23 September 2018

Review - A Spark of White Fire

A Spark of White Fire
by Sangu Mandanna




What they say: 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.


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I received a copy in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: If Star Wars and Firefly are westerns set in space then A Spark of White Fire is a reworking of Indian mythology set in space. The plot focuses on Esmae, the lost princess of Kali, who is ready to go home and claim her rightful place with her family.

We meet Esmae as she prepares to enter the leadership competition where the prize is the ultimate battleship Titania, blessed by the all powerful gods (still with me?). Whoever controls Titania will hold huge power and will become a key player in the civil war for the rulership of Kali.

On one side there's the mother who sent her away and her formidable twin Alexi, and on the other, her usurper uncle Elvar and his adopted son and heir Max. What I particularly enjoyed was the political intrigued combined with the mythology. There are a lot of 'greater good' choices to be made. Almost every character seems to be skirting pretty close to moral grey areas, to the point where there's no clear villains or goodies.

I liked seeing the different gods and goddesses appear and cause their own brand of mischief and carnage *ahem* general indifference and annoyance over the troubles of mortals.

I'm not entirely sure how I felt about the potential romance - I'm sure it won't be for everyone (don't worry no spoilers).

There's lots of space opera drama and battles, as well as cute friendly bonding moments, oh and a few tears...

The story ends on a huge cliffy so I cannot wait to see what happens next.

4 Stars in my Sky!

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