The serpent's secret

Sayantani DasGupta

Book - 2018

Up until her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala considered herself an ordinary sixth-grader in Parsippany, New Jersey, but then her parents disappear and a drooling rakkhosh demon shows up in her kitchen, and soon she is swept into another dimension, full of magic, winged horses, talking birds (very annoying), and cute princes--and somehow Kiranmala needs to sort it all out, find her parents, and basically save the world.

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Fantasy fiction
Action and adventure fiction
New York : Scholastic Press 2018.
Main Author
Sayantani DasGupta (author)
Other Authors
Vivienne To (illustrator)
First edition
Physical Description
338 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Kiranmala's parents have always been a little weird, with their princess obsession, Indian folktales, and strange rituals. For the most part, Kiran has a normal life in her New Jersey town, until her twelfth birthday, when her parents are kidnapped by a rakkhosh demon (surprise, they're real!), and two young warrior princes appear on her doorstep. Practical Kiran is less than thrilled to discover that not only are her parents not her birth parents, she's actually an Indian princess from another dimension and all the fanciful stories her parents tell are true. She's barely had time to process all this before she's whisked away on a flying horse by the prince brothers, one handsome and honorable, the other totally obnoxious. To rescue her parents, Kiran will have to embrace her true heritage and learn a thing or two about demon slaying along the way. Inspired by Bengali folktales, this is an exciting, fantastical debut grounded by Kiran's wry, clever voice and her experiences as a child of immigrants. With a vibrant supporting cast, a world steeped in Bengali folk stories, and an action-packed story line, this is a series starter that rivals Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief (2005). A breathtaking adventure.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

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 PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

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, TX © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

New Jersey sixth grader Kiranmala's parents have always told her she's a "real Indian princess," and she learns it's true when an inter-dimensional demon swallows the family up on her twelfth birthday. Guided by cranky Prince Neelkamal, Kiran quests through a shifting, wondrous, and frequently snot-soaked galaxy of Indian mythology to rescue her parents. Kiran's first-person narration is assured, appealing, and unfailingly funny. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

It is not very often one comes across a fantasy novel for young readers in which the protagonist is both Indian and an interdimensional demon slayer.Kiranmala is a regular sixth-grader in Parsippany, New Jersey, until her life is thrown out of whack when her parents are cast into another dimension as the result of an imploding spell. To make matters worse, a drooling rakkhosh slams into her kitchen, ready to eat her. Kiran leaves on a quest to save her parents; she's accompanied by two handsome Indian princesLal and Neeland their flying pakkhiraj horses. What follows is a roller-coaster adventure into The Kingdom Beyond the Seven Oceans and Thirteen Rivers, where Kiran and her friends seek help from a bird who enjoys bad jokes, flee from demon groupies, and face the formidable Serpent King. Writing in smart and likable Kiran's first-person voice, DasGupta successfully blends together American popular culture, Bengali folk tales, and witty dialogue in her hilarious debut. (The banter among Kiran and the bickering Lal and Neel alone will have readers in stitches.) A refreshing take on the hero's quest in which almost all the characters are Indian (or are of Indian origin), this series opener explores both the pains of growing up and what it means to be a second-generation Indian-American. This original fantasy is laugh-out-loud funny and extremely engaging. (Fantasy. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.