The Ivory Key Review | Books and Baking

I’m back with a review of my first read of the year – The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman. It’s an exciting, Indian-inspired fantasy novel and I’m really excited to be part of the Blog Tour. You can find a summary and my review below!

Summary from Goodreads:

Magic, a prized resource, is the only thing between peace and war. When magic runs out, four estranged royal siblings must find a new source before their country is swallowed by invading forces. The first in an Indian-inspired duology.

Vira is desperate to get out of her mother’s shadow and establish her legacy as a revered queen of Ashoka. But with the country’s only quarry running out of magic–a precious resource that has kept Ashoka safe from conflict–she can barely protect her citizens from the looming threat of war. And if her enemies discover this, they’ll stop at nothing to seize the last of the magic.

Vira’s only hope is to find a mysterious object of legend: the Ivory Key, rumored to unlock a new source of magic. But in order to infiltrate enemy territory and retrieve it, she must reunite with her siblings, torn apart by the different paths their lives have taken. Each of them has something to gain from finding the Ivory Key–and even more to lose if they fail.


The Ivory Key, the first in an Indian-inspired duology by debut author Akshaya Raman is a captivating YA fantasy, filled with amazing South Asian representation in the fictional Ashoka, which is inspired by India. From complicated family dynamics, power struggles and sibling rivalries, to romance, political and moral conflicts and one important quest; this thrilling novel is definitely one to add to your ever-growing tbr piles.

We follow Vira, the new Maharani of Ashoka who is desperately trying to live up to her mother’s legacy, and her estranged siblings: Ronak, Riya and Kaleb. This generational mystery is strengthened through the distinct personalities of all siblings, who we get to know well through the multiperspectivity of the novel. You find yourself rooting for them all, despite their own hidden agendas and motivations.

The vibrancy of the novel is rooted in the beautiful descriptions of the Indian landscape, from the architecture to the clothes; and the characters who are all complicated in their own ways. I felt immersed in the culture and the worldbuilding was great!

“I never felt like my identity was complicated until others made me feel like it was”

At the core of the story, and Ashoka, is magic which is a prized resource and the only thing that is holding the kingdom together. Vira and her siblings embark on an adventurous, action-filled quest to find the legendary Ivory Key as magic and hope are rapidly running out. With the future of their kingdom in their hands, they journey through Ashoka and battle the puzzles, secrets and ciphers that frequently occur.

“I don’t think anyone loses any part of themselves just because they embrace another aspect of their identity”

On the surface, four royal siblings go on a quest to find the Ivory Key but there is so much going on in the background. From secret motivations to secret societies, they must put their differences and own motivations aside to answer the real question. What is more important: duty or freedom?

This magical quest is fun, adventurous and the ending sets up the foreground for an amazing sequel which I am excited to read in the future. I must say a big thank you to Eleanor Rose and Hot Key Books for kindly sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Rating – ★★★★

Let me know if you read The Ivory Key, I’d love to discuss it! #IvoryKey #JointheQuest

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