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The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman

The Story

From the Publisher

Magic, a prized resource, is the only thing between peace and war. When magic runs out, four estranged royal siblings must find a new source before their country is swallowed by invading forces. The first in an Indian-inspired duology.

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.

My Review

“Deeply engaging, Raman crafts a magical world filled with political intrigue, intricate sibling relationships, unexpected betrayals, and a slow-burn romance that makes for a debut that will thoroughly enrapt readers.”

Sheaf & Ink

Fans of Roshani Chokshi and Hafsah Faizal will be completely immersed in Raman’s lushly crafted novel. Reunited royal siblings go on a treasure hunt in order to save their country from crumbling into ruin. Though, each sibling has an ulterior motive for what they seek, this character driven story is a page turner. Having alternating POV’s, each sibling burns bright in the constellation that is The Ivory Key, giving them each a moment to shine on the stage as they race across the lushly envisioned world to find a treasure that could save them all.

Some More Thoughts

Plus, after the final pages prior to the epilogue, readers will be brimming with questions. Wondering about the consequences of the siblings choices and how will it reshape their future and their relationship with each other. I am really looking forward to Vira’s character development. If she will be more ruthless and cynical at the beginning of the book, but have a character ARC that will have her fully changed by the end, and perhaps a tad bit more steam between her and certain captain of the guard??? And Kaleb!!! I didn’t want the book to end! I wanted him to find his own footing, his place, and someone who would appreciate him for all of his quiet brilliance.

There’s so much to gush over secret societies, the magic, the betrayals, the mythology, the romance (more more more).

With an epilogue that will have readers desperate for the final book, I’m trying not to think about the fact I’ll have to wait another year.


Not thinking about that at ALL.😂😭

Happy Reading ~ Cece

RATING: ink blotink blotink blotink blot – Exceptionally Inked

Content Warnings: Graphic descriptions of dead bodies (specifically on page 1 & Chapter 6), high volume of discussion of grief and loss, death of family members (specifically parents–the deaths occur off page but are discussed throughout), recovering from trauma, blood, violence, emotional manipulation, alcohol, discussion of identity policing/microaggressions directed toward a biracial character, allusions to human experimentation, discussions of war/an invading country.

Photo Collage by Sheaf & Ink of The Ivory Key

Publication Details

Pub DateISBNPage CountPublisherAge GroupSource & FormatReview Posted Online
04-Jan-22978-0358468332384Clarion BooksYA (12+)NetGalley, Digital CopyJanuary 4, 2022

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