A House of Rage and Sorrow is a stunning sequel to a stunning YA Indian mythology inspired Sci-Fi Fantasy, A Spark of White Fire. It continues Esmae’s story after the tragic and unexpected ending of the first installment. From family dynamics to individual power building, and from revenge to love, this sequel brings more emotions—and consequently, more tears—to the plate. It breaks any barrier, if one even existed, between gods and mortals in the most surprising manner possible.
☛ Build-up conflicts
☛ Revengeful ambitions
☛ Salty family relations
☛ Layers of deception
☛ Underlying mystery
☛ Gods meet mortals
☛ Vengeful craving
☛ Queer side characters
☛ POV of a sentient spaceship
☛ Space action sequence
☛ Chaos guided by anguish
☛ Desperation gives rise to power
Trigger warnings: Grief, heartbreak, revengeful thoughts, mistrust, weakened relationship with biological mother, loss of a body part, sadness due to hesitation in accepting one’s sexuality.
“After all, what are we now? A broken House, a ruined House. A House of rage and sorrow.”
How difficult can it be to pronounce your love for a sequel without delving into the essence of the first book for it will open the doors to spoilers? Very. But that’s exactly what I’m aiming for because if there’s something I’m shamelessly scared of is anyone coming across spoilers from this book. It uses the loose strands of the first instalment to effectively torture the readers with even more intense emotions and surprise them with just as many revelations. For someone who has read A Spark of White Fire, this will impress you even more with all the added complexity in the overall plot as well as in Esmae’s character. For those who have stumbled upon this review without reading the first book, please read my desperate review of it and pick it up now, thank you.
“There are truths in each of us that we do not dare look at, lest they break us.”
Esmae continues to be a strong YA female but this sequel brings her under a spotlight that glows her powers, her strength, her stern decision to take revenge even more, and simultaneously fluctuates to show her weakness and everything else that essentially makes her a human. She remains to be the independent personality who is ready to carve her own path and while the path is never smooth, her courage and bravery will impress the readers without a doubt. Her character, despite being the main protagonist of the story, doesn’t try to appear as a flawless young person and that is certainly what makes me love her so much.
I don’t want to do that, not really. My rage is colder and bitterer than that.
The complex family that made up all the pieces on this chessboard turns even more complex—yes, it’s possible—with the sudden rush of rage inside Esmae and those who are directly or indirectly affected by her. Esmae’s one true desire to belong with those she had always assumed to love and with those who she has come to love is dealt with in this story, and it’ll surely bring tears—of joy or sorrow, find out for yourself. If there’s someone lost, there’s someone found so I like to think of this instalment as a balanced see-saw which somehow makes you cry.
“Do you really think all I am is a bow and a sword?”
The revelations were shocking, surprising, staggering, and every other synonym of ‘they f*ck you up’. Right when you think nothing can surpass this disclosure BAM! one comes right at you with full intensity and you will have to look around and wonder what just happened. The inspiration drawn from Mahabharata is even more vivid and as a South-Asian blogger, I feel happy about it, very happy. Along with the great development of our Esmae, the side characters—including Titania—have their own individual arcs to come to life for the readers.
Girls are too easily broken. Are we? Or is it just that more people want to break us?
If I list out all the characters involved in this sequel, there’ll be a huge possibility of giving away spoilers so if you wish to know about the characters frequently seen in the series, you can read my review of A Spark of White Fire .
Overall, I will
probably never stop shouting my love for these books and while, on other days, my methods to urge everyone to pick this up might not be the most subtle, I try my best to politely request everyone to give these amazing characters and an even more amazing storyline a chance. But today, I’m just going to scream: READ THIS!
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this via my participation in a blog tour organised by Shealea @CaffeineBookTours as well as via Netgalley. Thank you so much, Sangu Mandanna and Sky Pony Press!
Title: A House of Rage and Sorrow
Author: Sangu Mandanna
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication date: 03 September 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
One kingdom. One crown. One family.
“Maybe it’s time the great House of Rey came to an end. After all, what are we now? Just a house of rage and sorrow.”
Esmae once wanted nothing more than to help her golden brother win the crown of Kali but that dream died with her best friend. Alexi broke her heart, and she vowed to destroy him for it. And with her sentient warship Titania beside her, how can she possibly fail?
As gods, beasts, and kingdoms choose sides, Alexi seeks out a weapon more devastating than even Titania. Past lives threaten the present. Old enemies claim their due. And Esmae cannot outrun the ghosts and the questions that haunt her. What really happened to her father? What was the third boon her mother asked of Amba? For in the shadows, lurking in wait, are secrets that will swallow her whole.
The House of Rey is at war. And the entire galaxy will bleed before the end.
Sangu Mandanna was four years old when an elephant chased her down a forest road and she decided to write her first story about it. Seventeen years and many, many manuscripts later, she signed her first book deal. Sangu now lives in Norwich, a city in the east of England, with her husband and kids.
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