The Serpent's Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond Series #1)

The Serpent's Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond Series #1)

by Sayantani DasGupta


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The Serpent's Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond Series #1) by Sayantani DasGupta



(Only she doesn't know it yet.)

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.

To complicate matters, two crush-worthy princes ring her doorbell, insisting they've come to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and battle demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld and the Rakkhoshi Queen in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781338185706
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 02/13/2018
Series: Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond Series , #1
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 41,478
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 2.30(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

SAYANTANI DASGUPTA grew up hearing stories about brave princesses, bloodthirsty rakkhosh, and flying pakkhiraj horses. She is a pediatrician by training but spends most of her time teaching undergraduates and graduate students at Columbia University. When she’s not writing, Sayantani spends time with her family and is a team member of We Need Diverse Books. She can be found on Twitter @Sayantani16 and online at

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The Serpent's Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond Series #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
AthenaFreyaG 13 days ago
THIS IS THE MG FANTASY I'VE WANTED TO READ SINCE I WAS A CHILD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It features a mythology that I haven't read about before, and the world building is so immersive and full of life. The heroine, Kiranmala or aka Kiran, is a fierce girl who makes mistakes and learns from them, who is brave and clever and resourceful. She's the girl I wanted to read about when I was a kid. If you love any of Rick Riordan's books or any books published by his imprint, then this is the book for you. I can't imagine a better role model for young girls and boys. Not to mention that the world is so addictive and well-written with Indian mythology and folklore shining brighter than the sun. Don't hesitate even for a second to buy this book. THIS IS THE MG BOOK WE ALL MUST READ! I can't wait for book two to be released. 5 stars aren't enough for this one, not by a long shot. This is the best MG I've read in a long time.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Because i'ts Mystery I'm in - This Girl Loves Mystery
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
I'm not usually a huge fan of middle grade books, but I am drawn to all books about mythology. And the fact that this one has so many more things that I LOVED, I knew I needed to have this in my hands. I'm so glad I didn't look over this one. On her twelfth birthday Kiranmala finds out all the stories her parents have ever told her (no matter how weird they were) were true. She finds this out at the worst possible time: her parents are missing, she's being chased by a rakkhosh demon, and the two princes on her doorstep are super annoying. Unfortunately, those prices are the only things that can help her get her parents back. So she heads to another dimension to fight demons and avoid getting eaten by other demons. I loved the writing style in this! When the synopsis said it was for fans of "Rick Riordan," I was a bit iffy because I LOVE Riordan. But let me tell you, Dasgupta has her own style and its wonderful. Kiran was a joy to read about and I loved being inside her head while on her adventures. I also really loved the characters. Everyone knows that the tween stage where you're finding yourself is a bit awkward. Dasgupta did a great job in making Kiran feel like an authentic tween, Indian princess. For her to be in other dimensions and fighting Serpent Kings, she was still worried about things like boys and whether or not someone was upset with her. I loved that she was so REAL. The only thing I thought was lacking was the world-building. I would have loved to know more details about the other dimension where she visited. It seemed that she was only telling us what the setting was exactly where Kiran was and I get that, but it would have been nice to tell us more about the Mountains and more about so many of the other places that are mentioned in this book. With the way the places where Kiran is is described, I expect the other places to be just as interesting as those places. I hope we get to see this in the next books in the series. This bow shooting Indian princess stole my heart! I love her and I can't wait to see what else she does in her upcoming stories. Thank you Dasgupta for a MG princess of color! I can't wait to see what she does next in her purple boots and sari!
Nobonita-TheBengaliNomad More than 1 year ago
** I received an Advanced Readers Copy from Scholastic Press in exchange for an honest review.** The Serpent’s Secret is a middle-grade fantasy adventure story. It is also an immigrant story, of a Bengali(Indian)-American girl trying to fit in between two cultures. I've only been living in the U.S. for three years, and even I have an identity crisis every now and then. Therefore I can’t imagine what this would be like for someone having cope with balancing two cultures throughout her life. And as a heroine in her pre-teens, Kiranmala portrays this common dilemma reasonably well. Furthermore, gone are the days where the phrase “prince charming” is only synonymous with the image of a handsome man with blonde hair and blue eyes. In Kiranmala’s story, a prince charming can also be a desi boy in a silk turban. I know I’ve mentioned this before but may I just mention one more time about HOW MUCH I wish I had this book during my early teens? Back when I thought that I’d outgrown tales of Rakkhoshes and tuntuni? Even if one is unfamiliar with Bengal’s folktales and culture, I really hope that they pick up The Serpent’s Secret and (more importantly) enjoy it because this book is a vivid renovation of my childhood tales. Also, the end of the book contains some detailed information on the sources of these folklore characters (so that no one is left in the dark regarding the context behind the story-building). Kiranmala is a strong and feisty female lead whom I couldn’t be more proud of. But the attraction she feels towards the princes shows that a strong personality doesn’t condemn feeling attraction towards the opposite gender. One does not have to cancel out the other. This, for me was a very important aspect of the story. Considering the target audience, the concept of desiring another was well incorporated into a fun and adventurous plot. The Serpent’s Secret also contains some good humor to please its readers. From references like ridiculous desi ads to common American middle-schooler dilemmas, its humor creates a bridge between two cultures. Here are some of my favourites (Please note: Quotes taken from an Advanced Copy and may slightly vary in the final copy of the book): On poking fun at government repulsion of undocumented immigrants: “Those upstanding royalty, citizens, animals, and demons holding papers (this way) While the second said: All the rest of you good for nothing undocumented scoundrels (this way)” On poking fun at desi commercials: Lazy? A slowpoke? Running from a rakkhosh? Try Mr. Madan Mohan’s motivational motion device! (PATENT PENDING) Also, did I mention how much the occasional “Hau!! Mau!! Khau!!” made me smile? Back when I was a child baba (my father) would come home from work and yell “Hau!! Mau!! Khau!! Manusher gondho pau!!” in a scary voice and this would make me squeal in delight! “Hau!! Mau!! Khau!!” has no particular meaning; it is considered to be the scary sound that a rakkhosh makes. “Manusher gondho pau!!” on the other hand, means that “I smell human flesh!!” So basically, it’s a typical rakkhosh punchline. Final verdict: This is an amazing story: it is well written and has some fascinating world building in it. And hopefully once it's out, it will generate a new fandom. I am counting on everyone who reads this book to convert into an avid #Neelkamala , the details of which you’ll have to find out **by reading the book**. Once you’ve read i
BarbGogan More than 1 year ago
IF YOU LOVE PERCY JACKSON, YOU WILL LOVE THIS! I am a K-5 school librarian and got this weeks early from our Scholastic Book Fair. I devoured it in one sitting and loved it! We have 2 copies (which we only do for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Rick Riordan books, etc.) and both have long waiting lists. If you have a child that likes Percy Jackson (mythologically-based fantasy with a strong dose of middle school humor), they will LOVE this book! So far we have had more boys read it than girls (in case you still wonder if boys will read a book with a female main character) and all my students have been enthusiastically recommending it to their peers. If you have Desi kids, you may want to let them read it first! Can't wait for the 2nd installment!