Author: Sangu Mandanna
Genre: Sci-fi & fantasy
Age Range: 13+
Published: By Sky Pony Press on 3rd September, 2019
Content Warning: Grief and loss of a body part
Format I Read: Kindle e-book
Note: I received a free finished copy of the book via Caffeine Book Tours and Sky Pony Press in exchange for an honest review
Esmae once wanted nothing more than to help her golden brother win the crown of Kali but that dream died with her best friend. Alexi broke her heart, and she vowed to destroy him for it. And with her sentient warship Titania beside her, how can she possibly fail?
As gods, beasts, and kingdoms choose sides, Alexi seeks out a weapon more devastating than even Titania. Past lives threaten the present. Old enemies claim their due. And Esmae cannot outrun the ghosts and the questions that haunt her. What really happened to her father? What was the third boon her mother asked of Amba? For in the shadows, lurking in wait, are secrets that will swallow her whole.
The House of Rey is at war. And the entire galaxy will bleed before the end.
You can find my review of A Spark of White Fire here. The first book had set the bar really high and I fully expected this book to surpass it. This is one of my most anticipated books of the year and I was so glad I got the opportunity to read this ahead of publication date.
Titania was one of my favourite characters from the previous book and I was so glad we got her perspective in this one. Her narration balanced out the heaviness of Esmae’s voice, which was much darker in tone. The side characters also went through their own organic development, my favourites being Radha and Sybilla.
While A Spark of White Fire had a slow build-up to a thrilling climax, in this the plot started at a breakneck speed that carried on until the end. The way Mandanna puts her own spin on familiar elements from the Mahabharata was my favourite part of the first book and in this one too. As someone who read some more retellings/re-imaginings of this epic I have grown up with between the first and the second book, Mandanna’s creativity made this series unlike anything I have read so far in the best of ways. The world-building was also kicked up a notch and I felt more immersed this time around. It’s very difficult to talk about this book without giving away spoilers, so I’ll just sum up my review by saying that A House of Rage and Sorrow had all the elements I loved in A Spark of White Fire but better.
I’m pleased to report that several of my blogger friends read the first book during the Indian Lit Readathon and for this blog tour thanks to mine and Sahi‘s constant fangirling. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a Mahabharat-inspired story set in space, who likes the sentient spaceship element or is looking for a diverse SFF read. For the music, I would recommend Star Wars or Interstellar soundtrack covers that incorporate Indian music (like this one). For the food, I suggest trying out some Indian dish that has a dash of spice to compliment the tone of the book and it would be even better if you can find an authentic Kodava recipe.
About the Author
Blog Tour Schedule
Head to the tweet below and enter!
Our blog tour for A HOUSE OF RAGE AND SORROW will launch in a few hours, & we also have a contest. 💛
The prize? Name one of the characters for Book 3!
Ends Aug 31 pic.twitter.com/32cJLzoevs
— Caffeine Book Tours (@CaffeineTours) August 18, 2019
Have you read A Spark of White Fire? Which is your favourite Mahabharata retelling? Do you like mythological retellings? Let’s discuss in the comments section below.