Book Reviews

Review: Kiki Kallira Conquers a Curse by Sangu Mandanna

Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom ended up being one of my favorite reads last month. Mandanna charmed me. Whether it be the way Kiki navigates her anxiety or the action, I loved it. So you know I had super high expectations going into the sequel. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Fresh from the exciting discovery that the beautiful kingdom and band of rebel kids she drew in her sketchbook exists in another world, Kiki Kallira has an unexpected visitor. One of those rebel kids has come into the real world to ask for her help—the river Kaveri that is Mysore’s only source of water has suddenly vanished! With no water to drink or grow food, Kiki’s kingdom is doomed.

Kiki returns to Mysore and quickly learns that drawing a new river doesn’t work. In her search for answers, she stumbles upon the origin of the Kaveri: it’s actually a princess from long ago who was transformed into water by a terrible curse! It’s up to Kiki and her friends to restore the river without sacrificing the princess again—easier said than done! And with her mounting anxiety, enemies seeking to stop her, and a city growing weaker by the minute, Kiki’s confidence falters. Will she be able to unravel the curse and save her kingdom before it’s too late?


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

Kiki Kallira Conquers a Curse continues the whimsy and action. The anxiety rep in this sequel still warmed my heart. It’s one thing to realize, “oh this isn’t just something I have”. But to have to actualize it every day. To realize that we are who we are because of our anxiety and it’s not just like something we have? That we have to embrace ourselves? Mandanna has done it again!

Not only that, but I loved the continuing story line. This sequel basically takes place immediately after the first and there are some surprises in here that you will love! In Kiki Kallira Conquers a Curse I loved seeing these side characters bloom. Especially how in many ways, this sequel broaches what happens after a victory. While also having another disaster that Kiki needs to solve!

Mandanna also explores and develops the theme of stories. Who will tell the stories when we’re gone? The winners. So what do the stories hide? What happens when we only have pieces of a story? Kiki Kallira Conquers a Curse is a stunning and adventurous sequel. If you loved the first, then I am sure you will enjoy this one too! Overall it’s a fantastic series that examines anxiety in a MG adventure, the importance of stories, and choice. Find Kiki Kallira Conquers a Curse on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


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