Will of a Tiger by Iris Yang

**DISCLAIMER: This book was sent to me by Open Book Publishers in exchange for an honest review.**


Sworn brothers—one American, one Chinese—captured, imprisoned, tortured. Survival is just the beginning of the battle…

In 1942, Birch Bai, a Chinese pilot, and Danny Hardy, a downed American pilot, become sworn brothers and best friends.

In the summer of 1945, both airmen’s planes go down in Yunnan Province of China during one of many daring missions. They are captured, imprisoned, and tortured by the Japanese for information about the atomic bomb. Just days before the end of WWII, Danny makes an irrevocable decision to save Birch’s life.

For Birch, surviving the war is only the beginning of the battle. He must deal with the dreadful reality in China—the civil war, the separation of the country, the death of one friend in the Communist-controlled Mainland and another under the Nationalist government, and his wrongful imprisonment in Taiwan.

From Chungking to Yunnan, and from Taiwan to San Francisco, the sequel to Wings of a Flying Tiger takes readers along on an epic journey.


Last year, I wrote a review for Iris Yang’s debut novel, Wings of a Flying Tiger, and gave it a glowing review. How could I not? It was an exceptionally written and heart-wrenching book. Well, I can only continue to sing Yang’s praise for her work with the sequel, Will of a Flying Tiger.

As soon as I finished it, I picked up my phone to start writing this review. I had to get my thoughts and emotions written before I combusted mentally. Wow. How many clapping emojis would be too many? This book deserves every single bit of praise it receives.

A beautifully written, and thoroughly researched book about WW2 China vs Japan, and then China’s Civil War (Nationalists vs Communists). Every character of this book was brought to life so exquisitely. I could feel Birch Bai’s grief seeping through the pages, and I could feel Danny’s love for his brother (that’s what they call each other). It captures your imagination and transports you to war-torn China. It fills you with an endless list of emotions: grief, sadness, triumph, hope and the list goes on.

The privilege was all mine to read this book. It’s so difficult to fully express my love for it without ruining so many parts of it. The star of the book for me was Xiao Mai. Her courage, kindness, and love shone every time she was mentioned. She brought back light and hope into a world where there truly was none. I feel you can only understand why when you read it.

There are so many moments in this that made my heartbreak but just as many that inspired me. It’s inspirational when you read as Birch battles with his grief, PTSD, and physical injuries from the war. The reader gets to be involved on this seemingly endless journey with him and understand the true meaning of, “Will of a Tiger”. Being crippled, mentally, physically, and emotionally didn’t stop him from living. With some thanks given to Xiao Mai for that, she never gave up on him.

I could see all the imagery in my mind so vividly from how incredibly it was described. Being able to see, in my minds-eye, all the places mentioned in this book made it feel as though I was taking this often treacherous journey with the characters. I wish I could share my favourite moment, but I’d ruin a pivotal time in the book. Why would I want to do that when I want everyone to read it?

If you enjoy reading war fiction then you should definitely give this a read. Also, if it wasn’t obvious already, Will of a Tiger gets a 5/5 rating from me. I cannot sing its praises enough, or recommend it any more highly. It’s important to read Wings of a Flying Tiger first as this is not a standalone book. Simply fantastic.

Did you enjoy this review? Find my others HERE.

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