Title: A Spark of White Fire
(The Celestial Trilogy #1)
Author: Sangu Mandanna
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Length: 311 pages
Publisher: Sky Pony
Publish Date: September 11, 2018
Setting: Kali, Wychstar, Winter
War, Assassination Attempts, Violence, Death, Blood
I feel like this is coming so late in the game, because I was supposed to review the sequel for Edelweiss a long time ago and didn’t feel like I should review that until I read this one. And now I finally got to it, and I’m so freaking happy that I did because holy crap this book was literally one of the best books I’ve read in my life.
- Yes to all the POC in this damn book!
- I can’t imagine being in Esmae’s shoes right now.
- But damn is she a bad ass bitch.
- Oh my freaking gosh! This book was hella amazing and I don’t even know how to get my words together for this.
Not feeling wanted by your family
Esmae even changed her name to remove all ties from her family in order to keep her anonymity, but in the end I don’t know if it helped her deal with the feeling that her mother gave her when she was separated. But even though she wasn’t able to spend her childhood growing up with her birth family, she made her own family through Rama and even the kids that she got to live with in the home. A home for unwanted children basically, and she grew up there, was a constant while the other kids came and went.
The more I think about this, the more I feel like maybe it was better for her to have grown up away from the Reys, in her own separate kind of exile, because I think it made her that much stronger and gave her a totally separate concept of what she was willing to fight for, and what she was willing to give in order to get it. She also wasn’t one that was willing to allow others to die for her, and start a war that would make innocent people get caught in the crossfire, so that was also different about her.
Is being beloved by the gods always a good thing?
Amba and Kirrin – two of the Gods that we get to see in this first novel so far – on separate occasions have told Esmae that she is “beloved by the gods”, which tells us two things. One: it’s more than one god that loves her, and two: I have no idea what it means to be beloved by the gods. It’s not like they gave her super good circumstances to begin with, and sure maybe that was so she doesn’t grow up entitled or whatever but still. What does “beloved by the gods” even freaking mean?! And does that mean for everyone else now?
I think the development that I liked the most was with Esmae, Max, and even Rama. I love Rama and honestly he reminds me a little bit of myself because he says he’s super freaking lazy and doesn’t even want to have the energy to do much besides sleep, which is so me lately. Even if I try not to be a lazy bum, it’s just so much more fun that way honestly.
I also think that we got to see a lot more of Max from more than what Esmae probably initially thought, which helped to see because it was better to see him through clearer eyes. I know you know what I mean, okay? Like, she had an initial impression of him from what she grew up thinking and then found out that it was way more complicated than she actually thought. You know? So yeah I was super proud of her being able to change her thought process and grow into the person she ends up becoming at the end of the novel. And I can’t wait to see what ends up happening in the rest of the series.
Oh my gosh, there was this one part towards the end and I was so freaking upset to hear about it, okay? Like I literally wanted to cry and I almost did because I was just like… wowwwwwwwww. I can’t believe Mandanna did that to us. But yeah, she even mentioned it in her acknowledgments so she knew exactly what she was doing.
Other than that, I was pretty happy with it, and I just couldn’t really help but seeing that everything about this war and the history behind it from what we actually get to see was pretty convoluted, so I still want some more backstory on it. Basically this book got me really excited, so I’m happy to have finally read this one. Everything was making me intense.
In a good way, of course.
Loved every freaking thing about this novel, not going to lie. I think the pacing went really well, and the plot was super interesting. The prose worked out for me because it wasn’t flowery or anything like that. I think it matched well with the kind of novel this was, so I’m glad that I got to read this. Yes, yes I totally said that multiple times but yes I still freaking feel this way.
No more words to say other than LOVED IT!