A lost princess sets out to forge her own path and reunite with her family.
In this first book in debut author Mandanna’s Celestial Trilogy, Esmae is estranged from her family and growing up in Wychstar, a kingdom perched on a space station. The king of Wychstar, Darshan, conducts a competition for ownership of the invincible spaceship Titania. Esmae surprises everyone with her archery skills—and the revelation of her true, royal identity. Unfortunately, her victory complicates matters, and she must now walk the tightrope between helping her brothers win the kingdom of Kali and maintaining ties with her uncle, Elvar, who usurped Kali from her brothers. As Esmae struggles to determine the best path to follow and whom she should support, she discovers who her true friends are, tries to figure out where she really belongs, and realizes the sacrifices she must make to avenge her family. This is a fast-paced, engaging tale sure to keep readers hooked with its twists and turns while they wholeheartedly cheer for Esmae. Names of many characters (Amba and Rama to name a couple) and numerous snippets of the storyline are inspired by Hindu mythology, although in a somewhat random manner. Gods and goddesses are woven into the story to add to its fantastical allure.
An incisive story nuanced by dilemmas about love, belonging, and conflicting loyalties. (Space opera. 14-adult)