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House of Rage and Sorrow: Book Two in the…

House of Rage and Sorrow: Book Two in the Celestial Trilogy (2019)

by Sangu Mandanna

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731,719,849 (4.17)None
One kingdom. One crown. One family. "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." Esmae once wanted nothing more than to help her golden brother win the crown of Kali but that dream died with her best friend. Alexi broke her heart, and she vowed to destroy him for it. And with her sentient warship Titania beside her, how can she possibly fail? As gods, beasts, and kingdoms choose sides, Alexi seeks out a weapon more devastating than even Titania. Past lives threaten the present. Old enemies claim their due. And Esmae cannot outrun the ghosts and the questions that haunt her. What really happened to her father? What was the third boon her mother asked of 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.… (more)



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I really liked A Spark of White Fire so I was surprised by my reaction to this one. Halfway through, I was pushing myself to stay focused and just wanted to cross it off the list. So I left it there.

I don’t know if there was something in the pacing or about how the first book’s ending twisted the story which stopped me from caring -- or if I just wasn’t in the mood to read about rage and sorrow and things going to hell in a handbasket.

I might try again one day. I did like the first one.
  Herenya | Oct 22, 2019 |
I'd say this was probably about a 4 star read for me. I have been looking forward to this book after reading A Spark of White Fire, the previous book, which was an amazing 5 stars for me. This book is more or less a retelling of the Mahabarata in Space and it's different because it's written based from Hindu Mythology, which I don't read a lot of, but have always wanted to read and know more about it.
This book was harder to read for me than the first because it was more emotional than the first, maybe a bit more dark and heavy, but it had to be for where the story's going and with where the story was in the first book. I had a major book hangover from the first book, but the book hangover isn't quite as bad this time. I'm more nervous about reading what comes next because it got pretty intense and emotional during this one.
It picks up right where it left off from the ending of the second book, flows well with the transition, but if you haven't read the first book, you might not get what's going on so I would recommend reading the previous book first before this one.
Without getting too spoilery here, the twins are even more at odds here in this book, Esmae, and Alexi, because of fighting over Kali and who gets to be the ruler and especially because of what happened with the duel and Rama. Oh man, that was a hard part of the story, that's part of why this book is so hard because of what happened with Rama. More family info, dynamics, and things develop and come to light throughout this book and the romance develops more between certain characters like Max and Esmae. There's a lot of information and feelings that are covered in this book and it deals with a lot of grief, sadness, anger with the fighting and everything that's happened, is going on and is going to happen.
I didn't like it as much as the first book because it was so heavy and dark from the emotional standpoint, but it kind of had to be that way in this part of the story. There was also a few instances of profanity/language that bothered me because I prefer to read stories without language and such when possible. Other than that, it was a well written good book that I would recommend to others especially if you loved the first one, which if you haven't read the first one, you should. Also if you want to read a Sci-Fi and Fantasy story in space that is a retelling and involves the Mahabarata and Hindu Mythology then you should read it. ( )
  Kiaya40 | Oct 9, 2019 |
Oh my galactic Godstuff!! My heart can't take this...it shattered. It mended. It disintegrated. It reformed and was promptly pulverized again. Over and over it went until I slammed, nose first, into the very last page. I was only able to guess one or two reveals and MAN OH MAN there were enough juicy ones to keep even the most placid of people on the edge of their seat. I'm still in shock. I'm meticulously going back and picking through the story, searching for clues, for things I might have missed and possible clauses to make the hurting bits less sharp.

The House of Rage and Sorrow is FANTASTIC!! Even now, as I wipe away a stream of tears with the hem of my Dr. Who jammies that I've worn for 2 days straight thanks to this book, I fear I can't find the right words to convey just what my heart and mind and psyche have endured.

I waited what feels like a lifetime for this sequel to come out and when I got my hands on it, I devoured it....gracelessly consumed it, like a starved woman at a verbal pie eating contest. In hindsight, I probably should have parsed it out, coaxed and teased a bit more time out of it but I couldn't. I just couldn't pace myself. I sat down to read a chapter or two.... yes yes, I know, I was only fooling myself...and as the layers and plots within subplots within machinations unfurled, I was mesmerized. I was enraptured to the point that Time lost all meaning and pages flew by in the blink of a tired (probably dehydrated) eye. I was left, a sniffling lump, puffy eyed and pleading "NOOOOOOOO, no no no, it can't be!!!" Well I'm here to tell you that it can...and it did... and I'm undone.

House of Rage and Sorrow is a multifaceted Space Opera that also incorporates Scifi and Fantasy and boy, what a marvelous union it is! It has incredible writing that is rich and textured and I love love LOVE it!! It features two POVs that complement each other nicely. I adore the chapters that allow us to peek into Titania's beautiful, calculating, loyal, God-touched mind. Her voice is unique, her perspective is fun and her varying "emotions" for each character are heartwarming.

The World construction is another surreal facet. It is a thing of beauty! Even when the characters are thrown from hazardous situations into even more danger than one might think traversable, Sangu Mandanna never takes the easy way out. There are scenarios where I thought, "Here is the place they are easily going to get to point B from". Instead, Mrs. Mandanna piles on the tragedy and places them in even greater peril. BUT watching Esmae (et al) navigate each impossible predicament, coming out a whole galaxy away from point B, is an absolute joy to behold. What is even more amazing are the characters!!! The characters are beautific, atrocious, deep, dastardly, robust, complex and many MANY other stellar adjectives. I loved them. I still love them. I need to have more of them...ALL of them... maybe not momma, but I digress.

This book is great at never letting you stew too long in a pure emotion for any one character, no matter how repugnant or irreproachable they appear to be at any given moment. You'll be given their backstories, what led to their disgraceful/brave decisions and all the other tidbits that will have you understanding, in time, each person and how they got to their current state of vileness, dishonor or Glory.

I was given a copy of this book for review and not only do I feel very fortunate for every millisecond I got to spend in this world with these incredible characters but I also cherish the opportunity to whisper sweet sentiments about this blessing of a book into some receptive person's ear so that they too might immerse themselves and enjoy every word as much as I have.

Overall: I want to scream from snowcapped hill tops, Ricola style...dueting with an Alphorn, proclaiming "I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE THIS WORLD AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME"!! Not for food, nor for drink and definitely not for sleep. If it weren't for my prodigious TBR pile and my need to tend to my lacerated emotions, I'd be EXTREMELY tempted to pick this book back up and read it anew. If I, who unfortunately suffers from a severe allergic aversion to rereading books, feel the need to give it a second go 'round then I say, with the utmost reverence (and humility), that you NEED THIS BOOK!!

What does Book #1 vs Book #2 look like you might be wondering? Well, for my 2 cents, you first need to know that I absolutley venerated book #1 and I am ecstatic to report that this book has no problem standing toe to toe with... nay, surpassing its predecessor. No dreaded curse of the 2nd book here. If you liked A Spark of White Fire then you'll blissfully inhale A House of Rage and Sorrow. It's straight to my Favorites folder for this gem. Do yourself a favor and check this one out, you're Favorites folder needs a new friend and you won't be disappointed... I pinky swear.... with a thumb stamp.

Bottom line:
Get it! You'll love it! End transmission.

~ Enjoy

*** I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*** ( )
  BethYacoub | Aug 9, 2019 |
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