First Lines Friday #36

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first (I cheat a little bit here *cough*)
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!


Hello, reader!

Welcome to another First Lines Friday post! I’m happy to have made it to the end of another week and even happier that I have the weekend off. I have a lot of reading to catch up on before the end of the month! It’s also time to start looking forward to my March reading and the various readathons I’m going to try to do. The book I’m featuring today is one of many that I’m hoping to get to next month.

Now, let’s see if the first few lines can get me excited to pick it up!


The Line(s):

“The dead boy’s face was as gray as a cloudy sky moments before a storm. His short black beard sculpted and whittled his cheeks down to a point. Thin lips glittered in the watery moonlight that managed to penetrate the canopy, brighter than the famed rubies of his home province.

But Vira knew it was blood that made them shine so enticingly.”


The Hints:

This YA fantasy was just released in January 2022.

It features four estranged royal siblings.

It is the first book in an Indian-inspired duology.


The Reveal:

The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman

Click the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page

Goodreads Synopsis

Magic, a prized resource, is the only thing between peace and war. When magic runs out, four estranged royal siblings must find a new source before their country is swallowed by invading forces. The first in an Indian-inspired duology.

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, rumored 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 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 marriage. Kaleb, falsely accused of assassinating the former maharani needs it to clear his name. And Riya, a runaway who cut all family ties, wants the Key to prove her loyalty to the rebels who want to strip the nobility of its power.

They must work together to survive the treacherous journey. But with each sibling harboring secrets and their own agendas, the very thing that brought them together could tear apart their family–and their world–for good.


Did that first line capture your attention? Did it make you want to read the rest of the story? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

6 thoughts on “First Lines Friday #36

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