Mythology, science, and interdimensional travel merge in this imaginative story about one girl's search for self and the discovery of pride in one's culture. Kiran has grown up being told that she is an Indian princess and has been raised on stories about creatures of Indian legend and lore--all of which she thinks is her eccentric parents' way of instilling their culture in her. In reality, they are trying to prepare her: on Kiran's 12th birthday, a spell protecting her expires, her parents disappear, and Kiran is attacked by a demonic rakkhosh. After meeting a pair of prince brothers, Kiran travels to the realm of her birth, the Kingdom Beyond Seven Oceans and Thirteen Rivers, in an effort to rescue her parents. Her journey takes her through a shifting mythological landscape that she confronts with daring, humor, and a no-nonsense attitude while learning more about her true history. The over-the-top action and ample banter will leave readers looking forward to more of Kiran's adventures. Art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. Author's agent: Brent Taylor, Triada US. Illustrator's agency: Shannon Associates. (Feb.)Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Gr 5-7--On her 12th birthday, Kiranmala gets a lot more than she expected: a rakkhosh (an Indian demon) roars onto her home, wanting to eat her; even more surprising, a set of handsome princes arrive to help her escape. Thus begins Kiran's adventures in the Kingdom Beyond, an alternate dimension where her parents are being held captive and will end up as a meal for a baby rakkhosh unless Kiran and her friends can solve the riddles, complete their journey, and rescue her parents. Debut author Dasgupta includes many references to Bengali folktales, with asides that playfully detour the narrative for a few pages while someone's mustache is stolen or a famous nursery rhyme is quoted. The subplots are interesting and the overall story will appeal to fans of Rick Riordan and those who like their adventures fast and furious. The strong female protagonist and the integration of generally under-explored Indian mythology make this a compelling choice for most libraries. VERDICT Purchase for upper elementary and middle school libraries where Percy Jackson still rules.--Elizabeth Friend, Wester Middle School, TXCopyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Praise for The Serpent's Secret
"Never a dull moment for our ordinary-girl-turned-demon-fighting-princess Kiranmala in this hilarious, action-packed romp. Also, there is snot. It's, like, everywhere. This combination of crucial elements is everything I love in a book. A brilliant beginning to a fresh (and potentially sticky) new series!" — Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of The Unwanteds
"This funny, unique book feels like the spirit of A Wrinkle in Time married the awesomeness of Bengali folktales and had the coolest, fiercest Indian princess - so much fun!Can Kiranmala save the rest of us next?" — Tui Sutherland, New York Times bestselling author of Wings of Fire
"I was hooked from the first page, and the action-packed story never let me go. I adored Kiranmala's sass, courage, and confidence. She is a hero all readers will love." — Jennifer Nielsen, New York Times bestselling author of The False Prince