Spice Road Readalong: Day 5!

Stunning photo by @bookish_euphoria!

Hey fairy friends!

It’s the final section, are you ready to find out how Spice Road ends? I am SO scared!

Today we’re reading from Chapter 32 to the end of the book.

Grab a snack, get comfy and let’s read!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim, from chapter 32 to the end of the book. Please only read on if you’ve finished Spice Road!


After she and Taha kiss again, Imani begins to realise that all along she was looking for Taha’s weakness, without realising it’s her. She is his weakness.

So, their hunt for Atheer has landed them in the prison where they can’t kiss as long as they’d like, in case a guard sees, but things get worse… Guess who’s not in the prison? Atheer!

He WAS there, but he isn’t anymore. He was taken away by soldiers of the Harrowlander King. 

Without Atheer or Fey being in the prison, there’s no reason for them to stay and so they plan their escape. Imani isn’t going alone though, she’s determined to get Safiya out with her. Taha is furious, her decision to try and help Safiya escape is jeopardising their mission

Imani finally learns that Taha’s mission is to kill Atheer. When she says that she’ll make sure he doesn’t get away with it, she comes to understand that if she stands in his way, she faces the same ending he has planned for Taha. 

Taha stops Imani being able to leave through the tunnel they’ve created, so her only option is to try and get herself and Safiya out another way, the same way the bodies leave. Ick. Safiya doesn’t want to go though, she doesn’t trust Imani. Imani tells her to run back to the dorms when she causes a distraction.

In the end, strangely, she’s helped by a soldier. Imani asks why he’s helping her and he tries to explain that he was forced to come here, if he didn’t, they would’ve killed him. I wish she could’ve taken him with her.

She luckily finds Qayn and Amira and finds out Taha told them a completely different story. Imani didn’t survive the prison, apparently. She almost didn’t, because of Taha!

They locate the ship, and after managing to sneak on and finding a prison cell, Imani whispers Atheer’s name into the cell… and he whispers back.

Imani catches Atheer up on what’s been happening and when Atheer sees Qayn, he says he can’t believe he came BACK. Qayn has been keeping a secret, he was bound to Atheer! She’s angry, justifiably, but Atheer tells her it wasn’t Qayn’s idea, it was his. 

Her anger is quickly forgotten when a fire starts to engulf the ship, she knows it’s Taha. The soldier’s are focussed on abandoning ship and saving the King, which is oddly ideal, Imani and Qayn can get Atheer out.

When a ship pulls up alongside them, Taha is aboard, arrow nocked and ready and pointing at them.

Taha wants all of the names of those who know about the magic from Atheer, he’ll kill them. Atheer is focussed on Taha’s soul though, that’s a lot of people to kill, how will Taha’s soul fare after it all?

He’s still hell bent on his mission though. It takes some more talking from Atheer, about how he’s heard how his father treated him, for him to drop the bow. Imani hasn’t decided yet whether his life will be spared though. Atheer tries to get her to see reason, telling her if she wants Taha to accept his mistakes, she must accept Taha’s.

She escapes to the cabin quarters and Qayn tells her he knows how she feels, the person he loved the most betrayed him. Is this part of the memory Imani saw? Qayn gave Nahla everything, her people wanted her to steal from him, and she did. They stole all of his wealth, and his magic too.

Qayn tells Imani of the plan they conjured up before he was captured. Eventually, she agrees to help. Qayn kisses her on the cheek and they return to the others. (Is this a potential romance???)

Amira lies down next to Imani, Atheer props his chin on her head and together again, Imani casts her worries out to sea.

Did the story end the way you expected?
Who do you prefer as a love interest, Qayn or Taha?
What do you think Taha’s fate is in book two?

I hope you all loved reading Spice Road with us, thank you so much for joining in!

We’ll see you all again very soon for our next FairyLoot readalong.


15 thoughts on “Spice Road Readalong: Day 5!

  1. In a way, it did end as expected: the siblings reunited and very much alive (yay)! And I did predict that Atheer and Taha had some sort of relationship beforehand. However, I thought Taha had begun thawing a bit more. That is to say that I didn’t expect him to actually try to bury Imani, though he clearly hoped she would make it out alive, otherwise he would’ve just killed her himself. I’m sorry we didn’t get Safiya out too. But maybe Fey will make it to the prison and Safiya will befriend her. I’m curious to see what happens with Fey moving forward, more so than with Reza. But I’m especially interested in how the magic will develop, and in the meantime I’ll keep drinking my tea and hoping.
    And of course the war is being brought to Sahir. We weren’t about to leave all the other characters back home alone.
    At the moment, the romance subplot isn’t my biggest concern. I wouldn’t choose either of them. Taha, for obvious reasons. I feel so sorry for him, but he would eat my fists too if he’d tried to kill my brother and me. There’s too much bad blood, even though I suspect we’ll get a redemption arc for him in the next book and that he’ll ultimately be Imani’s choice. As for Qayn, we haven’t spent enough time with him yet, but I’m glad I was right to trust him. *Whew* But it’s too one-sided at the moment, and Imani’s heart has just been broken to boot. We’ll see!
    Overall, this was a solid read and a great way to end February. Thanks for hosting this readalong! ?

  2. I am a little disappointed that Taha’s character development didn’t come further. I really had hopes for him, but I would like to have Qayn as a love interest, except the age difference (mostly that she’s not an adult? I suddenly can’t remember her age). I really liked this book, and excited to see where this goes in book 2.

    1. It said, “at 17, I am the youngest Shield in recent history, but at 18, [Taha] is the 2nd-youngest,” & it starts by saying that Taha’s squadmates challenge her to spar with him to determine which is the better Shield, but that he’s been acting as if she doesn’t exist for 2 years, so she was either 17 or 19 at the beginning of the book.

  3. Oh this section was really something. Still team Qayn and while I do think Taha will have a redemption arc, I’m going to be mad if he and Imani end up together. I don’t quite hate him but still think he and Amira more suited. I liked the ending and I’m happy it wasn’t a terrible cliffhanger. I need more Qayn and I can’t wait for the second book!

  4. I prefer Qayn but feel like Taha might be how the author writes it out. I think Taha will soften out in book 2 and have his eyes opened to some of the things his father has forced on him.

  5. 1) NOPE that ending was wild! Taha got way darker than I expected. Somehow everyone lived! (Except Fey, who is never mentioned again?)

    2) They both have split personalities, with Taha being nice to her when they’re alone and mean otherwise, and Qayn acting friendly but IS it just an act?

    3) I feel like Taha is really messed up thanks to his dad and that’s the kind of thing he might not be able to come back from, or only after a long time and a lot of work. :-/

    It didn’t end up being the best book for me, but ah well…can’t love them all!

  6. Man oh man, gotta say I didn’t expect Taha to attempt to bury Imani alive. That was rough to say the least. Glad she got out albeit in a horrific manner, hopefully she keeps this fear of water and we can see her slowly work through it.
    This really did put a damper on their potential romance though. I still prefer Taha as Imanni’s love interest over Qayn. We just haven’t seen enough of him yet. Maybe book two will change that. I do hope that Taha gets a redemption arc in the next one. He has the potential to be great. He has already proven to be driven, resourceful, and dedicated. He just needs to step out from his fathers shadow.

    Honestly Atheer’s ‘Wont you speak, my Bright Blade’ gut punched me. It was so sweet and wholesome. The small amount that we got to see of him proved all the good things Imani and Amira believe of him!
    How did Imani become so entitled after growing up with these two accepting, aware sunshine siblings??

    I’m excited to see this search to returns Qayn’s power to him. If he could summon a magical army that would be astounding. Is he planning on having Imani use her sorcery to metal detector her way to his crown? Logistically how will it work?

    I have so many questions but I did enjoy this first book. Cant wait to see where everything will lead from here.

  7. Taha no!!!!! How could he??? Imani making sure she survives yes!

    It did not end how I expected! So glad Atheer is alive and love that Qayn is lovely ? but Taha ?

    I love both Qayn and Taha, hopefully in book two Imani will get him to realise blindly following his dad’s orders is wrong.

    Can’t wait for book 2 ?

  8. Did the story end the way you expected?
    No, it didn’t. I did expect Atheer to say however I did not expect Imani to stay and fight.

    Who do you prefer as a love interest, Qayn or Taha?
    QAYN ALL THE WAY. I am so salty with Taha.

    What do you think Taha’s fate is in book two?
    Death and destruction I hate betrayal and manipulation. ? can you tell I’m team Qayn.

  9. I loved reading this book. Lots of unexpected twists and turns. Like Atheer not being in jail anymore by the time they tried to rescue him, and that Quayn had been bonded to Atheer before he was to Imani.

    What I did not expect at all was Taha leaving Imani behind and collapsing the tunnel with her still inside. For me that was worse than actually killing her himself on the spot, because he knew the day was almost over and she wouldn’t have any more tea to replenish her magic. So if she didn’t die under the tunnel, most likely she would be trapped in that awful jail with no magic. Plus, no one would try to rescue her as Taha told everybody she died and didn’t make it. Once that happened, I completely wrote him off as a love interest, and I’m glad Imani did too and was not quick to forgive him. I’m guessing Taha will get a redemption arc in the next book, and I could accept Imani forgiving him to a point but I would not want to see him as a love interest anymore. I wouldn’t be able to trust someone that did that to me. He would be dead to me.

    On the other hand, I always found Quayn more intriguing as a character, although I could not see him as a love interest yet because Imani only had eyes for Taha. It was obvious she was attracted to Taha only, even if she could admit that Quay was an attractive guy.

    The end with the new deal and that kiss on the cheek between Quayn and Imani hints that something more could develop there, now that her attraction to Taha is out of the way. I would like to see that, but only if she is truly ready to develop a relationship with someone else. I would be very disappointed if another love interest is explored and developed only for her to go back to Taha.

    Taha doesn’t deserve Imani, and I understand that he had a difficult upbringing and difficult circumstances . But that is not justification for what he did to Imani. Ultimately, I hope he is pivotal in bringing down his dad from power.

    I loved the character of Altheer, even though he was only in a handful of chapters at the end of the book. I kind of wondered if Alteer and Taha had met and had a connection before when Imani mentioned the wooden animal in his necklace. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Atheer in the next book.

    I’m also looking forward to seeing more of Quayn now that the next quest is about restoring his magic. A couple of things that intrigue me are the fact that Imani was having dreams of the garden in the First City right from the start (the night before the briefing with the Council). Why did she keep dreaming about the garden? Is there a connection between her and Quayn or the girl that betrayed him? Also, when they arrived to the first city Imani saw some pictures engraved in the walls and one of them was of a tree exactly like the one that they have that provides them with magic. So I am wondering if that tree was also there and part of Quayn’s magic. Maybe his magic is linked to the tree that gives the mishra and the tea magic. All in all, I can’t wait to read the next book!

  10. Of course there’s a cliffhanger, but at least they found Atheer by the end! So much happened in these last chapters that couldn’t put it down even to make notes.
    Daily Q&A:
    1.) Did the story end the way you expected?
    2.) Who do you prefer as a love interest, Qayn or Taha?
    3.) What do you think Taha’s fate is in book two?
    1.) Um… not really? (Although I’m not sure what I was expecting to begin with)
    2.) Qayn. He’s my favorite character in the whole book, & we’ve barely scratched the surface of his story. Taha was clearly torn, but the dude tried to kill her (& went on as planned thinking he succeeded), so whatever small hope I had at the beginning that he might become a worthy love interest died then, too.
    3.) I’m not sure. There are so many variables still, but whatever the outcome, he still has a vital role to play.

  11. I don’t really see Qayn as a love interest right now, so my answer would have to be Taha.
    Taha will get released at some stage once he’s been broken and no longer feels the need to obey his father’s orders.
    I’m not really sure if this book ended the way I wanted, but it was a good debut read, for the most part (once I got over how annoying Imani was to begin with).

  12. I’m devastated that this book is finished! I can’t wait for the next book and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Fairyloot will be doing matching editions!

    I love Qayn and I think his intentions with Imani are much more genuine, but I really want to see how Taha’s character will develop moving forward because I do secretly love the “bad guy”.

    I actually struggled with the book at first but by the end I’ve become obsessed with it! I’m really glad you picked this for January’s box.

  13. Taha is quite obviously my favorite. Qayn bored me quite a bit in all honesty and Taha’s dynamic with Imani is definitely what made this a five star read for me. I do love me some enemies to lovers to enemies and then back to lovers so ? also I enjoy characters with daddy issues. Very excited for his development in the next books of the series and hopefully he and Imani will smooch some more in it. Also very excited to see her develop further after her journey in this book!

  14. The ending was much happier and less cliffhangery than I expected. The book could easily have ended with them all still on the King’s burning ship & everything after that happening in book 2.

    I’m a little surprised that it ended with Taha locked up. Having both him and the King after them would have been a more dramatic ending.

    Throughout the book I hadn’t really trusted Qayn or Taha but now I am keen to get to know more about Qayn in book 2.

    I had suspected the origin of Taha’s necklace.

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