Rea and the Blood of the Nectar by Payal Doshi follows the life of a 12 year-old girl named Rea. She lives in Darjeeling with her grandma, mother, and twin brother, Rohan. After finding out her brother is missing, Rea makes it her mission to find him—even if it takes her to a world she’s never been to before and she has to face her family’s past.
This book is amazing for a multitude of reasons. First, it’s rich in culture. There may be unknown vocabulary, such as clothing or foods you may not know of, but there is a glossary in the back of the book that provides explanations.
Another thing, the book has maps in the first few pages. A fantasy book isn’t complete without its maps, and I found it endearing that there were even maps of India and Darjeeling to further immerse the reader. Little details like that make the book more accessible for younger readers.
The world-building in this book is also outstanding, another thing very important in fantasy books since they take place outside of our world. When reading about the whimsical world of Astranthia, where Rea is supposed to find her brother, I found myself wanting to explore as well.
Given all these things, Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is a great book for all audiences. If I could, I’d give it 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a feel-good book that includes cultural representation, family love, and a fantasy adventure.