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The Force of Fire

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Pinki hails from a long line of rakkhosh resistors, demons who have spent years building interspecies relationships, working together to achieve their goal of overthrowing the snakey oppressors and taking back their rights. But she has more important things to worry about, like maintaining her status as fiercest rakkhosh in her class and looking after her little cousins. T Pinki hails from a long line of rakkhosh resistors, demons who have spent years building interspecies relationships, working together to achieve their goal of overthrowing the snakey oppressors and taking back their rights. But she has more important things to worry about, like maintaining her status as fiercest rakkhosh in her class and looking after her little cousins. There is also the teeny tiny detail of not yet being able to control her fire breathing and accidentally burning up school property. Then Sesha, the charming son of the Serpentine Governor, calls on Pinki for help in defeating the resistance, promising to give her what she most desires in return -- the ability to control her fire. First she'll have to protect the Moon Maiden, pretend to be a human (ick), and survive a family reunion. But it's all worth it for the control of her powers . . . right?


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Pinki hails from a long line of rakkhosh resistors, demons who have spent years building interspecies relationships, working together to achieve their goal of overthrowing the snakey oppressors and taking back their rights. But she has more important things to worry about, like maintaining her status as fiercest rakkhosh in her class and looking after her little cousins. T Pinki hails from a long line of rakkhosh resistors, demons who have spent years building interspecies relationships, working together to achieve their goal of overthrowing the snakey oppressors and taking back their rights. But she has more important things to worry about, like maintaining her status as fiercest rakkhosh in her class and looking after her little cousins. There is also the teeny tiny detail of not yet being able to control her fire breathing and accidentally burning up school property. Then Sesha, the charming son of the Serpentine Governor, calls on Pinki for help in defeating the resistance, promising to give her what she most desires in return -- the ability to control her fire. First she'll have to protect the Moon Maiden, pretend to be a human (ick), and survive a family reunion. But it's all worth it for the control of her powers . . . right?

59 review for The Force of Fire

  1. 4 out of 5

    Fanna

    October 06, 2020: OH MY GOD LOOK AT THAT COVER and ahhh I honestly can't wait for this fiery fantasy,,, look at that saree!! okay I'll stop now BUT I WANT THIS October 06, 2020: OH MY GOD LOOK AT THAT COVER and ahhh I honestly can't wait for this fiery fantasy,,, look at that saree!! okay I'll stop now BUT I WANT THIS

  2. 5 out of 5

    Simant Verma

    October 7, 2020: I saw this cover today and my Desi heart is so happy to see a POC wearing a saree on the cover 😭 And would you look at the details? This is giving me Goddess Kaali vibes and I am all here for this story of a demon. 😍

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amodini

    they way it deals with topics of colonialism in India is superb. And I am living for the desi MC in a pretty sari, it makes her look so badass, no-nonsense.

  4. 4 out of 5

    The Bronze of Immortality

    /vague spoilers/ Honestly all I can say is that I enjoyed this book SO MUCH MORE than the Kiranmala trilogy and that's amazing. Things I loved in no particular order: - the dramatic irony. I wanted to bang my head against the wall but I was too busy laughing half the time, Sayantani DasGupta really had it nailed down - the allegory to the Indian revolution, I enjoyed how it explored themes of culture being passed on through music, poetry and language in a fantasy world and it was a cool experience /vague spoilers/ Honestly all I can say is that I enjoyed this book SO MUCH MORE than the Kiranmala trilogy and that's amazing. Things I loved in no particular order: - the dramatic irony. I wanted to bang my head against the wall but I was too busy laughing half the time, Sayantani DasGupta really had it nailed down - the allegory to the Indian revolution, I enjoyed how it explored themes of culture being passed on through music, poetry and language in a fantasy world and it was a cool experience recognizing specific elements of this that I already knew about (which also happened with the shoutouts to stories I've heard before! It was great) - the characters!! Especially Pinki, who is just... great. Maybe not the most altruistic person, and she has a sliiiiight penchant for eating humans, but she's laugh out loud hilarious in her selfishness and even relatable at points, and especially likable for her devotion to her baby cousins. And Chandni, the girl who joins Pinki and is wayyyyyy more multifaceted than she seems (hint: look at her name), is wonderful... (view spoiler)[ I REFUSE to believe she has a kid with Sesha in the future, she is way too good for him (hide spoiler)] I also liked Pinki's two classmates, they were just such an odd pair lol - the humor, it's just very unusual and playful, I'd even say whimsical. The characters all have very distinct and unusual personalities (and I loved all the references to the main character being rakkhosh what with her three hearts and all the casual talking about the human eating Olympics and such) and the world is equally as distinctive and remarkable -- it's a refreshing change of pace - the conclusion was super satisfying, it didn't exactly end with the characters in a stable environment but it DID end with them all reaching their characters arcs and a sneak peek forward about what they're doing next,, it was almost cinematic. (Also, is there going to be a sequel? PLEASE SAY IT'S GOING TO BE A SEQUEL.) - the pace, this book was extremely easy to read and never slowed down -- when we weren't having tense action scenes, we were having funny scenes or interesting introspective scenes, and I enjoyed how it was all spread out, never getting either too cloying or too caught up in its own brilliance or too surface-level - the dialogue. There's this one scene with Sesha and Pinki and her baby cousins, and the dialogue there is just so funny but also emotional and so, you know???? I loved it so much, and the rest of the book has great dialogue also (view spoiler)[ OKAY BUT DO SESHA AND CHANDNI GET TOGETHER???? PLEASE NO. Also, please say Pinki doesn't become the Demon Queen I know it happens but pleasssseee for the sake of my sanity (hide spoiler)]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lopa

    A handful of pages into the book, I came across this: “Why don’t the snakes want us to speak Bangla, Shurjo-da?” one of the human schoolchildren was asking. The teacher they called Brother Shurjo smiled, poured some soil into the boy’s hand, and then closed the child’s small fist tight with his own. “I know this might be hard to understand, but the thing is, destroying a people’s language, not letting children learn the ways of those who came before them, is the surest way to kill a cultu A handful of pages into the book, I came across this: “Why don’t the snakes want us to speak Bangla, Shurjo-da?” one of the human schoolchildren was asking. The teacher they called Brother Shurjo smiled, poured some soil into the boy’s hand, and then closed the child’s small fist tight with his own. “I know this might be hard to understand, but the thing is, destroying a people’s language, not letting children learn the ways of those who came before them, is the surest way to kill a culture.” And I knew I would love this book! And I was right! Sayantani DasGupta just has a way of taking the stories, mythology, lore, and history of the culture I was born into and love and retelling them in a fun yet pertinent way that still fits our current times. I was raised to feel passionately about the South Asian fight for freedom from the British, the Bangladeshi fight for our language, and the Thakurmar Jhuli stories, so for me it's amazing to see a story that incorporates all of that but makes it accessible to a modern day readers and a younger audience. I feel like I say this in every review of her books that I write, but I wish these books existed when I was a kid. I'm glad they exist now and hope the younger generations learn a lot from them. Even if you're not interested in any of the above, this is still a fun adventure story about finding friends who become like family and finding your own voice to defeat the bad guys and I think anyone would enjoy that! Highly recommend. Would give it more than 5 stars if I could.

  6. 5 out of 5

    EpicLiteraryNerd

    I LOVED this book!!!!!! SOOOOOOOO good. Pinki is hilarious. That is a fact. This is so much better than the Kiranmala series. Even if you were slightly underwhelmed or just underwhelmed with Kiranmala, but liked the premises, I highly encourage you to give it a try. The things I didn't like about this book were mostly problems I had with the characters future selves in Kiranmala. And by problems I mean depressing lives. Things I liked: -PINKI. She is awesome. She is hilarious. She is just great. - I LOVED this book!!!!!! SOOOOOOOO good. Pinki is hilarious. That is a fact. This is so much better than the Kiranmala series. Even if you were slightly underwhelmed or just underwhelmed with Kiranmala, but liked the premises, I highly encourage you to give it a try. The things I didn't like about this book were mostly problems I had with the characters future selves in Kiranmala. And by problems I mean depressing lives. Things I liked: -PINKI. She is awesome. She is hilarious. She is just great. -The characters! All of them were great. Except for Sesha. He is the worst. -The cousin relationships. -It was SUPER hilarious. -Pinki's sari on the cover. It is just AWESOME. -The fast pacing. -Pinki -THE WRITING (It was sooooo good). -PINKI Things I didn't like: -SESHA -SESHA -Pinki's "crush" on Sesha. -Yep, you guessed it. All my complaints with this book have to do with a certain character. -(view spoiler)[The fact that you know that Sesha and Chandni grow up and have a kid together. That is CREEPY. -The fact that you know that Pinki isn't going to have a happy ending. I mean, her character in Kiranmala is just depressing. -The fact that Pinki was in love with Sesha at some point in her future teenage life. That is just....sad. (hide spoiler)]

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I received an electronic ARC from Scholastic Press through Edelweiss+. DasGupta has begun a new series which draws from Bengali folktales. Readers see the Rakkhosh and human kingdoms under the control of the Serpent King. They also see a young Rokkhash, Pinki, figuring out who she is and overcoming her resentments and anger at her parents for being more involved with the revolution for freedom. She learns to trust others and to master her own fire powers to battle back against the serpents and re I received an electronic ARC from Scholastic Press through Edelweiss+. DasGupta has begun a new series which draws from Bengali folktales. Readers see the Rakkhosh and human kingdoms under the control of the Serpent King. They also see a young Rokkhash, Pinki, figuring out who she is and overcoming her resentments and anger at her parents for being more involved with the revolution for freedom. She learns to trust others and to master her own fire powers to battle back against the serpents and reclaim their land. The story weaves character development with plenty of action to keep readers engaged. This is book one so much of the story was spent on developing the characters who will form the unit that sets out to reclaim their realms from their enemies. Be sure to read the Author Notes at the end for further background information.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    The author of the Kingdom Beyond books returns with a stand alone novel set in the same universe. Pinki is the daughter of two of the most renowned rakkhosh members of the resistance to the take over of the Kingdom Beyond by the snakes. But Pinki resolutely refuses to join the resistance, focusing on herself instead. She is a rakkhosh who has fire magic but can’t control it at all. So when a handsome snake prince offers her a way to learn to control her fire, she agrees to find the hidden moonbe The author of the Kingdom Beyond books returns with a stand alone novel set in the same universe. Pinki is the daughter of two of the most renowned rakkhosh members of the resistance to the take over of the Kingdom Beyond by the snakes. But Pinki resolutely refuses to join the resistance, focusing on herself instead. She is a rakkhosh who has fire magic but can’t control it at all. So when a handsome snake prince offers her a way to learn to control her fire, she agrees to find the hidden moonbeams for him. But the moonbeams are not what Pinki had thought they were. As she follows the trail to find the moonbeams, she finds herself learning about what the snakes are doing to people and children in particular, including one of Pinki’s own little cousins, who has lost the ability to speak. But can Pinki forgive her neglectful parents and find a way to embrace her fire and her heritage? The world building here is marvelous, full of beings from Bengali folktales and stories. As they journey through cave complexes, into ornate palaces and beneath the sea, the entire landscape not only is revealed but becomes a large part of the story as it is impacted by the snake magic and decrees. Readers will also see ties to the Indian Revolution against British rule throughout the story, something that is mentioned in the Author’s Note at the end of the book. This use of a real tyranny as a basis offers a strong foundation for this fantasy to rest upon. The characters are well drawn. Pinki in particular is a delight of a female character, full of pride in her largess, her horns and her talons, she also struggles to make friends and to rely on others for help. This is all made understandable as her personal story is revealed. She is a character who starts out as surprisingly selfish and steadily proves that she is not, again and again. With funny characters who add charm, like the egg-gifting little cousin, the book also has a lot of humor throughout to offset the darkness. Fiery, fun and fabulous. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    In this, the first of a planned series, Pinki, a rakkhosh, struggles with being able to control her fire power, and her missteps provide great amusement for her classmates. Despite being descended from ancestors who fought to end oppression from the snakes, she is more concerned with her own image and figuring out how to harness her abilities. When she allies herself with Sesha, the son of the Serpentine Governor, she agrees to find something special that he needs in exchange for his assistance In this, the first of a planned series, Pinki, a rakkhosh, struggles with being able to control her fire power, and her missteps provide great amusement for her classmates. Despite being descended from ancestors who fought to end oppression from the snakes, she is more concerned with her own image and figuring out how to harness her abilities. When she allies herself with Sesha, the son of the Serpentine Governor, she agrees to find something special that he needs in exchange for his assistance in harnessing her powers. But Pinki realizes that she can't trust Sesha at all, eventually finding allies in the most unexpected places. Parts of the story will resonate with anyone familiar with the boarding schools in Canada and the United States whose purpose was indoctrination or anyone aware of how certain languages or self-expression methods are valued more than others. Filled with references to Bengali folklore and the colonizing and subsequent division of India, the book is filled with action, adventure, humor and a narrator who epitomizes the meaning of snarkiness. It's pretty hard to resist the charms of Pinki's egg-loving little cousin, Deembo, although I wondered how she managed to secret so many eggs in her pockets over the course of the book. While readers are likely to enjoy this one on its own merits, it's also possible to see much of the story as an allegory for how the British treated their colony for decades. Its theme is beautifully summed up in the book's final lines: "We had felt freedom. Freedom from our own fears, freedom from society's dictates, freedom from old habits and old ideas. We had tasted freedom and we wouldn't stop until it spread across the land, flowing like air and water, burning like fire, shining like the sun, moon, and stars" (p. 341). The last half of the book kept me fully engaged although I had to push myself to get through the first 60 pages or so because Pinki is just so unlovable.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dragons*4 Ever

    3.5 Stars 🔥🌊🌍💨🔥FORCE OF FIRE🔥🌊🌍💨🔥 A descendent from a long line of demons who build interspecies relationships to fight tyranny works competitively to control her dangerous fire-breathing skills, before a Serpentine Governor's charming son enlists her help to defeat a growing rebellion. Pinki wants nothing to do with the rebellion, all she wants is to learn how to tame her fire magic. I found this a great sequel before The Kiranmala and the Kingdom beyond trilogy! We got to learn a lot of backstory 3.5 Stars 🔥🌊🌍💨🔥FORCE OF FIRE🔥🌊🌍💨🔥 A descendent from a long line of demons who build interspecies relationships to fight tyranny works competitively to control her dangerous fire-breathing skills, before a Serpentine Governor's charming son enlists her help to defeat a growing rebellion. Pinki wants nothing to do with the rebellion, all she wants is to learn how to tame her fire magic. I found this a great sequel before The Kiranmala and the Kingdom beyond trilogy! We got to learn a lot of backstory of Pinki, Sesha, Chandni, and Rontu! I love how we got to see a lot of characters from Kiranmala story in this novel, and how we also got to learn more about Kiran's mother Chandni! The lesson in this book is truly outstanding, I love how Sayantani weaves deep meaning into a fantasy book and leaves you in awe at the powerful message. Though the story in my perspective feels slightly unfinished with a few plots left to explore. ( Will their be a book 2? I hope so )! Sayantani incorporated themes from the Indian freedom struggle against the British Empire. I noticed that this story seemed to come from the heart and I noticed a lot of similarities to Sayantani and Pinki! ( They are both wearing the same earing ). IN the Authors Notes section Sayantani says this "Like Pinki's parents, many members of my own family were imprisoned for their revolutionary activities against the British. My Entire life, I heard stories from heroic family members, wondering at how much they have sacrificed for an idea called freedom. Like Pinki, I had to figure out my own place in this revolutionary family history." SAYANTANI DASGUPTA author notes Force of Fire ( in the acknowledgements Sayantani talks about some powerful family stories I recommend reading it )! This story skillfully weaves, fantasy, and a powerful must-read story. Though they were some weird moments ( Fire comes out of Pinki's nose and mouth which is diffently a unique way that she uses her fire )! "This book still has a lot of humor and laugh out loud moments featuring strong characters." 🔥🌊🌍💨🔥Conclusion🔥🌊🌍💨🔥 The lesson of this story is to use your voice, speak for those who can't, and to never forget your culture. How important it is to stay true to yourself!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I definitely enjoyed this book on its own, but one thing I have learned over the course of the 3 Kiranmala books, and now this prequel, is that reading the author’s note at the end is an absolute must. So much of these stories draws from traditional Bengali folklore and epics, as well as history and science. In this book DasGupta also ties in American history with references to the residential schools for Native Americans across the USA and Canada. As I write this, the last several weeks have be I definitely enjoyed this book on its own, but one thing I have learned over the course of the 3 Kiranmala books, and now this prequel, is that reading the author’s note at the end is an absolute must. So much of these stories draws from traditional Bengali folklore and epics, as well as history and science. In this book DasGupta also ties in American history with references to the residential schools for Native Americans across the USA and Canada. As I write this, the last several weeks have been filled with news stories of the uncovering of mass graves at these schools of native children in numbers sometimes reaching upwards of 700. Having that fresh in my mind made certain portions of this story particularly poignant. This book was a fun quick read with a lot of depth.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marzie

    Another delightful entry into the Kingdom Beyond series, Force of Fire tells the backstory of our favorite rakkhosh Pinki, and Sesha, the Serpent King. Billed as The Pinki Adventures #1, this subseries set in Kiranmala's world provides a strong female character coming into her own. Pinki is utterly delightful! The audiobook, narrated by Ulka Mohanty, is really marvelous. Strongly recommended for middle-grade summer reading. It's easy to step into the series from Pinki's vantage point and circle b Another delightful entry into the Kingdom Beyond series, Force of Fire tells the backstory of our favorite rakkhosh Pinki, and Sesha, the Serpent King. Billed as The Pinki Adventures #1, this subseries set in Kiranmala's world provides a strong female character coming into her own. Pinki is utterly delightful! The audiobook, narrated by Ulka Mohanty, is really marvelous. Strongly recommended for middle-grade summer reading. It's easy to step into the series from Pinki's vantage point and circle back to the Kiranmala books for further enjoyment.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus A high fantasy accompaniment to Kiranmala's adventures in The Kingdom Beyond. Same snarky voice and humor, but from the point of view of Pinki, a rakkosh who is still working on harnessing her powers. E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus A high fantasy accompaniment to Kiranmala's adventures in The Kingdom Beyond. Same snarky voice and humor, but from the point of view of Pinki, a rakkosh who is still working on harnessing her powers.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Linnea Urban

    I thought I was going to hate this book, because I wanted Kiranmala. AND KIRANMALA WAS NOT IN THIS BOOK! I was really sad about that. But I really loved Pinki's story. And now I want more of it! It felt good to learn more about her and her past. I thought I was going to hate this book, because I wanted Kiranmala. AND KIRANMALA WAS NOT IN THIS BOOK! I was really sad about that. But I really loved Pinki's story. And now I want more of it! It felt good to learn more about her and her past.

  15. 4 out of 5

    L.M. Pampuro

    I love this series! There is magic, mystery, good verses evil, and the power of friendship. I can't wait for the next installment. I love this series! There is magic, mystery, good verses evil, and the power of friendship. I can't wait for the next installment.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alysha DeShaé

    Oh my Nokley! It's a prequel and it's wonderful!!! So so good! Oh my Nokley! It's a prequel and it's wonderful!!! So so good!

  17. 5 out of 5

    I Love Books

    BEST. BOOK. EVER.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Aimee

    Always and forever, I am a Sayantani DasGupta super fan. She knocks my socks off and makes me laugh and pulls my heart strings (Ayma!) all at the same time.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Akshita.A

    I want to read this book so badly!!! The other books in the series were amazing. I can't wait to read this book! I want to read this book so badly!!! The other books in the series were amazing. I can't wait to read this book!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    One star for Pinki's nieces and nephews alone! The story of a young rakkhosh who can't control her powers, plus is the daughter of two rebels, is nothing really new. Nor is the rest of the plot - trying to protect her family, plus rescuing the Moon Maiden, plus figuring out when she's been treated as a pawn, plus who really are her friends/allies and who are her enemies. However, clothing them in the guise of rakkhosh and serpent rulers, along with the various magical clans, does make for a diff One star for Pinki's nieces and nephews alone! The story of a young rakkhosh who can't control her powers, plus is the daughter of two rebels, is nothing really new. Nor is the rest of the plot - trying to protect her family, plus rescuing the Moon Maiden, plus figuring out when she's been treated as a pawn, plus who really are her friends/allies and who are her enemies. However, clothing them in the guise of rakkhosh and serpent rulers, along with the various magical clans, does make for a different twist. ARC provided by publisher.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Evie

  22. 4 out of 5

    Books_Writing_More

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karee

  24. 5 out of 5

    Veera Vasandani

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Villalba

  27. 5 out of 5

    Simran K

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bethni King

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gayatri Sethi Desi Book Aunty

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rita

  31. 5 out of 5

    Kendyl

  32. 5 out of 5

    Nicole | Sorry, I'm Booked

  33. 4 out of 5

    Grace

  34. 4 out of 5

    Enne

  35. 4 out of 5

    grace

  36. 5 out of 5

    John Ross

  37. 5 out of 5

    Coly Reads

  38. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  39. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  40. 5 out of 5

    Nina

  41. 5 out of 5

    Katie Carpenter

  42. 4 out of 5

    Angelitha

  43. 5 out of 5

    Kristie

  44. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa J.

  45. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

  46. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie

  47. 4 out of 5

    Anandi Puritipati

  48. 5 out of 5

    Mishma Nixon

  49. 4 out of 5

    Maddy

  50. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie (A Backwards Story)

  51. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Parks-okunlola

  52. 5 out of 5

    Kim Harris

  53. 5 out of 5

    Cmaries2

  54. 5 out of 5

    Cassidy

  55. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  56. 4 out of 5

    Michal Ness

  57. 5 out of 5

    Raychelle

  58. 5 out of 5

    Mariah Klein

  59. 5 out of 5

    Krys

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