Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi
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.
Expected publication: June 15th 2021 by Mango and Marigold Press
This was a lot of fun. The biggest stand out to me was the friendships.
Rea and Rohan are twins getting ready to turn twelve. They live with their mom and grandma and don’t know anything about their father. They don’t have much money and their mom works two to three jobs. Rea feels like her family loves Rohan more and he gets to do what he wants. Rea overhears that Rohan is having a cricket match at midnight on their birthday. But when she asks Rohan, he lies about it. Rea decides to sneak out and follow him. She doesn’t really have friends, but she asks a girl, Leela, to come with her. Amma was acting weird and told Rea to stay home and keep the door locked. Rea followed her mom to the house of a fortune teller and it just confused her mom. Amma didn’t believe in those things. The cricket game goes well, but Rohan never made it back to bed that night. Amma acted like he would never come back and Rea didn’t know why. So she decided that she would be the one to find him.
Rea and Leela visit the fortune teller and get clues to find Rohan. What those clues lead to is another world that they didn’t know existed. Once there, they need to find help to get Rohan from where he’s being kept. They also need to stay alive. All the secrets of her family start to come out and Rea finds out that she has the blood of the nectar in her veins. She just needs to awaken the magic.
I gave this book 4 stars. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my earc.
Warnings for talk of suicide, blood magic, death, captivity.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a finished copy of this book, too. It’s beautiful and I hope everyone buys it!
Have you read this yet? Is it on your TBR?