We love debut fantasy books which are also the beginning of duologies. So when I got an ARC of The Ivory Key, I knew I had to start it! What I love the most about this book is how much sibling tension there is. It’s A LOT. Keep reading for my full thoughts.
Vira is desperate to get out of her mother’s shadow and establish her legacy as a revered queen of Ashoka. But with the country’s only quarry running out of magic–a precious resource that has kept Ashoka safe from conflict–she can barely protect her citizens from the looming threat of war. And if her enemies discover this, they’ll stop at nothing to seize the last of the magic.
Vira’s only hope is to find a mysterious object of legend: the Ivory Key, rumored to unlock a new source of magic. But in order to infiltrate enemy territory and retrieve it, she must reunite with her siblings, torn apart by the different paths their lives have taken. Each of them has something to gain from finding the Ivory Key–and even more to lose if they fail. Ronak plans to sell it to the highest bidder in exchange for escape from his impending political marriage. Kaleb, falsely accused of assassinating the former maharani needs it to clear his name. And Riya, a runaway who cut all family ties, wants the Key to prove her loyalty to the rebels who want to strip the nobility of its power.
They must work together to survive the treacherous journey. But with each sibling harboring secrets and their own agendas, the very thing that brought them together could tear apart their family–and their world–for good.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
The Ivory Key is a story about history, bad blood, and betrayal. It’s about the space between who we think we know, and who our loved ones become. In a world where bonds are slippery and covered in blood, The Ivory Key examines motivations and family. There are these layers of feelings from the past that we think we may have moved on from, that we think we don’t need to be aired anymore, but we’re wrong. The Ivory Key combines a story about estranged siblings, treasure hunting, and is perfect for fans of The Gilded Wolves.
Sibling stories are my kryptonite, so you know I was going to love that aspect of The Ivory Key. It was entrancing to watch the history of their past unfold. To witness them evolve and get to know the spaces between who they thought they were related to, and now. We may think we know the inner workings of a person, all their motivations and defenses, but we find out we know so little about our family. Secondly, I adored the treasure hunting vibes. I seriously just want all the treasure hunting!
There were so many puzzles and hidden traps that you feel like you’re in an action movie! The pacing in The Ivory Key is fabulous where you know it’s a duology, but you never feel like we’re being purposefully rushed just to get to the end. There are great romantic vibes, side characters who will make you swoon, and overall it’s a story about choice. About the ability to make informed choices for ourselves and not just live under a semblance of ‘protection’.
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