Spice Road Readalong: Day 2!

Stunning photo by @betterwithabookinmyhand!

Hi Fairy Friends!

Welcome back to day 2 of our readalong of Spice Road. I hope you’re all loving the book so far!

Today we’re reading from chapter 9 to the end of chapter 16. Let’s go!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim, from chapters 9 to 16. Please only read on if you’ve finished this section!


The leader of the group that is accompanying Imani… is Taha. Oh this should be fun! They’re already at each other. 

They travel for several days, bickering all the while. Imani has managed to keep Qayn a secret so far… but I’m not sure how much longer she can manage it, especially considering she needs Qayn to give her directions to Atheer.

Taha tries to teach Imani Harrowtongue but it doesn’t go so well. Imani feels a little vindicated when Taha snaps at Reza and Fey for making fun of her though.

At night, she can’t sleep, so she trains. She trains in Harrowtongue and with her blade. Taha catches her doing it and they squabble… but it feels more like friendly squabbling than actually arguing. Imani takes it too far though and mentions his mother, not realising his mother died when he was 7. He does brush it off though and they agree to a little competition, but first, tea!

During this late night rendezvous, it does feel a little like Taha and Imani are flirting? It ends quickly though when a breeze blows away some of Taha’s letters. Imani helps collect them, but keeps some to herself, specifically one addressed to his father. Taha knows some are missing, but he doesn’t seem overly concerned, and doesn’t seem to suspect Imani. 

They really seem like they’re bonding until Reza arrives and Taha’s demeanour towards Imani changes, yet again. I’m getting whiplash from this boy!

It seems like because of the clan she comes from, Imani is privileged in the eyes of Taha, Reza and Fey. Not only that, but there are rumours that Imani’s auntie knew that Atheer was stealing the misra and never stopped or reported him. 

Taha’s attempt at saving time by detouring the route they were given ends very badly, with Imani losing Badr. 

They take shelter in a derelict, ancient town, but something is off. Taha apologises to Imani for pushing the horses too hard and helps her with her wound, while Imani notices the pendant he wears is very similar to the statuettes Atheer used to carve. Did he know him?

While they sleep, Imani takes her chance to go and read the letter she kept from Taha. It sounds like he’s talking about Imani when he reassures his father she won’t be a distraction… interesting. She commands Qayn’s presence and when she eventually tells him where they are, he seems bothered. He tells her Hubaal dreams in this land… and they’ve woken him.

What do you think of the magic system so far?
Who do you think we can trust more, Qayn or Taha?
Any theories going forward?

Hope you’re loving the book so far! I can’t wait to see what will happen tomorrow.

I’ll catch up with you then for another day of reading!


16 thoughts on “Spice Road Readalong: Day 2!

  1. I think that things isn’t quite what it seems. I feel like Imani’s auntie might have actually known, but didn’t say anything or try to stop Atheer because i do think that in some way Atheer is the one that has seen what is right, and its not what the clans are doing. As of now I think we can trust Qayn more than Taha, but I do think that eventually Taha will turn around.

  2. Things are definitely getting interesting, but first, I’m happy Amira is back! Bring on the chaos! But I’m also so sad about Barn. 🙁 Poor baby. I’d definitely lose it too if Taha had done that to my baby.
    I like the magic system, and it’s fascinating how tea tastes differently depending on the person, and how last time she took it, Imani was slightly soothed instead of angered (her grief moving to another stage, perhaps?).
    Right now, I trust only Imani and Amira. Qayn cares for Imani’s safety, that much is clear, but he’s also trying to make her take more power. Which isn’t inherently a bad thing, considering Imani (&co) are misguided about djinn and possibly other creatures, but it does feel a bit fishy. As for Taha, he has daddy issues to sort through and is clearly conflicted about Imani. I think Atheer has something to do with that. Something happened there. Also, Atheer is one to talk about privilege after what his dad did… And Reza and Fey need some development ASAP, because they’re bordering on annoying. People aren’t inherently bad because they’re privileged, much less teens who are on the inside. Imani is clearly skilled. Taha only made it worse by lying about their competition (I assume it’s because of his dad again). It’s a mess and I have my popcorn moving forward.
    As for auntie helping Atheer, I believe it. Her last words to Imani were very suspicious and could be taken two different ways.

  3. I like that everyone has affinities for specific types of magic, and that not everyone is able to do everything just by force of will. I’m yet to see the limitations of the magic system though which is equally important.
    Qayn has his own agenda, but then so does Taha. If think in the end we’ll be able to trust Taha more, but right now, Imani has waaay more growing to do.
    I wonder what food and water they actually ingested, especially if it was an illusion or a dream?

  4. I’m still really enjoying this book ?

    The magic system is a good idea. It makes Imanis sword fighting even better to read than a normal fight.

    At first I thought Qayn would be the one to watch but now I think it’s Taha. He’s all over the place with his emotions and actions. I don’t trust Taha the most but Qayn is still upto something, it just might be a good thing, maybe he does truly care about Atheer?

    I still think Atheer is alive ☺️

  5. I love this book so much!

    The world building is really good and the magic system is quite interesting and unique.

    Unfortunately I don’t think either Taha nor Qayn can be trusted for different reasons. Taha seems to be under the dominion of his father. It’s the only explanation I can think of for the way he acts when he is on his own with Imani or in front of other people that could report to his father. On the other hand, Qayn is hiding lots of things about who he is and what his ultimate goal is once he has crossed to the other side and left Sahir. But he is by far one of my favourite characters and I can’t wait to find out more about him.

  6. Who do you think we can trust more, Qayn or Taha? Qayn as he doesn’t have as much of an agenda as it seems taha does. Love the magic system that was impressive with the raven and the note and then using magic fo stop the beasts.

  7. Loving the magic in this book, can’t wait to see a big fight to get the full scale look of this group in a fight. I really thought that we might have gotten into a fight when they were ambushed by the Werehyenas. Alas hopefully in this next bunch of chapters.

    Cannot trust either of these guys! Qayn might have revealed a few secrets but he is even more of a mystery to me now. As for Taha he is being torn between following whatever plans his father has and what he is feeling.
    In general no one can be trusted in this book: Taha, Qayn, Atheer, Auntie, Bayek everyone is under scrutiny.

    I am not surprised that Amira followed the group but logistically how did she do it? How did she not get attacked by anything over the travel as well as get past the Werehyenas? Without a horse? Did she bring misra and used her own magic?

  8. The magic system is intriguing! I don’t think either Qayn or Taha can be trusted, but I think in the end Taha will be on Imani’s side and I’m not sure if that’s true of Qayn.

  9. What do you think of the magic system so far?
    I am interested in it but not fully visualizing it. I am hoping to learn more.

    Who do you think we can trust more, Qayn or Taha?
    Honestly, I don’t know. I am curious if what they are saying about Atheer is right.

    Any theories going forward?
    Everything is about to hit the fan.

  10. I like the magic system. I really like Imani’s power as it sounds cool and is unique. I can’t rembember ever reading about a power like hers.
    I don’t care about Taha yet. He has been nasty towards Imani and let his friends be even nastier. He probably will have a internal struggle at whatever truth is revealed but he will come around to it.
    I like Qayn and trust him. I’m not sure if that is wise though. There are some vibes to this being a two times enemies to lover love tringle and I’m here for it if that is case.
    I think there is some horrible truth about why they isolated themselfs and they probably did something horrible in the past. Maybe their magic has to do with the magic stolen from Qayn since he stated it was stolen.

  11. 1) Okay I can’t quit picturing a warzone and everyone sits down to have tea before they go fight LOL. I love the tea ceremony but it’s not exactly a quick way to recharge.

    2) I’m leaning toward Taha…yeah he’s got this weird dual personality thing going on, but he’s also just a person and his goal is likely just to protect his people, even if it might not be in the same way Imani wants to. Qayn is this…mystical god-creature. His agenda could be anything.

    3) I can’t wait to see Imani’s reaction to the outside world. I still think she’s in for some big shocks.

  12. Not the Horse! So sad. I love the tea ceremony and that everyone gets different powers from it . Also, Qayn is…. SUS to me. Could be a good guy… could be a villain.

  13. Of course it’s Taha! I was correct that his description matches the front end pages, too. He seems torn between falling for her & being the horrible person she thinks he is. Enemies-to-lovers? Qayn’s backstory is unfolding leaving more questions & theories in its wake (I’m still inclined to think he’s misunderstood, maybe not “love-rival” but I’m not getting “bad guy” vibes yet either). Now, Amira’s stubborn ass shows up (guess Imani wasn’t going crazy to think they were being followed, but I’m curious about her role during/after the werehyenas event) to really throw everyone for a loop, & Imani is already injured without having to add protecting this “helpless little sister” on top of things.
    Daily Q&A:
    1.) What do you think of the magic system so far?
    2.) Who do you think we can trust more, Qayn or Taha?
    3.) Any theories going forward?
    1.) I like it, but I can tell there’s still more to learn about it which will be interesting.
    2.) Qayn has some ancient grudge that I feel like might have to do with Imani’s clan/ancestors & that misra tree (possibly stolen & replanted to its current location or something along those lines), but Taha, though sometimes seeming conflicted, definitely has bad things immediately in store for her/her family.
    3.) I’m wondering when Qayn will make his appearance &/or be outed to the group (Amina’s big mouth & stubborn/spiteful tendencies as well as his warning from moments before lean me to thinking it’ll be sooner rather than later). I’ve mentioned a few other theories already, as well.

  14. 1.It’s very interesting! I like the idea of the magic coming from a spice that needs to be drank via tea. I do wonder if it’s the spice that gives them the magic or if the spice awakes the magic they already have insight them. I would think the latter to be better fitted. Overall, it is something unique that I haven’t really seen before!
    2. I’m a bit torn on this one. I think Taha has more to lose and at stake and thus Qayn would be the one we can trust more, albeit not fully. I believe both have secrets and ulterior motives.
    3. They’ll find Imani’s brother! Some big fall-out or blow-up will also happen haha

  15. The magic system in this book is really intriguing! Now, disregarding who’s more trustworthy than the other, I’m personally loving Taha the most and I really want him to be the endgame romance of this series.

  16. Not at all surprised that the sister has turned up.

    I worry that the person who stole Qayn’s magic is an ancestor of Imani’s and bonding with her is part of his revenge.

    I think Taha is trying to keep his father happy. I don’t think the father is a good man.

    I think I understand the magic system, probably. To be honest I read a lot of fantasy and rarely pay much attention to how the magic works in any of the books I read.

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