Who doesn’t love a good sequel? Akshaya Raman releases her latest novel, The Crimson Fortress, the second and final book to The Ivory Key duology. And don’t worry, you don’t have to read the first book to understand the events of this one. The author gives us plenty of context from The Ivory Key, and we already plan to reread the series from the beginning!
The Crimson Fortress is an action-packed, Indian-inspired fantasy where four royal siblings fight to save their country, Ashoka. It’s a diverse book with a BIPOC cast, incredible cuisine, and a compelling magic system!
Content Warnings: death, murder, war, violence, deceased parents
Summary: The search for the Ivory Key has brought royal siblings Vira, Ronak, Kaleb, and Riya closer than they have been in years as they try to restore magic and stability to Ashoka. But despite finally getting their hands on the long-lost key, uncovering its cipher has proved more complicated and dangerous than they ever expected.
Their missions force them to split up and disperse them across Ashoka and beyond. When a rash decision by the council strips Vira of her power, her journey to reclaim her throne takes on new meaning. Kaleb travels to the neighboring country of Lyria to uncover its emperor’s motives and meets a prince seeking answers of his own. Ronak’s efforts to escape his arranged marriage and exonerate his brother lead to a series of risky deals that only bring him closer to what he’s running from. And Riya’s newfound power has turned unpredictable, but her search for answers only raises more questions.
When their attempts at decoding the key release an ancient power, the siblings must align to face the past and save their future once and for all. In a quest that culminates in a deadly labyrinth, there’s only one way they will succeed: together.
The Sibling Relationships
The Crimson Fortress centers around four estranged siblings: Vira, Ronak, Kaleb, and Riya. With each person having their own agenda, it’s easy to see how complicated their mission gets. And they can’t seem to trust each other, much less anyone else. We rooted for their character development, and we loved seeing the four siblings overcome their mental and emotional obstacles. Each person eventually found their ideal path, making decisions they (and their father) could be proud of. The ending checked all our boxes!
So, we’re doing something a little different from our usual book reviews. This time, we’ve made a personality quiz for you to enjoy alongside the review for The Crimson Fortress! Find out which of Ashoka’s royal siblings you are. And remember to keep track of your answers!
What’s Your Strongest Trait?
A. You’re resistant to peer pressure
B. You’re super independent
C. You’re studious and book-smart
D. You’re always willing to try new things
What Tends To Be Your Role In A Group?
A. The leader
B. The artsy one
C. The emotional support
D. The street-smart one
How Would You Describe Your Biggest Flaw?
A. You’re too stubborn at times
B. You keep too many secrets
C. You don’t ask for help
D. You have trouble controlling your anger
Which Ashokan Career Path Fits You Best?
D. Treasure hunter
Which Of These Struggles Do You Relate With Most?
A. People don’t give you the respect you deserve
B. People often treat you as a second choice
C. You have to put other people’s needs before your own
D. You feel like you don’t belong anywhere
If you got mostly A’s, you got Vira! You’re the leader of the pack, and you tend to follow your gut no matter what. People tend to underestimate you, but you know you’re good at your job.
If you got mostly B’s, you got Ronak! You work best when alone, though you’re learning to rely on others. You feel most fulfilled when tapping into your creative side using different mediums.
If you got mostly C’s, you got Kaleb! You always try to take on as much responsibility as possible, even at the cost of your health. But you’re content pursuing a slow-paced life centered on your wants and needs.
If you got mostly D’s, you got Riya! You might be the black sheep of your family, but you’ve learned that labels don’t matter to you. You’re a free spirit, and you don’t let anyone take your happiness.
Tie Between Two Choices
If you got a tie between two or more answer choices, you’re a tough one to crack! But for now, let’s say you’re most like your favorite character from The Crimson Fortress. Feel free to try again and break your tie!
The Crimson Fortress by Akshaya Raman comes out November 14th, and you can preorder your copy here!
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