★THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED SERIES FANTASY READERS ARE RAVING ABOUT!★
Raised to protect her nation from the monsters lurking in the sands, sixteen-year-old Imani must fight to find her brother, whose betrayal is now the country’s greatest threat.
In the hidden desert city of Qalia, there is secret spice magic that awakens the affinities of those who drink the misra tea. Sixteen-year-old Imani has the affinity for iron and is able to wield a dagger like no other warrior. She has garnered the reputation as being the next great Shield for battling djinn, ghouls, and other monsters spreading across the sands.
Her reputation has been overshadowed, however, by her brother, who tarnished the family name after it was revealed that he was stealing his nation’s coveted spice—a telltale sign of magical obsession. Soon after that, he disappeared, believed to have died beyond the Forbidden Wastes. Despite her brother’s betrayal, there isn’t a day that goes by when Imani doesn’t grieve him.
But when Imani discovers signs that her brother may be alive and spreading the nation’s magic to outsiders, she makes a deal with the Council that she will find him and bring him back to Qalia, where he will face punishment. Accompanied by other Shields, including Taha, a powerful beastseer who can control the minds of falcons, she sets out on her mission.
Imani will soon find that many secrets lie beyond the Forbidden Wastes—and in her own heart—but will she find her brother?
It’s been awhile since I gave a 5 star review, but Spice Road 100% deserves it. This is one of the very best fantasy novels I’ve read in a long time. The basic plot isn’t that unusual – one group of people who have magic are threatened by another group that wants the magic – BUT the telling makes this so much more than a conflict between two groups. Brilliant characterization framed by lush description enhanced with the mythology and folklore of the Arabian Peninsula result in an unusual and compelling quest fantasy. It looks like this may be the start of series, and it is one I will eagerly anticipate.
Published By: Random House Children’s; Delacorte
Publication Date: January 24, 2023
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy