A Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy #1)
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.

A Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy #1) Details

TitleA Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 11th, 2018
PublisherSky Pony Press
ISBN-139781510733787
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

A Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy #1) Review

  • Acqua
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars.A Spark of White Fire is an example of political intrigue done right in YA, and one of the best YA books set in space I've ever read.I don't know if it's right to call A Spark of White Fire "science fiction". This Mahabharata retelling is a genre-bending gem - which isn't as common as it should be in YA - because it's set in space, but it reads like a high fantasy novel.There are gods, talking spaceships that are just the space version of fantasy talking dragons, a beautiful city float 4.5 stars.A Spark of White Fire is an example of political intrigue done right in YA, and one of the best YA books set in space I've ever read.I don't know if it's right to call A Spark of White Fire "science fiction". This Mahabharata retelling is a genre-bending gem - which isn't as common as it should be in YA - because it's set in space, but it reads like a high fantasy novel.There are gods, talking spaceships that are just the space version of fantasy talking dragons, a beautiful city floating near a nebula, magical weapons blessed by the gods, and people fighting over a throne. A Spark of White Fire doesn't even try to feel like a sci-fi novel; the space setting is just there for the aesthetics. And you know what? The descriptions in this book are beautiful and the aesthetic was worth every time the thought of people fighting with bows and arrows in space broke my suspension of disbelief.A Spark of White Fire follows lost princess Esmae, who is now ready to reveal her identity and fight for Titania, the sentient, unbeatable spaceship blessed by the gods. Winning Titania will help her win back Kali's throne, which was stolen from her brother Alexi by their uncle Elvar and his adopted son Max.It's a story about a torn family and complicated loyalties, and I loved how it played out - so much that I didn't mind that some parts of it were predictable, because Esmae's character arc was surprisingly subversive and went exactly in the direction I wanted it to go.One thing I don't like about political intrigue in YA is that there's often a good side and a bad side - sometimes the side you thought was the good one turns out to be the bad one, but that's as far as plot twists usually go. Here, there's not a "good" side, and if you can argue one is better than the other, you can't ignore the fact that, in some way, everyone is wrong and has been wronged. I love complex political situations and I love competent heroines who know how to exploit them (...even if sometimes they fail).Another thing I really appreciated was the way in which the focus switched from "let's take the throne back to the rightful owner" - which is a trope I hate, especially when the supposedly right person is a teenager - to "let's prevent a war, we don't want millions to die because you hate your cousin".And preventing wars is more difficult than starting them. Sometimes, the hate you feel for your cousin is more dangerous than the cousin himself.This book wasn't flawless - why have a step-cousin romance when you could... not have a romance (at least there wasn't a lot of it?) - but it surprised me just how much I enjoyed it. I didn't think I would ever love a story about a lost princess in space, but this book did something new with this trope.Another thing I could have done without was Esmae's comment that people who don't date are afraid of happiness - which was especially surprising because she had just said that dating wasn't a priority for her, but of course she ends up falling for a boy a few chapters later.(At least there's a side character who is a girl who like girls and I love her.)
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Review and blog tour can be found at 29/9 on *Milky Way of Books*This story left me in a breathless heap of emotions, astonishment and fangirling. If this book doesn't get fanart then you're all doomed.A world where sci-fi, fantasy, gods and kingdoms are living together is the themes in A spark of white fire. I would say that you take Game of Thrones, pull it into space, making it into a retelling of the Mahabrahata, and you ha I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Review and blog tour can be found at 29/9 on *Milky Way of Books*This story left me in a breathless heap of emotions, astonishment and fangirling. If this book doesn't get fanart then you're all doomed.A world where sci-fi, fantasy, gods and kingdoms are living together is the themes in A spark of white fire. I would say that you take Game of Thrones, pull it into space, making it into a retelling of the Mahabrahata, and you have an unforgettable story!I loved Esmae and Max and all the characters. The anguish, the feelings, the descriptions! I also adored Titania, the sentient godly ship with the freaky amazing powers. I am surely going to read the rest of the series too!
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  • ✨ jamieson ✨
    January 1, 1970
    sounds so good !!! keen as a bean for this one
  • Rylee (Hermit Odysseus)
    January 1, 1970
    This book was such a pleasant surprise!For added gifs, you can also check out my review here! =)PremiseEsmae is stuck living in the shadows of her world with so much to offer and yet her value is unnoticed. She’s a servant, with only a select few who know that she's a princess in hiding, and decides to claim her stake in the politically shifty landscape when she publicly wins a contest for the most powerful warship in existence. Tired of being undervalued, she enacts her plan to win back her bro This book was such a pleasant surprise!For added gifs, you can also check out my review here! =)PremiseEsmae is stuck living in the shadows of her world with so much to offer and yet her value is unnoticed. She’s a servant, with only a select few who know that she's a princess in hiding, and decides to claim her stake in the politically shifty landscape when she publicly wins a contest for the most powerful warship in existence. Tired of being undervalued, she enacts her plan to win back her brother’s crown and reclaim her place within the family who threw her away.The setup:This story makes me think of Greek mythology in space. Gods exist in her world, though they try not to intervene but act more as viewers to the story. Kind of like the Greek gods in their douchy indifference to the plights of puny humans. They basically pick their favorites and sit by with popcorn, though at least our heroine has one that actually cares for her. The gods are supposed to be references to Indian stories, but since I'm unfamiliar with Indian mythology, it reminded me instead of the Greeks.Esmae has been watched over her entire life by Amba, the war goddess. Amba tries to guide Esmae away from trouble, but Esmae is tired of being without a family and living as a nobody. She wants the spotlight. She wants people to see her potential. She’s been trained in secret, so skill-wise, she’s a badass. Her primary skill is her aptitude for strategy, and she’s confident she can win the war that’s brewing. She ignores Amba's advice and throws herself into the political game.Warning, spoilers ahead!The girl and the politics:Esmae wins the contest for the sentient warship Titania and uses it as leverage to implant herself in her uncle’s household as a double agent. Her uncle took the crown that should’ve belonged to her brother, and then exiled her family. He’s universally hated. But the situation isn’t as black-and-white as it seems. Her uncle was unjustly denied his own birthright, and so he believes he deserves the crown — his claim isn’t entirely wrong, but her brother Alexi still has an equally valid claim.Even though her uncle is paranoid and anxious, and really wasn’t built for the responsibilities required as a ruler, it’s hard not to be sympathetic towards him when he welcomes Esmae back home and gives her the family she’s always wanted. Though she enters her uncle's house determined to win the crown for her brother, she can't help seeing the gray areas of the situation and tries to find the middle ground. Turns out the "good guys" aren't entirely good, and the "bad guys" aren't straightforward either. Yay, complexity!I like Esmae, but she has so much room for growth. Initially, it feels like she's a child playing dress-up. She imagines herself in a bigger role, and ignores the advice of those around her to push herself into the big leagues. She's strong, but she's overconfident. She's not ready for the game she's playing. This does make her relatable, though. She's a mixed-bag character. Too cocky, too naive, but also skilled and clever; it's a great initial heroine recipe. I think she'll grow into the main-player role and become that fierce contender, and I'm looking forward to it.The boy:And the adopted son of her uncle, Max isn’t what he appears either. He’s known as the jealous prince who helped his father usurp the throne, and he’s just as hated. But he loves his parents, and without his intervention, things would be much worse for Esmae’s brothers. Like Esmae, he’s been overlooked his whole life — hence the jealousy he has for Esmae’s brothers — but he’s trying for the best outcome for the most people as well. I love the gray-ness of his character.This is kind of a stretch, but he reminds me of Cardan from The Cruel Prince. Not as dark, but the "jealous prince" descriptor first implanted that thought, and the fact that he's so misunderstood just cemented that comparison in my head even further. He's an underdog, but still in a position of power. And the protag hates him. Just to disclose my bias, I will read ANYTHING where there's a character that can be compared to Cardan.The romance:There’s a hate-to-love arc for Esmae and Max that has a teensy bit of steam and a lot of future potential. This is one of my favorite tropes, so by default, I can't help but root for this ship. There’s a deeper story to Max which is pretty easy to figure out on the hints they give you. Not exactly in romance territory yet, but it's headed there (it has to be!).The plot:This book has a spiral shape to it –– Esmae is essentially swirling down the path she’s created, and though she’s warned what will happen, she’s determined to prove the gods wrong and forge a happy ending. There is definitely some negative foreshadowing for the future books, and it seems that the story will get a lot darker before there’s some light, but I’m looking forward to watching it all unfold.Esmae's story brings up the destiny versus free will debate. The gods are telling her that if she makes the decisions that she wants to make, the outcome will be disastrous. But she is determined to make a different outcome. It's a tad frustrating watching her play into the hands of fate, and at times she seems presumptuous for believing that she can achieve her goals, but at the same time you're still rooting for her to prove destiny wrong.In the end, Esmae is betrayed by those that should love her, though still beloved by the gods who watch her story. Even though the gods favor her, it doesn't really help her get what she wants. She's not place her on a pedestal; she works for her recognition. Though she tries to overcome her moral compass to win back her family, she sees the gray areas on both sides, and tries to come to the best solution.But when she’s surrounded by people that don’t care about those that’ll be sacrificed in a gigantic war and just want power, it’s inevitable that she’ll be hurt in the process. They don't want the best solution; they want her to choose a side, and want to use her for what they can do for her. Her good intentions end up isolating her, but it also brings out her strength. She goes from naive optimist to betrayed and defiant heroine, and I love it. When those that are supposed to love her betray her, it *sparks a white fire* that will burn the universe (title drop!).I'm so excited to read the future novels! This feels like a great beginning; unfinished, but promising.
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  • Kelly Brigid
    January 1, 1970
    I was absolutely blown away by this lovely space opera! Full RTC!I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin
  • Sangu Mandanna
    January 1, 1970
    I'm totally biased, but I love this book. I loved every minute of writing it and I can't wait for you guys to meet Esmae. I so, so hope you love this as much as I do.
  • ❈ laura ❈
    January 1, 1970
    From the moment they walked in here, they saw only what they expected and missed the truth. They saw the pawn. And missed the queen. ✰✰✰ (more like 3.5 though)A Spark of White Fire follows Esmae, a lost princess who is ready to reveal her true identify fighting for Titania, an unbeatable spacesip blessed by gods, and help his brother Alexi to win back his throne in Kali, which was stolen by their uncle Elvar.Indial mythology in space + political intrigue? I was sold when I hear about it, and to From the moment they walked in here, they saw only what they expected and missed the truth. They saw the pawn. And missed the queen. ✰✰✰ (more like 3.5 though)A Spark of White Fire follows Esmae, a lost princess who is ready to reveal her true identify fighting for Titania, an unbeatable spacesip blessed by gods, and help his brother Alexi to win back his throne in Kali, which was stolen by their uncle Elvar.Indial mythology in space + political intrigue? I was sold when I hear about it, and to be honest I wasn't disappointed with what I got. The best part is the political intrigue, there's not a good/bad side because in some way everyone is wrong and has been wronged and one side isn't better that the other. While Esmae wants to return to her family in Kali, she discovers that her evil uncle who stole her brother's throne isn't entire evil, which isn't the best thing to found out when you're trying to take his throne to give it to the rightful heir.My main problem is, I didn't feel really connected to the characters, I only liked Esmae and the gods but the rest? To be honest I don't care at all about them and 100% think the romance isn't necessary at all (why you make your already complex mc fall in love with her step-cousin?)But also, that ending, I needed the second book yesterday. I'm here for Esmae crushing everyone in the universe.
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  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult Fiction / Science Fiction / Space Opera*Rating* 4.0*Thoughts*A Spark of White Fire, by author Sangu Mandanna, is the first chapter of a major new trilogy with everything you want: complicated family dynamics that could rip the universe asunder, exhilarating action aboard an epic warship, swoony romance that will have readers begging for more. The story itself was pitched as Red Rising meets An Ember in the Ashes. It is a multicultural YA space opera inspired *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult Fiction / Science Fiction / Space Opera*Rating* 4.0*Thoughts*A Spark of White Fire, by author Sangu Mandanna, is the first chapter of a major new trilogy with everything you want: complicated family dynamics that could rip the universe asunder, exhilarating action aboard an epic warship, swoony romance that will have readers begging for more. The story itself was pitched as Red Rising meets An Ember in the Ashes. It is a multicultural YA space opera inspired by the Mahabharata. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*http://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/201...
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  • Natasha Ngan
    January 1, 1970
    So grateful I got to read an early copy! This is a super addictive, captivating read. I love the way Sangu blends fantastical elements with sci-fi and the Indian mythology inspiration is rich and unique. A heroine you’ll root for from from page 1 and a fast-paced plot with so many twists and surprises. Loved it!!
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  • Justine
    January 1, 1970
    YALL DESERVE A COPY OF THIS BOOK10/1/18 I loved every aspect that there is in this novel! The atmosphere of the world building is more than what I had anticipated, space opera with the blending of Indian mythology of Mahabharata. It was filled with vivid imagery. What blows me away is the mixture of modern technology, the presence of ships, advanced even for that matter. And the rich cultural beliefs and its weaponry choices. I adore the blending of both science fiction and fantasy in here.The c YALL DESERVE A COPY OF THIS BOOK10/1/18 I loved every aspect that there is in this novel! The atmosphere of the world building is more than what I had anticipated, space opera with the blending of Indian mythology of Mahabharata. It was filled with vivid imagery. What blows me away is the mixture of modern technology, the presence of ships, advanced even for that matter. And the rich cultural beliefs and its weaponry choices. I adore the blending of both science fiction and fantasy in here.The characters' was another story. They are filled with complexities and each is driven by the goal they are hoping to achieve. They are flawed both the mortals and even the gods and goddesses. Each relationship in the characters got me thinking who's going to betray who? Or will they really? Okay, the grayness in this specific one but then maybe she's right? It certainly gave that effect on me. The trope usage was well handled too. From the premise alone there is a lot to spot in there, I thought it'll be just another normal but the effect of A Spark of White Fire is the complete opposite. Behind these tropes are twisted that was genre-bending, blown me away goodness!The plot and that literary ending are high, highly loved. I was beginning to worry what could top those events unfolded... then Sangu Mandanna gave us that ending. Phew! The writing, yes, I loved it. Prior beginning to read this I had no background whatsoever with the mythology, I have read some basic summaries over it to get in sync. Upon continuation, it isn't that really hard to grip and continue. For the way it was laid out for the reader was all I needed.I am excited how the series will go!See more A Spark of White Fire here
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    multicultural YA space opera trilogy thank God
  • Kaleena ★ Reader Voracious
    January 1, 1970
    📣 A Spark of White Fire is here! Don't sleep on this epic adventure! "Your arrow was a spark. A spark of fire so hot and white that no one will be able to put it out. And even a spark of fire can consume an entire forest if it can jump from tree to tree...Watch as one act leads to another and then to another after that. Watch the trees pass white flames on. Watch the forest burn." If you enjoy political intrigue, space operas, complex characters, and amazing worldbuilding A Spark of White Fire 📣 A Spark of White Fire is here! Don't sleep on this epic adventure! "Your arrow was a spark. A spark of fire so hot and white that no one will be able to put it out. And even a spark of fire can consume an entire forest if it can jump from tree to tree...Watch as one act leads to another and then to another after that. Watch the trees pass white flames on. Watch the forest burn." If you enjoy political intrigue, space operas, complex characters, and amazing worldbuilding A Spark of White Fire is for you! This is one of my most anticipated releases in a year with a large number of young adult releases focused on the politics of rule, and I am happy to say that this book did not disappoint! This is a genre-bending retelling of the Mahabharata that is easily accessible to YA fantasy readers and I cannot wait for you to fall in love with Esmae, Rama, and the rest of these characters! "Do you like to read?""Yes.""Why?"This seemed a very foolish question. "Why not?" This book is told from our heroine Esmae's perspective and is an action packed and fast-paced read that I absolutely devoured. The synopsis of the book is an excellent primer to this story's plot and Esmae's backstory, and in the interest of spoilers I will not be delving deeper into the characters as I typically do; just know that they are each wonderful in their own way and complex. The kingdom doesn't look like it's built on top of a space station. It looks no different from the kingdoms on planets, which was a deliberate choice to make the first citizens' transition to life on a ship that much easier. While A Spark of White Fire is set in space, I would classify this book more as fantasy than science fiction. The setting merely sets the stage and adds an interesting dimension to the worldbuilding. This a world where the gods can form relationships with humans and boons are offered for great feats made. One such boon resulted in the building of a near unstoppable and sentient spaceship named Titania, which will be gifted to the warrior who bests the challenge. Esmae's plan is to win Titania, but when she does she sets down a path the gods have warned her about. "Mortals make their own choices, and we can't control them, but they inevitably lead themselves to their own fates - their own fixed points. And those points, in time, will happen. One way or another, they will happen. They already have happened." A running theme of this tale is how much control do we have over our own destiny and being the pawn in a cosmic game in which you (seemingly) have no control. In a world where words uttered by mortals favored by the gods turn into curses, characters are forced to lived with the consequences of another's actions. These are themes that are common in YA fantasy but done so well here as these themes are prevalent in Indian mythology as well; this story reads true to the Indian myths that helped inspire the story.Excellent worldbuilding that is done throughout the book without ever feeling like an infodump. The world is vast, as are the characters within it, and I absolutely cherished this tale! We all know that I love complex characters, especially villains that are not strictly evil. This is definitely a tale where Esmae's perceptions of people are constantly being challenged by her interactions with those she has villified in her head, and she cares so much for her family and the people of Kali that her feelings come off the page and wiggle their way into my heart. There is also lgbt rep with a side character that I hope we see more of in the rest of the trilogy!This book is not without its faults. Some readers may be bothered by Esmae's portrayal as "The Chosen One," but in this case for me it didn't bother me since it is common in Indian mythology. I found King Elvar's childlike behavior annoying to the point that it at times ruined my enjoyment of the book. I understand that being a usurper king that is blind and reliant on others would be stressful, particularly when you have a power-hungry ally that uses fear to control the throne and opposition that is beloved by the people; however, throwing tantrums when you are a full-on old man is just uncomfortable. While I have read the Mahabharata and countless other Indian myths as part of my undergraduate education, this story is not one that requires knowledge of the original myths as the themes fit so well into the young adult sff genre: kingdoms, betrayal, ascension to rule, family politics. Free will versus destiny and every action you take leading you unwittingly toward prophesy. The story is accessible and enjoyable for all, but will be especially enjoyable to those familiar with the source material. As a note, I did struggle a bit with having a main character with the name of Rama because my first association always is with The Ramayana - and considering most of the character names weren't mythology inspired, I found it a little distracting. Overall I really enjoyed this book: you will find a vast fantasy world inspired by Indian myths with strong and complex characters that are not as they seem, devotion, sacrifice, betrayal. I love when my characters are put through the ringer and come out stronger and I cannot wait for what is in store for them. I am happy to say that the book does not end with a giant cliffhanger. It wraps up some things and sets up others for the next installment and I am excited to see where Mandanna goes next! When I first caught wind of this book earlier this year, I was so excited and I am so pleased to say that it did not disappoint. I hope you give this gem of a book a try because it is wonderful. Many thanks to the publisher for providing me an electronic advanced reader copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. Quotations taken from an uncorrected proof and may change upon final publication. Blog | Twitter | Pinterest~~~Sci-fi based on the Mahabharata?! This is everything I never knew that I needed before this moment! Will sell my soul for an arc! 🌟5/18/2018: Cover reveal!!! Check out more information and the exclusive cover reveal at Paste Magazine.
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  • Scrill
    January 1, 1970
    full RTC
  • Mishma
    January 1, 1970
    THIS BOOK IS BRILLIANT AND GLORIOUS AND HEARTBREAKING AND ALL OF YOU NEED TO READ IT!
  • Vicky Who Reads
    January 1, 1970
    4 starsMandanna 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 4 starsMandanna 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.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!Blog | Instagram | Twitter
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  • Nicole Hewitt
    January 1, 1970
    This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction AddictionThis is the type of book that leaves you thinking, “What did I just read?” immediately followed by, “When can I have more?” There were so many surprises to the story, and I found myself completely engrossed.What Fed My Addiction:Shattered all my expectations. When I started reading this, I thought I knew generally where it was going to go—the storyline seemed familiar. (And not because it’s based on the Mahabharata.) A This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction AddictionThis is the type of book that leaves you thinking, “What did I just read?” immediately followed by, “When can I have more?” There were so many surprises to the story, and I found myself completely engrossed.What Fed My Addiction:Shattered all my expectations. When I started reading this, I thought I knew generally where it was going to go—the storyline seemed familiar. (And not because it’s based on the Mahabharata.) A girl lies to everyone and pretends to ally with one side of a war so that she can actually spy and get information to help the other side. I mean, she’d obviously fall for the “bad guy” and he’d find out her secrets and everything would fall apart. Except, that’s not how it all worked out—at least not exactly. And of course, I can’t tell you what did happen, but I will say that Mandanna made her characters smarter than that, and more compassionate, (and sometimes more villainous). Basically, every time I thought I knew where the story was headed, it swerved the other way, and by the end I was completely blown away by where Mandanna left us.Inspired by ancient Indian stories. I didn’t remember when I started this that it was based on the Hindu religious tradition, but when I saw it afterward it was an aha moment for me. I’ve only ever read one other thing based on the Mahabharata, and that was a short story (in A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, if you’d like to check it out). That short story gave a brief description of the original tale, so I can now see the parallels—and maybe some of where the story is going. (Yikes!) Basically, the fact that this was based on the Hindu religion means it’s filled with gods and goddesses, epic battles and love stories, and a bit of treachery and trickery!Morally gray villains. Who even are the villains in this story? Esmae thinks she knows when she starts out, but by the time it all ends, her world is topsy-turvy and she’s thrown everything she thought she knew out the window. (View the review on my blog if you want to see my spoiler.)Dynamic characters. This sort of goes along with my last point, but I’m talking about Esmae herself here too. Esmae is an incredibly strong character, but she’s also compassionate and forward-thinking. She doesn’t just let herself be swept away by fate—she fights it tooth and nail. And almost every character is fully developed and feels real. Even with the one character who truly does fit the bill as a villain, we get a tiny glimpse of compassion from.What Left Me Hungry for More:Not much. This is one of those cases where I’m scratching my head trying to think of things I didn’t like. I mean, there were moments that I didn’t love what was happening, but I empathized with these characters so well that I felt like I could understand why they made every decision they did. And sometimes the capriciousness of the gods got to me a little, but … they’re gods. So, yeah, I pretty much liked everything.A Spark of White Fire is an epic tale of love, jealousy, hope, and betrayal. When the gods are on your side, it might be a blessing or it might be a curse! I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this fantastic new series!***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss and Fantastic Flying Book Club Tours in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
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  • KristynRene The Hype Queen of Books
    January 1, 1970
    Edelweiss granted me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. And honest is what I will offer you.4.999999999/5 Blueflower Jewel StarsI fell in love with this story. And it utterly destroyed me. And as the minutes tick down, the pieces move into place. A usurper king.A heroic exile.A jealous prince. An old warrior.A cursed mother.A war goddess.And a girl.Who knew such a girl would become A Spark of White Fire that would burn the whole world down? A girl who was just a pawn became a queen. An e Edelweiss granted me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. And honest is what I will offer you.4.999999999/5 Blueflower Jewel StarsI fell in love with this story. And it utterly destroyed me. And as the minutes tick down, the pieces move into place. A usurper king.A heroic exile.A jealous prince. An old warrior.A cursed mother.A war goddess.And a girl.Who knew such a girl would become A Spark of White Fire that would burn the whole world down? A girl who was just a pawn became a queen. An emotional but intelligent, calculated, loving, passionate, loveable, and utterly badass queen. (not literally a queen, don't think this is a spoiler because it is not.)This book is a journey I couldn't possibly leave. It had me screaming in disbelief and sheer amazement, and it had me crying from grief. I can't remember the last time a book took me on an adventure of emotions this tremendous and left me to pick up the pieces, craving for more destruction. Tell me, how does one grow attached emotionally to a ship? Idk. Read this book and you tell me how it happened to you. Moving on ;)This book is a masterpiece of calculation. The plot is chess, the characters all have secrets vital to the world building, every bit of information is important to remember, and most of all LOVE AND DEATH AND SECRETS AND LIES AND BATTLES AND SPACE TRAVEL AND A SASSY SPACESHIP. Originally, I simply sampled the kindle ARC and a few pages later I realized this was no sampling. This was a cannon ball/Olympic dive straight in. This is the start of a series done right. I begged this book to stop destroying me. It did not listen. Everything I've ever wanted in a book was in here. AH! I have become The Hype Queen of Books because of this story. Several Indian epic poems influenced the book and it was as apparent as the extra creativity used to make this world all its own. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata were definitely evident and executed very spectacularly. This book in general is spectacular. I'm so frazzled by what happened that I can't put it into words. From cover to cover, spoilers are on each page so I can't even speak to the events of the story otherwise they won't suck you in and spit you out like they did to me. (And I am gasping for more more more)SO! There's not much else to say. Just, if you are the kind of reader to want to be destroyed by a book, love space and world conquering, enjoy political intrigue, feel connected to emotional characters, or just crave a damn good character driven book with plenty of action and adventure for any YA Fantasy THIS IS YOUR BOOK!! (It is missing less than 0.000001 stars because of this one super cheesy line that might end up getting edited out so I ain't holdin it against this masterpiece) I was made for war, but I don't have war in my heart.Never has an emotional character been done so right, in my opinion. Esmae is picturesque. I adored every single character: good, evil, and neutral. Everyone was cherished. Everyone had background and was thoroughly characterized, given positives and negatives. They were real people. That's why this book destroyed me. I grew attached and one of my attachments slipped away. Other attachments betrayed me, and some attachments grew even closer to my heart. IN A MESSY CONCLUSIONThere were times I knew exactly what twist was being sewn in what moment. But I never knew what those seeds would reeped?! AND there were a plethora of hundreds other twists and turns and truths revealed that I'd never guessed coming, but they made sense! AH! Just read it. I can't stop talking about it. I loved it. You may just love it too. So give it a shot, please. Now excuse me while I go preorder the hardcover, the paperback, the next two books, and hope for the best that I can live in these pages. If you remember only one thing when I go, Esmae, remember this: you are beloved by gods you don't trust and will be betrayed by mortals you do. Damn. That about sums up this book. And it has been added to my favorites shelf along with my Dump-The-Slump shelf!! All quotes used in this review are a part of an ARC and may be subject to change prior to release date.
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  • maegan ✷
    January 1, 1970
    You may also find this review on my blog here.I received an e-ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.FINAL RATING: 3 starsTRIGGER WARNINGS: death; blood; murderThe thing about A Spark of White Fire is that it could have been an outstanding book. Morally gray characters? Check. Political intrigue? Check. Badass gods and goddesses and equally fearsome warriors in space? Check.It just fell flat.Here’s the thing: I was a huge fan of the beginning and the end of the book. The first fe You may also find this review on my blog here.I received an e-ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.FINAL RATING: 3 starsTRIGGER WARNINGS: death; blood; murderThe thing about A Spark of White Fire is that it could have been an outstanding book. Morally gray characters? Check. Political intrigue? Check. Badass gods and goddesses and equally fearsome warriors in space? Check.It just fell flat.Here’s the thing: I was a huge fan of the beginning and the end of the book. The first few chapters completely won me over, and I was breezing through this book up until the 30% mark. The ending was just as breathtaking. I skimmed everything else after the 59% mark, but the last few chapters had me on the edge of my seat. The way everything fell into place was clever and unnerving in the best way possible.But the middle? It was okay. I can see and understand how readers would be engrossed with the story from beginning to end, but I couldn’t get into it mainly because of two things: the main character’s motives and the way it was written.The motives of our main character, Esmae, were hard to fathom. She did things out of her love for her family, but how can she swear to love them so much if she’s never even met or known them? Everything she did, everything she’s sacrificed—it was all for them. But literally how is she so attached to them without having ever interacted with them prior to this?Another thing that didn’t resonate well with me was the writing style. The story was written to tell, not show. There were so many moments where scenes just jumped between one sentence and the next, scenes where characters were introduced and branded with a trait that then defined them for the rest of the book. It created such a disconnect between me and the rest of the characters other than Esmae because we were told, “This character is a bad egg!” without having the said character even prove their awfulness.As with every book I have a conflicting opinion of, the question remains: will I read the sequel? Despite the fact that this book took me way too long to read, despite the fact that I almost DNF-ed this but decided to skim the rest of the book inside—yes. Yes, I will be reading the sequel because the story is truly ripe with so much potential. I am attached to the politics of the story and the way the characters can still develop.
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  • Lulai
    January 1, 1970
    I decided to ask this book for an E-arc on a whim and I did well because I loved freaking love this book.Imagine the perfect mix between science fiction and mythology, because in this world, there are whole populations with governments and kings living on spaceships or planets across the galaxy, but the gods are still alive and interact with humans. It immediately reminded me of Greek mythology where the gods had their own champions, and even if the gods are not Greek, there are many similaritie I decided to ask this book for an E-arc on a whim and I did well because I loved freaking love this book.Imagine the perfect mix between science fiction and mythology, because in this world, there are whole populations with governments and kings living on spaceships or planets across the galaxy, but the gods are still alive and interact with humans. It immediately reminded me of Greek mythology where the gods had their own champions, and even if the gods are not Greek, there are many similarities. It's a world I loved for its richness and the mix of genres is very successful. Moreover, there was also a singular atmosphere with curses and prophecy, in short, it was so cool.Esmae is a heroine who is an orphan, her mother abandoned her on a ship, but a goddess decided to save her. After all, Esmae is a princess, her destiny will be great and after all she is a favorite of the gods. She is a great heroine, strong, intelligent and thoughtful, and even if sometimes the emotions around her family are complicated she does what she thinks is right. She is a heroine who is just human and I loved her for that. In addition, the end of the book announces a very interesting evolution for her in the sequel, let me tell you, I can not wait for it.The rhythm of the book is extremely successful, there is suspense from the beginning to the end and over the pages it increases and this ending was just amazing. This is a book that has a great universe, a badass heroine and an intriguing plot from start to finish and that has been a great surprise because I didn't expect anything from this book. As you may have understood, I loved this novel and I recommend it warmly.Thank to edelweiss for providing me thix e-arc, the opinion ar all mine.
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  • Shealea
    January 1, 1970
    Despite being heavily influenced by the ancient epic Mahabharata and other Indian lore, there is nothing quite like Mandanna’s novel – A Spark of White Fire is an absolutely unique, genre-defying gamechanger in YA.- Perfectly seamless blending of fantasy and science fiction elements!- Intricately developed world-building nicely integrated with Indian mythology!- Meddlesome gods and goddesses, and celestial weapons blessed by them!- Flawed, morally ambiguous characters of color!- Family complexit Despite being heavily influenced by the ancient epic Mahabharata and other Indian lore, there is nothing quite like Mandanna’s novel – A Spark of White Fire is an absolutely unique, genre-defying gamechanger in YA.- Perfectly seamless blending of fantasy and science fiction elements!- Intricately developed world-building nicely integrated with Indian mythology!- Meddlesome gods and goddesses, and celestial weapons blessed by them!- Flawed, morally ambiguous characters of color!- Family complexities and character relationships!- Compelling plot with political scheming and fighting against the tides of destiny!- A thrilling, satisfying conclusion that sets up the sequel very nicely!Overall, A Spark of White Fire is wonderfully imaginative, culturally rich, and fascinatingly complex. It goes without saying that I absolutely enjoyed it! With a flawed heroine who grows stronger in the face of adversity, complex characters that are more than what meets the eye, a compelling plot with themes of family politics, betrayal, and loyalty, A Spark of White Fire is a brilliant space opera no one should miss out on.Trigger/Content warning: (view spoiler)[Death; themes of war; parental abandonment; murder. (hide spoiler)]Disclosure: I received a physical ARC of A Spark of White Fire from Samantha Shannon from Twitter. Thank you so much!Rating: 5 stars* Read the rest of this review in my natural habitat!
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  • Clephiro (The Book Coven)
    January 1, 1970
    Look, I wanted to love this book more than anything else. I think this was one of my most anticipated ARCs. There were a lot of disparate elements in this book: gods, sentient spaceships, hidden princesses, secret twins, being trained secretly...all in less than the first 20% of the book. No matter how interesting the concepts were, at least for me, they weren't really well integrated. There was way too much happening, way too quickly and it just didn't mesh. There wasn't enough background quick Look, I wanted to love this book more than anything else. I think this was one of my most anticipated ARCs. There were a lot of disparate elements in this book: gods, sentient spaceships, hidden princesses, secret twins, being trained secretly...all in less than the first 20% of the book. No matter how interesting the concepts were, at least for me, they weren't really well integrated. There was way too much happening, way too quickly and it just didn't mesh. There wasn't enough background quickly enough about any of the characters or their relationships so I just didn't really form any connections, and their relationships with each other were confusing. I was constantly asking myself how these two people could know each other, and most of it came back to coincidence or interference deus ex machina style by the gods.I also didn't really gel with the writing style. There was a ton of telling me things happened and so little introspection. The wording choices also sometimes seemed a bit off. This book wasn't my cup of tea, but maybe it'll be yours. I think that beneath all this, there is a really interesting idea that, with a lot more editing, could be executed much more cohesively.
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  • Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
    January 1, 1970
    Years ago, I read Sangu Mandanna’s debut novel. While I wasn’t exactly blown away, I thought it’d be worth returning to her work later on in her career. So when I heard about her second book, A Spark of White Fire, a young adult sci-fi novel inspired by the Mahabharata, I decided to give it a go. And as it turns out, she’s really grown as a writer! A Spark of White Fire is an entertaining entry to the field of young adult SFF, and I have a hunch that it’ll be one of my favorite YA novels of 2018 Years ago, I read Sangu Mandanna’s debut novel. While I wasn’t exactly blown away, I thought it’d be worth returning to her work later on in her career. So when I heard about her second book, A Spark of White Fire, a young adult sci-fi novel inspired by the Mahabharata, I decided to give it a go. And as it turns out, she’s really grown as a writer! A Spark of White Fire is an entertaining entry to the field of young adult SFF, and I have a hunch that it’ll be one of my favorite YA novels of 2018.Esmae is an exiled princess, only no one knows it. At birth, she was separated from her twin brother, Alexi, heir to the kingdom of Kali, and grew up in an orphanage of a neighboring kingdom. Luckily, she was a favorite of a goddess, who made sure that Esmae received an education fit for a princess. Flashforward to the present day, when her uncle has seized the throne of Kali and Alexi is trying to raise an army to retake his throne. Key to his plan is entering a contest to fight for the spaceship Titania, which the gods have promised is undefeatable. Only, Esmae has a plan of her own, which requires revealing her true identity and winning the Titania herself. If she can convince her uncle she’s on his side, then she can be a spy for Alexi within Kali itself. Only, Esmae is new to the family history and drama, and she never wanted war in the first place.In the world of A Spark of White Fire, gods are immortal and divine beings who take an interest in the human world. While they cannot directly interfere with a human’s fate for risk of losing their godhood, they can exert a great amount of influence. It is because of the gods and their rules that most modern weapons have been banned, in an effort to decrease casualties. Wars are fought with bows and swords, in hand-to-hand combat. Spaceships have some more advanced weapons, but they are limited in their uses.Before the gods’ rules on warfare were explained, I’ll admit that I was confused as to why the contest for the Titania involved archery in a science fiction setting. However, I think that the rules of warfare is a great example of how aesthetic can be woven into a story without compromising plot or world building. A Spark of White Fire could easily be called a space fantasy — a nominal science fiction novel that resembles a fantasy novel in the plot and some aspects of world building. It’s also a clever way to bring in elements of Indian mythology and the Mahabharata.I really enjoyed the influence of the Mahabharata, although I’ll admit that I’m not super familiar with the source material. Most of what I know comes from reading a retelling, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Palace of Illusions. Reading A Spark of White Fire, I would occasionally have sparks of familiarity with elements such as the contest for the Titania. If you’re familiar with the mythology, then that adds another layer of depth to A Spark of White Fire. If you’re not, or like me have only a passing familiarity than it is still a story that holds its own.Before I dive into characters and plot, there’s one other world-building concept I want to comment on: lack of sexism. Women in A Spark of White Fire are just as likely to be trained as warriors, and there’s never any comments about Esmae’s fighting skills being unusual because she’s a girl. Actually, I can’t remember anything that suggests sexism is a thing in this universe. Relatedly, Mandanna also includes some queer supporting characters, and homophobia doesn’t appear to be present either.Some of A Spark of White Fire‘s plot beats may be predictable, but that’s okay. Tropes are tropes for a reason: when used well, they work. Besides, with any type of mythology retelling, you’re going to get at least some predictable elements. What matters is that the story itself is engaging and well told.If you are a regular reader of my reviews, then you probably know that I’m not a huge romance fan. Actually, it’s more accurate to say I tend to dislike it. This is particularly a problem for YA novels, which tend to be obsessed with romantic plotlines, and personally annoying tropes such as insta-love and love triangles. For those curious, A Spark of White Fire does not have a love triangle! While there is a romantic subplot, it didn’t annoy me. The love interest, Max, is the adopted son of Esmae’s throne-usurping uncle. Only, the uncle doesn’t actually treat Max like a son. The romance itself is a slow enough burn that it never felt out of left field, and I think Esmae and Max do have traits in common and similar values. Both are outsiders as a sort, and both wish to avoid war and to heal the broken family. All in all, it’s a romance that I found believable and that didn’t actively annoy me, which is always a win!If you’re looking for a young adult SFF story with complicated family dynamics, curses, and a female lead who can hold her own in a fight, then A Spark of White Fire is the book for you.I received an ARC in exchange for a free and honest review. Review originally posted on The Illustrated Page.
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  • michelle (magicalreads)
    January 1, 1970
    A Spark of White Fire was a bit of a surprise to me. I've been in such a reading rut, such that I reread books constantly and when I do read something new, I'm not entirely in love with it. However, this book escaped that luckily! You won't be able to put A Spark of White Fire down. I leave the lonely dark of the shadows. I am in the light. Bow in hand. A pawn in a Warlords game.Do you know what happens when a pawn gets all the way across the board?She becomes a queen. Esmae is such a great prot A Spark of White Fire was a bit of a surprise to me. I've been in such a reading rut, such that I reread books constantly and when I do read something new, I'm not entirely in love with it. However, this book escaped that luckily! You won't be able to put A Spark of White Fire down. I leave the lonely dark of the shadows. I am in the light. Bow in hand. A pawn in a Warlords game.Do you know what happens when a pawn gets all the way across the board?She becomes a queen. Esmae is such a great protagonist; she really only has one goal: to go home. And she's willing to do whatever it takes to do so. You really feel the ache she feels, an ache to return to her family despite the fact that she's never met them. Along the way, Esmae discovers that not all issues are so black and white. The uncle who stole her brother's throne isn't entirely evil, nor is his son. Of course, this puts a wrench in her plans as she starts liking her life with them and as she gets to know her brothers.I'm not really familiar with the Mahabharata, so I don't know much about the appearances of gods in those stories. I did like them in this story; their presence adds a lot to the world building in a subtle way, as well as reassurance for Esmae. You are loved by gods too, Esmae, even if you don't yet know it . . . You are more than your flaws and mistakes. You are more than the sorrows of your past. Your heart is as fierce as a lion's. You are loved by gods, just as your brother is. Remember that. A Spark of White Fire is more of a fantasy within a science-fiction background. There's a sentient warship that is unbeatable, there are different planets, there's a struggle for the rightful ruler to the throne. The world building is so well thought out with all the different planets and their monarchies. I also loved the writing. I can't really explain why, but something about it just feels right to me.I even liked the romance, even though (slight spoilers) I dislike anything remotely close to incest. Technically they're not related and they didn't grow up together, so it doesn't cross a line for me. It is a little borderline, but I don't know . . . I just like them together. Also! there's a secondary sapphic character as well as a prince who likes girls and boys. These are just mentioned in passing, but that actually made it better for me, normalizing LGBTQ+ relationships in a fantasy/sci-fi novel.With lovable characters, a thrilling plot, and exquisite writing, A Spark of White Fire shot an arrow into my heart. Really. I adored this book, and I can't wait for the sequel!original review:I’m so in love!!!
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  • Jaime Arkin
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve been kind of all over the place with my reading lately, and not a lot has been sticking, but when I read the summary for A Spark of White Fire I downloaded it immediately. I love Sci-Fi and I had some high expectations for this and it didn’t let me down.Admittedly this story started a little slow for me, but I was completely invested by about 25% in. Esmae is our main protagonist and her history is so intriguing. She grew up alone away from her family and her home of Kali because her mother I’ve been kind of all over the place with my reading lately, and not a lot has been sticking, but when I read the summary for A Spark of White Fire I downloaded it immediately. I love Sci-Fi and I had some high expectations for this and it didn’t let me down.Admittedly this story started a little slow for me, but I was completely invested by about 25% in. Esmae is our main protagonist and her history is so intriguing. She grew up alone away from her family and her home of Kali because her mother sent her away based on a curse that was put upon her mother. Esmae only wants one thing … to return to Kali and help her twin brother take back the throne that was stolen from him. I really loved the way Mandanna wove the gods into this story, the few we meet, add another layer of drama that is unpredictable, and by the end I couldn’t turn pages fast enough! Of course nothing goes as planned for Esmae. After winning the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania from right under her brother’s nose, she heads back to Kali to win the trust of the uncle who stole the throne and encounters Max, her uncle’s adopted son and finds that she can’t seem to ignore him… and she doesn’t really want to. Max is complicated… he loves his father and will do what he needs to support and keep him on the throne, but he also will do what he can to keep a war from happening, and that means keeping an eye on Esmae. What he doesn’t count on is that he is drawn to her in unexpected ways. Okay… I know what you’re thinking ….ewwwwww his cousin?? BUT – they aren’t blood related, nor did they grow up together so it wasn’t as weird as it might sound. That said, the romance here is slight. There isn’t a lot of it, which me being me, kind of wanted more, but I’ll take what I can!If you’re a fan of epic sci-fi space opera’s I highly recommend grabbing this title. I’m really excited to see what book 2 is going to bring us, especially after that ending! Thank you to the publisher for an early copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.
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  • Kelsey
    January 1, 1970
    ***A big thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review***Okay, so I really enjoyed this book. A lot. I feel like the characters were likable. I liked the idea of the world(s) that were created. I also liked the gods/goddesses that were involved and all of the family dynamics. Esmae is our MC. She has been invisible most of her life after being abandoned by her mother. But she has secrets. TONS of secrets, and you get to find one out pretty early on in the book ***A big thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review***Okay, so I really enjoyed this book. A lot. I feel like the characters were likable. I liked the idea of the world(s) that were created. I also liked the gods/goddesses that were involved and all of the family dynamics. Esmae is our MC. She has been invisible most of her life after being abandoned by her mother. But she has secrets. TONS of secrets, and you get to find one out pretty early on in the book, so that's cool. At first I was scared there was TOO much information being thrown out, but it chilled out and it all made sense.There are a TON of family dynamics happening in this book. And for the most part it works. I enjoyed the spider web of connections. The only thing I didn't enjoy was how predictable the story line was. Maybe it's my fault because I just finished another spacey scifi book right before this, so I was seeing a lot of similarities between the two stories. I just felt like there wasn't any REAL anguish going on. Nothing super sad happened, nothing life shattering....the only real emotion was at the very end. This book wasn't bad, but it wasn't fantastic either. I might continue to read the series, but I won't be freaking out about the sequel.
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  • Bright Star
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. A Spark of White Fire is the first installment in the Celestial Trilogy, a sci-fi book inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories. I've never heard about it (the Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India) and I was curious to learn more. What can I say? It was an enjoyable story, the writing style was good but what lacked were informations about the worldbuilding and characters depth. I received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. A Spark of White Fire is the first installment in the Celestial Trilogy, a sci-fi book inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories. I've never heard about it (the Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India) and I was curious to learn more. What can I say? It was an enjoyable story, the writing style was good but what lacked were informations about the worldbuilding and characters depth. I didn't feel captivated enough. It was like reading a story with its events and facts, but emotionally I felt nothing. It doesn't mean it's a bad book, but it didn't fully work out for me.
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  • Kara
    January 1, 1970
    I can see why everybody is talking about this book. It's absolutely fabulous, though it's not really a Kara book. As I mentioned in my status updates, it combines Gods/Goddesses and science fiction elements, and this was just a bit too for for me to have to stretch my imagination. The plotting was excellent, however, as is most of the world-building. The only thing I wish--there are a fair amount of characters in this book and I wish I had felt that equal time was spent on all of them. How am I I can see why everybody is talking about this book. It's absolutely fabulous, though it's not really a Kara book. As I mentioned in my status updates, it combines Gods/Goddesses and science fiction elements, and this was just a bit too for for me to have to stretch my imagination. The plotting was excellent, however, as is most of the world-building. The only thing I wish--there are a fair amount of characters in this book and I wish I had felt that equal time was spent on all of them. How am I supposed to care about one of the saddest moments in the book when I never really got to know those characters?I loved Esmae, but I definitely wanted more from Alexi, Bear, Titania, and the other major players. I'm definitely in for the next installment though.
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)A Spark of White Fire is this gorgeous mash up of destiny, space, diversity, and gods/goddesses. It's entrancing. You lose yourself somewhere between the fantasy, the spaceships, and Esmae's journey to find her family. It's a book that makes you question fate, family, and trust. It's a book that grows its characters and deepens its resolve. And it's only the beginning.full rev (Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)A Spark of White Fire is this gorgeous mash up of destiny, space, diversity, and gods/goddesses. It's entrancing. You lose yourself somewhere between the fantasy, the spaceships, and Esmae's journey to find her family. It's a book that makes you question fate, family, and trust. It's a book that grows its characters and deepens its resolve. And it's only the beginning.full review; https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Yaiza
    January 1, 1970
    «A usurper king. A heroic exile. A jealous prince. An old warrior. A cursed mother. A war goddess. And a girl. You’d be forgiven for thinking the girl is irrelevant.»Perfect balance of tropes and twists, of action and politics. The writing was beautiful and tended to tell instead of show (which I love). And the setting aaaah the descriptions of the settings were just perfect
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  • Ricky
    January 1, 1970
    Just read the blurb and let Sangu Mandanna take your money.You're welcome. Obviously.
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