Book Review: Kiki Kallira Conquers A Curse

By Sangu Mandanna

It’s a few months since Kiki saved her mythical-land-brought-to-life-from-her-sketchbook world, Mysore, but when for once she happens to leave her sketchbook open at a picture of Lej, one of the Crows, it’s not long before Lej himself appears in person. Mysore is in trouble again. The river has vanished, rain no longer falls so the old well will soon run dry, and the people of Mysore are in danger of dying of thirst. Lej has come to ask Kiki to save them once again by redrawing the river. Of course, the river didn’t vanish by chance, something sinister is afoot in  Magicwood, and the gandaberunda, instead of protecting the kingdom as expected, appears to be responsible for the missing river. Can Kiki unravel the mystery and find out what is really going on?

I loved the first book, Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom, so it’s safe to say my expectations were pretty high. I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed. Kiki Kallira Conquers A Curse, like the first book, has a great story, wonderful characters, a richly imagined world, and an exciting well-paced adventure, full of humour and heart.

Favourite thing  

Kiki calling the world of Mysore ‘the Kikiverse.’

Actually I can’t pick one thing to be my favourite, but I thought this Kikiverse term very funny. The greatest strength of the book to me is Kiki, but I loved the setting, the characters, the twists and turns of the plot. As a sequel, it has some very satisfying developments. The opponent this time is very different to the demon king but the stakes are just as high. Kiki is taken aback by how much the world developed without her, it’s something she has to come to terms with. Kiki’s hyper-anxiety hasn’t gone away but she has been working on it, and we see more of her relationship with her mother, which I found very endearing. Speaking of Kiki’s mother, I loved her appearance in the story.

Favourite character

Kiki, much as I love Simha the lion and Numa the gargoyle. What makes Kiki stand out is that she uses her brain and her heart to solve problems. When she’s forced to choose between two bad options, the girl with the anxiety problem withstands the pressure from her friends to sacrifice one person to save others. Kiki’s ability to always find a better way makes her a super heroine and role model.

Kiki Kallira Conquers A Curse is a great follow up to Kiki Kallira Breaks A Kingdom. The elements that make such an impact in the first book are there but different and well developed. If you like hugely imaginative stories, with a wonderful heroine, great characters, exciting plot, and loads of heart, these books are for you.

Highly recommended.

TOTP and I give an unequivocal 10 out of 10 Diamonds.

Read my review here of book 1 Kiki Kalira Breaks a Kingdom.

Read my interview with author Sangu Mandanna here.

Below is the US version of the cover – which do you prefer?

US Cover

16 thoughts on “Book Review: Kiki Kallira Conquers A Curse

  1. I’m so glad the second book in this series lived up to your expectations! After reading your interview with the author, I definitely want to try the first book at some point. And I think I prefer the non-US cover, if only because the subtitle is perfect! Thanks so much for the wonderful review, Valinora!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The first cover is so much more appealing than the US cover. What I love about this series is Kiki’s artistic nature, its fantasy and it is and it’s about the Indian culture! Great review. Want to read this series.


  3. It’s great that you are enjoying this series so much. This isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but it’s always good to know about books my family might enjoy. Thanks for the review.


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