The Tiger Princess by Sarah Renee
Saderia is a tiger. Her parents were king and queen until they disappeared the night of the worst forest fire anyone had seen. Saderia's aunt Cia and uncle Jash are raising her until she can take over in ten years. Saderia was very young when she lost her parents but she remembers things about them. Cia and Jash, while they're good to her, don't think they should tell Saderia about her parents. They do not want to upset her. Saderia feels her aunt and uncle do not understand her, so she does not show them her true self.
Cia thinks Saderia needs princess lessons on etiquette and how to look royal. Saderia wants to make friends and play outdoors and have fun. Cia makes her take lessons at home from tudors because Cia does not think Saderia should be around "normal animals", that it will cause her to be ordinary. Saderia is lonely. One night she explores her house and finds several secret rooms. She continues to explore and finds a room with her mother's things in it; photos, notes, and jewerly. She found her mom's diary the first time she explored but it was locked. She finds the key later and, reading the diary, feels closer to her mother.
Cia and Jash do not share the kingdom's troubles with Saderia, thinking she is too young. Saderia wants to at least be informed. She thinks this would be better than her current princess lessons. Cia makes her go to a royal party. There are animals disappearing and they need to speak with the royal advisors about what to do. Saderia normally hates these kinds of things because Cia and Jash don't let her participate in the discussions. This time Saderia meets Dastarius, a tiger who used to be an advisor for her parents. They had had a falling out shortly before the fire. Dastarius talks to Saderia, telling her about her parents. Saderia gets an uneasy feeling around him but since he is willing to answer questions her aunt and uncle will not, she ignores it. He convinces Cia to let Saderia sit in on the meeting.
Saderia wants to know more about the fire that claimed her parents. She begins researching it. One article she finds says her parents were great rulers and it was a terrible tragedy. The rest of the articles she reads said her parents were terrible rulers who did not care about the animals and it's lucky they were not around long enough to do anything. Saderia continues to research, going to the library to check out the books they have on every ruler. She can't find the books on her parents at first. She discovers a hidden room in the library, that holds the books about her parents. She doesn't know who would have hidden the books, but it starts to seem like someone did not like her parents and went to a lot of trouble to make it seem like they were incompotent rulers. Saderia meets Dastarius at the library and he tells her some things that causes her to suspect her aunt and uncle in the disapperance of her parents.
While doing research, Saderia found an article about Queen Tarae, one of the first queens of her family. She had found a tomb with her name on it and a coded lock. The article said noone but the current queen knew the location or the code but stories said that the tomb held riches Queen Tarae had acquired in her lifetime. Saderia also learned from her mother's diary that the tomb held a secret document. It had a spell that would give special powers of a sort. It could be dangerous if it fell in the wrong hands.
After Dastarius talked to her at the library, Saderia hears her aunt and uncle talking and thinks they mean to see she does not ever become queen. She snaps at them and accuses them of murder. Saderia suddenly realizes that if they did murder her parents they could do the same to her. She flees to the woods, gets lost, and ends up running into Dastaruis. He says he will help her and takes her to his house. She decides to stay with him but wants to go back and get her mother's diary. As she is gathering her things, she hears a mob thats coming for her aunt and uncle. Cia and Jash find Saderia in her room, take her and hide in another secret room under the house. They are found and taken to another location. Saderia blacks out. When she comes to, she is in a cage by herself but two tigers are in the cage next to her. It's her parents. She discovers Dastarius is behind everything. He started the fire, kidnapped her parents, and hid them in the cages all these years. He wants the code to unlock the tomb to get the scroll. Saderia escapes with the help of an unknown tiger, but she has to leave her parents and aunt and uncle behind for the time. She finds a key to the dungeon and frees them but not before her mother tells Dastarius the code for the tomb. They race to stop him. Will they manage to stop Dastarius and save the forest or will Dastarius gain the power to rule over all?