A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna: An Entertaining Space Opera Inspired by Indian Mythology (+ INTL Giveaway!)

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Sangu Mandanna’s A Spark of White Fire! This is the last day of this tour, but it’s for an Indian mythology inspired space opera you DON’T want to miss!

I really enjoyed reading this and definitely recommend if you’re looking for a diverse cast in a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships.

Esmae was raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, longing 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.

f4

4 stars

Mandanna really does not beat around the bush, and I really appreciate that.

Right from the start you’re thrust into the action and stakes, and although it was a little surprising and took a chapter or two to understand and get used to, it was so worth it and far better than the alternative info dump.

Although there’s no formal prologue or introduction etc., it was easy to adapt to the idea of gods and the science fiction aspects, even as someone unfamiliar to the Indian mythology, which I really appreciated. I don’t really know a lot about Indian mythology or gods, but the way Mandanna wrote it made it accessible to people like me without sacrificing the integrity or other aspects of the novel.

Her writing style is straightforward, yet lush in her descriptions and worldbuilding, and it creates a very engaging fantasy world. I found the entire world to be really well built, yet easily understood, which was almost really surprising because I usually struggle a bit with fantasy terminology, especially when there’s a lot of places etc.

But the royal family dynamics (which did get a little tangled) all made sense, which is more than I can say for a lot of other books. And I liked how, even though it’s a bit tropey in the idea that Esmae is the lost princess etc., we’re letting POC have their time as lost princesses and other “outdated” tropes.

The family dynamics though were definitely some of my favorite parts of the book, and I like how, after all these years, Esmae is finally reunited with her family, and it makes for a very interesting story.

There’s a lot of struggle with loyalty as there’s a struggle for power between each side, and I think that’s what really hooked me with this story, as I wanted to find out the why and who would prevail (or, how they’d reach a truce). It ended up being very spicy figuring out, and I’m excited to read the next installment!

Honestly, this book qualifies a little better as fantasy than science fiction, but I ended up not minding in this case, because the sci-fi aspects were still decently heavily featured and there was a lot of space stuff. But, along with the space stuff, were things like gods and their interference in the life of mortals, so it ended up balancing out.

I thought the way Mandanna interwove both elements made this book very comprehensive, so I really enjoyed that.

But, looking back, I do feel a little bit like some of the plot points were a bit weak. Like, the reason some things happened (especially the ending) felt like a lot of luck and fate and due to small technicalities and things that could have easily gone differently. I kind of wanted something larger and more twisty and more foreshadowed in a way, but I don’t think this takes too much away from the story as Mandanna still does a good job of making the pieces work together.

Plus, A Spark of White Fire was just entertaining. I was engaged and I wanted to keep reading. All throughout the book I had inklings about what would happen and the various machinations that were potentially going on that Esmae didn’t know about.

Some inklings came true, others didn’t, but overall it made the story a lot more entertaining.

Although I feel like the last 50 pages were a lot better and more action-packed than the rest of the novel, I still feel like A Spark of White Fire did a good job in engaging the reader overall.

(Though, the ending was heartbreaking and I really wanted to throw something.)

I just love how we’re getting more POC in SFF and reading this was such a fun story that I definitely enjoyed! Not only is there a gorgeous space cover on this book, but there’s also all sorts of fun, mythical and science-y elements that make it an engaging read.

If you’re looking for an engaging space opera featuring Indian mythology that creates a gorgeously detailed world, definitely check out A Spark of White Fire! Or, if you’re just looking for something good to read, pick this up too.

More About the Book

37588503A Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy #1) by Sangu Mandanna
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

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.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Book Depository | Kobo

More About the Author

Sangu Mandanna was four years old when an elephant chased her down a forest road and she decided to write her first story about it. Seventeen years and many, many manuscripts later, she signed her first book deal. The Lost Girl, a YA sci fi novel about death and love, is available now. Sangu now lives in Norwich, a city in the east of England, with her husband and kids.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Giveaway!

Want to try your luck at winning a copy of A Spark of White Fire? Check out the Rafflecopter button below for a giveaway where one lucky winner will receive a hardcover of A Spark of White Fire! (Open INTL). Or you can use one of the buy links under “More About the Book” to guarantee a copy for yourself!

90178-rafflecopter-logo-social-media-contest1

Thank you so much to Sky Pony Press, Edelweiss, and The FFBC for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review! Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour below!

8a0fa-header2bsml

September 25th

September 26th

Camillea Reads– Review

September 27th

A Backwards Story– Guest Post

September 28th

September 29th

Chrikaru Reads– Review

September 30th

Bookish Wisps– Review
Magical Reads– Guest Post

October 1st

The Spacejamber Reviews– Review & Favorite Quotes
The Reading Corner for All– Review/Creative Post
Vicky Who Reads– Review

much love, vicky

What diverse space operas have you loved? Do you think you’re going to pick up A Spark of White Fire?

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna: An Entertaining Space Opera Inspired by Indian Mythology (+ INTL Giveaway!)

Leave a Reply to Vicky Who Reads Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.