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Maiya Ibrahim Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Spice Road Books

Maiya Ibrahim is an Arab-Australian author who is best known for her debut novel “Spice Road,” which is the first of “The Spice Road Trilogy.”

She first published the novel in 2023 and it has gone on to become a bestselling title that has received much critical acclaim. According to her parents, she developed a love for stories and writing from her very first day at school.
Unlike other kids who were unbothered, he asked her kindergarten teacher when she would get to learn how to write.

Maiya would soon develop into a voracious reader and her mother encouraged her as she regularly took her to the local library and let her borrow a huge stack of books every time.

When she was ten, she began writing her own short stories as she created characters and worlds from nothing, she found the whole storytelling thing to be particularly fascinating and magical.

She has had an obsession with storytelling ever since. When she is not reading or writing it, she can be found enjoying stories via an ever-expanding collection of trading cards and video games.
Born and brought up in Sydney, she got a bachelor’s in law from the University of Technology Sydney.

At some point, she felt a calling to become an author and has often said that if she was not an author, she would probably have ended up a train driver.

As a lover of books, Maiya Ibrahim spent much of her childhood lost in fantasy worlds. However, she always felt isolated and not recognized, as she never saw herself in any of the fiction works she read.
For this reason, she developed a yearning to write a fantasy fiction work that found inspiration in her own culture.

Growing up in the 2000s in Australia was a huge problem for Middle Eastern and Arab people, who often felt isolated and alienated and pretty much outsiders.

While it is possible that there was Arab and Middle Eastern fiction to be found, she cannot recall any positive depiction of her identity as most Middle Eastern and Arab cultures portrayed as villainous.

The best most works could do was to portray them as exotic people in narratives filled with toxic misinformation and stereotypes. It was for this reason that Maiya set out to pen her novel hoping to reach people who in some part identify with her experience.
For readers who are not Middle Eastern or Arab, she intends to introduce them to storytelling elements, characters, and settings, they might not have come across before.

For Ibrahim, it is all about captivating and entertaining readers as much as it is about tearing down toxic stereotypes and normalizing Middle Eastern and Arab cultures in fantasy.

It was in 2017 that Maiya Ibrahim began seriously querying one of her manuscripts and as expected did not get much success.

Around the end of that year, she also finished writing the manuscript for “Spice Road,” but given its focus on colonialism and its setting, she was initially nervous about querying it.
She was worried that it would never have an audience or that it would not be well received. It was during this time that she came across DVPit while scoring her Twitter feed.
She was surprised to learn that pitching events existed and that there was one specifically for marginalized illustrators and authors.

Upon pitching her manuscript, she was surprised to find so much enthusiasm from editors and agents alike.

It took a lot of time before she fully processed the idea that there might be an audience and place for her novel in the world.

Ultimately, she sent her sample pages and her query to the agents that had reached out and connected with Park & Fine Literary and Media’s Peter Knapp.

As for what has shaped her writing, she believes that taking a bachelor’s degree in law drummed into her the habit of proving everything, which is particularly critical when writing epic fantasy.

When it came to writing her debut novel, she was very much concerned with ensuring the Geography made sense. She also had to ensure that the logistics for traveling to work, the politics, and the themes felt grounded in familiar concepts.
While taking her degree, she learned a lot about the operation and functions of government and the judiciary, and these she would then incorporate into her thinking while she was doing her worldbuilding.

Apart from the law, she has also been influenced by video games and books that she has used to go on some wild adventures. While it does sound silly, when she sits down to write about epic battles or magic, she usually draws on the games she has played.
From the books and comics, she has read she has a good feel of the emotions one might have while learning magic, journeying through dangerous wasteland, or working as an assassin while stalking a target.

Games have taught her the importance of pacing and how to incrementally raise the stakes to make for good storytelling.

“Spice Road” by Maiya Ibrahim tells the story of Imani, a sixteen-year-old who was trained to protect her country from monsters lurking in the shadows.

But she also needs to locate her brother who has betrayed the country and is now the biggest threat they are facing. In Qalia the hidden desert city, there is a secret spice magic that has the power to awaken the affinities of people that drink the Misra tea.
Imani has an affinity for iron, which means she is the best at wielding a dagger among all the warriors in the land. She has developed a reputation for being the best at beating back the ghouls, djin, and other monsters spreading across the land.

But her brother had recently overshadowed her reputation and destroyed the family name when it came out that he was stealing Misra tea, the country’s most coveted spice. The fact that he was stealing the spice also means that he probably has a magical obsession.
The man had then gone missing and is believed to have died while traversing the Forbidden Wastes. Even though her brother had betrayed the country, Imani has never gone a day without grieving for him.

But then she finds signs that indicate that her brother is not dead and could be selling the magic of the nation to outsiders. She goes to the council and vows to find him and bring him back to face the justice he deserves.
Heading out accompanied by a powerful beasteer, she soon learns all manner of secrets beyond the Forbidden Wastes.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Maiya Ibrahim

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