Cover image for A spark of white fire
Title:
A spark of white fire
ISBN:
9781510742451
Edition:
1st paperback ed.
Physical Description:
311 pages ; 21 cm.
Summary:
The first book in a scifi retelling of the Mahabrahata. When Esmae wins a contest of skill, she sets off events that trigger an inevitable and unwinnable war that pits her against the family she would give anything to return to. 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.
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Summary

Summary

The first book in a scifi retelling of the Mahabrahata. When Esmae wins a contest of skill, she sets off events that trigger an inevitable and unwinnable war that pits her against the family she would give anything to return to.

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.


Author Notes

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. She is the author of The Lost Girl , A Spark of White Fire and its sequels, and has contributed to several anthologies. She lives in Norwich, in the east of England, with her husband and kids.


Reviews 2

Kirkus Review

A lost princess sets out to forge her own path and reunite with her family.In this first book in debut author Mandanna's Celestial Trilogy, Esmae is estranged from her family and growing up in Wychstar, a kingdom perched on a space station. The king of Wychstar, Darshan, conducts a competition for ownership of the invincible spaceship Titania. Esmae surprises everyone with her archery skillsand the revelation of her true, royal identity. Unfortunately, her victory complicates matters, and she must now walk the tightrope between helping her brothers win the kingdom of Kali and maintaining ties with her uncle, Elvar, who usurped Kali from her brothers. As Esmae struggles to determine the best path to follow and whom she should support, she discovers who her true friends are, tries to figure out where she really belongs, and realizes the sacrifices she must make to avenge her family. This is a fast-paced, engaging tale sure to keep readers hooked with its twists and turns while they wholeheartedly cheer for Esmae. Names of many characters (Amba and Rama to name a couple) and numerous snippets of the storyline are inspired by Hindu mythology, although in a somewhat random manner. Gods and goddesses are woven into the story to add to its fantastical allure.An incisive story nuanced by dilemmas about love, belonging, and conflicting loyalties. (Space opera. 14-adult) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Inspired by an ancient Indian epic, Mandanna tells the sf-fantasy fusion story of Esmae, who plots to win the infamous warship Titania in a competition so she can return home and help her exiled brother reclaim his throne from their usurper uncle. But Esmae's plan soon unravels, and she returns home to the space station Kali only to find herself amid the enemy. Complicating things is Esmae's increasing need to guard her heart against the current rulers of Kali, who welcome her with open arms. Caught between supporting her brother and her growing desire for peace, Esmae maneuvers herself through a political scene full of curses and meddling gods, desperate to find middle ground in an impending civil war. Although the narrative can be difficult to follow at times, Mandanna seamlessly blends old deities with space exploration as she crafts a progressively complex political tale founded in a depth of emotion that will leave readers torn between sides.--Amna Haque Copyright 2018 Booklist