Review: The Serpent’s Secret, Santayani DasGupta

Sayantani DasGupta’s debut novel, The Serpent’s Secret, would rock a kid’s world in any dimension.

I received a physical galley of The Serpent’s Secret in exchange for an honest review from the editor after begging for it on Twitter to anyone who would listen. I’m not ashamed of it. This book was awesome.The Serpent’s Secret focuses on Kiranmala. She is a interdimensional demon slayer and undercover princess … she just doesn’t know it yet.

Kiran lives in Parsipanny, New Jersey with her Quickie Mart-owning parents, and thought that her 12th birthday would be uneventful. Until she comes home from school to find the house a wreck, her parents gone, and two princes, Neel and Lal, here to rescue her.

It turns out her parents’ stories about her being a true princess might actually be true. Kiran gets swept away on a journey that forces her to question everything she’s ever known and to try not to get killed by the Serpent King or the Rakkhoshi Queen while she saves the world. You can read the full synopsis here.

The Serpent’s Secret is a delightful romp that makes dark energy and dark matter completely understandable for its middle grade audience, complete with an appearance from Albert Einstein. I wish that the world’s magic had been explored a little bit more, but I think Dasgupta left a lot of space in the next book in the series to expand on this world and the interdimensional aspect. Sayantani DasGupta’s debut novel is a book that will fit perfectly on shelves with Rick Riordan’s books, as well as Roshani Chokshi’s Aru Shah and the End of Time, which comes out next month.

The characters absolutely stand out. I think my favorite part of the book was how absolutely parental Kiran’s parents were. Asking if she’d eaten anything, whether she was getting enough fiber — it was perfect! I also loved Tuntuni and his endless collection of bird jokes. I suspect that parents will be inundated with their kids retelling them over and over after they finish The Serpent’s Secret.

 

I highly recommend picking this up for your young readers and older readers alike (available at Barnes and Noble), because it is delightful. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

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