The Serpent's Secret
The Serpent's Secret

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Annotation: Kiranmala considers herself an ordinary New Jersey sixth-grader. That is, until her twelfth birthday, when a rakkosh demon appears in her kitchen, her parents disappear--and she discovers she is a magical demon-hunter tasked with saving the world.
Catalog Number: #176182
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 338 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-338-18571-3 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-3749-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-338-18571-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-3749-4
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017044381
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
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.
Kirkus Reviews
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 princes—Lal and Neel—and 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)
Publishers Weekly
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.)

School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 57 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
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*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 d 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 d 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.
Word Count: 63,503
Reading Level: 5.2
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.2 / points: 10.0 / quiz: 193776 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:15.0 / quiz:Q73315
Lexile: 730L

From New York Times bestselling author comes a world packed with action and adventure, perfect for fans of Rick Riordan and Soman Chainani.


(Only she doesn't know it yet.)

On the morning of her 12th 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...

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