Diaspora Desi girl, Anika, is excited to finally practice magic while visiting Gujarat…Until she learns she’s the descendant of a malevolent demigod. Because of her evil cousin’s delectable and cursed desserts draining townspeople’s life energy, wicked Grandma will soon escape from magic prison. Now, Anika must battle deities, monsters, and powerful beings from Indian mythology to save her parent’s souls and prevent the world from falling into chaos.
THE SERPENT’S SECRET x RACE TO THE SUN
Six-thirty in the morning in Ahmedabad, India is as painful as six-thirty in the morning back in suburbia Ohio. But louder. Cows mooing, bells on carts ringing, and engines of rickshaws revving are my alarms here. I should be used to them by now—we’ve come to Gujarat for eleven whole years, but it’s an adjustment every time.
And don’t get me started on jet lag. It takes three days to get used to being in a time zone almost eleven hours in the future. Still, our annual two-week trip to India during my school’s winter break is non-negotiable.
Mom and Papa have important “magical” things to do.
“Anika, careful,” Mom whispers.
“Sorry!” I finish yawning and straighten my shoulders. My cheeks warm up but the tray I hold stays level. “I’ve got it, Mom. See? Not even a wobble.”
She gives me a wink and a smile.
I watch another kid of “the right age” meet his Pratika, his magical talisman, before I’ve had breakfast. I’m happy for him but impatient for me.
Wizard kids get wands, we sorcerers get talismans. Honestly, I think we get the better deal. Who wants to carry around a stick when you can have jewelry (blech) or armor (meh) or brass knuckles (yes, please!) to help you use your magic?