|Force of fire (Kiranmala and the kingdom beyond)|
Author: DasGupta, Sayantani
Pinki hails from a long line of rakkhosh resistors, demons who have spent years building interspecies relationships, working together to achieve their goal of overthrowing the snakey oppressors and taking back their rights. When Sesha, the charming son of the Serpentine Governor, calls on Pinki for help in defeating the resistance, he promises to give her what she most desires in return -- the ability to control her fire. Will the tasks she has to endure be worth it in the end?
Kirkus Reviews (+) (04/01/21)
School Library Journal (+) (04/16/21)
Booklist (+) (04/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/16/2021 Gr 4–7— DasGupta's latest novel captivates from the very beginning. Pinki is absolutely nothing like her parents—rakkhosh rebels who were part of a coalition of demons, humans, and others fighting to overthrow their serpent overlords. Pinki just wants to make it through Ghatatkach Academy of Murder and Mayhem with her three young cousins, learn to control her powers, and avoid the notice of bullies. But when Pinki meets Sesha, the son of the tyrannical Serpent Governor-General, he promises to help her with her powers in exchange for joining his efforts against the resistance. The more involved Pinki gets, the more she realizes that eventually, she'll have to choose between helping herself and helping everyone else. Despite being a literal fire-breathing demon, Pinki is a relatable protagonist. She is by turns full of confidence and steeped in insecurity. She longs to get out from under the shadow of her parents' heroic deeds and does so by acting selfishly. But as the story progresses, Pinki is changed; her character development and relationship with cousin Deembo form the emotional heart of this novel. DasGupta tackles a variety of serious topics in this fantasy adventure novel, including racism, colonialism, and the violence of cultural erasure. The back matter details the cultural, historical, and sociological inspirations for the book. DasGupta draws from Bengali folklore and children's stories to create an enthralling and vibrant world. VERDICT An enchanting and humorous tale that is sure to please fans of Roshani Chokshi and other "Rick Riordan Presents" authors.—Ness Shortley, Horton M.S., Pittsboro, NC - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/01/2021 *Starred Review* This fourth book in the Kingdom Beyond universe follows the rakkhosh Pinki, a fire-demoness, as she struggles to keep an eye on her bumbling trio of younger cousins and deal with cute boys, human and demon alike. On top of it all, she still hasn’t learned how to control her powerful fire, and after the nefarious snakes who rule the kingdom offer to solve her problem in exchange for help against the brewing resistance—which she has actively avoided participating in—she must find a way to get out of the deal and help the humans she’s been trained to hate. With masterful storytelling—supplemented by lively interior illustrations—and memorable characters, the story revolves around the question of legacy and how to make decisions for yourself regardless of what others expect. DasGupta anchors it all in Pinki’s sassy, spirited voice and more unforgettable world building inspired by Bengali folklore; the book is replete with flawlessly timed comic relief, fast-paced action and adventure, and more than enough romance and mystery to keep the pages turning. With everything from a ghost army to cute but cursed boys to flying crocodiles, the least strange things about this universe are the demons and monsters, and readers will delight in the world as they know it being turned on its head. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.