A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

A Spark of White Fire

by Sangu Mandanna‎ 

Book 1 of 3: Celestial Trilogy

Sky Pony (August 27, 2019)

336 pages 

Young Adult, Space Opera

This is the first space opera I've read, and I have to say, I found it pretty interesting. It's a sci-fi version loosely based on the Mahabharata.


In case you're like me and have no idea what that is:


The Mahabharata is an ancient Indian epic where the main story revolves around two branches of a family - the Pandavas and Kauravas - who, in the Kurukshetra War, battle for the throne of Hastinapura.   Source:


The story takes place in a world of royalty, whimsical cities built upon space stations, and charming but unpredictable gods and goddesses.


Princess Esmae was raised alone and apart from her family in an orphanage on Wychstar and longs to return to her home on Kali. At the beginning of the story no one, other than a handful of people and some gods, know her true identity. 


Her brothers were also exiled to Wychstar by a jealous and fearful uncle who stole the throne. 


Esmae (to the surprise of everyone around her) wins a coveted sentient warship in a contest set up by the King of Wychstar. In a desperate attempt to return to her true home and take back the crown for her brother, Esmae flies to Kali to live amongst her enemies as a spy.


But no one is really whom they appear to be, nothing goes the way Esmae plans, and the story is rife with family drama, betrayals, and even an enemies to lover scenario.


What I Thought:

I had lots of fun reading this story. It was an easy read with some likeable characters. I enjoyed the fact that there were some very gray areas; nothing was black and white. I was definitely surprised by the ending.


At times I felt some of the characters' motivations were a little unclear, or not fully fleshed out, but overall I enjoyed this novel and will probably read the next two, just to see how it all turns out.

Happy reading, friends!



This review contains affiliate links.

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