Last year being remarkably the most draining year for me has made it hard to remember the details to things. The fact that so much bleeds into one another to the point that I no longer can distinguish between days, months and even the books I read. I’m fairly good with recalling details in books especially when they’re favorites but for the life of me these books I remember the v i b e s and almost nothing else lol.
Which makes me question myself when recommending them because are they as good as I remember or is everything else so terrible this felt like gold? I wanted to re-read these stories immediately upon finishing them but I also wanted to conquer my ever growing tbr pile. Honestly, I’m glad I didn’t jump back into these books until now because it gives me an opportunity to go in without the high and find out if I do still consider these favorites.
I did something similar to this last year and found that my initial enjoyment was not there the second time around. I still enjoyed the books but critically I saw things that if I had read that book at any other point in time I would not have favored it so. I think that’s also something that should be noted when reading things based off others enjoyment of a story is that sometimes it isn’t the book or you but the timing.
Anyway, I’ve rambled long enough on to the books!
A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna YA Science Fiction. In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back. Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali. It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart. Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories, A Spark of White Fire is a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.
The Last Namsara by Kirsten Ciccarelli YA Fantasy. In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer. These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl. Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.
Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri Adult Fantasy. The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited. When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda. Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance.
My findings are…
I LOVE them still!!!
I was worried but it was for naught, thankfully. I’m so happy I did this because I forgot so much from the first time. I guess that’s to be expected because your trying to take in so much that some things will slip through. Just another reason why I adore re- reading because it gives you a chance to reconnect and find new things. I do think I love the books more now than initially which is also a great discovery!
I also discovered that these books have a few common traits such as gods and myths. I really appreciate magic systems that establish new or remixes older myths to make them fresh and new. And all three of them do that. Another trait is they all have the fierce girl paired with soft boi trope *heart eyes 4ever*
A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna I forgot how much gods play into this series. I love the friendships and relationships in general. They’re just so real in their complexity. This story still managed to make me cry so this book has my heart forever in a chokehold.
The Last Namsara by Kirsten Ciccarelli The way in which this story is told fits so beautifully with the story at large. Stories nestled inside stories s one of my favorite things. There is a lot of layers to this story and watching them unfurl is incredible.
Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri Out of the three this is my least favorite because it feels like its missing something. It’s still a wonderful read it just isn’t in my top five. There’s a lack of comradery in this book. I need friendships in books. Basically I need an ensemble cast of characters.There is a solid friendship established in the romance which I love but I need more character interactions.
Thank you for reading this very long post. Let me know if you’ve read any of these books or if you plan to!