Book Tour: Spice Road (The Spice Road Trilogy #1) by Maiya Ibrahim

Spice Road

The Spice Road Trilogy

Book 1


Maiya Ibrahim

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Publishing Date: January 24, 2023

Page count: 464 pages

Reading age: 14 – 17 years

ISBN-10: 0593126963 / ISBN-13: 978-0593126967


The first book in an epic fantasy series for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal and Elizabeth Lim, set in an Arabian-inspired land. Raised to protect her nation from the monsters lurking in the sands, seventeen-year-old Imani must fight to find her brother whose betrayal is now their greatest threat.

In the hidden desert city of Qalia, secret spice magic awakens affinities in those who drink the misra tea. With an affinity for iron, seventeen-year-old Imani wields a dagger like no other warrior, garnering her the reputation as the next greatest Shield for battling the dangerous djinn, ghouls, and other monsters that lurk in the sands beyond city limits.

Her reputation has been overshadowed, however, by her brother who tarnished the family name after he was discovered stealing their nation’s coveted spice – a tell-tale sign of magical obsession. He disappeared soon after, believed to have died beyond the Forbidden Wastes, and leaving Imani reeling with both betrayal and grief.

But when Imani uncovers evidence her brother may be alive and spreading their nation’s magic beyond the desert, she strikes a deal with the Council to find him and bring him back to Qalia before he can reveal the city’s location. Accompanied by Qayn, a roguish but handsome djinni, and Taha, a powerful beastseer whose magical talents are matched only by his arrogance, they set out on their mission.

Imani will soon discover there are many secrets that lie beyond the Forbidden Wastes – and in her own heart – but will she find her brother before his betrayals endanger the fate of all of Qalia?

In this epic and action-packed fantasy, one young heroine navigates the treacherous road between protecting the ones you love and staying loyal to the place you call home.

Content Warning: politics, colonialism

| Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo | IndieBound |


5 stars!

A traditional quest story in a unique and fascinating new world!

Spice Road is the first book in the trilogy of the same name by author Maiya Ibrahim, and it is a stellar beginning. I was captivated by the author’s world-building, fascinated by the mythology and the slowly unfolding history of the land of Sahir and the Kingdom of Aqibah. The main characters are worthy fighters and magic users but also have hidden sides. I rooted for the small group of rescuers and scouts even when their loyalties conflicted. Throw in a compelling storyline, and you have an absorbing and entertaining reading experience.

From the city of Qalia in the Sahir to the nightmarish ruins and desert of the Forbidden Wastes, the First City, and the Kingdom of Aqibah, I was impressed by the descriptions of the locations. I felt like they put me right in the story and the action. Along the way, descriptions of panoramic vistas reminded me of scenes from a historical Kdrama.

There was some phenomenal world-building which included the characters drinking tea made from the bark of a Misra tree, at times in a formal tea ceremony, to draw out the strength of their magic or affinity. A person’s affinity was individual to them and varied from person to person, such as being able to manipulate the earth or fire or, in the case of Taha, exert control over animals.

The land of Sahir is unknown and unseen by the rest of the world, and the people in Sahir have been led to believe everything outside their borders is dangerous wastelands. It was interesting to watch Imani learn of the discrepancies in what she’d been taught about the world outside.

The main characters start out enemies, but as they travel together, they slowly change their attitudes toward one another. I was drawn to Imani from the start, and she matures quite a bit over the course of the story as she sees things outside her usual routine. Things were easier and beautiful in her world, but not for everyone else. I liked that she had discovered her calling to be a Shield at an early age and had trained hard with her older brother to excel at this when the time came. The fight and sparring scenes were well-drawn and easy to follow. Her relationship with Taha is a real rollercoaster, and Qayn offers an enjoyable third party.

The high fantasy plot includes a quest to save Imani’s brother, Atheer, who has gotten involved in a rebellion in the Kingdom of Aqibah. Tension mounts as it is revealed that the members of the travel party have conflicting orders or goals related to Atheer’s “rescue.” Secrets and betrayals are lurking along the way, along with an enemies-to-lovers subplot, and some terrifying monsters to escape. I am already looking forward to the next book in the trilogy.

I recommend SPICE ROAD to readers who enjoy young adult fantasy or quest stories.


Maiya Ibrahim is the debut author of SPICE ROAD, publishing January 24, 2023, from Delacorte Press and Hodder & Stoughton. She graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Technology Sydney. When she isn’t writing, reading, or spending time with her family, she enjoys video games, gardening, and expanding her collection of rare trading cards. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

She is represented by Peter Knapp of Park & Fine Literary and Media, Claire Wilson of RCW Literary, and Mary Pender-Coplan of United Talent Agency.

| Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest | Amazon |

January 23rd
paperbacktomes – Interview
The Litt Librarian – Review
Midsummer Night’s Read – Review
The Momma Spot – Review

January 24th
Stuck in Fiction – Promotional Post
Boys’ Mom Reads! – Review
Poppy Warphan – Review
Gwendalyn’s Books – Review

January 25th
Book Notes by Athina – Promotional Post
PopTheButterfly Reads – Review
Roopkathaa – Review
Book Trek – Review

January 26th
Hardcover Haven – Interview
Whimsical Dragonette – Review & Favorite Quotes
laura’s bookish life – Review
The Girl Who Reads – Review & Favorite Quotes

January 27th
The Book Dutchesses – Promotional Post
Brinns Books – Review
Confessions of a YA Reader – Review
heylittlesiren – Review

January 28th
What Cass Reads – Review
dinipandareads – Review & Favorite Quotes
Lit Lemon Books – Review
Reading Stewardess – Review

January 29th
Kait Plus Books – Interview
The Clever Reader – Promotional Post
The Ink Slinger – Review & Playlist
Books We Love – Review

January 23rd
writingrosereads – Promotional Post
thisreadergirl – Favorite Quotes
paperbacktomes – Content Creator’s Choice
thelittlibrarian – Content Creator’s Choice

January 24th
thebookwebb – Promotional Post
tahaslibrary – Review & Mood Board
aluojins.scrolls.of.secrets – Content Creator’s Choice
gwendalyn_books – Content Creator’s Choice

January 25th
ninebookishlives – Promotional Post – Top 5 Reasons to Read Spice Road
tinybooknest – Favorite Quotes
booknotes_athina – Content Creator’s Choice
popthebutterfly – Content Creator’s Choice

January 26th
silveryquills – Mood Board
hardcoverhaven – Content Creator’s Choice
laurasbookishlife1 – Content Creator’s Choice
bookstagramofmine – Content Creator’s Choice

January 27th
tbrandbeyond – Promotional Post
secretrhs05 – Review & Favorite Quotes
lisashelves – Review & Favorite Quotes
brinnsbooks – Content Creator’s Choice
heylittlesiren – Content Creator’s Choice

January 28th
belle.bookcorner – Review & Favorite Quotes
the_ya_assassin – 15 Reactions While Reading Spice Road
whatcassreads – Content Creator’s Choice
dinipandareads – Content Creator’s Choice

January 29th
theenchantedshelf – Review & Playlist
betweenhogwartsandvelaris – Promotional Post
aamnaiswriting_ – Content Creator’s Choice
bookswelovee – Content Creator’s Choice


Filed under Book Reviews, Fantasy, Young adult

2 responses to “Book Tour: Spice Road (The Spice Road Trilogy #1) by Maiya Ibrahim

  1. Pingback: TOUR SCHEDULE: Spice Road (The Spice Road Trilogy #1) by Maiya Ibrahim – TBR and Beyond Tours

  2. Pingback: Spice Road Blog Tour Spotlight – The Clever Reader

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s