwan introduces them as Sena and her companion Shield. Sebin is taken aback by their uncle’s willingness to work with foreign outlaws, but tell themself that it is to clear his name. Hwan finds Min and Yi on the fifth level on a live feed and takes Sebin, Sena, and Shield with him. After tracking the two down, Hwan tells Sebin to wait for his signal. Shield goes out first followed by Hwan and Sena with Sebin going out last. Min shouts for Yi to run as she sees Sebin and declares she knew they were working for Hwan the whole time. Min fires a blaster at Hwan but Sebin blocks it and get hit in the forehead. Soon Sheild starts to drain the magic of both Min and Jun and the siblings revert to their true forms as Sena threatens to send Jun to the afterlife if Min does not work with them. Min reminds Hwan he was the one who sent her brother to his death before pleading with Sena to let Jun stay in the land of the living. Sena starts the cleansing ritual and talks softly to Jun as he agrees with her and starts to fade. Min continues to plead as Sena stops, revealing it to be a warning and and threatens to send Jun away if she disobeys. Min reluctantly agrees and requests she be allowed to return to human form. Hwan reluctantly allows her as Shield requests two treats to do so. Sena gives him the treats and he lets Min take human form. Min leads them to the medical bay, where the captain is being treated, as Sebin watches Min. The doors fail to open when they arrive, resulting in Hwan ripping them open.

Changing Sides

Blasters start to fire as Hwan has Min talk the crew down. They stop firing as Hwan has Min introduce him as the Haetae's new captain. Sebin sees, Hak, Jee, Euna, and Namkyu, along with the ship’s second-in-command Commander Ae under a sheet and the captain unconscious. After seeing the destruction he caused and realizing what their uncle has become, Sebin decides to betray the disgraced captain. Hwan tells Sebin to find Yi just as four mercenaries enter the room. After finding Yi on the security feed, Sebin requests the cadets accompany them. Hwan allows Jee and Euna to go but has Namkyu stay behind. After sending a mercenary named Six to join the group they set out. As they find Yi heading to the bridge, which Hwan has an ambush waiting, Sebin has the group split up with them and Jee going one way and Euna and Six, who said their name is Rokuro, go the other way. As they find video of Yi looking through a locker, Sebin and Jee head their to find no one there and Sebin falls through a hole in the floor and passes out.

Sebin wakes up strapped to a cot in Yi's office as they try to convince the special investigator they are on their side. Yi believes them and says they know about Min being a fox and being accompanied by her brother’s ghost when Sebin says a shaman is being used to threaten Min into working with Hwan. Yi also reveals that the entire mission to Norandol was a set up to use them and Min to lure their uncle onto the Haetae, as well as telling Sebin of the dark dealings his family has done. Sebin becomes enraged that they were used as bait until the door opens and Rokuro shoots Yi with Euna and Jee close behind. Sebin turns into a tiger to escape and the Sun clan mercenary tells them their gun does not kill at that range. Thinking fast, Sebin says them want to inspect the captain's office and pretends to send a message to Hwan about Yi. As the group reaches the office, Rokuro translates for the cadets and their captain, they tell the three they must hand over any weapons before entering. They reluctantly agree, however Sebin is stopped and told to hand over the knife their aunt gave them, they reluctantly do so and enter. After entering the office, Sebin has Jee hack into the security feed as Min's charm wears off on him. Sebin then turns into a tiger and tries to subdue Rokuro, who fires a blaster at their leg, and Euna, upon revealing the charm wore off on her earlier, melts Roruko's weapon with a concealed blaster. Roruko says they are with them as they feel Hwan has gone to far. Sebin tells the group about their connection to Hwan and that Min is a fox spirit being blackmailed by a shaman Hwan brought with him. Sebin tells Jee to try and get a message about their uncle being on board to the Space Forces High Command as they, Roruko, and Euna. Search the bridge. Before leaving, Roruko tries and fails to get Uchida to turn on Hwan. The group finds that Uchida and a guard is missing and assume the two are warning Hwan as Sebin, takes out the remaining two guards. They find the bridge empty. The three hear a noise on head back to the office and return just as Jee sets up the message. Sebin starts to type it out when they hear a noise outside the office.

The group manages to send it out just as they realizes the mercenaries are trying to break down the door. Sebin notices a vent in the ceiling and the group manages to pry it open and get inside. Euna enters first followed by Jee, Rokuro and Sebin. Sebin says to make their way to the engine to keep Hwan from jumping after exiting the gate. Along the way they learn that the escape pods are being guarded and when they reach the engine Sebin smells eight mercenaries. Sebin has Roruko join them in taking out the guards as Jee tries to hack the security robots and Euna acts as a sniper. Sebin leaps down and transforms as they are stunned by blaster fire. Rokuro and Euna follow suit as Jee gets the security robots to fight for them. However the atmosphere in the vent turns off and Euna pushes Jee out before it seals off. After taking out the mercenaries, Euna is cut free and lands just as Jee opens the hatch to the engine room. However Hwan speaks over the intercom, saying how Sebin will be branded as a traitor to both the Space Forces and their family. The four head into the engine room and become startled when the door does not close. Roruko gives them noise canceling headphones in case Hwan brings Min just as a blast goes off, realizing to late they fell into a trap.

The blast knocks all four of them out of the engine room. Roruko and Euna, who are in a firefight with some mercenaries, and Sebin and alright. However Jee is laying down with blood around him. Sebin has Roruko and Euna check on Jee and they are relieved to learn he is still alive. Soon Hwan arrives with Sena, Min, and Shield in tow. Hwan mocks Sebin by saying the clan will disown them for this, and Sebin turns into a tiger to attack Min, realizing to late they should have targeted Sena. Min is able to charm them due to the headphones vanishing when they transformed and says to get Shield away from the fighting. They reluctantly obey Min's orders and takes the dog in their mouth and runs away as the fighting continues. Once they are far enough away, Sebin realizes with Shield out of the picture they can help Min take out the shaman. They smell out a ready to eat meal and use it to bribe the dog into getting onto the bathroom of a bunk room. Once the dog is eating inside, they seal him in, take the dessert from the meal for themself, and rush to rejoin the battle. Sebin returns only to find Min alone and realize she charmed them go get the dog away. She explains how she charmed Sena into not exercising Jun before Hwan and the others took her away. They hear Jee over a communication device, thankfully he is alive, and learns that the gate crystals still have some juice in them and that he will try to disable it, but also that Hwan has disabled the escape pods. Realizing that their uncle plans on taking everyone with him if he fails, they order Jee to reactivate the escape pods as Hwan returns, wearing earplugs to block out Min's charm, with Uchida and five other mercenaries. After mocking Sebin with their family honor again, they have Min charm them into not giving up no matter what as Jun creates an opening. Sebin dodges the enemy fire in tiger form as the Kim siblings evacuate the area. As they are getting tired , they take human shape and gesture for Hwan to remove his earplugs. They plead with Hwan to not go through with his plan, to see the errors of his ways and reminds him they are family. As he things of Sebin's words, Uchida and the mercenaries open fire on Sebin before Hwan turns into a tiger and takes out all six. Sebin then passes out.

Recovering and Repercussions

Sebin wakes up three days later in the medical bay with Min and Jee standing over them. The two explain how Hwan brought them there before turning himself in. They tell Sebin he is in the brige with the other mercenaries. However Roruko is being held in a guest cabin after surrendering with the promise of being granted asylum if they provide evidence against the Sun clan and renounce them. The two also say how Shield has become a celebrity aboard the ship and Euna has prosthetic skin implanted on her due to blaster fire. As Sebin asks about Namkyu, they appear with a bowl of seafood soup and rice for Sebin, along with news that they will need to attend physical therapy. They eat it as the captain arrives. They tell her everything about they know about Hwan onboard the ship before she leaves. They spent the next few days attending classes and performing chores. One day Yi calls them over to apologize for their suspicions of the tiger spirit. A few days later they play a game with Min in the rec room, the two talk and they realize how hard it is for Min to conceal herself to protect from discrimination. A few hours before the Haetae docks for Hwan to be handed over for court marshaling, the captain calls Sebin to her office to tell them to be truthful and everything will play out fine, but they have a hard time believing her.

Hak escorts Sebin off the Haetae, after saying goodbye to Min and the cadets, seperatly from Hwan and brings them to a waiting room. The clerk tells them to wait and after a while Sebin is summoned into the room. They see Hwan shackled on the floor with with Chaewon, Ae, and an admiral An Mun-Hee seated before them. Sebin gives testimony, saying they did what they thought was best at the time, before being sent to the waiting room as Hwan speaks. As they sit, Admiral An enters the room to inform them of their fate. She tells Sebin that due to their testimony and footage from security cameras, they will face no punishment and will continue to serve on the Haetae. However she orders them to take medical leave during the ship's repairs. After the repairs are done and Sebin's leave is up, they return to the ship and report to the captain’s office where they are finally sworn in, will a new scar forming over their old scar. They are assigned to bunk with Jee, Namkyu, and Euna before leaving. One their way to the bunk they look out the window inside the cosmos, only continuing when a lieutenant tells them to move on.

Chapters

The book consists of twenty-two unnamed chapters. Each chapter has a picture above the name of the number that alternates between a fox and a tiger. The story is told in the first person by Sebin.

Characters

Trivia

  • Dragon Pearl was initially planned to not have a sequel.
  • Tiger Honor is the only book in both the main literary universe and the imprint to have a non-binary protagonist.

References

Thousand Worlds series
Book: Dragon Pearl | Tiger Honor
Main Characters: Kim Min | Juhwang Sebin | Bae Jang | Juhwang Hwan | Kim Jun
Secondary Characters: Haneul | Sujin | Sena | Captain Hye | Lieutenant Hyosu | Lieutenant Ju-Won | Manshik | Nari | Security Officer Seok | Kim Seonmi | Juhwang Matriarch | Baik Jee | Euna | Namkyu | Special Investigator Yi
Minor Characters: Bora | Areum | Byung-Ho | Chul | Eui | Eunhee | Gyeong-Ja | Hae | Lieutenant Commander Ju-Eun | Lieutenant Seo-Hyeon | Woo-Jin | Yong
Supernatural Species: Fox Spirit | Dragon | Tiger Spirit | Dokkaebi | Shaman | Ghost | Celestial
Related Content: Yoon Ha Lee | Rick Riordan Presents | The Initiation
Rick Riordan Presents
Pandava Quintet: Aru Shah and the End of Time | Aru Shah and the Song of Death | Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes | Aru Shah and the City of Gold
Storm Runner Trilogy: The Storm Runner | The Fire Keeper | The Shadow Crosser
Shadow Bruja Duology: Lords of Night
Thousand Worlds series: Dragon Pearl | Tiger Honor
Sal & Gabi Duology: Sal & Gabi Break the Universe | Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe
Tristan Strong Trilogy: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky | Tristan Strong Destroys the World | Tristan Strong Keeps Punching
Paola Santiago series: Paola Santiago and the River of Tears | Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares | Paola Santiago and the Sanctuary of Shadows
The Gifted Clans series: The Last Fallen Star | The Last Fallen Moon | The Last Fallen Realm
Pahua Moua series: Pahua and the Soul Stealer | Pahua and the Dragon's Secret
Serwa Boateng series: Serwa Boateng's Guide to Vampire Hunting
Outlaw Saints: Ballad & Dagger
Winston Chu Duology: Winston Chu Versus the Whimsies
Moko Magic Duology: Moko Magic
Stand Alone Novels: Race to the Sun | City of the Plague God
Others: The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities: New Stories About Mythic Heroes
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