Monday, January 22, 2018
Middle Grade Pick: The Serpent's Secret
Book 1: Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond
by Sayantani Dasgupta
Available February 27, 2018
The vibrant cover catches the eye, but the words inside will captivate and control middle grade readers as they race to finish this one. Book #1 is so much fun and filled with heart and voice that Dasgupta will have to dig deep into her writer's bag of tricks to top this one.
It is her birthday and twelve-year old Kiranmala (Kiran) has no idea that she's about to be the hero of her own destiny. She never believed stories that she is a real princess and that there are demons who will want to kill her. Demons called rakkhosh speak in rhyme no less! Kiran comes home from school and discovers her house has been ransacked. Well, worse than ransacked. It looks destroyed. Her mother has left her a birthday card with a note telling her to trust the princes, some rupees and a weird piece of paper. In a few minutes said princes show up on her door step and promise to keep her safe. Oh, and it's also Halloween. So, there's that.
A rakkhosh is inside her house and means to devour Kiran and the princes if they don't escape immediately. Kiran finds the courage and spunk and defends herself and the princes. They climb onto flying horses and go in search of her parents even though the note said NOT to look for them. The princes assure Kiran that she is the real deal princess.
They travel into another dimension to find her parents, and Kiran discovers the princes have no idea where to search. As she finds her strength, Kiran becomes the princess her parents always knew her to be.
The voice of Kiran is hilarious and spot on. She is self-deprecating and genuinely funny and a joy to read. This is not a "girl" book. This is an everybody book for readers of fantasy. Give this book to those who love Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series. They will have another series to collect.
This book will be on Scholastic book fairs this spring and will likely hit the bestseller list. It's going to be HUGE.
Highly, highly recommended grade 5 and up. Grade 4 readers who are good readers will enjoy this one also.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.