Book Reviews

Review: A War of Swallowed Stars by Sangu Mandanna

A Spark of White Fire is one of the most underhyped SF series ever. Combining spaceships and wards with the gods, The Celestial Trilogy is a must read if you love family space politics and meddlesome tricksters. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts!


A prince without his kingdom.

A kingdom without its princess.

The destruction of the stars themselves.

War is destroying the galaxy. Esmae has vanished without a trace. A terrifying, ravenous beast is devouring the stars one by one. Titania is offered a gift that may well be a curse. Alexi, the exiled prince, is asked to pay a heavy price for his mistakes. And far, far away, on a dark, mysterious planet, a sleeping god stirs awake.

War or family.

Pride or peace.

As the end of the world draws ever closer, Esmae and Alexi must decide how far they’ll go to win—and who they’ll sacrifice along the way.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I have been so excited for this finale book for so long. The Celestial Trilogy is an amazing series that examines family, ethics, and war. A War of Swallowed Stars delivers on the foundations Mandanna has been building from the beginning. The cuts and bruises only family knows how to dispense. All the ways that our own thirst for vengeance and power play out in the stars. Intelligent spaceships meets gods that pick sides and complex families.

A War of Swallowed Stars manages to be introspective – asking questions about loyalty and love – while also being action packed. The amount of growth and character development that has gone into this world is astounding. I have always loved the world building kernel and the ways Mandanna merges fantasy and science fiction elements. But where A War of Swallowed Stars shines is the way it highlights these character arcs. My favorite has to be Esmae’s and the ways she has to realize that our quest for revenge, to fill the holes in our heart, the quench the anger, won’t always lead us to a better future.


That to hold on so tightly to anger, burns as well. Or that chasing revenge as we struggle in grief, only leaves the taste of ash in our mouth. All these pieces and people come together like pawns on the board until you just have to hold on for the ride. A War of Swallowed Stars, like this entire trilogy, asks the value of loyalty and love. Of manipulation and truths, deception and betrayal. What will be the true cost of success? Of a success that begins to taste hollow before we even call victory. We can choose to re-write our ending. To find other ways to pursue our dreams and patch our heart.

Ultimately, if you’ve read A House of Rage and Sorrow I probably don’t need to tell you to read this one. This series manages to balance action, introspection, expansive character growth, and an amazing world. If you haven’t read it yet, take this as your sign to do so now.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

Find A War of Swallowed Stars on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite SF trilogy ending this year?

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