Who Wants to Be a Demon Slayer?

Game of Stars, by Sayantani DasGupta – The sequel to The Serpent’s Secret takes place in the same bizarre world of Bengali folklore. Due to the influence of the Rakkhosh Queen, Kiran finds herself participating in a wildly popular game show called Who Wants to Be a Demon Slayer?, created by the Serpent King with the promise of reuniting the alchemical Chintamoni and Poroshmoni Stones. The jewels in tandem can create gold and platinum, which DasGupta connects to the collision of neutron stars. Not only does she have to rescue Prince Neel from the Serpent King’s undersea dungeon, but also deal with rumors and lies spread by the Kingdom Beyond media, and constant advertisements. The author explains that she parodied some actual products, including some racist skin-lightening creams that are sold in India, here changed to a cream that makes living people appear to be dead. There’s also commentary on xenophobia with the agreement between the Rajah and the Serpent King leading to Rakkosh demons being arrested and detained for no reason. Having dealt with nasty Rakkhosh on her previous excursion to the Kingdom Beyond, Kiran initially shares this prejudice, but learns that she actually has friends and supporters among them, including her peppy, friendly classmate Zuzu. There are also some logic puzzles taken from Raymond Smullyan, and I actually have one of his books, a collection of puzzles based on the Alice books. I might have to take another look at that in the near future. Anyway, Game of Stars is a very enjoyable read, mixing satire, absurdity, and fantastic adventure.

This entry was posted in Advertising, Alchemy, Book Reviews, Fairy Tales, Humor, Magic, Monsters, Mythology, Prejudice and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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