[Book Review] Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi

Rea and the Blood of the Nectar cover
Front cover

My Review of Rea and the Blood of the Nectar

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.)

Details of Rea and the Blood of the Nectar


Age category: Middle Grade

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Mango and Marigold Press

Publication Date: June 1, 2021

Mango and Marigold Press: https://bit.ly/3049gcv

Description of Rea and the Blood of the Nectar

Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is a gateway into pure imagination, with a fast-paced plot that will hook you and characters that will endear you. A wonderful debut.” – KACEN CALLENDER, National Book Award winner for King and the Dragonflies and bestselling author of Hurricane Child

“From the tea plantations of Darjeeling to the flower-filled land of Astranthia, Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is an adventure filled with mythical monsters and marvelous creatures, magic and mayhem, friendship and family struggles. Rea is a fierce heroine whose courage and determination carry her forward to save her twin brother even when the path seems dark.” – RAJANI LAROCCA, author of Midsummer’s Mayhem, Red, White, and Whole, and Much Ado About Baseball

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

About Payal Doshi

Payal Doshi has a Masters in Creative Writing (Fiction) from The New School, New York. Having lived in the UK and US, she noticed a lack of Indian protagonists in global children’s fiction and one day wrote the opening paragraph to what would become her first children’s novel. She was born and raised in Mumbai, India, and currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband and three-year-old daughter. When she isn’t writing or spending time with her family, you can find her nose deep in a book with a cup of coffee or daydreaming of fantasy realms to send her characters off into. She loves the smell of old, yellowed books. Rea and the Blood of the Nectar, the first book in The Chronicles of Astranthia series is her debut middle grade novel. For more information, visit her website, www.payaldoshiauthor.com, or follow her on Instagram @payaldoshiauthor and on Twitter @payaldwrites.


EMAIL – payaldoshiauthor@outlook.com

WEBSITE – https://www.payaldoshiauthor.com/

INSTAGRAM – https://www.instagram.com/payaldoshiauthor/

TWITTER – https://twitter.com/payaldwrites

GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52352481-rea-and-the-blood-of-the-nectar

Rea and the Blood of the Nectar Blog Tour Schedule


4 responses to “[Book Review] Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi”

  1. I thought this was fun read too! The world-building was so creative and well-done! I loved the Indian rep and how the author portrayed the family dynamics!

  2. I’m going read this next week. Great review!

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