Vira is the new maharani of Ashoka, a kingdom of magic, magic that serves the basis of all of their trade and commerce. But no one but her knows that magic has dwindled to dangerously low levels. Without it, the borders aren’t safe and the kingdom may fall. When her betrothed is killed, she finds a piece of a map to the mythical Ivory Key on his body. The key, is said to unlock the mines where the magic naturally occurs. She decides to follow in her father’s footsteps and find the key to restore magic and save the kingdom.
Sounds like your typical YA fantasy, right? It is in some ways but to be honest while the magic forms the point of the quest, the family relationship dynamics drive the story. Vira has three siblings each with their own crosses to bear. Her sister has been MIA for years living with a band of rebels, her brother is stifled in the court and looking for an escape and her other brother is imprisoned for the plot that killed her mother, the original maharani. Talk about drama! The four are brought together for this amazing quest to find the Ivory Key and the journey is fabulous. The adventures, puzzles and peril along the way bring the siblings together and threaten to pull them apart in all new ways. While the magic itself isn’t front and center until the end, the action is non-stop and there is a stunning betrayal toward the end that had me yelling, “WHAT?!” Oh and there’s an actual ending with allusions to the next book, no annoying cliffhanger. I’m all about that. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thanks to Netgalley for access to this novel. All opinions above are my own.
If you found a treasure map would you try to follow it?