COLOR THE SHELVES: Interview with Swati Teerdhala, author of The Archer at Dawn

Color the Shelves (23)

Hello friends and welcome to Color the Shelves!

A couple months ago, I read THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT by Swati Teerdhala and had an absolute blast with it! It was such an immersive cat and mouse romance fantasy story, with intrigue and adventure so I couldn’t help but enjoy it. Now imagine how happy I am, that after reading it, I am able to interview the author about it as well as about its newly released sequel THE ARCHER AT DAWN, which I -for obvious reasons- am dying to get my hands on. Especially with how many possibilities the ending of the first book brings to the table, I! Must! Know! So, without further ado, I will cut my babbles short and leave you with the actual interview.

Hi Swati, thank you so much for joining me today on Color the Shelves to chat about your upcoming release THE ARCHER AT DAWN! This is the second book in your THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT trilogy, can you introduce our readers to the story? 

Thanks so much for having me, Fadwa! So excited to be here! THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT is the first in a YA fantasy trilogy that follows the story of Kunal, a dutiful soldier, and Esha, a legendary rebel spy named the Viper. When their paths cross one night and Esha is accused of the murder of Kunal’s General, a dangerous cat and mouse game starts between them, one which throws everything they’ve known into question.

Was the trilogy inspired from specific mythological stories?

The TIGER AT MIDNIGHT series wasn’t inspired by any one myth specifically, but rather a range of Hindu myths, like the story of Ganga descending to earth and the enmity between Garuda, the king of eagles, and the Naga, or snakes. I took more inspiration from the feel and themes of Hindu mythology and ancient Indian epics like the Mahabharata. 

I read THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT earlier this year and had such a fun time diving into the story, it had a really classic YA fantasy feel to it with some very beloved tropes. And knowing that readers (myself included) pick up books because of certain tropes, what buzzwords would you use to describe your trilogy?

Enemies-to-lovers would be number one! Also, a spoonful of found family, a dash of a love triangle, and a ton of angst. Plus one very slytherin girl and a gryffindor boy. Mix them all together and you have THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT. 

(Fadwa: this is SO spot on and I love it)

Keeping it as non-spoilery as possible, what should your readers come to expect from THE ARCHER AT DAWN?

The best way to describe THE ARCHER AT DAWN is that things are finally coming to a head. Kunal and Esha are on their way to Jansa with the mission of finding the lost princess just as the Sun Mela, an ancient tournament of warriors, begins. Of course, problems ensue! 

In a contemporary alternate universe (AU) what would Kunal and Esha be doing? how would they meet?

I can imagine them working at rival coffeeshops as they pursue their artistic dreams (Kunal as a painter, Esha as a dancer). Their bosses would decide that the only way to succeed would be by taking down the other coffeeshop and Kunal and Esha would be game––until they accidentally meet outside on the street one day. 

(Fadwa: someone needs to write this fanfic now, because I want to read it)

And last but not least, what is something you’d like to tell your readers or something you’d like them to take away from your books?

I’d love for readers to close the book and have taken part in a story where the main characters aren’t afraid of challenging themselves, and the duties and obligations they’ve always felt, to become who they’re meant to be. People will always have an idea of who you should be or what you should become, but I hope readers walk away from my books feeling less confined by those chains.


About the author

swati teerdhala

Swati Teerdhala is the author of The Tiger at Midnight series, which has appeared on both Barnes and Noble and Book Riot’s Most Anticipated Novels lists.

After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BS in finance and BA in history, she tumbled into the marketing side of the technology industry. She’s passionate about many things, including how the right ratio of curd-to-crust in a lemon tart. She currently lives in New York City.

 Swati is represented by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency.


About the book

Swati Teerdhala - ~TTAM #2 The Archer at the Dawn

Publication date : May 26th, 2020

Publisher : Katherine Tegen Books | Harpercollins

Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy

Page Count: 449

Synopsis :The Sun Mela is many things: a call for peace, a cause for celebration, and, above all, a deadly competition. For Kunal and Esha, finally working together as rebel spies, it provides the perfect guise to infiltrate King Vardaan’s vicious court.

Kunal will return to his role as dedicated Senap soldier, at the Sun Mela to provide extra security for the palace during the peace summit for the divided nations of Jansa and Dharka. Meanwhile, Esha will use her new role as adviser to Prince Harun to keep a pulse on shifting political parties and seek out allies for their rebel cause. A radical plan is underfoot to rescue Jansa’s long-lost Princess Reha—the key to the stolen throne.

But amid the Mela games and glittering festivities, much more dangerous forces lie in wait. With the rebel Blades’ entry into Vardaan’s court, a match has been lit, and long-held secrets will force Kunal and Esha to reconsider their loyalties—to their country and to each other. Getting into the palace was the easy task; coming out together will be a battle for their lives.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleIndiebound Indigo


The gorgeous banner template was created by Skye @shuurens on Twitter. Here’s her website and portfolio.

That’s it until next time.

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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4 thoughts on “COLOR THE SHELVES: Interview with Swati Teerdhala, author of The Archer at Dawn

  1. Pingback: To sum-up: May 2020 + June TBR | Word Wonders

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