5-star reviews by reviewers/bloggers:


THE BROWN BOOKLOFT

Summary: Birch Bai, a Chinese Air Force Pilot and Danny Hardy, an American Flying Tiger, are engaged in a fierce air battle with the Japanese when their plane is shot down. Both men are captured and sent to a POW camp. At the camp, they and their fellow prisoners continue to suffer at the hands of their cruel, tormenting captors. The war is coming to an end; the Americans have just dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. But this just spurs one Japanese officer, a man they call the Jackal, to further atrocities. The men in the camp are just starting to bond with each other when the Jackal culls the group, telling him they must choose which seven of the fourteen will die.

Danny and Birch argue over which of them will make the sacrifice. In an act of supreme sacrifice and courage, Danny ensures it is Birch who will survive. After the war, Birch must not only wrestle with the result of his physical injuries but the emotional pain of losing his best friend. He feels he is to blame for Danny’s death. As he recovers and gains strength, he faces new enemies as his country splits in two over Communism.

Comments: Iris Yang poured her heart into Will of a Tiger and breathed life into the characters. As a result, I got so caught up in their lives that I cried toward the end of the book–something I don’t do often with a novel. I have read other accounts of how China was torn apart during the Communist takeover, but none from this point of view. National heroes turned into enemies overnight because of politics. Reading this outstanding spotlight on one man’s life also gave me new insights into China today. With her second novel, the author has once again raised my awareness and knowledge. As I wrote in my review of Wings of a Flying Tiger, “It is good to never forget what human beings can do to each other….”

Highly recommended for readers of Historical Fiction, General Fiction, Multi-Cultural Fiction, Asian Fiction and anyone with a heart.


Priscilla's Zine & Bookstore

Quote: “He’d heard two horrible stories on the same night— one friend had been beaten to death by the Communists, and the other had lost everything and almost starved to death under the Nationalist government.[Iris Yang. Will of a Tiger (Kindle Locations 2880-2881). Open Books.]”

Trigger warnings: Although this is a classic Moral Tale about how a good person survives bad things, it’s full of horrible stories. As with Wings of a Flying Tiger, a simple English vocabulary does not indicate a book suitable for children. Will of a Tiger contains graphic sex and violence and period-appropriate hate.

Iris Yang says she didn’t plan to write a sequel after writing Wings of a Flying Tiger, a novel about China in the early 1940s, but then she became interested in what happened to the pilots known as the Flying Tigers after 1945. It wasn’t pretty. The Chinese people achieved some unity during the urgent need to fight Japan, then used up their remaining resources and energy fighting each other. There were no pensions for the veterans who’d done their bit toward winning one war. There was another war, without supplies, and often without the spirit of brotherhood that had alleviated their suffering during their first war.

In Wings we met the tragic heroine Bai Moli, White Jasmine, who was too good for this world. Fleeing the Rape of Nanking, this art student found a wounded American pilot who’d been left for dead and rallied the people in an obscure (fictional) mountain village to rescue him. Because they already knew and admired Jasmine’s cousin Bai Moli, White Birch, who was also a fighter pilot, the village adopted Danny Hardy. When Birch came back to the village, he and Danny took a formal vow of brotherhood.

Will is the pilots' story. Birch and Danny have visited each other’s countries, learned each other’s languages, and piloted fighter planes as a team, before they’re shot down and taken prisoner by the Japanese enemy. Danny has begun reading a Chinese novel about brotherhood by which Birch was impressed. After some months in a prison camp, the nastiest Japanese soldier tells fourteen prisoners to choose which seven of them are going to die in the morning; if seven don’t volunteer he’ll kill all fourteen. Birch and Danny argue about which of them should die for the other. Danny’s wound may have been aggravated beyond all hope of real healing, but he still has a family. Birch is healthier, but has lost most of his close relatives. A relatively kind Japanese soldier has been giving Danny painkillers. Later Birch wakes up with a headache, a hung-over feeling, and a sinking feeling that if Danny had escaped somebody would have noticed him.

Then Birch is shot, knocked down into a trench, and left for dead. He loses a leg and spends months in a coma. His passionate, very modern, U.S.-educated “girlfriend” has rich parents who tell her that couples always separate after a disaster. His father, General Bai, is still alive to tend Birch, and so is his late mother’s half-grown housemaid, who is, in old China, legally a slave—“bought” from other people, not paid wages.

Desperate parents could sell their children as slaves; “luck” determined whether such children were abused, prostituted, starved, or brought up like adoptive children of rich families. Being kind and well educated, Birch’s parents have even taught the slave Xiao Mei, “Little Sister,” literacy along with cooking and nursing, and in due time General Bai planned to arrange a respectable marriage for her, as if she'd really been Birch's little sister.

Though custom dictates that after some years of faithful service a slave was considered to have earned her freedom, Xiao Mei asks nothing more in life than to go on working for Birch’s family, because she’s always adored Birch. She nurses him night and day, until his eyes start to open, with traditional Chinese medicines—including “yang enhancers.” Her status is so much lower than his that she can’t hope to become his wife, but she’s always hoped to be sexually exploited by Birch, who is too nice to exploit anybody and wants to be an ideal husband...if he can be a husband, at all, now.

One of the most pleasant parts of this novel is watching Xiao Mei, whose crush on Birch was a joke between him and Danny, mature into a fine “modern” woman anyone would want to claim as a sister, or wife, or daughter.

However, the will of a tiger seeks goals beyond romance, or even fatherhood. Before they were tortured in the prison camp, Birch was teaching Danny to read a Chinese novel about the virtue of brotherhood. Birch and his father believe in brotherhood. The civil war disgusts them; they advocate for the new idea that government, as well as fellow soldiers, should support veterans. This idea is unpopular as many Chinese people prefer to vent their leftover hostility toward the Japanese on their political opponents. Some hate General Bai for being a Nationalist; Birch is arrested and tortured for giving money to the aged parents of another Flying Tiger who was a Communist.

U.S. readers have read about the self-destructive "ideological purges" and partisan hysteria among Mao’s Communist Party; we’ve read less about similar excesses among the survivors of Chiang’s Nationalist Party. Yang’s point is that when people lose the ideal of brotherhood, it hardly matters whether they’re Chinese Nationalists, Chinese Communists, Japanese enemy troops, or common thieves. In this book we see people in all four categories behaving badly. Birch’s purpose in life, as a disabled veteran, is to live out his beliefs about brotherhood, consistently giving people a good example whether he’s admired or beaten up for it. That’s what loyalty to his father (and to Jasmine’s memory) requires, so that’s what he does.

In the nineteenth century moral tales were an overworked genre. (The best nineteenth century moral tales in English survived as “children’s classics,” like Deerslayer or Little Women.) In the twentieth century many U.S. editors turned against the whole genre. It became fashionable to believe that nobody really does choose to act according to an ideal of human virtue, or, if someone did, the virtue wouldn’t be rewarded. Nobody is perfect! (Even Birch smokes, as most men of his generation did, and grows old at an early age.) Nevertheless in real life most of us do meet a few people who live according to their ideals, and we find that sometimes diligence does lead to prosperity, courage to victory, and kindness to love. Will of a Tiger is a fine example of a moral tale with adult content. If you admire President Kennedy or Senator Dole, you’ll love Birch and wish history had made it possible for his story to end even more happily than it does.

Though I’ve read very little about the civil war between the followers of Mao and Chiang, I guessed the answers to most of the questions the characters raised. Nevertheless I, who usually take two or three pages of a novel to put myself to sleep at night, did sit up till two o’clock in the morning finding out how the story ends. On a computer screen, yet. I’d like to spare others that experience. Buy the book—your eyes will be glad you did.


Sassy Redhead Book Reviews

Continuation of Wings of a Flying Tiger. What happens next.

Danny Hardy and Birch Bai have taken an oath as brothers, they would each die for the other. They’ve been flying together and fighting the Japanese to defend China ever since Birch rescued Danny in the mountains of Yunnan.

The struggles of the Chinese after war turns inward. Now they have to fight their own country for their freedom.

This story is so well written, and the characters are so likable to read. The continued development of the story brings to light the torment and struggles that these men went through just to survive and fight for China. It’s brutal and sad, but it is a very good read. I was rooting for Birch and Danny to make it back home after the war ended and for them to be able to find peace in their lives.

I really liked this story it was heartbreaking, enlightening, and devastating to read. I give this story a 5-star review. It kept my attention throughout the entire book and the pages turned quickly. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to read historical, romantic, and suspense filled stories.


The Eclectic Review

"Being alive can be harder than dying."

The sequel to Wings of a Flying Tiger continues the story of Flying Tiger sworn brothers Birch and Danny who are shot down by the Japanese and taken prisoner by the sadistic and savage Captain Zhang who promised they would not get out alive.

When a seriously injured Birch is saved from death in a mass grave, he swears he will find his brother Danny no matter what, but the Chinese Civil War happens and he is forced to leave the Mainland for Taiwan.

"Birch seriously questioned his past. He was hurt in the present. And he had little hope for the future."

The little servant, Xiao Mei, who has known Birch since she was 14 years old is his savior. When he was ready to give up, she gives him hope and the love that he deserves.

"Across time and space, out of all the ugliness and the unfairness, an extraordinary friendship had formed and thrived; love endured and prevailed."

Iris Yang has created a historical, epic love story about friendship, survival, fortitude, and honor that spans across time two wars and two continents.

A must read for those who believe in good over evil, love over hate and honor over disgrace. It is my great pleasure to highly recommend this sequel!!


Bookglow by Paul Falk

Iris Yang presented an intriguing saga with her second installment of the illustrious, Flying Tigers. As the scenes unfolded, the main characters became so well-honed, they no longer seemed fictional. Drenched from all the misery and pain, the author paid special tribute to the carnage and countless, shattered hearts that came to endure the worst of atrocities. The cast of supporting characters were well-drawn and added fuel to the fire of this intense drama. The narrative concluded with an astonishing ending that took me completely by surprise.

From across the Pacific, fighter pilots, Danny Hardy, and larger-than-life, Birch Bai, banded together to become sworn brothers. Joined at the hip, they battled the Japanese invaders in the skies over the sacred soil of China. Their daring exploits became well-known and made them valuable targets for the enemy. When not engaged in mortal combat, they always found time to explore their feelings of love for the women that came into their lives and captivated their hearts and souls.


5-star reviews by readers:


On Amazon:


Piaras

5.0 out of 5 starsA must-read for those who love historical fiction.

In this sequel to ‘Wings of a Flying Tiger’ author Iris Yang weaves another well-crafted historical fiction. Skillfully constructed, this is a novel that authentically depicts every aspect of the time period. It’s a story that will have you glued to the pages from the opening chapter.

The book description gives a sneak preview: ‘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…’

I’m a big fan of historical fiction, so this for me was a phenomenal read. It’s one of those books that stayed with me for several days after I finished reading. The vivid descriptions of the settings and situations, the people, and the cultural contrasts were stunning and realistic. The author's use of genuine dialogue further added to the overall atmosphere of authenticity.

Will of a Tiger had me engaged from the first page to the last. I enjoyed the story, continued character development, and dialogue. It’s a well-written historical fiction that flows from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional ability when it comes to storytelling. There’s plenty of action, adventure, and intrigue in this page-turner that will take the reader on another mesmerizing journey.

Highly recommended, and a well-deserved five stars from me.


Gloria G Mullen

5.0 out of 5 starsYou need to follow up on this family.

This story kept you wondering how much this "Tiger" could take before he broke. It was an amazing read. This is a must read if you have read the first book. Enjoy.


WaltH

5.0 out of 5 starsA most engaging history lesson

A completely engaging story! The characters became so real; it was an excellent follow-up to Ms Yang's first book," Wings of a Flying Tiger". I wanted to know what happened to the characters in the first book! Once I started reading, I could not put this book down. I knew very little about the chaotic post war years in China and this book is an excellent history lesson!


Lindy

5.0 out of 5 starsGreat Read

It was great to have a continuation of characters first introduced in "Wings of a Flying Tiger." The reader was able to learn what happened to them after the war. Also interesting was the historical events that took place that not all of us know or learned in school. I enjoy learning more of history by reading historical fiction.


Windy Trees

5.0 out of 5 starsHonor after Glory

The story of the Flying Tigers continues in this sequel. Survival is paramount and living honorably key to living beyond survivor's guilt. Again a fast-paced, engaging, well researched story from the Chinese perspective. Excellent.


atilton

5.0 out of 5 starsBeautiful Characters amid Heartbreaking Times

I loved this sequel to Wings of a Flying Tiger. The characters were so likable and I had so much empathy for them as I followed their daily struggles with both physical and emotional pain. Ms. Yang seamlessly foisted a history lesson on me without my even realizing it, and at the end of the book, I had to use Google to learn more. I love a book that puts me on a quest for learning! Primarily, though, I was so impressed by the storyline, the wonderful characters, and Ms. Yang’s ability to weave a beautiful story.


Bertie Boston

5.0 out of 5 starsA Fabulous Sequel to Wings of a Flying Tiger

Once again, Iris takes us on a spellbinding journey with familiar characters that are so well-developed in "Will of a Tiger" that you care deeply for them and their struggles. It is an amazing story filled with tragedy and joy, with terror and hope. It is a story that needed to be told. Iris has found a way to completely engage the reader as the story unfolds, and it is truly difficult to put down. I personally found it even more engrossing than her first novel! From Chapter 1 to its stunning and surprising conclusion, this is a must read. I personally love the concept of "Yi"


Desertrosebud

5.0 out of 5 starsA remarkable saga of love, loyalty and courage

After reading "Wings of a Flying Tiger", I was anxiously looking forward to the publication of the sequel " Will of a Tiger". Iris did not disappoint. The second book was definitely every bit as good as the first. This is one of those truly inspiring sagas that is unforgettable. The author weaves a captivating spell making the reader feel like they personally know and care about each of the characters. I knew nothing about the Flying Tigers before reading these books. Thank you for bringing them to life to be remembered with the honor they deserve.


C Lindell

5.0 out of 5 starsFabulous historical novel

Iris Yang has weaved a thoughtful, emotion tugging novel. It is set in China and spans the end of the Japanese war through to the age of communism. Sometimes brutal but always carefully crafted it opened me up to a culture and history that I knew little of, be prepared to be whisked back to a place and time few of us have experienced. With her family connections to the area and era this is a book you would not be disappointed to purchase. Thank you for putting your heart and soul into this book Iris.


Gloria J.

5.0 out of 5 starsEngrossing education about post WW2 Chinese experience

This delicately written story gives a heart breaking account of the anguish of the post WW2 Chinese experience and the division of their society between mainland Mao-lead communists and Taiwanese nationalist. It focuses primarily on one Chinese WW2 hero, the devastating price for his personal sacrifice, but ends with a modest hopefulness that I felt was just the right amount of redemption to imagine a new future. Overall, author Iris Yang lead me right up and into Chinese thought process and Chinese compassion, which is astonishingly foreign to this Western reader. If you want to understand the Chinese experience, this is the book. This is an extremely valuable contribution to the Sino-American conversation.


XYY2000

5.0 out of 5 starsLove, passion and heroics

I usually do not like to read books that describe war time, but "Will of a tiger" get me reading as the author keep me guess, want to know what happen next. After finish the book, I feel that the book is more about love and passion, love for the country, love of life.


Susan S.

5.0 out of 5 stars Nobility of Soul

After finishing an engrossing book, I’ve learned—in that digestive phase—to wait and see what words or phrases bubble up from the swallowed stew of story, characters, and plot. What came to me after closing the last page of Iris Yang’s second novel, Will of the Tiger, was the phrase: nobility of soul. Her well-written, larger-than-life characters possess this. What brings this ‘nobility of soul’ to the surface is the intensity of their suffering, both physical and emotional, wrought from the cruelties of war. While I’ve never been much of a history student, I found myself wanting to know more about the reasons for the violence and cruelty between the Chinese nationalists and Chinese communists. Political divisiveness in a nation can be frightening. In America, the chasm between the two political parties is ever widening, and—woefully—it’s not a stretch to imagine Americans turning against each other. Yang brings to life what can and did happen to the Chinese. Despite our innate brutality, we are, as a species, equally capable of love, empathy, and tenderness. The hope for mankind, Yang suggests, is the nobility of the human soul, as seen both in the courage of the Flying Tigers and in the compassion of those who cared for them. I hope there’s still something of Hollywood’s Golden Age existing in the mindset of producer/directors. If this book gets snatched up, something tells me it will be a box office success!


Denis E. Mcgrath

5.0 out of 5 stars A Drama of Tenacity and Devotion

This exciting sequel to her previous WWII novel takes place in the jungles of Burma. Downed and crippled Flying Tiger pilot Birch is captured, interred with other prisoners and tortured by the Japanese. His concern is for his fighter pilot buddy Danny. He is rescued from a burial trench by local natives and is hospitalized for months in a coma. While recovering from his wounds the young family house maid Xiao Mei reads to him and fortifies him with Chinese herbs. She follows him when the family is forced to leave China as the Communists take over. They flee to Taiwan but it appears that is not so safe either. Birch recovers, learns to walk with his prosthetic leg. Xiao Mei is always in the background with devoted care. Birch is picked up by the Nationalist Secret Police and tortured and eventually released after the zealous efforts of little Xiao Mei. General Bai dies not knowing that Birch is in prison. In the final chapters Birch, now married to Xiao Mei and their daughter travel to San Francisco to see Danny’s sister. Be prepared for a for a stunning conclusion. When I first started to read this I thought ho hum just another war novel but I couldn’t put it down. Unfortunately with this brief summary I have cut through all the melodrama and there is plenty. I also had a personal connection. The father of one of my college classmates was a colonel in General Chenault’s Flying Tigers. She related to me a number of anecdotal events including how proud he was of the Burma patch on his uniform.


Rongsheng Wang

5.0 out of 5 starsAn amazing story of the history

"Will of a Tiger" is an amazing story of the history, which deeply touched me when read. This is a fantastic book about what happened in China during the World War Two related to Flying Tiger!


Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars Will of a Tiger

Iris Yang has written another excellent novel. It is a fast paced enjoyable read. Very well written book by a great storyteller. I am hoping she continues writing. I will be looking forward to a third novel by Iris Yang. I hope the wait will not be long. Phil S.


Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars So well written, it transfers you into a different era!

What an amazing addition to the Wings Of The Tiger! So well written, it transfers you into a different era, where humanity comes through a great suffering With dignity and heroism. Eye opening experience! Impossible to put down. Can’t wait till the next one, Iris, well done!


melinda

5.0 out of 5 stars This is an exciting and moving read.

I am on vacation, deep into Iris Yang’s second novel. It is as gripping as the first. Can’t put it down!


Kindle Customer

5.0 out of 5 starsget ready for a fabulous page-turner

It took me the Will of the Tiger to put this book down! Iris Yang’s descriptions bring the foreign close to home, with a story that is sure to capture your imagination. To say I recommend this book is an understatement - everyone should read it.


Brian M Daniel

5.0 out of 5 stars Heroics, Passion, Love, what more can you ask for?

The book, "Will of a Tiger" is an amazing story of strength, love, heroics, passion, and history. The author really touched me when she described the pain of losing a friend, a country, and a way of life. Ms Yang teased us with a love interest that was always there and overlooked. As the story progressed, the complicated changes happing in China following WW 2 were described as they affected our hero. This is a fantastic book, read it!


Mceye

5.0 out of 5 stars Living on the edge.

This sequel will pull all of your emotions from you. Iris does a masterful job of keeping you guessing, hoping and wanting to know more. I also Learning about the people’s culture of this part of the worlds history. Thanks for an excellent read.


Paul Falk, Author/Reviewer

5.0 out of 5 stars Undying vow of allegiance between sworn brothers of war

Iris Yang presented an intriguing saga with her second installment of the illustrious, Flying Tigers. As the scenes unfolded, the main characters became so well-honed, they no longer seemed fictional. Drenched from all the misery and pain, the author paid special tribute to the carnage and countless, shattered hearts that came to endure the worst of atrocities. The cast of supporting characters were well-drawn and added fuel to the fire of this intense drama. The narrative concluded with an astonishing ending that took me completely by surprise.

From across the Pacific, fighter pilots, Danny Hardy, and larger-than-life, Birch Bai, banded together to become sworn brothers. Joined at the hip, they battled the Japanese invaders in the skies over the sacred soil of China. Their daring exploits became well-known and made them valuable targets for the enemy. When not engaged in mortal combat, they always found time to explore their feelings of love for the women that came into their lives and captivated their hearts and souls.


KebKerr

5.0 out of 5 stars A heartbreaking, enlightening, and devastating read (on Amazon)

Continuation of Wings of a Flying Tiger. What happens next?

Danny Hardy and Birch Bai have taken an oath as brothers, they would each die for the other. They’ve been flying together and fighting the Japanese to defend China ever since Birch rescued Danny in the mountains of Yunnan.

The struggles of the Chinese after war turns inward. Now they have to fight their own country for their freedom.

This story is so well written, and the characters are so likable to read. The continued development of the story brings to light the torment and struggles that these men went through just to survive and fight for China. It’s brutal and sad, but it is a very good read. I was rooting for Birch and Danny to make it back home after the war ended and for them to be able to find peace in their lives.

I really liked this story it was heartbreaking, enlightening, and devastating to read. I give this story a 5-star review. It kept my attention throughout the entire book and the pages turned quickly. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to read historical, romantic, and suspense filled stories.


GP

5.0 out of 5 stars Birch and Danny brothers in heart and soul (on Amazon)

What happens after Danny and Birch are faced with even greater challenges and the devastatingly brutality of the war they have fought against Japan and for China? Once again, after reading Yang’s first book,”Wings of the flying Tiger,” she masterfully captures the heart-wrenching reality of the horrific tests encountered during war.An enormously moving, pull at your heart strings,skillfully written historical fiction. Her characters will capture your heart,and,as with her first book,page turning will come readily.Once again,bring tissues!


Paul C Steffy

5.0 out of 5 stars One Great Book invites another!

Iris Yang presented Wings of a Flying Tiger and now, Will of a Tiger skillfully continues the saga. Both are historic fiction at its best. Each of her character descriptions: whether during the horrific realities of war, or in a quieter moment of reflection, woven among the studied narrative, achieves the zenith of page-turning literary enjoyment. Paul C. Steffy, author of: The Good Soldier.


On Goodreads:


Heidi Moore rated it it was amazing

Danny and Birch - 2 men from 2 different worlds, fighting for China against the Japanese. A gripping and heartbreaking war story, skillfully written by Ms Yang. It's definitely a page-turner, a must-read.


Carolyn rated it it was amazing

I found this book to be captivating. The characters are well developed and the plot leads us across the lives, loves and customs.

Well written!!


Píaras Cíonnaoíth rated it it was amazing

A must-read for those who love historical fiction...

In this sequel to ‘Wings of a Flying Tiger’ author Iris Yang weaves another well-crafted historical fiction. Skillfully constructed, this is a novel that authentically depicts every aspect of the time period. It’s a story that will have you glued to the pages from the opening chapter.

I’m a big fan of historical fiction, so this for me was a phenomenal read. It’s one of those books that stayed with me for several days after I finished reading. The vivid descriptions of the settings and situations, the people, and the cultural contrasts were stunning and realistic. The author's use of genuine dialogue further added to the overall atmosphere of authenticity.

Will of a Tiger had me engaged from the first page to the last. I enjoyed the story, continued character development, and dialogue. It’s a well-written historical fiction that flows from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional ability when it comes to storytelling. There’s plenty of action, adventure, and intrigue in this page-turner that will take the reader on another mesmerizing journey.

Highly recommended, and a well-deserved five stars from me.


Reviewer The Brown Bookloft rated it it was amazing

Summary: Birch Bai, a Chinese Air Force Pilot and Danny Hardy, an American Flying Tiger, are engaged in a fierce air battle with the Japanese when their plane is shot down. Both men are captured and sent to a POW camp. At the camp, they and their fellow prisoners continue to suffer under the hands of their cruel, tormenting captors. The war is coming to an end; the Americans have just dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. But this just spurs one Japanese officer, a man they call the Jackal, to further atrocities. The men in the camp are just starting to bond with each other when the Jackal culls the group, telling him they must choose which seven of the fourteen will die.

Danny and Birch argue over which of them will make the sacrifice. In an act of supreme sacrifice and courage, Danny ensures it is Birch who will survive.

After the war, Birch must not only wrestle with the result of his physical injuries but the emotional pain of losing his best friend. He feels he is to blame for Danny's death. As he recovers and gains strength, he faces new enemies as his country splits in two over Communism.

Comments: Iris Yang poured her heart into Will of a Tiger and breathed life into the characters. As a result, I got so caught up in their lives that I cried toward the end of the book--something I don't do often with a novel. I have read other accounts of how China was torn apart during the Communist takeover, but none from this point of view. National heroes turned into enemies overnight because of politics. Reading this outstanding spotlight on one man's life also gave me new insights into China today. With her second novel, the author has once again raised my awareness and knowledge. As I wrote in my review of Wings of a Flying Tiger, "It is good to never forget what human beings can do to each other...."

Highly recommended for readers of Historical Fiction, General Fiction, Multi-Cultural Fiction, Asian Fiction and anyone with a heart.

I wish to thank the Open Books Book Reviewer Program for the opportunity to read this book. They publish some absolutely wonderful novels and non-fiction.


Susan Sage rated it it was amazing

After finishing an engrossing book, I’ve learned—in that digestive phase—to wait and see what words or phrases bubble up from the swallowed stew of story, characters, and plot. What came to me after closing the last page of Iris Yang’s second novel, Will of the Tiger, was the phrase: nobility of soul. Her well-written, larger-than-life characters possess this. What brings this ‘nobility of soul’ to the surface is the intensity of their suffering, both physical and emotional, wrought from the cruelties of war. While I’ve never been much of a history student, I found myself wanting to know more about the reasons for the violence and cruelty between the Chinese nationalists and Chinese communists. Political divisiveness in a nation can be frightening. In America, the chasm between the two political parties is ever widening, and—woefully—it’s not a stretch to imagine Americans turning against each other. Yang brings to life what can and did happen to the Chinese. Despite our innate brutality, we are, as a species, equally capable of love, empathy, and tenderness. The hope for mankind, Yang suggests, is the nobility of the human soul, as seen both in the courage of the Flying Tigers and in the compassion of those who cared for them. I hope there’s still something of Hollywood’s Golden Age existing in the mindset of producer/directors. If this book gets snatched up, something tells me it will be a box office success!


Rebecka Jäger rated it it was amazing

Another suspenseful masterpiece from Iris Yang who writes about the heart-wrenching consequences of WWII with power-charged emotional impact. The main characters face tremendous loss, but fight on- and find new beginnings. The price of sacrifice during wartime is something which needs to be told, and Yang writes the story with grace and torture.

Yang also describes the Chinese customs and the vivid setting with artistic brushstrokes. I could smell, hear and feel the book's world around me. I give five shining stars. I loved the book, and the ending took me by surprise.


Denis Mcgrath rated it it was amazing

This exciting sequel to her previous WWII novel takes place in the jungles of Burma. Downed and crippled Flying Tiger pilot Birch is captured, interred with other prisoners and tortured by the Japanese. His concern is for his fighter pilot buddy Danny. He is rescued from a burial trench by local natives and is hospitalized for months in a coma. While recovering from his wounds the young family house maid Xiao Mei reads to him and fortifies him with Chinese herbs. She follows him when the family is forced to leave China as the Communists take over. They flee to Taiwan but it appears that is not so safe either. Birch recovers, learns to walk with his prosthetic leg. Xiao Mei is always in the background with devoted care. Birch is picked up by the Nationalist Secret Police and tortured and eventually released after the zealous efforts of little Xiao Mei. General Bai dies not knowing that Birch is in prison. In the final chapters Birch, now married to Xiao Mei and their daughter travel to San Francisco to see Danny’s sister. Be prepared for a for a stunning conclusion. When I first started to read this I thought ho hum just another war novel but I couldn’t put it down. Unfortunately with this brief summary I have cut through all the melodrama and there is plenty. I also had a personal connection. The father of one of my college classmates was a colonel in General Chenault’s Flying Tigers. She related to me a number of anecdotal events including how proud he was of the Burma patch on his uniform.


Sharon rated it it was amazing

"Being alive can be harder than dying."

The sequel to Wings of a Flying Tiger continues the story of Flying Tiger sworn brothers Birch and Danny who are shot down by the Japanese and taken prisoner by the sadistic and savage Captain Zhang who promised they would not get out alive.

When a seriously injured Birch is saved from death in a mass grave, he swears he will find his brother Danny no matter what, but the Chinese Civil War happens and he is forced to leave the Mainland for Taiwan.

"Birch seriously questioned his past. He was hurt in the present. And he had little hope for the future."

The little servant, Xiao Mei, who has known Birch since she was 14 years old is his savior. When he was ready to give up, she gives him hope and the love that he deserves.

"Across time and space, out of all the ugliness and the unfairness, an extraordinary friendship had formed and thrived; love endured and prevailed."

Iris Yang has created a historical, epic love story about friendship, survival, fortitude, and honor that spans across time two wars and two continents.

A must read for those who believe in good over evil, love over hate and honor over disgrace. It is my great pleasure to highly recommend this sequel!!


Priscilla King rated it it was amazing

After the war between China and Japan ended in 1945, the war veterans found themselves caught in a civil war between political factions. This fictional study of China in the late 1940s shows a disabled veteran who really believes in brotherhood, Birch, searching for his buddy Danny or news of what happened to him, practicing brotherhood even while people who don't practice that virtue are behaving as badly as their hated enemies in the war. Though some people thank him for his service, others seem to want to finish the enemy army's job: Birch is attacked because his own father belongs to one party, then because he's been able to send money to a buddy's bereaved parents who belong to the other party, as well as because he can't keep from hobbling into the middle of a street crime.

"Wings of a Flying Tiger" was a classical tragedy; the heroine (Birch's cousin Jasmine) was too pure to survive. "Will of a Tiger" is a classical moral tale; after many tests of his heroism, Birch is rewarded with a steamy romance and a happy family life. Even more than "Wings," "Will" is also a way of thanking veterans.


Karen rated it it was amazing

Continuation of Wings of a Flying Tiger. What happens next?

Danny Hardy and Birch Bai have taken an oath as brothers, they would each die for the other. They’ve been flying together and fighting the Japanese to defend China ever since Birch rescued Danny in the mountains of Yunnan.

The struggles of the Chinese after war turns inward. Now they have to fight their own country for their freedom.

This story is so well written, and the characters are so likable to read. The continued development of the story brings to light the torment and struggles that these men went through just to survive and fight for China. It’s brutal and sad, but it is a very good read. I was rooting for Birch and Danny to make it back home after the war ended and for them to be able to find peace in their lives.

I really liked this story it was heartbreaking, enlightening, and devastating to read. I give this story a 5-star review. It kept my attention throughout the entire book and the pages turned quickly. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to read historical, romantic, and suspense filled stories.


Anna rated it it was amazing

What happens after Danny and Birch are faced with even greater challenges and the devastatingly brutality of the war they have fought against Japan and for China? Once again, after reading Yang’s first book, ”Wings of the flying Tiger,” she masterfully captures the heart-wrenching reality of the horrific tests encountered during war. An enormously moving, pull at your heart strings, skillfully written historical fiction. Her characters will capture your heart, and, as with her first book, page turning will come readily. Once again, bring tissues!


Paul Falk rated it it was amazing

Iris Yang presented an intriguing saga with her second installment of the illustrious, Flying Tigers. As the scenes unfolded, the main characters became so well-honed, they no longer seemed fictional. Drenched from all the misery and pain, the author paid special tribute to the carnage and countless, shattered hearts that came to endure the worst of atrocities. The cast of supporting characters were well-drawn and added fuel to the fire of this intense drama. The narrative concluded with an astonishing ending that took me completely by surprise.

From across the Pacific, fighter pilots, Danny Hardy, and larger-than-life, Birch Bai, banded together to become sworn brothers. Joined at the hip, they battled the Japanese invaders in the skies over the sacred soil of China. Their daring exploits became well-known and made them valuable targets for the enemy. When not engaged in mortal combat, they always found time to explore their feelings of love for the women that came into their lives and captivated their hearts and souls.