Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim | Book Review


book #1 in the Spice Road Trilogy

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There’s so much to love about this book. I enjoyed this right from page one and was totally absorbed.

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Author: Maiya Ibrahim
Published: January 2023
Publisher: Hachette
Pages: 488 (paperback)

Set in an Arabian-inspired fantasy world, this is an awesome adventure filled with interesting characters, tensions between almost-lovers to set your teeth on edge and world building that will make your imagination fizz with delight.

Nothing makes me happier than world building that also takes zero effort. This is exactly the kind of book you simply pick up and read and think no more of – but despite that you still feel like you are exploring this new fantasy world in depth.

Imani was a really interesting main character. There were times when I thought her self-doubt/spirals (or just general, if justified, catastrophising) became a bit repetitive. This repetition is what lost that final star for me – I found it really distracting and it felt like the story stalled for a hot second in the middle before finding its feet again.

But once I got over that bump, there is just so much to enjoy.

Enemies to lovers, enemies to friends, general love triangle angst, heists, heists that feel also piratey – and so much more.

I cannot wait for the next book because I am so ready to see what’s next for these characters. And I hope we get to see even more of the world!

You may also like . . .

Title: Spice Road
Series title: The Spice Road Trilogy
Author: Maiya Ibrahim
Purchase: Angus & Robertson
Add it on Goodreads

The first book in an epic fantasy series for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal and Elizabeth Lim, set in an Arabian-inspired land. Raised to protect her nation from the monsters lurking in the sands, seventeen-year-old Imani must fight to find her brother whose betrayal is now their greatest threat.

In the hidden desert city of Qalia, secret spice magic awakens affinities in those who drink the misra tea. With an affinity for iron, seventeen-year-old Imani wields a dagger like no other warrior, garnering her the reputation as the next greatest Shield for battling the dangerous djinn, ghouls, and other monsters that lurk in the sands beyond city limits.

Her reputation has been overshadowed, however, by her brother who tarnished the family name after he was discovered stealing their nation’s coveted spice – a tell-tale sign of magical obsession. He disappeared soon after, believed to have died beyond the Forbidden Wastes, and leaving Imani reeling with both betrayal and grief.

But when Imani uncovers evidence her brother may be alive and spreading their nation’s magic beyond the desert, she strikes a deal with the Council to find him and bring him back to Qalia before he can reveal the city’s location. Accompanied by Qayn, a roguish but handsome djinni, and Taha, a powerful beastseer whose magical talents are matched only by his arrogance, they set out on their mission.

Imani will soon discover there are many secrets that lie beyond the Forbidden Wastes – and in her own heart – but will she find her brother before his betrayals endanger the fate of all of Qalia?

In this epic and action-packed fantasy, one young heroine navigates the treacherous road between protecting the ones you love and staying loyal to the place you call home.

2 thoughts on “Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim | Book Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.