The Ivory Key | Akshaya Raman


The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman

Out Now from Clarion Book; 372 pages

Content Warning: graphic descriptions of dead bodies, grief and loss, death of family members, blood, violence, emotional manipulation, alcohol, racism, allusions to human experimentation, war

About the Author: “Akshaya Raman fell in love with writing when she wrote her first story at the age of ten. Though she graduated from UC Davis with a degree in biology, she gave up pursuing a career in science to write books. She is a co-founder and contributor to Writer’s Block Party, a group blog about writing and publishing, and has served on the planning teams of several book festivals. She lives in the Bay Area with an actual scaredy cat, and in her free time, she enjoys baking, traveling, and watching too much reality TV.” (Bio taken from author’s website) 

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“Ashoka needed her. She wasn’t her mother. She wasn’t the Council. But she was going to fix Ashoka in her own way.”

Vira wants nothing more than to escape the impossibly large shadow of her recently deceased mother, the previous queen of Ashoka. However, Vira’s rule is already in jeopardy because the country’s most valuable resource, magic, has run out. Without the magic Vira has no way to protect her citizens from their enemies. To save her kingdom and establish her place in history, Vira sets out on a dangerous mission to find a new source of magic: the Ivory Key. The mission is difficult, with hidden clues and ancient societies, Vira cannot do it all on her own. To get the key, Vira will need the help of her estranged siblings: Riya, Ronak and Kaleb. The four siblings must join together to find and capture the Ivory Key; but with each of them hiding secrets and hidden plans for the Key they might just destroy the kingdom instead of saving it.

This dazzling debut by Akshaya Raman transports its readers into an immersive world and on a winding adventure with hidden treasure, secret societies and complex family relationships. The setting was so stunning, Raman practically poured life into Ashoka; it was so rich with culture and mythology that I could practically taste it. Even though the world pulled me in I could not put the book down because of the journey that Raman took me on.  Solving puzzles alongside the siblings and feeling the pressure as they inched closer to their goal left me accelerated, exhausted, and hungry for more. Each character has their own distinct personality and complex storyline that I have no doubt every reader will find a character they can connect with. This book is perfect for anyone who loves adventure films like National Treasure or Indiana Jones, or a reader who is looking for a fantastical adventure to sink their teeth into. 

PRR Editor and Writer Frances Drye