The Frankincense Trail by Jody Kihara

Book Review  

             Alia is a 15 year-old princess whose palace lies on the Frankincense Road in the year 200 BC.  Frankincense, a precious resin, was worth its weight in gold at that time. Caravans traveled a dangerous route through rocky mountains and barren desert to transport the resin.

Alia’s town is crumbling and in economic straights; the people are leaving for the prospects of a better life elsewhere. Conflict with her brothers and the knowledge her father will probably marry her off for political alliance set her off on a hazardous journey. She is determined to help her kingdom and see some of the outside world. So she disguises herself as a boy to make the journey with a passing caravan to the mysterious incense lands of the south.

This is a tale filled with adventure, danger, and mystery. The traders she chooses for her quest turn out to be mercenaries, and Alia discovers the meaning of endurance and the cost of deceiving dangerous men. The scenes between Alia and the caravan leader are intense and leave the reader wondering where they will lead Both Alia and Kardal are strong willed and their turbulent relationship helps move the story forward.

A sheltered and naive princess our heroin learns through hardship, perseverance, and nearly losing her life, how to use her inner strength. Will she take what she has learned and be able to better the lives of her people?  Pick up a copy of “The Frankincense Trail” and find out.

This is a well written YA novel that will transport readers to a different land and culture. I heartily recommend this novel. It is a clean read. Parents and grandparents can feel confident in giving this tale of adventure to young teens or older readers on their gift list.

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Jackie Anton – From the paperback edition.

Check the link to “Writing for readers in a .com world for and interview with this author.

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