June 18, 2024

REVIEW Fury of the Dragon Goddess by Sarwat Chadda

REVIEW Fury of the Dragon Goddess by Sarwat Chadda
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: August 1, 2023
Format: Audiobook (Personal Library, Libro.fm)
Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents

Sarwat Chadda’s Fury of the Dragon Goddess, the sequel to City of the Plague God, was never a guaranteed book but I’m so glad it came out. Sikander Aziz, or ‘Sik’ is once again in the middle of all the action as he must stop the gods of Ancient Mesopotamia from using an ancient tablet to destroy the world. 

While I thought the stakes were high in the first book, and Nergal was an amazing villain, things get so much deeper in this story. Lugal is a villain with a lot of depth to him, and when he explains the motives behind why he’s doing what he’s doing it makes sense to a degree. He’s quite brutal in his methods (apt for someone whose name is the Mesoptomian word for ‘war leader’), and Mr. Chadda does not pull any punches in what’s going on throughout the book. In addition to Lugal, there are appearances from other figures out of Mesopotamian mythology (most notably chaos dragon goddess Tiamat) and it was so exciting to get to learn more about all of them. I did want to note that I really appreciate how the author delicately balances Sikander’s Muslim faith and the belief that there is only one God with all the Mesopotmian deities running around in the story. 

While there is an undeniable fantasy aspect to the novel, there’s also a social commentary on current issues facing the world. For example, the author touches on issues like America’s history of xenophobia and racism, the war in Iraq, and even Britain’s history of pilfering antiquities over the years and refusing to send them back to their home countries (i.e. the only reason the pyramids never left Egypt is because they are too big). The author also explores the Islamic faith and culture, and highlights how love and family are central pillars of that belief system. As an adult reader, I really appreciated the chance to learn with the in-depth look at all of these different topics and I think middle grade readers will too. 

Overall, this was an excellent read. Vikas Adam did an amazing job bringing the action to life with his performance in the audiobook narration (my favorite was his interpretation of Rabisu’s voice). If you or a young reader in your life enjoy books that are fun and action packed takes on world mythology, this would be a great choice. For those who might want to learn a bit more about Rabisu, I recommend checking out the Rick Riordan Presents anthology The Cursed Carnival and other Calamities and taking a look at Sarwat Chadda’s contribution, “The Loneliest Demon”. 


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