Game of Stars

384p. Scholastic. Feb. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338185737.
RedReviewStarGr 4–7—In this sequel to The Serpent's Secret, Princess Kiranmala is back, ready to face her nemesis, the Serpent King Sesha, who also happens to be her father. Kiran's friend, Prince Neel, has been kidnapped by Sesha's minions and is being held prisoner deep in an underwater prison; something weird is going on with Prince Lal. Worst of all, Sesha has engineered a game show ("Who Wants to Be a Demon Slayer?") to entice Kiran into his trap. His ultimate aim: to capture the two magical stones that will allow him to vanquish Kiran and achieve immortality. Luckily, there's an array of characters inspired by Bengali folklore, literature, and pop culture to help Kiran complete her quest. Rakkhosh demons on skateboards make an appearance and new figures such as Bangoma and Bangomee (giant pigeons with the heads of humans) are also enlisted to fight the bad guys. Character development is somewhat limited by the sheer number of chase scenes, monster fights, and near misses, but readers who enjoyed the first book will continue to root for Kiran as she finds her true self and stands up for what's right.
VERDICT This action-packed sequel is a must-buy where the first book is popular.

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