A Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy #1) by Sangu Mandanna
ARC provided by Edelweiss for a fair review.
Publish date: September 11, 2018
In an opportune moment to win the unbeatable battleship, Titania, Esmae challenges the exiled prince. Winning the challenge, she reveals her secret identity which unfurls a chain of reactions that lead her down a path that the gods foretell her of death.
So this was supposed to be a Mahabharata/Indian folklore retelling, which I honestly don’t know much about. I loved the idea of this girl who was fighting for something that wasn’t necessarily for her. Granted, she did want to be home, but overall what she was doing was for her brother to get his kingdom back. It made for an interesting premise, because I honestly though that when she attempted the challenge that it would be all about her desires.
The romance in the story was a little stinted, I was…but wasn’t expecting it, and personally thought it could go without, as it didn’t actually add to the story. Maybe it will come to play in later books?
Though the book was easy to read, the pacing seemed a little slow. If there wasn’t impeding death I would have lost interest pretty early on. The twist at the end was definitely unexpected though! I
The World Building
Ever hear the words “sci-fi fantasy” and think, that’s two different genres? Well, somehow Mandanna manages to put old timey fantasy in space…with space ships. There are moments of archery and talk of swords and maces, chariots, etc…on space stations and inter planet travel. In the midst of all this actual sci-fi fantasy combo, we have some celestial beings and fates that come into play. All in all, I mostly enjoyed the juxtaposition that was created, however, there were parts that I thought, okay, well that’s just convenient. None the less, it worked!
Esmae was the sort of headstrong character that gets advice from some prominent figures, yet does whatever she wants. Time and time again it sort of made me really mad. Like here’s this sorta all knowing being advising you not to do this or that, and you’re like, no way I’m going to do it anyway. I just wanted to shake her and be like, ARE YOU REALLY THAT UNHAPPY WHERE YOU ARE?
**Note: when I picked this song I immediately wanted to up my star rating from 3 to 5 because it really got my amped up about the ending.
Adele – Rolling in the Deep