Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Frankincense Trail Blog Tour: Review of The Frankincense Trail by Jody Kihara

Over November 1st-10th, The Frankincense Trail by Jody Kihara will be touring the blogosphere.  I adored this one, an Arabian Nights era book that just took me back in time!
Anyway, besides the blog tour, Jody (the author) will be holding a massive giveaway on her Facebook Page.  She will give away 5 Copies!! of The Frankincense Trail, the winners being able to choose between print or digital copies.  For more information, go to Jody's FB Page!
And if you want more information go to The Frankincense Trail Website, or to buy the book to read yourself, go to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
Now, this bit has got to be one of the coolest things ever...  At the end of the blog tour, there's going to be a massive Twitter-View, or a Twitter Interview.  To go check it out, follow either @ladystorm33 or @JodyKihara, or type in #TFT.  I, for one, can't wait to see how that one turns out!
Publisher: Star Magnolia Publishing
Format: Kindle
Published: 30th June 2011
Number of Pages: 265
Book: For Review From Author*
Genre: Historical, Realistic-Fiction, Fantasy, Action-Adventure, Magical Realism, YA
Recommended Age: 11+
Contains: Violence, Death
No Alcohol, Drug References
Available On: Barnes & Noble and Amazon (Kindle, Paperback)
Author's Website: Jody Kihara

Synopsis From Goodreads:
In 200BC, frankincense was worth its weight in gold, making Arabia was the envy of the world. But wealth comes at a cost: the precious resin had to be transported along the Frankincense Road, a dangerous route through rocky mountains and barren desert.
Alia is a princess in a dwindling kingdom that lies on the Frankincense Road. Having grown up hearing tales of Bilqis, the Queen of Sheba, she dreams of finding a way to restore her kingdom’s former might. When a caravan journeying to the mysterious incense lands stops to take on travellers, she sees her chance.
She soon realises, however, that her trust in the caravan leaders has been misguided. They are not mere incense merchants, but traitors and mercenaries. Alia’s journey soon turns from dangerous to life-threatening.
The Frankincense Trail is a story that transports the reader to a time and place reminiscent of the Arabian Nights tales.

Alia is a princess, an Ameera.  Her place in life is to get married to a prince from another kingdom and have children.  But she doesn’t want that.  Alia wants to travel the desert, to visit the mysterious incense roads.  With the help of her friend Safiy, Alia disguises herself as a boy, and joins a caravan of traders, headed for the frankincense lands.  But what Alia doesn’t realise is that traders are highly superstitious, and one tiny little sign of misfortune could lead to someone getting left behind… in the middle of the desert…
When I was given this book, it was compared to the Arabian Nights.  I love that time period, with the jinn and traders.  So I really, really was not disappointed with this book.  It felt like I’d travelled back in time.  It was vibrant.  So very vibrant that I could feel it, feel the book, the place, the people...  I loved every page, every moment.  I loved this book: addicted from the word go.  I can’t wait to see what Jody brings out next.  Hopefully another historical book just like this one.  Maybe even a sequel?  But either way, I have a feeling that no matter what it’s about, it will be amazing.
Alia was wonderful!  I loved her spirit, her determination.  For a princess, she was pretty badass: brave and good with a sword.  She was also caring, loving, considerate.  Of course, she had to hide her feminine side: she was meant to be a guy named Ali!  But she was so strong-willed, and really, really clever, with a good head for politics.  She could totally take care of herself.  She was the best!  I just loved her from the word go. 
Safiy was Alia’s best friend, and may I just say: a princess has never had a better friend.  She was the kindest friend: she’d do anything for Alia.  Their bond was so strong.  They may have been princess and servant, but they were also best friends who would do anything for one another.  They were so close, it was so sweet and so strong.
Kardal was a strong leader of a group of traders.  He was quiet, mysterious, intense.  Very little of his past was known by Alia, and it was intriguing to see how his history grew as I read.  He, himself was very difficult to gauge.  I never could tell what he was thinking.  He was a good guy, very caring.  In a macho way.  I love him: dark mysterious Kardal, strong and silent.
The characters all felt so real.  I felt like I got to know Alia like a sister.  I wanted a best friend like Safiy.  I was desperate to know more about Kardal.  I hated Alia’s family with her.  All of the relationships just felt so real.  I could just feel everyone.  Don’t you just love that feeling?
And the writing was just beautiful.  It was written in 3rd person, focusing on Alia, letting us see through her eyes and feel what she felt.  As for the plot: wonderful.  Even though much of the story was about Alia’s journey across the desert, it wasn’t at all boring.  The way it was laid out made it so interesting, so addictive. And the descriptions of the towns and landscapes were stunning.  The spices, the colours, the sand: I could see it all in my head, smell it, feel it.  Vibrant, bright, near overwhelming.  It made me want to grab a time machine so I could be there.  Well, that or go to Arabia, or some other such country.
I just loved the historical side.  It was all so vivid, so realistic.  From the various gods to the customs, it felt like I’d gone back in time.  I loved the feeling, the setting.  Learning all about the trade routes, the rules.  All the little details made everything fell so real.  I loved learning about them all.  It made the whole story more real, powerful and just overall amazing. 
Back to the details…  I dread to think how much research had to go into this!  But, as they say, the devil’s in the details.  And the details rocked!  Bravo Jody!
I loved, loved, loved The Frankincense Trail.  It was unlike anything I’d read before.  Once I’d finished, I just wanted to dive back into the story, into the time zone.  Book Two, please, Jody?  I want to know where Alia goes next!

P.S. I loved the glossary and name meanings.  It gave a deeper understanding of the time zone and meant I could get more into the book.  Genius!

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5

    Previous Stop on The Frankincense Trail Blog Tour:  Library of Clean Reads
To see all taking part in The Franincense Trail Blog Tour, Go to Lightning Book Promotions

Read this book if you liked:
The Arabian Nights Tales
White Witch Pond by Jody Kihara

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
* This book was received from author in exchange for an honest review
Happy Reading

1 comment:

ladystorm said...

Wow, what a awesome review! Hope to see you at the twitterview! Thanks for being a part of this tour. :)