The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta

Review and photo by Laura Gardner ~ Originally posted on Instagram @librianmsg

Thank you to the publisher for sharing this book with Kid Lit Exchange. All opinions are my own.

The Serpent’s Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1) by Sayantani DasGupta
(Scholastic ~ February 27, 2018)

Goodreads Description

MEET KIRANMALA: INTERDIMENSIONAL DEMONSLAYER

(But she doesn’t know it yet.)

On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey… until her parents mysteriously vanish later that day and a rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents’ fantastical stories—like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess—and a wealth of secrets about her origin they’ve kept hidden.

To complicate matters, two crushworthy Indian princes ring her doorbell, insisting they’re here to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and slay demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld (who may or may not want to kill her) and the rakkhosh queen (who definitely does) in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it…

Laura’s Review

What would you do if you came home from school on your twelfth birthday to find your Screenshot 2018-03-04 08.36.17parents missing, a rakkhosh (demon) waiting for you and two princes with flying horses who insist you really are a princess?

I don’t read much fantasy. I often don’t like fantasy. I’m a tough customer when it comes to fantasy. I LOVED THIS BOOK. THE SERPENT’S SECRET is funny and full of adventure.

Readers (and librarians) will love it because it’s a Riordan book readalike, but don’t think of Kiran as a female, Indian Percy Jackson. She is spunky and brave and deserves to stand on her own (although it’s pretty awesome how quickly this will fly off shelves when you mention any similarity to PJ books). I love the fast-moving plot, the original world Kiran must travel to to find her parents, the snarky conversational writing and the Bengali folktales that Dasgupta has used as the basis for her story. It’s so rare for an author to get humor right, but Dasgupta does. I was giggling out loud through much of the book…and I was reading in public! On the train! You will love this, too and so will your students. This is a first purchase for all elementary and middle schools and it’s going to be a HUGE HIT.


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