The Serpent’s Secret
by Sayantani DasGupta
Liked It A lot
Content Rating: Once again the book is not listed on either Book Trigger Warning or Trigger Warning Database. But I would consider it PG there is light flirting, and some violence, but it is aimed at middle grades as a reading audience and I’d say all the violence fits into what is acceptable for that age range. There is a theme of adoption being hidden from the child which may be triggering for some.
MEET KIRANMALA: INTERDIMENSIONAL DEMON SLAYER
(Only she doesn’t know it yet.)
On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey… until her parents mysteriously vanish and a drooling rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents’ fantastical stories-like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess and how she comes from a secret place not of this world.
To complicate matters, two crush-worthy princes ring her doorbell, insisting they’ve come to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and battle demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld and the Rakkhoshi Queen in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it.
I have to admit that I do not know much about Bengali traditions or myths, but I had a lot of fun reading about them in The Serpents Secret. The book is full of interesting characters, settings and magic beings. It’s a bit of a wild ride. The action starts up and just when you think there’s going to be a lull it winds up again.
Kiranmala is a character I think many 11-12 year old girls will like. She’s strong and sassy, but not too overly sure of herself. Mostly though, she is resilient, and I love that about her. All the main characters where given good character growth, which is something I admire in stories.
The Kingdom Beyond Seven Oceans and Thirteen Rivers is colorful and full of entertaining characters and dangerous secrets. A times it become a fish-out-of-water tale as Kiran learns to navigate the new dimension she finds herself in.
This book definitely left me interested in learning more about the Bengali story and mythology the author drew from. I will be picking up the next book in the series soon.
I read this book for the Story Graph onboarding challenge.
Bottom Line: Wild , fun and fast-paced diverse book for middle grades.
"I guess every kids whose family is from somewhere else thinks their parents are weird. But with mine, it wasn't just their language or their clothes or their food. It was something more- like my parents never really appreciated the distinctions between facts and fiction, science and mythology, dreams and reality. But it wasn't until that fateful twelfth birthday that I really understood why." The Serpent's Secret