Title: A Spark of White Fire
Series: The Celestial Trilogy #1
Author: Sangu Mandanna
Year Published: 2018
Publisher: Sky Pony
Genre: Young Adult ~ Fantasy ~ Science Fiction
Disclaimer: I received this e-arc through the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for a free and honest review. The image header and the quote edits used is my own and the link in the book’s details is to the book’s Goodreads’ page and stores to buy the book. All quotes given in the review are from the e-arc and therefore might not be accurate. The summary is my own (well, I summarised the Goodreads description). All opinions expressed are my own.
It’s like a game of Warlords. Wychstar is the checkered board where the battle for the crown must be fought today, the competition is the battle, and Titania is the crown. And as the minutes tick down, the pieces move into place.
A usurper king.
A heroic exile.
a jealous prince.
An old warrior.
A cursed mother.
A war goddess.
And a girl
No one knows that Esmae is a princess. Until she enters in a competition and wins a sentient warship that’s unbeatable in battle. Now she has to decide where her loyalty lies.
A space opera mixed with family plus inspiration by Indian mythology makes for a compelling first book in a trilogy.
I’ve actually read this book twice – first before it came out, and then as a reread when the second book was coming out – both because I really wanted to but also because I didn’t remember much. And I loved it both times because Mandanna is such a talented writer and will make you want to read her books again and again. I still need to read Colour Outside The Lines – but I will rectify that in the upcoming months.
I loved all the characters so much but the one that I loved the most was Titania. I LOVE TITANIA. She’s the best character. She’s too precious for this world and has to be kept safe. Titania cares so much for Esmae and I love that for her. Even though, yes, Esmae does have a lot of people rooting for her and they show it – Titania is that character you can turn to if you want some comfort.
Esmae is definitely my second favourite character. I loved reading about her strong personality. How passionate she is and how she doesn’t let people step over her – that competition at the beginning of the book? Easily one of my favourite scenes. I am always ready to read about female characters who take the plunge and are strong!
The plot ahhhhhhh. Listen! I’ve watched my fair share of sci-fi movies and read a couple of sci-fi books – so I know what’s to be considered ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sci-fi. And this is good sci-fi plot. REALLY GOOD. But it wasn’t that intense that I couldn’t follow the plot, and it didn’t have big amounts of sciency terms that leave me all super-confused. Which made me happy – even though I would’ve been happy even if it did have complicated sciency terms and all. But this had drama! This had intrigue! This had what you’re looking for!
Also alll the family dynamics and the drama!! I liked having this in the book – a lot of the times with family in YA, there’s a lot of ‘broken families’ or they all die or get captured – but recently I think there’s been more ‘full families’ and found families too (which I LOVE). And I think the way the family was written was so good because you could feel they were family and you could see how they all fit into the story.
The worlds of Kali and Wchystar were so fascinating to read about and it’s really impressive how well they were written? Like can you just imagine thinking up all of that? And then writing it all out?? I loved reading about about the two cities and how in depth it all went and showed it all – I also need to see this, like as visuals, or in a graphic novel (CAN YOU IMAGINE).
There’s quite a few morally grey characters – characters whose motives you can’t quite work out, characters who seem to be on both sides. Which, of course, I loved, because I love morally grey characters. Sometimes it’s good to have villains who do a little bit of good (as a treat) and it’s refreshing when a hero slips just a little. It gets a bit boring when the heroes are good and the villains are bad. This book did that brilliantly!
A side note – I really really loved the gods and the mythology. It’s always been something I enjoyed reading about – it’s a fun side category of fantasy that I definitely can’t get enough of!
If you’ve read A Spark of White Fire, do you agree that Titania is the best character? And if you haven’t read it, what are your thoughts on a sentient warship?