A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna - Book Review


4.5 Stars

*Thank you to Sky Pony Press for providing me with an ARC. Please note that all of my thoughts are my honest opinions and that some parts that I mentioned may have been changed as I did read the ARC.

I am a big fan of all of the characters! Esmae is a dangerous, quick-thinking character who I just adore. She is always thinking one step ahead and is able to see the plays she needs to make to get what she wants.

I am a big fan of all of the characters! Esmae is a dangerous, quick thinking character who I just adore. She is always thinking one step ahead and is able to see the plays she needs to make to get what she wants.

"I'm a wild card, an unknown, and they will all be terrified."

Bear is such a good supporting character. Hidden in his brother's shadow, he often gets jerked around by his brother's plans and wishes. All he wants is to get back to his home on Kali and avoid war, which is something that everyone wants, but it will never be that easy.

The writing was superb! The descriptions of the countries, the determination of Alexi and Esmae, and the treacherous world of family and countrywide politics, were all masterfully portrayed. Because this is the first book in the series, it did start out a bit slow as all of the world-building needed to take place. After a couple of chapters though, the pacing picked up, and I was glued to the pages. ity that is always there to provide advice and her own two cents! She quickly becomes a support for Esmae, which I didn't see taking place at all, but it is needed.

The gods (mainly Amba (the goddess of war) and Kirrian (the god of tricks and bargains)) also add an ominous, mysterious element to the story. Like all gods, they only provide vague answers and predictions of what is to come.

This book takes place in space, but it really isn't a space novel. Yes, there are small nuances that the characters must deal with while in space (the air filter pressure is lowered as more people are on the spaceship), but space isn't the primary focus.

However, I wish I knew more about the world. I knew about the two countries on the two spacecraft, Kali and Wychstar and two of the many countries/territories on the planets, Winter and Arcadia. I didn't really know too much about all of the relationships, and dealings that took place between the countries. I wish that there was more interaction with the other planets, but I believe that they will play a more significant role in the next books, so I’m really not bothered by that.

That being said, both Kali and Wychstar were described wonderfully. Kali is portrayed from the point of view of someone who has never seen the country before. Kali is painted as this magical, almost whimsical place. However, if you look closer, there is a devious land hidden underneath the beauty.

The writing was superb! The descriptions of the countries, the determination of Alexi and Esmae, and the treacherous world of family and countrywide politics, were all masterfully portrayed. Becuase this is the first book in the series, it did start out a bit slow as all of the world building needed to take place. After a couple of chapters though, the pacing picked up, and I was glued to the pages.

Quite possibly my favorite part about this book was all of the politics. Often in books, there is a definite right and wrong side, not in A Spark of White Fire! I would say that both sides were in the gray area, both had good reasons to want the throne and both had terrible ways and plans to get/keep it. I often found myself pulled towards one side of "right" and then the other side would make this fantastic point and I would side with them. This made me unable to put the book down! I needed to learn more to better figure out who had the best claim to the throne.

The only part that I wasn't really there for was the relationship. I won't go too much into it, but not only does it feel forced and rushed, it really isn't the best pairing (for a couple of reasons).

This book had me guessing and changing my mind throughout the entire book. The ending was no different! I caught on pretty quickly as to what would happen, but I was still shell-shocked when it took place. The conclusion is one of those endings where it is written so well that you wish the author didn't have all the writing skills that they do. I'm pretty sure I stared at the wall for a couple of minutes after I closed the book. I need to have the next book now!!

In conclusion, when this book comes out, drop what you are doing and read it! All the characters, the family dynamics, and the descriptions were done so spectacularly. The twists, the turns, and the ominous predictions kept me guessing up until the end. I'm pretty sure that there is one more twist that has yet to play out, which makes me super impatient for the second book!

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