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The Serpent's Secret

(Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  4,107 ratings  ·  804 reviews
(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' fantas
Hardcover, 351 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Scholastic
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Olga Lucia This is a review by my 10 y.o.: The Serpent’s Secret is my FAVORITE BOOK this year!!! I love all of the original stories and Kiran’s charismatic perso…moreThis is a review by my 10 y.o.: The Serpent’s Secret is my FAVORITE BOOK this year!!! I love all of the original stories and Kiran’s charismatic personality. Not only does Kiran look like me, but also I enjoyed all the girl power and how in the end she becomes the hero. I don’t want to give too much away, but this book is truly exceptional, and I highly recommend it for every single person on earth!! I am sure anyone who reads it will become instantly enraptured in the incredible tale, just like I did. (less)
Anisha_book_lover It's kind of like Aru Shah, but at the same time, not really.
They both focus on Indian mythology and have some similar properties, but both books go …more
It's kind of like Aru Shah, but at the same time, not really.
They both focus on Indian mythology and have some similar properties, but both books go in different directions.
"Aru Shah and the End of Time" focuses more on Hindu mythology, and is very similar to a Percy Jackson novel.
"The Serpent's Secret" focuses more on Bengali myths and folklore, and intergalactic space.

Both of them are amazing books, and I highly recommend them! Hope this helped. :) (less)

Community Reviews

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Roshani Chokshi
Jun 23, 2017 marked it as to-read
kav (xreadingsolacex)
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my review of the novel.

The Serpent's Secret is a middle-grade novel about Kiranmala, a 12-year old living her regular life in New Jersey until her parents go missing and she finds out she's a real Indian princess.

In all honesty, the only reason I was planning to read this novel was because of the Indian rep, but there is so much more to the perfection that is this novel. I'm going to start this

I am trying to look at this book as a completely individual series from the Percy Jackson series. A couple reasons for this; it is not even published by Rick Riordan’s publishing industry and this book is about Indian fairytales. I know it is so easy to compare middle-grade novels that are urban fantasy to Rick Riordan but you can’t with this. Why? Mainly because this is all own voices.

Now, into what I thought about everything. The Serpent’s Secret
Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)
Jan 05, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2018-releases
I want to read this SOLELY BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SO MEAN SPIRITED about it already. Like, wtf? Are you that petty and hateful, or are you just bored and trolling? Either way...keep on're only garnering it more attention. The fear of ideas and differences will keep you small while the rest of the world soars. ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-school
Pre-emptively giving this five stars to balance out the eyebrow-raising rating of a book that literally just sold today. I am so, so excited for this and Sayantani's magical words! This is going to be so good! ...more
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fairy Tale and Myth Lovers

THIS BOOK WAS SO FUN! An original fairy tale that emerges from Indian folklore. It walks the line of creative and classic - familiar fairy-tale allusions blend with new ideas. I really loved all the strong characters and the crazy adventure and the way everything wraps up without a cliff hanger.
4 stars for the book + 1 extra because this was so not YA. And I know this isn't supposed to be YA, but sometimes Juvenile fiction can feel YA, and this doesn't. Or rather, it doesn't feel bad YA. It fee
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2019
The book follows an Indian princess from another world as she discovers her heritage and the journey she embarks to save her parents.

I was a little worried I won’t like this because it’s for a younger audience, and lately I didn’t have much luck with those. However, I relished this one. I found it humorous and loved the usage of Indian folklore and riddles. The world reminded me of Salman Rushdie’s Luca and the fire of life. I enjoyed Rushdie’s writing more, but DasGupta writes great witty chara
Mikyla Meyer
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
OK, I was so excited for this book :/ I ordered it for my library and grabbed it as soon as it came in. I love fantasy, and folklore and most combinations of the two.

The pros would be an introduction to Bengali folklore, which I know a lot less about than most other folklore and mythologies. So that was pretty cool.

The characters were spunky, I guess, but they were also pretty one-dimensional. The idea of a warrior princess is always fun, but not in this way - Kiranmala is dismissive and rude ab
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
This was so much fun!!!!
Definitely for fans of Rick Riordan, this is a great mixture of modern humor with Indian mythology. I loved hearing about the world Kiranmala has to go to to rescue her parents and all the wild and hilarious creatures that live there. It was fascinating to read about creatures from a mythology I am unfamiliar with. There's also a lot of science talk that is easy to understand and used in a way that explains their world, which I found informational but still fun.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was basically everything I needed when I was a kid! It seamlessly weaved in all of these wonderful folktales, including the ones I grew up on in Bangladesh. And it was so unapologetically Bengali. All of the rhymes and riddles - super Bengali!

I also loved Kiranmala as a character, and how she grew from the beginning to the end. And her relationship with Neel!

The book was also just... really funny? And the comedy just worked wonderfully within the book. There were also some great illu
Mar 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this so badly! It’s a fantasy flavored with Bengali traditional stories that takes place in Jersey! However, I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. I don’t think it’s well-written. The style rubbed me the wrong way from the first sentence, and I couldn’t force myself past the first 100 pages. I can’t recommend this, and that makes me so sad.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
It makes me sad to give The Serpent’s Secret 2 stars, because I am incredibly grateful that this book exists at all. As a West Indian kid of immigrant parents from New Jersey, I would have been absolutely thrilled to read this when I was in grade school. Indian warrior princesses and princes! A fantasy world inspired by Hindu mythology and Bengali folktales! Nerdy science stuff! And that cover!

Unfortunately, it became clear pretty quickly that this book just wasn’t ready for publication and cou
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I snatched this from a panel from one of the nicest authors (who signed my book by the way).
Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond Book One is something I would recommend to ALL children. Also any adults who just enjoy a good ride start to finish in a book.

Kiran is such a relatable young girl for anyone who has ever felt embarrassed by typical 12 year old things, namely parents. But her family is different from the majority of NJ folk in a way that most kids don't have to work with. They have cultural
I’m appearing with Sayantani DasGupta at a FB live event during NCTE 2018, so I reread her first book to prepare. It’s just as fun and fascinating the second time around. Don’t miss the start of what promises to be an amazing series!
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: galleys, ya
First of all, I wanted to brag that Sayantani wrote this book in MY library! When she mentioned that her book was getting published, we all were looking forward to getting our hands on it.

I devoured this book in two sittings. It has a badass 12 year old girl who finds out that she is an Indian Princess from another dimension when her parents are eaten by a demon. It is her job to get them back.

It is hilarious, full of puns, rhymes, word play and lot of dad jokes. Kiran is smart and resourceful.
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Aw, this was a cute story! I loved the snappy one liners BUT I really don't like that there was a romance in it. I just role my eyes at that. The mc is clearly incredibly smart and grows to better understand herself and her parents as well as the new world she is thrust into. The magic and new world was really fun and easy to get into. ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Had me at Indian folktale-based interdimensional adventures of a demon-slaying princess. Oh, wait. That's the whole summary? GIMME. ...more
Nobonita - The Bengali Nomad
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mythology nerds
Win a finished copy of this book at TheBengaliNomad

My Blog: TheBengaliNomad
Twitter: @1102Daydreaming
Instagram: thebengalinomad

Before I begin this review, I’d like to personally thank the author. I grew up reading fantasy and adventure novels that mainly featured white/western protagonists. Sure, I did enjoy the occasional dose of Meena Raju , Thakurmar Jhuli and Gopal Bhar, but none of them sported characters whose world I could actually step into. Back then, my mind was far too young to see th
Kiran Bhat
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
A most exhilarating debut! Dasgupta’s writing voice is full of pep and polish. From the first page, she fully envelops you in Kiranmala’s voice, and you never for one second doubt the plausibility of her worlds. The novel is an intersection of scientific inquiry, mythological narrative, and high paced storytelling. This is a great book for anyone who wants to read something accessible and quick and suitable for any age group.
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
A delightful, goofy, and super fun story based on Indian mythology! Enjoyed this, and I think this is a great book that is perfect for younger audiences.

- Follows Kiranmala, your average Indian girl who is actually an Indian princess from another realm, and the adventure she has of saving her parents.
- The narrative is a lot of fun, very goofy, and filled with silly jokes and riddles, and is a series of contained adventures and challenges. This will be a hit or miss for older audiences, but I th
Lise Forfang Grimnes
Perfect read with all the best references to indian/benghali folktales. So cool! I really like the tricksterside of the monsters/demons, full of humour and rhymes, just like in the old stories.
A bit repetative and sometimes the dialogue seemed forced - but mostly imaginative and funny.
Melinda Cordell
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jen Petro-Roy
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So, so great. I looooved Kiran's toughness and fears and utter realness. The traditional mythology was adapted and blended in so beautifully. ...more
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was fantastic, go read it!💜 Wish 12 year old me could've read this!! Full review coming soon! ...more
Reid Anderson
May 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
“The day my parents got swallowed by a rakkhosh and whisked away to another galactic dimension was a pretty craptastic day. The fact that it was actually my twelfth birthday makes it all that much worse. Instead of cake or presents or a party, I spent the day kicking demon butt, traveling through time and space looking for my family, and basically saving New Jersey, our entire world, and everything beyond it.”

I don't read a lot of YA, I read this book along with some friends in Goodreads Discord
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Serpent's Secret was so fun and listening to it on audiobook was such a joyful reminder of childhood. It would be perfect for younger audiences as there are riddles and rhythmic text. I love the idea of stories which are actually true, ones you grow up with, and in! Featuring an Indian girl who is actually a princess, it's easy to get caught up in this fun and hilarious story. ...more
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
“We humans may not be powerful or magical, but the stories we pass on to our children can be.”

2,5 stars.

This book was incredibly lack lustre for me and that's probably due to the fact that it is not for me. This book clearly is for a younger audience, hence why it's a middle-grade, and it shows. The reason I'm saying this is that I want to make clear that it is a really good book, because I know I would have loved this if I was 14 or so. Sadly I'm not 14 anymore and this just isn't m
Brenda Kahn
Short version: kick-ass heroine + epic world-building + hilarious and snarky dialogue = one memorable ride. More, please!

Long version: Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader attending a regular middle school in Parsippany, New Jersey. Sure, her parents embarrass her on a regular basis, especially when they proclaim loudly about her fiber intake and the fact that she's really an Indian princess. Jeez! All that changes on the Halloween that happens to be her twelfth birthday. Turns out, she real
This was a very creative book and had a good pace. A lot of books I've read stretch out the beginning too much. This has to be one of my favorite books currently. ...more
Victor The Reader
Kiranmala’s story is certainly exhilarating and surprising at times when she finds out she’s an Indian princess and goes on a twisty quest to find her parents. It does start off having some Harry Potter vibes, while quickly being Percy Jackson with Indian culture and mythology, but that doesn’t stop it from being another worthy read. B+ (83%/Very Good)
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