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The Ivory Key

Written by Akshaya Raman

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The Ivory Key Review

Adventure Stories Debuts of the Month Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 13+ readers Featured Books for Young Adults

Magic, treachery and political intrigue smoulders in this Indian-inspired tale of royal siblings

January 2022 YA Debut of the Month

Riveting and richly realised, Akshaya Raman’s The Ivory Key (the first in a duology) presents readers with a thrilling opportunity for utter immersion. Set in a sumptuously conjured world in which magic is the ultimate resource, and driven by relatable characters that leap from the page with exhilarating verve, this is YA fantasy as its most inventive. What’s more, The Ivory Key is underpinned by the pertinent belief that resources should be equally, universally accessible.

“Magic was woven into the very fabric of Ashokan society... It was even Ashoka’s biggest export… Or it had been”. So begins this story of four estranged royal siblings whose lives have taken very different paths. Four siblings who must find a way to repair their fractured relationships as they embark on a quest to find the Ivory Key that’s said to possess the power to provide the magic their land so desperately needs. Reeling with family drama, the thrill of a treacherous treasure hunt, and a smouldering romance, this is an undeniable dazzler of a debut.

Joanne Owen

Other Info

Dear Reader,

I’m so thrilled to be able to share my debut YA fantasy with you. The Ivory Key is my take on the classic “princess must bring magic back to a world” story, but with a few twists: magic is a physical resource, and in order to get more, four dysfunctional royal siblings must piece together and follow ancient clues left behind by a secret society. It’s my love letter to the complicated family dynamics of show like The Originals, as well as the clever puzzles and ancient mysteries featured in movies like Indiana Jones and National Treasure. Those were my favourite kinds of stories growing up, and getting to write a similar one with Indian characters and a world inspired by my culture has been the most joyful experience.

Yours, Akshaya Raman

The Ivory Key Synopsis

Four siblings. A country in ruin. One quest to save them all.

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, rumoured 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 broken relationships and 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. Ronak plans to sell it to the highest bidder in exchange for escape from his impending political and unwanted marriage. Kaleb, falsely accused of assassinating the former maharani, needs it to clear his name. And Riya, the runaway sibling who cut all family ties, wants the Key to prove her loyalty to the rebels who took her in. They must work together to survive the treacherous journey. But with each sibling harbouring secrets and their own conflicting agendas, the very thing that brought them together could tear apart their family - and their world - for good.

First in a duology from an incredible new talent, this Indian-inspired fantasy debut is epic, fierce and magnetically addictive, taking you on a thrilling journey where magic, a prized resource, is the only thing between peace and war.

The Ivory Key Press Reviews

‘Raman has crafted a world bursting with colour and texture and kinetic energy, and a story of rebuilding a fractured family that will stick with you long after ‘The End.’’ – Sara Holland, New York Times bestselling author of Everless and Havenfall

‘Set in a richly realised world ripe with magic, The Ivory Key is a dazzling new addition to young adult fantasy. Featuring a broken family fumbling towards healing and a perilous expedition into the ruins of a history that never should have been lost, this is a riveting adventure by a talent to watch.’ – Traci Chee, New York Times bestselling author of The Reader trilogy and National Book Award Finalist for We Are Not Free

‘Everything about The Ivory Key is vivacious – from the enrapturing setting of opulent forts and forbidden ruins to the larger-than-life characters who will ensnare your heart with their perfect balance of heroism and faults. Brace yourself for the single best portrayal of fraught sibling relationships you will ever read coupled with a complex, multi-faceted plot that unfolds as shockingly as the twisted puzzles the characters face. You will fall into this book and never want to come out!’ – Sara Raasch, New York Times bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes trilogy

‘The Ivory Key has everything I want most in fantasy. It has a world so vivid and developed, I could taste the food and feel the magic weapons in my hand. It has flawed, developed characters I rooted for and cried beside. And it has a quest steeped in lore and mystery. Akshaya Raman is a new master of the genre to watch for.’ – Susan Dennard, New York Times bestselling author of the Witchlands series

The Ivory Key is the epic YA fantasy sibling story I’ve been waiting for. A rich world, a satisfying slow burn romance and a main character determined to forge her own path make this series a must read.’ – Adrienne Young, New York Times bestselling author of the Fable duology

‘A rollicking adventure of royal family drama, treasure hunts and hidden histories. I loved it.’ – S. A. Chakraborty, author of the bestselling Daevabad trilogy

‘The Ivory Key is a twisty, dazzling adventure that I absolutely fell in love with.’ – Tasha Suri, author of The Books of Ambha duology

‘A vibrant fantasy world, four estranged siblings and an action-packed quest. The Ivory Key is a richly woven adventure with a tender heart. I was completely enamoured.’ – Amanda Foody, author of Ace of Shades and All of Us Villains

‘A secret society, a hunt for lost magic and four siblings who are each hiding their own secrets . . . The Ivory Key is everything I love about epic, character-driven fantasy, brimming with lushly realised settings and deliciously slow-burn romances. An immersive, unmissable debut.’ – Katy Rose Pool, author of There Will Come a Darkness

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781471410734
Publication date: 04/01/2022
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781471410734
Publication date: 4th January 2022
Author: Akshaya Raman
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 384 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers, YA readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Fantasy / Magical
Recommendations: Debuts of the Month

About Akshaya Raman

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, travelling and watching too much reality TV. You can find her on Instagram @...

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