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Rea and the Blood of the Nectar

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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 friends 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 middle-grade fantasy debut about understanding complex family dynamics, fighting for what is right, discovering oneself, and learning to make friends.


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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 friends 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 middle-grade fantasy debut about understanding complex family dynamics, fighting for what is right, discovering oneself, and learning to make friends.

30 review for Rea and the Blood of the Nectar

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bhavya

    Staring this today. I’m super excited! …………………………………………… Set in India? I am sold. Thank you.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Fanna

    An adventure across realms. A missing sibling. Secrets transpiring through generations and an evil queen desperate for power. This debut brings magical creatures and an otherworldly portal to a life of family, friendship, and prophecy. Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is a middle grade fantasy that thrills through a secret quest and explores family dynamics. Set against the breathtaking backdrop of a hill station of Eastern India, Darjeeling, this middle grade fiction swings through love for family An adventure across realms. A missing sibling. Secrets transpiring through generations and an evil queen desperate for power. This debut brings magical creatures and an otherworldly portal to a life of family, friendship, and prophecy. Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is a middle grade fantasy that thrills through a secret quest and explores family dynamics. Set against the breathtaking backdrop of a hill station of Eastern India, Darjeeling, this middle grade fiction swings through love for family, friendship, and the chosen one trope. Rea has always disliked the different rules set up for her twin, Rohan, by her mother and grandma so when she comes to know about Rohan’s secret birthday plan — a midnight cricket match with his friends — she follows him uninvited. But when the next morning brings the news of a missing Rohan, Rea determinedly visits a fortune teller in the hopes of finding more about his disappearance. Along with Leela, her friend, Rea crosses a portal through a banyan tree to the fantasy land of Astranthia. The quest to free Rohan involves battling monsters, wielding magic, and bringing down the evil queen. The cool breezes of the surrounding Himalayas on this side of the portal and the world of flora wonders on the other side act as a beautiful canopy for brave and growing preteens to take risks, find hidden powers, and discover generational secrets on. ✹ consider reading this review on my blog! ✹ Through the peace of a wholesome home where Amma, the mother, busily works on the aromatic tea fields, and Bajai, the grandmother, cooks desi delicacies like fried banana chips or chilli onion fries or egg thukpa for the young children, the care for one another —which essentially motivates Rea to commence this journey of finding her missing twin, despite the usual sibling rivalry— easily reflects the south asian culture in major context. Slowly progressing through riddling prophecies and an undeterred fight against the dark powers of a wicked ruler, the pacing of the story could’ve been better but the essence of a young girl discovering her potential after years of having to be placed second and becoming the heroine she is destined to be, is encouraging and uplifting for the target audience. Overall, this debut does deliver in terms of adventure, relationship dynamics, and a rebellion against dictators; even if the plot could’ve been enriched with more thrill. Note: One particular creative choice stood out for me like a sore thumb. The name selected for the evil queen — Razya — was so evidently different from the other characters, whether those from Earth like Rea, Rohan, and Leela or from Astranthia like Xeranther and Flula, that it inevitably pulled me out from certain sequences where the cruelty of this queen is highlighted. To be very clear, I am not implying anything specific through this observation and neither am I assuming the author's intention. I'm merely stating what I think, as a reader, could've been a more looked into aspect of a story that's anyway set in an otherworldly land where names can clearly be unusual or uncommon. ↣ an early digital copy received via netgalley ➵ finally finished reading this and while the adventure is good, it could've been paced better and one particular thing often pulled me out. regardless, it's nice to see indian preteens discovering the magic within themselves. rtc. 15.09.2020 cover revealed! omg, how much I love seeing young south asian characters on the cover. also, got an earc so see me get immersed in this secret quest that Rhea is going on. 02.09.2020 i see indian protagonists and i run towards the book like it's the only thing i'm meant to read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mango

    Indian representation? Check. For Narnia fans? Check. For Aru Shah fans? Check. THIS BOOK IS FOR ME Oh and also...this book is being published by Mango and Marigold Press. This just makes me want it more XD.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Payal Doshi

    REA AND THE BLOOD OF THE NECTAR release date: June 15, 2021 Pre-order the book here! https://bit.ly/3049gcv I might be extremely biased, but REA AND THE BLOOD OF THE NECTAR is a great book! It also is a wonderful way for Indian kids to see themselves as the protagonists of a book as well as for kids from all parts of the world to get a glimpse into Indian culture while solving a fun, thrilling, and secret fantasy mystery of Rea's twin brother's disappearance. REA AND THE BLOOD OF THE NECTAR release date: June 15, 2021 Pre-order the book here! https://bit.ly/3049gcv I might be extremely biased, but REA AND THE BLOOD OF THE NECTAR is a great book! It also is a wonderful way for Indian kids to see themselves as the protagonists of a book as well as for kids from all parts of the world to get a glimpse into Indian culture while solving a fun, thrilling, and secret fantasy mystery of Rea's twin brother's disappearance.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amodini

    OH FUCK. IT IS SET IN INDIA. FINALLY A BOOK SET IN INDIA. Tell me one book other than this where the Indian protagonist actually lives in India. They mostly butcher the stories and all they show is America. Well wake up. There is world outside that.

  6. 4 out of 5

    gauri

    read full review on my blog! I wanted something fun and easy to read, given how messy the past week was for me and Rea and the Blood of the Nectar was just that. I’d missed how much fun MG books could be, despite not being the target audience for it. It has adventure, family secrets, sibling rivalry and bond and strong friendships. First, my heart swelled with the Indian rep in this book. I wish I had books like this in my school library back when I was a kid. From the terms used, to the setting, read full review on my blog! I wanted something fun and easy to read, given how messy the past week was for me and Rea and the Blood of the Nectar was just that. I’d missed how much fun MG books could be, despite not being the target audience for it. It has adventure, family secrets, sibling rivalry and bond and strong friendships. First, my heart swelled with the Indian rep in this book. I wish I had books like this in my school library back when I was a kid. From the terms used, to the setting, everything was so authentically Indian, I had a fabulous time reading it. Mentions of food like pakoras, roti and dal, thupkas as well the festival of Diwali or kids playing cricket, everything was a delight. Own Voices stories just make me really happy. From the tea plantations in Darjeeling to the sparkling fantasy world of Astranthia with its plants, fairies, and magical creatures, the beautifully pictured worldbuilding takes us through an action packed story about Rea on a quest to save her twin brother. Also, Darjeeling is a beautiful hill station as it is, you all should really look it up!! This book thoroughly explores sibling relationships and friendships. Rea starts out as feeling inferior to her brother, not blending with the children around her and pushing people away, which is something children and pre-teens do experience in their lives. As she embarks on her adventure and learns of the secrets she comes to appreciate the people around her. I particularly loved her friendship with Leela as well as the ones from Astranthia. Though, I would’ve liked if there were more moments which showed the depth of the relationship between Rea and Rohan. Rea’s character development is also commendable. She’s strong-minded and strong-willed for a twelve year old. From drifting apart from her brother to risking her life in an unknown world to save him, she has come a far way. It’s refreshing to see a young girl with magical powers discover familial ties and learn the lessons of life, which could be applied to readers of our ages too. She solved the riddles with her intelligence and till the end she proved to be brave. ❛No memory of her past was worth more than Rohan’s freedom.❜ Did I say I loved the magical world of Astranthia? Let me say it again. Doshi painted a spectacular picture that literally transported me to it. It was so creative and exciting. The characters Rea meets there like Flula the pari or Xeranther and some others, all were significant to the story. We even get glimpses into the villain’s POV that adds to the intrigue of the story. Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is a promising middle-grade debut about an adventurous fantasy imbibed with Indian culture, vivid settings, thoughtful relationships dynamics and interesting plot. I cannot wait to see what happens in the sequel! If you’re a MG reader or looking for an enjoyable, quick tale or you simply want more South-Asian books, I definitely recommend this book to you. Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is a promising middle-grade debut about an adventurous fantasy imbibed with Indian culture, vivid settings, thoughtful relationships dynamics and interesting plot. I cannot wait to see what happens in the sequel! If you're a MG reader or looking for an enjoyable, quick tale or you simply want more South-Asian books, I definitely recommend this book to you. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC! original: omg this was so much fun my indian heart is so happy <33

  7. 4 out of 5

    prutha ✨

    why did I not have this when I was 10? Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is definitely an amazing fantasy that proudly cherishes Indian culture whilst also introducing us to a world full of magic along with a brave young protagonist and amazing female friendship. This book follows Rea, a 12-year old girl whose twin brother, Rohan goes missing on their 12th birthday. But he isn't in Darjeeling, he is held captive in the land beyond the banyan tree, Astranthia. It is up to Rea and her best friend Lee why did I not have this when I was 10? Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is definitely an amazing fantasy that proudly cherishes Indian culture whilst also introducing us to a world full of magic along with a brave young protagonist and amazing female friendship. This book follows Rea, a 12-year old girl whose twin brother, Rohan goes missing on their 12th birthday. But he isn't in Darjeeling, he is held captive in the land beyond the banyan tree, Astranthia. It is up to Rea and her best friend Leela to find and save Rohan, and maybe find out the secrets her Amma has kept hidden from her. “The mind is a mysterious place. In its vast and many corners are hidden pieces of knowledge. When we sleep, they float up in the form of dreams. They can be wild, have a mind of their own, and lead us to places. They can carry messages or warnings. If they recur, one must heed them.” I LOVED this. Everything from the beautiful setting of Darjeeling (which is a well-loved hill station in West Bengal, India you need to visit ASAP after this pandemic because it is just gorgeous!), to the brilliant fast-paced world-building, was lovely. Did I mention that this book was also unapologetically Indian? Rea was an amazing protagonist. She was brave until the very end and did not hesitate to take huge steps just for her brother Rohan, who didn't really treat her well before he mysteriously disappeared. The descriptions of Astranthia was spectacular. I loved how original the world was which made me eager to learn more about it! Overall, this is a great #ownvoices debut which I highly recommend! Representation: Completely Indian cast Trigger Warnings: Bullying, mentions of blood, absent parent, kidnapping.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

    Also Posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds Disclaimer: An eARC was provided via Lonely Pages Book Tour and the Author as part of the Blog Tour. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own. You want to know why representation is important in books? Because I am 30 years old and it is only now that I have found a book that I find my young self, a young Indian girl with caustic and sarcastic attitude who is willing to go to any lengths, no matter how i Also Posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds Disclaimer: An eARC was provided via Lonely Pages Book Tour and the Author as part of the Blog Tour. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own. You want to know why representation is important in books? Because I am 30 years old and it is only now that I have found a book that I find my young self, a young Indian girl with caustic and sarcastic attitude who is willing to go to any lengths, no matter how impossible, for her loved ones. Rea Chettri, a 12 year old girl with a twin brother, Rohan- a brother who is now far more interested in spending time with his friends and “girls” than his own twin sister. Rea misses the closeness they both shared; and how they would bring in their birthday together. So she is angry enough to actually hate crash Rohan’s midnight cricket match just to remind him. So what if her mother has been behaving strangely and been making demands and giving orders that make no sense at all? But it does make sense when her brother goes missing and she along with her friend Leela, travel to an alternate city of Astranthia, where Rea believes her brother is being kept hostage. Rea and The Blood of Nectar, the first of what I hope is a series - is an #ownvoices adventure filled with twists, turns as well as fun and adventure filled with magical creatures! The author delivers an intriguing novel about friendship, bravery and loyalty - and one that I do believe would resonate with tweens and teens all over the world and where young Indian girls would find themselves in. For more reviews visit For The Love of Fictional Worlds :) Do come join us at For The Fictional Worlds Facebook Page | Twitter | Instagram  | Goodreads  | Amazon |

  9. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers. Rea and the blood of the Nectar is an beautiful #ownvoices read for children about a young girl (Rea) and her relationship with her brother, who gets a magical adventure in a place called Astranthia. Rea learns much in this story such as love, family, friendship and her own abilities and power. This book is as fantastic as the cover depicts and will definitely encapture the ima I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers. Rea and the blood of the Nectar is an beautiful #ownvoices read for children about a young girl (Rea) and her relationship with her brother, who gets a magical adventure in a place called Astranthia. Rea learns much in this story such as love, family, friendship and her own abilities and power. This book is as fantastic as the cover depicts and will definitely encapture the imaginations of children and adults alike. I thought this book was wonderfully written and very whimsical too.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amisha

    A huge thanks to Netgalley for providing me with the eARC for my perusal! This book is one of the most memorable reads of this year. I connected to its world on a big level. And yes, there are several reasons for it. First and foremost I would like to talk about the cover! This cover features Rea, who is a south-Asian character, or I would like to informally call her as my desi girl on the cover. You know she looks just like me and that’s a big thing for me. Growing up, I have rarely seen POC cha A huge thanks to Netgalley for providing me with the eARC for my perusal! This book is one of the most memorable reads of this year. I connected to its world on a big level. And yes, there are several reasons for it. First and foremost I would like to talk about the cover! This cover features Rea, who is a south-Asian character, or I would like to informally call her as my desi girl on the cover. You know she looks just like me and that’s a big thing for me. Growing up, I have rarely seen POC characters on the cover, let alone south-Asian characters. So yes, this was indeed the first step that made me pick this up right away. Next thing, it is set up in Darjeeling which is a very beloved hill station in my homeland, i.e., the state of Bengal in India. So another reason why I was connected with it from the very beginning. The way the author describes the environment, made me crave the calmness and coolness of the Himalayas, and the hustle-bustle of the markets and nature there. Also the different and aromatic world of the tea plantations (and the sad reality of child labor). I feeling that I am exploring Darjeeling through this book. Another thing, Rea and Leela portal through a banyan tree to reach Astranthia, which seemed similar to The Chronicles of Narnia, where the Pevensie Siblings miraculously reach the realms of Narnia. I don’t know about you, but I am an ardent admirer of Narnia. It was the first fantasy series that I read and watched. So yes, when the Goodreads description says that fans of Narnia will like this book, they are not lying. This book deals with a lot of topics and looks at them from a pre-teen’s perspective. The one that stayed with me till the end is that Rea’s relentless strife to do what is right. Her bravery is truly inspiring. Though she doesn’t consider herself worthy and is very sulky because of everything happening around her, somewhere she too knows that she is capable of many things and her intelligence is praiseworthy. Even after a lot of hardships, and treated badly by her brother, she still cares for him and for their little family too. No wonder, I wanted to be friends with Rea so badly, but alas, she is just a fictional character Coming onto the world-building of Astranthia, it is indeed done very well. The descriptions were so vivid and lively, that it is sure to take its readers on a ride full of different wonders. The magical creatures and beings were so interesting to read and come across. For example, I liked the incident where Rea came across serpent lilies. Yes, they were deadly but super exciting. I mean come on, some life threats are needed for the thrill! This story also teaches us valuable lessons on trust and friendship. The support that true friendship provides, can make you strong enough to face any hardships in life. So yes, I would encourage tweens and teens to read this book because it is an extraordinary fantasy story, that will leave a long-lasting impact on its readers. Once again, I would like to thank Netgalley for proving me with eARC for my perusal.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ruthie

    As an adult with young kids, I still love reading middle-grade books. It makes my inner child happy. AND it helps me to find some amazing reads so that our bookshelf is stocked to the brim when my young ’uns reach middle-grade age and can actually read them. It’s also extremely important to me to support OwnVoices books and OwnVoices authors and diversify their bookshelf even before they are ready to read at this level. I always love when I find middle-grade books that suck me in and make me feel As an adult with young kids, I still love reading middle-grade books. It makes my inner child happy. AND it helps me to find some amazing reads so that our bookshelf is stocked to the brim when my young ’uns reach middle-grade age and can actually read them. It’s also extremely important to me to support OwnVoices books and OwnVoices authors and diversify their bookshelf even before they are ready to read at this level. I always love when I find middle-grade books that suck me in and make me feel like I’m not reading middle grade. That was definitely the case here when reading Rea and the Blood of the Nectar. I almost finished Rea and the Blood of the Nectar in one day! I was so entranced with the setting, characters, and story that I could not stop reading. If I was reading it to my daughter, it would be me for once keeping her up late and saying -one more page!- Can’t wait to re-read it with her when she’s old enough and to see where Rea’s story goes. I’d also love to re-read as an audiobook if one is made because I love audiobooks and it would be so helpful to hear the pronunciation of things like all the rich descriptions of the real-world setting, fantasy world setting, and even the food: pakoras, roti and dal, and thupkas. I loved the adventure, Indian culture (festival of Diwali, one of the settings being Darjeeling tea plantations, kids playing cricket), magic in the real world with Rea’s travel to Astranthia, and the critical and realistic descriptions of relationships and feelings towards family and friends children and pre-teens will come across in their own lives either while reading or after. I did find a twist in the first half to be predictable but again, this is Middle Grade so many of our young readers will probably be shocked by it and not expect it. I did like that the villain is multifaceted, and we get to see through their eyes a bit. That felt original and unexpected in this type of Middle-Grade fantasy. Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is an important and most of all fun Middle Grade read for any fantasy lover’s bookshelf. Thank you to NetGalley and Mango and Marigold press for my e-arc copy of Rea and the Blood of the Nectar. I received this e-arc free of charge. It was my choice to read it and I’m leaving this review voluntarily.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Satabdi

    Rea and the Blood of the Nectar takes you on dizzying flights of imagination. I had such fun exploring the realm of Astranthia with Rea Chhetri, the rebellious and bitter girl who discovers that there’s a whole new side to her family. The strength of this book lies in the world-building and the sensitive portrayal of complicated familial ties. Astranthia is a beautiful, foliage-themed realm and Doshi’s descriptions are a treat to read. I could relate to Rea’s emotional tug of war in her relationsh Rea and the Blood of the Nectar takes you on dizzying flights of imagination. I had such fun exploring the realm of Astranthia with Rea Chhetri, the rebellious and bitter girl who discovers that there’s a whole new side to her family. The strength of this book lies in the world-building and the sensitive portrayal of complicated familial ties. Astranthia is a beautiful, foliage-themed realm and Doshi’s descriptions are a treat to read. I could relate to Rea’s emotional tug of war in her relationship with her twin, Rohan, and the bias that she thinks she sees in the way her mother and grandmother treat her twin. I enjoyed the way the author freely wove Indian terms and names into the narrative without “othering” it by using italics or any other method. You’ll find the whole package in this book — family strife, friendship and bonding, heartless villain(s), manipulative rulers and gullible common folk, magic, and high-voltage fight scenes that had me on tenterhooks. Of course, being part I in the Chronicles of Astranthia, the book ends on a cliffhanger that hints at more action in the forthcoming books. I think teens (and dreamy adults like me!) will enjoy Rea and the Blood of the Nectar immensely. (I received a review copy from Lonely Pages Book Tours with a request for an honest review.)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews

    *** Disclaimer : I received e-copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author and publicist. *** Rea and the Blood of the Nectar was interesting and well written middle grade fantasy that revolved around Rea’s journey to find her missing twin brother that unearthed family secrets. The story was about lies, betrayal, manipulation, friendship, loyalty, and family. Rea was flawed and complicated. I could understand her feeling being lonely, for how her family treated her an *** Disclaimer : I received e-copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author and publicist. *** Rea and the Blood of the Nectar was interesting and well written middle grade fantasy that revolved around Rea’s journey to find her missing twin brother that unearthed family secrets. The story was about lies, betrayal, manipulation, friendship, loyalty, and family. Rea was flawed and complicated. I could understand her feeling being lonely, for how her family treated her and difficulty in making friends. But as story progressed, I see her flaws more clearly. She was reckless, impulsive and naïve but was brave, determined, and courageous. I loved her for giving her and Leela’s friendship a chance and how that changed her view, woken her conscience and made her appreciate value of friendship. I loved how she developed by the end of the book and learned so many things. World was amazing. I enjoyed reading Indian culture in first few chapters. Even though this part was small one cannot miss picturesque setting of Darjeeling and its tea plantation slopes. I visited this place around 8 or 10 years ago but I still remember beauty and lovely weather of the place. World of Astranthia was whimsical and magical. People, how they dress, class differences, rules of kingdom, portal called Doda Alda Mara and who can travel through it, buds and grass that comes to life, fairies, magical system, sacred flower, legendary creature, serpent lilies… it was all vividly described and yes there was a lot to take in. Overall, Rea and the Blood of the Nectar was enjoyable, refreshing, adventurous middle grade fantasy. If you love portal fantasy, parallel world, mesmerising world with lots of information, #ownvoice book with Indian culture, I recommend this book. Read full review on my blog- https://booksteacupreviews.com/2021/0...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sam Subity

    This was an easy 5 of 5 stars from me. Rea's struggle to be seen next to her brother who everyone loves establishes her from the start as a character that you want to cheer for. I loved the beautiful setting in the Indian foothills of the Himalayas, but then Rea goes through a portal to an even COOLER magical kingdom called Astranthia where she encounters serpent-lilies, blood-sucking banshees, and blue lizard-men as she races against the clock to save her brother from an evil queen. I think kid This was an easy 5 of 5 stars from me. Rea's struggle to be seen next to her brother who everyone loves establishes her from the start as a character that you want to cheer for. I loved the beautiful setting in the Indian foothills of the Himalayas, but then Rea goes through a portal to an even COOLER magical kingdom called Astranthia where she encounters serpent-lilies, blood-sucking banshees, and blue lizard-men as she races against the clock to save her brother from an evil queen. I think kids will love following Rea on her journey and can't wait until the book releases next spring.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alysa

    After Rea's twin brother goes missing on the night of their 12th birthday, it's up to Rea and her friend Leesi to go find him. But Rohan's not lost in thier hometown of Darjeeling, nor in the tea fields in which their mother works, but in a land beyon the Banyon tree, a fanstasical place called Astranthia. As Rea goes searching for her lost brother, she discovers that she and her family are not who she thought they were. What follows is a fast-paced, exciting adventure, full of magic, villians, a After Rea's twin brother goes missing on the night of their 12th birthday, it's up to Rea and her friend Leesi to go find him. But Rohan's not lost in thier hometown of Darjeeling, nor in the tea fields in which their mother works, but in a land beyon the Banyon tree, a fanstasical place called Astranthia. As Rea goes searching for her lost brother, she discovers that she and her family are not who she thought they were. What follows is a fast-paced, exciting adventure, full of magic, villians, and cryptic clues that just Rea can only hope will lead her to her brother, and the truth. The world building, both in the real world of Darjeeling, India and the fantasy land of Astranthia-- transported me, and left me wanting more! I'm looking forward to the next book in this wonderful new series.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ava Shah

    I’ve had the opportunity to preview some of Payal’s work and let’s just say it’s nothing short of magical. You are instantly transported to this world of wonder, mystery & adventure. She has such an incredible ability to suck you in as a reader and captivate you through each twist & turn. Can not wait for her debut book and for the series!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Simant Verma

    15th September, 2020: The cover has been revealed and it is so cute. Can't wait to read this Desi middle-grade fantasy!! 15th September, 2020: The cover has been revealed and it is so cute. Can't wait to read this Desi middle-grade fantasy!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nicole M. Hewitt

    Check out this review and the author's Top Ten Addictions over on my blog, Feed Your Fiction Addiction Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is an exciting portal fantasy set in Darjeeling India and in a magical land that will fascinate kids of all ages! Rea has spent her life feeling "less than"---she doesn't make friends easily like her twin brother Rohan does, and even her mother seems to favor him. She feels invisible and unappreciated. But when her brother plans a secret midnight birthday cricket Check out this review and the author's Top Ten Addictions over on my blog, Feed Your Fiction Addiction Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is an exciting portal fantasy set in Darjeeling India and in a magical land that will fascinate kids of all ages! Rea has spent her life feeling "less than"---she doesn't make friends easily like her twin brother Rohan does, and even her mother seems to favor him. She feels invisible and unappreciated. But when her brother plans a secret midnight birthday cricket game and doesn't even invite her, she's had enough. She follows him and gets one shining moment of happiness before everything falls apart. When Rohan disappears and Rea's mother and grandmother start acting suspiciously, Rea decides to go on a quest to find him---only to find herself (and her only friend) transported to a dangerous magical land filled with paris (fairies) and other magical creatures. While there, Rea encounters an evil queen and unravels a series of secrets that connect Rea and her brother to her. There are plenty of surprises and magical roadblocks along the way! I loved that this book starts out in India, and we really get a sense of life there. For example, Rea spends time on a tea plantation with her mother, in an Indian village visiting a fortune-teller, and playing cricket with her brother. Then, when she's transported to Aranthia, we encounter magical creatures that are specific to Indian folklore (I would have loved to have seen India reflected even more in the magical land, but that is just a personal preference). Kids will resonate with Rea's desire to be truly seen (who doesn't feel overlooked sometimes?) and will find inspiration in Rea's unconditional love of family and her discovery of true friendship. ***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own and no compensation was given.***

  19. 5 out of 5

    Charvi

    3.5/5 stars Review coming soon!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bibliophilic Richard

    I received an e-ARC of this book via Books Forward and will not affect my opinion/review in any way. RTC

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hazzel (howtoescapereality)

    Thank you so much NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this amazing book and for giving me an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This books is the kind of book I read when I was a child. One of the books I couldn’t put down, true first few chapters are a bit slow, but once the plot started unravelling I was hooked. The author’s writing is wonderful, descriptive and informative. I was impressed by the Indian references, I had so much fun reading this and the Indian cu Thank you so much NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this amazing book and for giving me an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This books is the kind of book I read when I was a child. One of the books I couldn’t put down, true first few chapters are a bit slow, but once the plot started unravelling I was hooked. The author’s writing is wonderful, descriptive and informative. I was impressed by the Indian references, I had so much fun reading this and the Indian culture. More power to Payal Doshi!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Adam

    A charming story about bravery, loyalty, and friendship. The worldbuilding is vibrant and richly detailed, and young readers will love watching Rea and her friend Leela solve the mystery of Rea's twin brother's capture. A charming story about bravery, loyalty, and friendship. The worldbuilding is vibrant and richly detailed, and young readers will love watching Rea and her friend Leela solve the mystery of Rea's twin brother's capture.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Eleennae Ayson

    Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I love MG books even though I have long aged past their target market because they are not afraid to discuss difficult and sensitive topics in life without taking away the fun, adventure, and magic. Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is a great example of that, and it shows in the love and attention given to developing the themes and characters. Read full review on my blog: https: Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I love MG books even though I have long aged past their target market because they are not afraid to discuss difficult and sensitive topics in life without taking away the fun, adventure, and magic. Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is a great example of that, and it shows in the love and attention given to developing the themes and characters. Read full review on my blog: https://inkhavenbynae.wordpress.com/2...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    A compelling MG fantasy adventure, with gorgeous, evocative language and highly-imaginative elements. Rea and her twin brother Rohan are about to turn 12 in Darjeeling, India. They live with their mother (Amma) and grandmother (Bajai) and life is sometimes difficult. Amma and Bajai seem to pay more attention to Rohan, and Rea is jealous. On the night of their 12th birthday, their mother and grandmother warn them to stay in the house, but Rohan slips out to meet his friends, and Rea follows him, A compelling MG fantasy adventure, with gorgeous, evocative language and highly-imaginative elements. Rea and her twin brother Rohan are about to turn 12 in Darjeeling, India. They live with their mother (Amma) and grandmother (Bajai) and life is sometimes difficult. Amma and Bajai seem to pay more attention to Rohan, and Rea is jealous. On the night of their 12th birthday, their mother and grandmother warn them to stay in the house, but Rohan slips out to meet his friends, and Rea follows him, along with her friend Leela. Then Rohan goes missing and Rea and Leela search for him. With advice from a fortune teller, they enter another world, Astranthia, a place of magic, fairy folk, and flowers. Queen Razya is deliciously evil, the perfect villain, right up there with Maleficent. If you enjoy portal fantasies, you will love this imaginative tale. Thank you to the author, the publisher, and Edelweiss+ for an e-arc.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sang2085

    I was lucky to have read the e- ARC and simply put, I couldn't put the book down! This is a beautifully told story of a 12 year old girl who goes on an adventure to find her missing twin brother on the night of their 12th birthday. More importantly, this is also a story about family secrets, sibling rivalry, friendships and 12 year old Rea's attempt to right the wrong. The Author’s prose is so magical, it made me feel like I was alongside Rea on her quest and could literally visualize all the be I was lucky to have read the e- ARC and simply put, I couldn't put the book down! This is a beautifully told story of a 12 year old girl who goes on an adventure to find her missing twin brother on the night of their 12th birthday. More importantly, this is also a story about family secrets, sibling rivalry, friendships and 12 year old Rea's attempt to right the wrong. The Author’s prose is so magical, it made me feel like I was alongside Rea on her quest and could literally visualize all the beautiful landscapes she navigates! Personally for me, I was thrilled that Rea, a South Asian girl will forever share my bookshelf with the like of Nancy Drew, The famous Five and The Harry Potter Series while having an adventure of her own!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Vitalis

    The gorgeous cover tells you everything you need to know: this is an #ownvoices story set in India (and a fictional country called Astranthia) filled with adventure, heart, and magic. I loved the realistic portrayal of the main character's relationship with her brother in a small village in India as much as I loved the whimsy and magic of Astranthia. Add the main character's exploration of friendship, family, and her own power, and you've got a middle grade story well worth reading! The gorgeous cover tells you everything you need to know: this is an #ownvoices story set in India (and a fictional country called Astranthia) filled with adventure, heart, and magic. I loved the realistic portrayal of the main character's relationship with her brother in a small village in India as much as I loved the whimsy and magic of Astranthia. Add the main character's exploration of friendship, family, and her own power, and you've got a middle grade story well worth reading!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Annemieke / A Dance with Books

    Thank you to Ellen Whitfield from Books Forward for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway. Trigger/Content Warnings: Attempted Suicide | Physical Assault A middle grade portal fantasy set in India? Yes please we need more of these kind of books on the shelves. We follow Rea who feels alone and rejected on her birthday. Because her twin brother Royan doesn't want to celebrate it with her. After a midnight escape from the house from both of the Thank you to Ellen Whitfield from Books Forward for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway. Trigger/Content Warnings: Attempted Suicide | Physical Assault A middle grade portal fantasy set in India? Yes please we need more of these kind of books on the shelves. We follow Rea who feels alone and rejected on her birthday. Because her twin brother Royan doesn't want to celebrate it with her. After a midnight escape from the house from both of them, Rohan dissapears. Rea doesn't understand. Her amma and grandmother seem to know so much more but they won't say anything. And so she goes out on her own to find her brother. Supported by her friend Leela, she jumps into a whole magical world. There were elements that I really liked and there were elements that I didn't care for as much. But lets start with the good bits. This book is set in India and I love that. The magical world isn't inspired by india but it doesn't have to be. Having the starting world be India is great to have. Its the kind of representation we still miss often. So much starts in America or other English speaking countries. I love that this didn't and that we get a bit of the culture through their every day life. Another element that I really appreciated was the friendship between Leela and Rea. Rea has been hurt in the past and she doesn't trust. But she also wants someone on her side. Leela has always been open for a friendship with Rea. She saw a kindred spirit and made sure to be around. And throughout, despite Rea's lashing out, she stuck by her friend. Understanding why she was lashing out, trying to get her to see what she was doing. Leela was a gem. I also loved that there was a chapter where Rea and Leela were actively puzzling out the prophecy they had gotten about where to find Rohan. Nothing fell there way. They really used their minds and research abbilities to get to where they needed to go. Having said that I struggled with the fact that Rea's family still would not say anything, even after Rohan was taken. They could have chosen to go about it as a family and they choose not to, sticking their heads in the sand. They took your bloody kid?!? And I really hope that the next book might touch on that bit because I feel that is something the four of them need to talk out. And then there was the bit of the attempted suicide that I felt was too easily stepped over. If you are going to do that and especially in a middle grade, even in this setting, please, please, please take the time to deal with it properly. The magical world also has some great things like bud houses and fun foods. Whimsical elements. But throughout the story I never really felt this was a magical or whimsical place. It just didn't come through at all. Maybe that was because we followed Rea and she was so focused on Rohan that she couldn't see it. But I didn't care much for the world as a whole. I also would have loved to have learned more about the magic of the nectar. It still felt a bit too vague for me. All in all this was a fun middle grade fantasy with great diversity. I'm curious to see where the author will take this world and story in the next book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Thank you for NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! / ¡Gracias a NetGalley por darme este ARC a cambio de una reseña honesta! English Review: 5 / 5 stars Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is a great fantasy, middle-grade book that follows Rea, a Indian girl who is trying to find her twin brother, Rohan, after he goes mysteriously missing and everyone, including Ama and Bajai (her mother and grandmother), seem to have given up any hope to find him. For starters Thank you for NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review! / ¡Gracias a NetGalley por darme este ARC a cambio de una reseña honesta! English Review: 5 / 5 stars Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is a great fantasy, middle-grade book that follows Rea, a Indian girl who is trying to find her twin brother, Rohan, after he goes mysteriously missing and everyone, including Ama and Bajai (her mother and grandmother), seem to have given up any hope to find him. For starters, this book has one of the most original and amazing fantasy worlds I have ever read; everything about it was so magical, that I think is the most important element of this book. We get to experience a whole new way of living and is so well portrayed, you will want to live in it. When it comes to characters, they really provide a great pacing of the story. Each character is as equally interesting as the others, and they make more entertaining to read. Besides, we also get to know more of the Indian culture with this characters, which the author handle really well, in a way that, for someone that didn´t have much knowledge of this culture, it was understandable. In conclusion, it was a great first book of a series that I will be really looking forward to continue reading in the future. Reseña en Español: 5 / 5 estrellas Rea and the Blood of the Nectar es un gran libro de fantasía infantil que sigue a Rea, una niña india que esta tratando de encontrar a su hermano gemelo, Rohan, después de que desapareciera de manera misteriosa y que todos, incluidos Ama y Bajai (su mamá y abuela), parecieran haberse rendido en cualquier esperanza de encontrarlo. Para empezar, este libro tiene uno de los mundos de fantasía más originales y grandiosos que he leído; todo sobre este mundo fue tan mágico, que creo que es el elemento más importante de este libro. Logramos experimentar una forma diferente de vivir y es mostrada tan bien, que querrás vivir en ella. Acerca de los personajes, de verdad permiten que la historia se desarrolle de buena manera. Cada personaje es igual de interesante que los otros, y hacen al libro incluso más interesante de leer. Además, también conocemos más sobre la cultura india con estos personajes, lo cual la autora maneja muy bien de forma de que, para alguien que no conocía mucho a esta cultura, fue muy entendible. En conclusión, fue un muy bien primer libro de una saga que espero tengo muchas ganas de seguir leyendo en el futuro.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kathie

    Thank you to the author and Edelweiss+ for an eARC of this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, which is the first book in The Chronicles of Astranthia series by debut author Payal Doshi. Although this book doesn't come out until May 2021, I'm excited to help spread this word about it and make sure that readers are aware of it. Rea and her twin brother, Rohan, live in Darjeeling, India with their mother and grandmother. Rea resents the favoritism that Amma and Bajai show toward Rohan, and that R Thank you to the author and Edelweiss+ for an eARC of this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, which is the first book in The Chronicles of Astranthia series by debut author Payal Doshi. Although this book doesn't come out until May 2021, I'm excited to help spread this word about it and make sure that readers are aware of it. Rea and her twin brother, Rohan, live in Darjeeling, India with their mother and grandmother. Rea resents the favoritism that Amma and Bajai show toward Rohan, and that Rohan isn't including her in the secret birthday party he's planning on THEIR special day. She crashes the midnight cricket party, but discovers the next morning that her brother didn't make it home and has gone missing. Rea desperately wants to find Rohan, so she enlists the help of her friend, Leela, go with her to visit the fortune teller she knows Amma recently visited in the hope of finding out more about his disappearance. She and Leela are given clues that lead them through a portal into the magical world of Astranthia, where they enlist the help of a barrow boy named Xeranther. Their quest to free Rohan involves battling deadly monsters, finding a missing flower petal, and wielding magic that Rea didn't even know she possessed to stop the queen from using Rohan in her nefarious plans. But Rea also learns Amma and Bajai have been keeping a very big secret from her and Rohan, and suddenly her entire family, and the future of Astranthia, is in jeopardy. I love stories that are set in countries different from my own, and seeing characters from different cultures be the heroes of stories. There is a lot of Indian culture that runs throughout this book, while incorporating fantasy elements such as magic, deadly creatures, and the necessity of developing special powers for good to triumph over evil. At the same time, it's a story about family, friendship, betrayal, and taking risks to protect the people that you love. This story is so immersive because of the world that the author created, and how her descriptions were rich, imaginative, and detailed. I will be anxiously awaiting the next book in the series so I can revisit Astranthia and these wonderful characters. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy the Kiranmala series by Sayantani DasGupta, Aru Shah series by Roshani Chokshi (or any of the Rick Riordan Presents books, although this story is not based on Indian mythology) or anyone who loves reading an adventurous fantasy rooted in culture. Recommended: Gr. 5-7

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mikee

    “The mind is a mysterious place. In its vast and many corners are hidden pieces of knowledge. When we sleep, they float up in the form of dreams. They can be wild, have a mind of their own, and lead us to places. They can carry messages or warnings. If they recur, one must heed them.” I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Where should I start? First off, this book is fast-paced, plot and character-driven. I absolutely loved and adored it whilst reading. The first few c “The mind is a mysterious place. In its vast and many corners are hidden pieces of knowledge. When we sleep, they float up in the form of dreams. They can be wild, have a mind of their own, and lead us to places. They can carry messages or warnings. If they recur, one must heed them.” I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Where should I start? First off, this book is fast-paced, plot and character-driven. I absolutely loved and adored it whilst reading. The first few chapters really had me that I couldn't put it down. The moment I started reading it, I know by heart that I will absolutely love this and it never fails. What I loved about this book was the book itself as a whole. It was a whimsical, enthralling, adventure-packed book. I devoured this with only an average expectation but turns out I was wrong. The book was written beautifully. I'm impressed by the author's how she laid out the prose on this story to add extra excitement plus the mystery! I'm impressed by the author's how she laid out the prose on this story to add extra excitement plus the mystery! I really admire the magical system of this book, it's gripping and exciting. This is by far the most surprising book I've ever read this year. All of the characters were diverse, complex, funny, and tenacious with braveness combine. They are all wonderful and adorable. Overall, if you love middle-grade fantasy books, this book is for you! I highly recommend this book to everyone! There's so much of this book that should be praised and recognized.

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