Force of Fire

Scholastic. (Kingdom Beyond). May 2021. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338636642.
Gr 4-7– DasGupta’s latest novel captivates from the very beginning. Pinki is absolutely nothing like her parents—rakkhosh rebels who were part of a coalition of demons, humans, and others fighting to overthrow their serpent overlords. Pinki just wants to make it through Ghatatkach Academy of Murder and Mayhem with her three young cousins, learn to control her powers, and avoid the notice of bullies. But when Pinki meets Sesha, the son of the tyrannical Serpent Governor-General, he promises to help her with her powers in exchange for joining his efforts against the resistance. The more involved Pinki gets, the more she realizes that eventually, she’ll have to choose between helping herself and helping everyone else. Despite being a literal fire-breathing demon, Pinki is a relatable protagonist. She is by turns full of confidence and steeped in insecurity. She longs to get out from under the shadow of her parents’ heroic deeds and does so by acting selfishly. But as the story progresses, Pinki is changed; her character development and relationship with cousin Deembo form the emotional heart of this novel. DasGupta tackles a variety of serious topics in this fantasy adventure novel, including racism, colonialism, and the violence of cultural erasure. The back matter details the cultural, historical, and sociological inspirations for the book. DasGupta draws from Bengali folklore and children’s stories to create an enthralling and vibrant world.
VERDICT An enchanting and humorous tale that is sure to please fans of Roshani Chokshi and other “Rick Riordan Presents” authors.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing