A Spark of White Fire, by Sangu Mandanna || Complex families, political schemes, & interstellar awesomeness (& a giveaway)


Title: A Spark of White Fire
Author: Sangu Mandanna
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Copy: Physical ARC
Rating:

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Synopsis:

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.

Review:

Despite being heavily influenced by the ancient epic Mahabharata and other Indian lore, there is nothing quite like Mandanna’s latest novel – A Spark of White Fire is an absolutely unique, genre-defying gamechanger in YA. I’ll admit that I have never read the Mahabharata (although after reading this novel, I definitely plan to eventually get to it) so I don’t know how much material was adopted in the story. Nonetheless, by the end of it all, A Spark of White Fire is truly an incomparable gem of a space opera.

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Fall 2018: Asian sci-fi & fantasy releases to fall in love with

I’ll be honest with you, guys. I was born, raised, and still currently reside in the Philippines, which only has two seasons: really wet and really dry (Speaking of, another huge typhoon just hit the country – what else is new, really – and I’m hoping everyone was safe and unharmed). Having never experienced fall, winter, or even spring, I had to ✨ Google search ✨ my way into figuring out what months of the year comprise the fall season.

According to Google, falls begins on the first day of September and lasts until the last day of November – so that’s the timeframe I’m working with. If I’m wrong and Google has betrayed me without my knowledge, feel free to correct me!

Anyway, for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, the prompt is ‘Books on My Fall 2018 TBR’. I recently discussed why I’m not the type to make TBR posts, and if you read that post, you would understand why I’ve decided to share science fiction and fantasy releases from Asian authors that will be (or have already been) released in Fall 2018.

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Books on the Rice (Vol. 2): 2018-2019 Asian science fiction books to sink your teeth into!

Hey, ya girl is back with another list of books! Around two weeks ago, I compiled over 35 Asian-inspired fantasy books (2018-2019) for all of us to drool over.

I had tons of fun with conducting a bit of bookish research, especially bookish research that involves two things I adore (i.e. Asian culture and fantasy). With that said, I had more than enough motivation to work on another list! I was really torn between two other beloved genres, namely, contemporary and science fiction. Conducting a poll on Twitter seemed like the best (and wisest) course of action to take (but if you’d still like a list of contemporary books with Asian protagonists written by Asian authors, let me know in the comments below!).

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Books on the Rice: 2018-2019 Asian-inspired fantasy novels to drool over

As all of you should know by now, I was born and raised (and still currently live) in the Philippines, which is located in the heart of Southeast Asia. So it comes as no surprise that ya girl is extremely fascinated by stories set in Asia, stories written by Asian authors, and more recently, fantasies inspired by Asian culture, folklore, and mythology.

The fantasy genre occupies a sizable space in my little reader heart. Fantasies stretch the imagination of readers, effectively offer escapism, and commonly tackle important ideas in remarkably creative ways, such as re-imagined political systems, war, traditions, and even moments in history. In other words: the fantasy genre is awesome, don’t @ me.

Growing up, my favorite was The Iron Fey series, which was written by Julie Kagawa, an American author of Japanese descent. However, the story behind the books themselves was not actually influenced by her Asian heritage. While I still love The Iron Fey books (and will eternally have a soft spot for Puck), I can’t help but think about how amazingly different my childhood would have been if little kid Shealea had her hands on books with dimensional characters she could really identify with or stories set in places she was acutely familiar with.

I mean, imagine having a bunch of rice-fueled heroes and heroines to look up to at an early age! (Of course, I am partly kidding. There’s more to being Asian than just eating a lot of rice, although I do love rice to a fault. Rice is amazing, y’all!)

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