The Serpent's Secret

The Serpent's Secret

Goodreads: Review

Author: Sayantani DasGupta

Genre: Portal Fantasy, Bengali Folklore

Age: MG

POV: 1st person

Series: Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond book one

Summary: On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey... until her parents mysteriously vanish and a drooling rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents' fantastical stories-like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess and how she comes from a secret place not of this world.

Review: My copy of The Serpent’s Secret is an ARC that I should have read two years ago. This is the way I don’t request ARCs.

The characters are well developed and are fun to have around. Any middle grader can find something to relate to in Kiran with her sarcastic attitude and embarrassing parents.

There could have been more to the fantasy world, the writing could have gone a lot further with the descriptions.

The Bengali folklore is interrupted into the world and does help give it some uniqueness. The writing makes the world feels a bit “2-D".

The characters escape whatever challenges they come across too easily. The humor and seriousness feel out of balance. The story wants to go all out humorist but doesn’t. The Serpent’s Secret has a lot going for it but, doesn’t use that to its full potentials. Hopefully there some improvement in the next book.

I like the characters and the Bengali folklore. There are some humorist moments as well. The author recommends some books on Bengali folklore that I will be looking into.

My college library has a swap bookshelf. Since my copy is an ARC, I’ll be leaving it on the bookshelf where you can swap out books.


Characters: 5/5

Writing: 3/5

Plot: 4/5 

Total: 12/20 

Books on Bengali folklore, recommended by the author
  • The Demon Slayers and Other Stories: Bengali Folktales by Sayantani DasGupta
  • The Ghost Catcher by Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss
  • The Buri and the Marrow by Henriette Barkow
  • Tuntuni, the Tailor Bird by Betsy Bang

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