“The soul is neither static nor finite; we feed it our entire lives through our choices. Injustice shrinks one’s soul; generosity expands it. Acts of selflessness fortify it.”
Steeped in Arabian myths with djinn and spice enhanced magic, Imani and her siblings are all training in different ways to defend their city. Their family is a part of the ruling council and are well respected within the city. Imani is an iron wielder who is training to be a warrior and has already gained quite the reputation. We follow her as she attempts to recover her brother, a lost scout, who may have been involved in more than the council knew about. She is forced to travel with her rival and two others through the dangerous desert full of monsters to a city she didn’t knew existed to try to save him. There is all manner of danger she and her peers must face along the way.
The Spice Road is fantasy done right. The world building is lush, the magic unique, the plot is action packed and the characters are complex and deep. I love a wholly good protagonist as much as a morally grey ambiguous one and this novel gives us a little of each. Imani is so principled and driven and yet entirely naive of what is really going on in the world beyond her bubble. As someone training to be a warrior, she has cultivated resilience but like any good soldier, expects to blindly follow orders. When she realizes her beloved brother was living a life beyond the one she thought he was, she’s thrown into a world where she must stick her neck out and make some really tough choices. Her evolution throughout was fun to watch.
I also appreciate so deeply that while this is to be a series we got a real ending to this adventure. The door is open to where it can go next but we were not left with the infernal cliffhanger that is so popular in books like this these days. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thanks to Delacorte Press for gifted access via Netgalley. All opinions above are my own.
What’s the best literary monster you’ve ever encountered?