Home / Books / Serpent of the Sands by Vashti Hardy | Book Review

Serpent of the Sands by Vashti Hardy | Book Review

Children’s books are all time favourite genre for us here at Thikerviews. Writing imaginative stories for young minds that also provide edutainment is a tricky treat to make and we are always exploring for new authors and adventures in this arena.

Recently, we came across the Brightstorm series by author Vashti Hardy that features young twins who live in a world full of adventures and explorations. We have reviewed the first three books of this series:

And here are our views and reviews on the fourth book of the series.

Book Title : Serpent of the Sands
Brightstorm - 4
Author :
Published by : Scholastic ( 11 May 2023)
# of Pages : 320 (Paperback) 408; 11993 KB (Kindle EBook) 477 Minutes (Audiobook)
# of Chapters : 31
Purchase Link(s) :

Book Cover:

Let us take a look at the cover page of this book.

Serpents of the Sands by Vashti Hardy | Book Cover

Serpents of the Sands by Vashti Hardy | Book Cover

The cover page of this book is designed to convey the adventurous spirit of the book. In bright colours that will appeal to young readers, this book continues the joyous theme of the series and its life-affirming adventurous spirit.

The creature on the coverpage is imaginably – a sand serpent. A majestic creature that is reminiscent of giant serpents and dragons dominates the scene while the sand dunes in the background build up the unending desert. Facing the serpent is a figure of an young adventurer.

An attractive cover page that will catch an eye of any browser, as well as fans of the series.


It has been many months since Princess Ganzorig – Gan came home to Citadel after her adventures with the Brightstorm twins on the Aurora. Gan became part of the group that is actively seeking the eight “super-sapients” mentioned in the Earth-Bear’s song. And to that end, Gan is looking for the Sand Serpent mentioned in the fables told to children of Nadvaaryn. The mythical serpent guards a healing garden with a cactus that can cure any disease. Unfortunately, so far, she has not seen any positive outcome from her searches.

Meanwhile, the activities and protests against sapient animals are gathering momentum. And the latest deposition from Lontown comes knocking on the doors of the Citadel with representatives of HAC. While Gan reluctantly embraces her duties as a princess during such visits, it is not long after the visit, her uncle Batzorig informs her that Temur, Gan’s other foster father, is gravely ill.

And so Gan embarks on a journey to discover the healing serpent on her sky-ship Sky Archer. On the way there though, she meets an unexpected stranger – a boy called Thorn- who over time becomes her only companion and friend on this journey. Together, they head for the House of Chimes and then on to an invisible island.

But there are quite a few surprises waiting for Gan – she meets a super-sapient Tiger that actually likes to control and capture humans, she finds that her friend has been hiding secrets from her, and by the time she makes it back to the Citadel, it appears that her home has been invaded and lost….

What will happen to Gan and her homeland? And did she ever find the Serpent of the sands?

Views and Reviews:

This book continues the adventurous spirit of the series, but as you can see, it also veers off a little from the trilogy in terms of the characters and moves the spotlight from the Brightstorm twins to Gan. This actually works beautifully as the trilogy appeared to come to a natural stopping place at end of book three, as the twins took on different paths and decided to explore different aspects of their personalities. While they are still actively busy with the alliance of the eight, we get to see more of the adventurous princess who loves to travel and would rather see the world then run a Queendom.

The book is enjoyable in terms of setting also, as we explore the Citadel, Nadvaryyn, the Floating City, the House of Chimes and the Crystal island… The author continues to build the world of the Wide, as previously she gave us South Polaris, Volcanic North and the world of Arythea, this time we have a very different sandscape.

As Harriet Culpepper made her sky-ship to run on water as clean fuel, Gan’s aunt is making use of magnetic technology to make it possible to live and travel through the vast sandscapes.. So we also have that thread of clean technology and sustainability.

This book also extends the themes of the environmental conflicts and the increasing divide between various groups in the Wide where it comes to animals, especially Sapients. This book introduces more of the grey notes – there are good people doing some bad things, e.g. Thorn starts his journey from the HAC point of view about Sapients and eventually sees that not every human is truthful and not every animal is thinking of harming humans.

Through Gan that it is okay to have dreams of being home and away. We don’t have to follow just one path in life, but in fact, we can follow all our passions and love all our friends and family no matter how far they are..

Like the Brightstorm trilogy, this book is also available in an excellent audiobook format through Bolinda Borrowbox and will make a good listening experience for those who love audiobooks…


A book taking us on another adventurous journey of another young explorer looking for a healing cactus and the mythical beast of the children’s stories, and finding friendship and a lot more…

ThinkerViews Rating:

Around 7.5 stars out of 10.

Quick Purchase Links:

Over To You:

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