'Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom' Book Club Read-along: Day 4By: OwlCrate Jr Photo By: @arleneandcompany
Welcome to the final day of our book club read-along for OwlCrate Jr's July book, Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom! How will this epic story conclude?
Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for Chapters 23 - 31 of Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom, so make sure you read these chapters before continuing.
Discussion questions are listed below, and anyone who participates in the comments will be entered to win a free OwlCrate Jr box! We’ll be selecting four winners early next week!
The story so far...
Kiki awakes to thunder and lightning, but it is not a real storm—it’s Mahishasura using his power to try to rip the tear between the worlds wider! Ashwini tells Kiki they need to leave immediately as the Asuras at the gandaberunda would be distracted at the moment. At the palace, the gates are guarded by two wolf Asuras, but luckily for Kiki she remembers a story about wolves finding the scent of apple juice irresistible, and she just so happened to pack an apple! Once inside the palace grounds at the spot they reached on their last attempt, the palace starts talking to Kiki, telling her that the only thing she needs to get inside is herself.
Deciding to trust the palace, Kiki takes them to the maze in the botanical garden—the only way through. Kiki knows what is going to happen: the maze will continue to block their way until a hoard of mechanical spiders appears before the exit. She didn't think she'd be the one battling them when she drew them in the design! Ashwini valiantly fights the spiders until Kiki remembers she has a freezing potion, immobilizing the spiders so they can both get past. Good thinking!
They pass through a ballroom and into a corridor to search for a hidden staircase. They locate it, only to find they have to charm a tea party of porcelain dolls that have come to life. Not at all scary. Luckily they somehow succeed and one of the dolls gives them the key which they must use in the Room with Many Doors. Only problem is, if they use it in the wrong door, the giant serpent living on the ceiling will eat them! Just a minor problem. Thinking quickly, Kiki uses one of Pip’s many stink bombs and they’re in luck as the serpent tries to flee through the correct doorway out. They’ve made it to the top floor! Next stop: the gandaberunda.
Out on the balcony they are just feet below the gandaberunda when all of a sudden Mahishasura’s storm stops, meaning Kiki needs to climb fast before the Asuras return. But one does return but for some reason it doesn't attack, it just watches Kiki... Odd. When she finally reaches it, Kiki can feel the gandaberunda's heart beating as if it is alive and decides she can’t do it. She can’t turn this world back to nothing but ink and paper.
To her surprise, even as she drops back to the balcony, the Asura doesn’t attack. Lej appears, having managed to actually procure some mechanical wings (awesome!), and it dawns on Kiki that she has been manipulated into this situation. She has been forced to take the path of destroying the gandaberunda’s eye rather than fight Mahishasura. Only one of the Crows apparently spoke to Brahma to encourage this plan. Ashwini has been working with Mahishasura!
Ashwini explains that Mahishasura asked for her help when he realized that only she and the Asuras that were on the page with the rip between worlds were able to get to Kiki. In exchange for getting Kiki to destroy the gandaberunda’s eye and free him back into Kiki’s world (turning this world back into ink and paper), he would take Ashwini with him so she could be free. Ashwini hates the responsibility of always having to fight and take care of the others with no one to take care of her. She knows that Mahishasura will do anything to make Kiki break the eye. Ashwini says her goodbyes and jumps off the balcony onto the back of the bird Asura. Lej apologizes for how mean he has been to her in the past, and even compliments her rainbow unicorn pjs. Friendship on!
Back at the Crow House everything is in disarray. Ashwini had been there to try to convince the rest of the Crows to join her and Mahishasura, but when they refused she slashed up all of the costumes Jojo had made. Rude! They decide the only way forward is to fight Marhishasura with the help of those Chamundeshwari has been recruiting and the Good Witch. Sad about their costumes, Kiki realizes she might be able to help and starts drawing them back together.
Chamundeshwari comes back to the Crow House with the Good Witch, who confirms that if Kiki is able to create a couple hundred little things, she will be able to turn them into a couple hundred big things. A witch is a handy friend. As soon as Kiki is done with her drawings, she hears a shriek. The gandaberunda has come to life. It is the time of Mysore’s greatest need!
They march in a glorious procession to Lalith Mahal and are greeted by Mahishasura. To his surprise, Kiki has created a whole army of soldiers. What he doesn’t know, though, is they are unable to fight. But the trick makes him hesitate. Kiki makes Mahishasura a deal: if they fight one on one and Kiki wins, he goes back to the Nowhere Place. If he wins, she sends the gandaberunda back to its perch and breaks its golden eye.
The fight ensues, and although Kiki seems to be outmatched (by a lot!), she is a girl with a plan. She runs away, seemingly in fear, and the taunts of the Crows convince Mahishasura that he must catch her. She flees into the palace, which has proven itself is eager to help her, with Mahishasura in pursuit. Leaving pencil marks on the walls as she runs, Kiki leads him to the Room With No Doors, where they appear to be trapped. But Kiki has always been more powerful in this world than Mahishasura! She draws herself a door and then seals him inside.
Kiki runs out of the palace as quickly has she can, as the pencil marks turn into fissures in the walls. The palace completely collapses just as she makes it outside, but instead of being destroyed it has turned into a monument of where Mahishasura fell, with a new perch on top for the gandaberunda.
The other Crows appears and everyone is okay. When Mahishasura fell the Asuras stopped fighting, knowing they had no one to protect them anymore. Vishnu sent them all to the Nowhere Place, and, surprisingly, Vishnu also apologizes to Kiki for underestimating her.
With Mahishasura gone it is decided that Chamundeshwari would be the new queen of Mysore and the Simha would permanently move into the Crow House to take care of the children. Kiki helps rebuild Mysore with her pencil, reluctant to leave right away.
When the time finally comes, the Crows, Chamundeshwari and Simha all accompany Kiki back to the balcony with the tear between worlds. They say their tearful goodbyes, and with that, Kiki is back in her bedroom with no time having passed at all. To her surprise there is a crow with a gold mark on his beak....it's Pip! Kiki happily climbs into bed, thinking that maybe someday she'll see Mysore again, but for now it is time to live her own story.
- What was your favorite part of the book?
- Did it end in a way you predicted? What surprised you?
- Not all of the characters we came to love got a happy ending. How does that make you feel?
- Would you like to see more of Kiki and the Crows?