Perfect for fans of the Aru Shah books and The Chronicles of Narnia.
A middle-grade fantasy about twelve-year-old Rea Chettri, who portals into an otherworldly realm to go on a secret quest to find her missing twin brother Rohan. The clock is ticking in this fast-paced, thrilling, and exciting adventure rife with evil creatures, a ruthless villain, and unforgettable friendships.
It all begins on the night Rea turns twelve. After a big fight with her twin brother Rohan on their birthday, Rea’s life in the small village of Darjeeling, India, gets turned on its head. It’s four in the morning and Rohan is nowhere to be found.
It hasn’t even been a day and Amma acts like Rohan’s gone forever. Her grandmother, too, is behaving strangely. Unwilling to give up on her brother, Rea and her friend Leela meet Mishti Daadi, a wrinkly old fortune-teller whose powers of divination set them off on a thrilling and secret quest. In the shade of night, they portal into an otherworldly realm and travel to Astranthia, a land full of magic and whimsy. There with the help of Xeranther, an Astranthian barrow boy, and Flula, a pari, Rea battles serpent-lilies and blood-sucking banshees, encounters a butterfly-faced woman and blue lizard-men, and learns that Rohan has been captured. Rea also discovers that she is a princess with magic. Only she has no idea how to use it.
Struggling with the truth her Amma has kept hidden from her, Rea must solve clues that lead to Rohan, find a way to rescue him and save Astranthia from a potentially deadly fate. But the clock is ticking. Can she rescue Rohan, save Astranthia, and live to see it all?
Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is Payal Doshi’s stunning #ownvoices middle-grade fantasy debut about understanding complex family dynamics, fighting for what is right, discovering oneself, and learning to make friends
You want to know why representation is important in books?
Because I am 30 years old and it is only now that I have found a book that I find my young self, a young Indian girl with caustic and sarcastic attitude who is willing to go to any lengths, no matter how impossible, for her loved ones.
Rea Chettri, a 12 year old girl with a twin brother, Rohan- a brother who is now far more interested in spending time with his friends and “girls” than his own twin sister.
Rea misses the closeness they both shared; and how they would bring in their birthday together. So she is angry enough to actually hate crash Rohan’s midnight cricket match just to remind him.
So what if her mother has been behaving strangely and been making demands and giving orders that make no sense at all?
But it does make sense when her brother goes missing and she along with her friend Leela, travel to an alternate city of Astranthia, where Rea believes her brother is being kept hostage.
Rea and The Blood of Nectar, the first of what I hope is a series – is an #ownvoices adventure filled with twists, turns as well as magic and magical creatures.
The author delivers an intriguing novel about friendship, bravery and loyalty – and one that I do believe would resonate with tweens and teens all over the world and where young Indian girls would find themselves in.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Payal Doshi has a Masters in Creative Writing (Fiction) from The New School, New York. Having lived in the UK and US, she noticed a lack of Indian protagonists in global children’s fiction and one day wrote the opening paragraph to what would become her first children’s novel. She was born and raised in Mumbai, India, and currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband and three-year-old daughter. When she isn’t writing or spending time with her family, you can find her nose deep in a book with a cup of coffee or daydreaming of fantasy realms to send her characters off into. She loves the smell of old, yellowed books. Rea and the Blood of the Nectar, the first book in The Chronicles of Astranthia series is her debut middle grade novel.
For more information, visit her website, www.payaldoshiauthor.com, or follow her on Instagram @payaldoshiauthor and on Twitter @payaldwrites.
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