Review of ‘The Ivory Key’

A riveting treasure hunt, The Ivory Key follows four siblings as they traverse enemy territory and solve puzzles to find a key to unlock magic to save their kingdom.

Excellent Storytelling

The Ivory Key

The Ivory Key
Akshaya Raman
Clarion Books

The Ivory Key begins by establishing four siblings, all with a strained relationship with one another. Vira is now queen, living in the shadow of her mother, who was assassinated months before. Riya ran away and joined the Ravens, an organization that steals from the rich to give to the poor while Kaleb sits in prison framed for the murder of his stepmother, the queen, and Ronak is determined to find a way out of the royal court with his brother with him.

However, events bring the four siblings together, and together they embark on an adventure connected to the legacy of their long-dead father and ghosts of the past.

I loved the storytelling, loved the way The Ivory Key shifted between characters, building up the history and complexities of a family. Together they balance each other out, one good at one thing, another good at another. They are four pieces of a puzzle, and without one another, they have no hope of finding what they desire.

Seeing those puzzles come to life was amazing. It added to the development of the plot and the characters. Plus, it highlighted the incredible imagination of Raman. The detailing with the traps and the puzzles was engaging and intricate, perfectly placed, reflecting the characters’ tension, differences, and similarities.

Excellent Characterization

The characterization in The Ivory Key is another part of what makes the story so engaging. The story could not have developed as well as it did without the strong character growth.

Once again, shifting between the characters gives the reader insight into the world here. We, the reader, see different sides of the country, and it put something into perspective: not one character has the whole story. Each character sees bits and pieces of their actions, but they do not see the whole. As mentioned above, they are each a piece of a puzzle, and when they are together, working together, they see the whole picture.

Through the challenges and puzzles, as the big picture becomes clearer, the characters are growing. Furthermore, it is incredible, see the characters grow together and repair those fractured bonds that kept them at odds. They are a family; for better or worse, they are. They are not always perfect; they make mistakes, but their love for one another, their willingness to admit their mistakes, and the effort they make to redeem themselves to one another and themselves keep the reader engaged.

Again, they are each lost, lost in their desires, grief, and anxieties, but they grow together and grow stronger together. These characters, these siblings, propel the story forward in an engaging way.

Final Thoughts

The Ivory Key is a fantastic opening to a great duology. It has tension, fantastic world-building, good plot twists, and, above all, fantastic characterization and growth.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Product Details:

Pub Date: January 4, 2022Page Count: 384ppAge Range: 12 & Over
ISBN: 978-0-3584-6833-2Publisher: Clarion BooksList Price: $18.99

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The Ivory Key

$18.99
9.2

Writing Quality

9.0/10

Character Development

9.0/10

"Couldn't Put It Down"-ness

9.0/10

Intellectual Depth

9.0/10

Originality

10.0/10

Pros

  • Great character development.
  • Unpredictable.
  • Strong tension.
  • Good character dynamics.
  • Excellent world-building and plot twists.

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