That gorgeous cover drew me in – and then when I read the blurb I grew even more intrigued. It’s relatively rare that it’s the conflict between four siblings that powers the narrative, so I was delighted when I was approved to read this arc.
BLURB: 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.
REVIEW: This fantasy adventure, set in an Eastern-style country, takes a while to really get going. That didn’t bother me overmuch, as the narrative swings between all four siblings and we gradually learn about them and their motivations. I think I would have struggled more if I hadn’t grown to like each of them and understand their actions – even when I could see them making horrible mistakes. On the face of it, they are all pampered princes and princesses. But when we get to see exactly what has happened to each of them, then it becomes clear they are all essentially trapped in lives they didn’t choose and they are all desperately trying to break free, or make things better. The conflict rises as each of them approaches their problem in very different ways…
It takes deft writing and very clear characterisation skills to give us four such rounded and sympathetic protagonists within a relatively short time, before they finally embark on a major adventure together. And as it all starts kicking off, I simply couldn’t put this one down. Be warned – it ends on something of a cliff-hanger, but I loved it and have found myself thinking a lot about this one after I finished, which is a sure sign that it’s something a bit special. Highly recommended for fantasy fans who like an Eastern setting, strong characters and lots of adventure.
I happen to love Eastern settings so this sounds really great!
In which case, I think you’ll find this one really enjoyable. The arc is still available on Netgalley, so if you are a member, you could nick over there and request a copy:).
With a cliffhanger ending maybe I’d better wait for the second part of the duology… 😉
Still, I quite enjoy fantasy novels set in different backgrounds, and this one looks very promising!
I completely understand, Maddalena. Earlier in the week I finished a book with a cliffhanger ending, so at 3 am I bought the next book in the series to find out what happened next!
That’s why I maintain that ebooks are a girl’s best friends 😀
(you can’t buy diamonds at 3 am… LOL)
I couldn’t agree more:))).
Well, this definitely sounds like something I would enjoy which is why I’m so surprised that it’s completely passed over my radar. I love the sound of the setting and I don’t really mind a cliffhanger ending so I will add this to my wishlist.
There other covers for this one which aren’t nearly as pretty – which I think is a shame… So it might be you encountered one of those:)).
This is the first review of this book I’ve read, and it sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing, Sarah😁
You’re welcome, Tammy:). I thoroughly enjoyed it – and I’m looking forward to reading the next slice of the adventure in due course.
That sounds like an interesting book. Part of the premise (finding a mystical artifact) doesn’t appeal to me as too overdone, but four siblings having to cooperate despite their differences sounds delightful. Would you put it more in the YA or adult age group?
As it is about four youngsters trying to cope with a really tricky situation where the adults in their lives aren’t remotely helping – I think the tone is more YA.
I was suspecting it. Sadly, YA is not for me, so if I read it, I wouldn’t do the book justice as a reader.