It’s not until her twelfth birthday that Kiranmala discovers she’s a demon-slaying princess, and not just a normal girl from New Jersey. When a rakkhosh demon traps her parents in another dimension, it’s up to Kiran to face her fantastical identity, team up with the two mysterious princes who appear at her door, and travel through mythical lands to save her mother and father.

Although The Serpent’s Secret is the first book of a series, DasGupta wastes no time with heavy exposition. Instead, she immediately immerses readers in this rich, vibrant world of flying horses and rhyming demons. Although Kiranmala’s story may feel a bit formulaic to older readers familiar with Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series (both Riordan’s and DasGupta’s stories follow snarky godchildren protagonists), the focus on Bengali myth brings a welcome twist to a familiar middle grade genre full of Western mythos. Readers may become curious about the origins of many secondary characters, and opt to independently research some of the monsters and divinity Kiranmala encounters. For this purpose, Dasgupta includes a glossary of terms and creatures at the back of the text. Full of wisecracks, riddles, and a bit of innocent flirting, this fun, middle-grade novel is perfect for Percy Jackson fans or anyone else looking for a fast-paced, mythological adventure.

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