Title: A Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy #1)
Author: Sangu Mandanna (Debut)
Genre: YA Sci-fi/Fantasy
Publication Date: September 4th 2018 by Sky Pony Press
Format: Kindle DRC (Download Review Copy)
*I downloaded this ARC as an Available DRC from Edelweiss, so while I didn’t request this, I treat this as any other ARC review I do. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Quotations will not be used.*
Goodreads Synopsis: In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back.
Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali.
It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart.
Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories, A Spark of White Fire is a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.
OH MAN! This book totally took me by surprise when I finished it. I had read a sample of it through Buzz Books and I was intrigued by the sneak peek I read, but I had no idea I was going to love it so much. This has gods in space! How cool does that sound? Here’s five reasons to read this debut novel:
- Genre bending: There are gods in space! this blend of spaceships and mythology of gods and living gods is very original. I love seeing things like this blend so well together. The author truly shows her inspiration of Indian stories with basing her gods and stories off of ones from our world and it all feels believable in space. It’s also not hard on the science fiction either, so it’s very accessible to all readers who like both fantasy and science fiction.
- Main character: Esmae is a great protagonist! She is set on making sure her family rules their home planet again and she will even go a bit cutthroat to make sure that happens. But she also shows great vulnerability, questions things and defends those she cares about. She even has some great wit that made moments more authentic and sincere. She’s one of my favorite protagonists so far this year.
- Overall story: The overall story is very cool, in addition to the setting. Seeing things with Esmae trying to help her family be victorious, there are things that start to make it complicated and she questions at times what the real path should be. The author peels back every layer of the plot as the story goes along seamlessly; nothing was ever boring or the pacing never felt off. Everything feels natural and you feel the progression of the story with Esmae as she figures out what’s really going on. This is a fantastic novel when it comes to unraveling the plot while the moving the story along and not giving much away.
- I liked the first person POV?!: Yep you read right. I normally don’t like first person POV for many reasons. There are a few books/series that do it very well and others that I can read it and like it but not love it. But the first person works so well in this book. I felt like I saw everything through Esmae’s eyes and understood her range of emotions. She’s also a very observant character and the author handles the POV so well for a debut novel.
- Ending: While I had wondered if the ending would actually happen, I was still a bit wrecked after it was over. I like it when author’s don’t pull any punches and aren’t afraid to make things a bit bleak and make you worry. The author still pulls emotions from you with the ending and I’m glad that it ended the way it did; it’s a great stepping stone of where the next books will go. I also like that you don’t have a concrete idea of where the next book will go; that mystery really keeps readers invested to read the next books 🙂
Overall: This exceeded my expectations and if you love both fantasy and sci-fi, you guys need to download this on Edelweiss. As this review is up, it is in the “Available DRCs” section. But I also recommend requesting it from the publisher as well. This genre bending books needs all the love 🙂 I am desperate for book two now!
Have you heard of this book? If you read it, did you love it too?