The Celestial Series


A Spark of White Fire

!!! a 2019 ALA Hal Clement Notable for Excellent in YA Science Fiction !!!


A Spark of White Fire cover

The first book in a scifi retelling of the Mahabrahata. When Esmae wins a contest of skill, she sets off events that trigger an inevitable and unwinnable war that pits her against the family she would give anything to return to.

In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back.

Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali.

It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart.

Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories, A Spark of White Fire is a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.


Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound


Named one of the best 25 space opera books by BookRiot!

“If you’re looking for a spectacular and immersive read that you’ll want to finish in one sitting, A Spark of White Fire should absolutely be on your list. It’s an incredible story, and it will be a difficult wait for its sequel.” SyFy Wire

“Sangu Mandanna seamlessly weaves science fiction elements with Indian mythology, creating a world that feels truly alive. Mandanna’s characters are fully fleshed, especially the engaging and sympathetic Esmae. A Spark of White Fire is the first in a trilogy, and readers will be eager for the next installment.” Shelf Awareness, starred review

“Sangu Mandanna’s A Spark of White Fire is full of brilliant, complex characters against a compelling mythological canvas. It’s full of love and gods, reversals and surprises. I loved it and can’t wait for the next book.” ―Kat Howard, Alex Award-winning author of An Unkindness of Magicians

“A vivid labyrinth of lies and loyalties. Mandanna has built a dazzling world―you’ll see stardust every time you close your eyes.” ―Olivia A. Cole, author of A Conspiracy of Stars

“A gorgeous marriage of science fiction and fantasy. Meddling gods, princesses in exile, and cities aboard spaceships. This is nothing like you’ve ever read before.” ―Justina Ireland, New York Times bestselling author of Dread Nation

“This is a fast-paced, engaging tale sure to keep readers hooked with its twists and turns while they wholeheartedly cheer for Esmae . . . An incisive story nuanced by dilemmas about love, belonging, and conflicting loyalties.” Kirkus Reviews





A House of Rage and Sorrow



“Maybe it’s time the great House of Rey came to an end. After all, what are we now? Just a house of rage and sorrow.”

One kingdom. One crown. One family.

Esmae Rey once wanted nothing more than to help her golden brother win the crown of Kali, but now all she wants is to destroy him. And with the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania beside her, how can she possibly fail?

As gods, beasts and kingdoms choose sides, Alexi seeks out a devastating weapon. Past lives threaten the present. And Esmae cannot outrun the ghosts and questions that haunt her. What really happened to her father? What was the third boon her mother asked of the goddess Amba? For in the shadows, lurking in wait, are secrets that will swallow her whole.

The House of Rey is at war. And the entire galaxy will bleed before the end.



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Title and cover TBC

!!! Coming September 2020 !!!




Read Steel and Flowers, a short story set several years before A Spark of White Fire and the rest of the series!