Review taken from my blog, The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
It was the dust cloud she saw first.
While the synopsis is what first caught my attention on The Frankincense Trail I was not all too sure on what I could expect from it, especially since it would be set in the 3rd century. My first fear was that it would read more like a history text, but thankfully it did not. It was a pretty thrilling read as you got to follow Alia's trip from her home in Teloum to the incense groves.
I really loved how The Frankincense Trail was laced with danger and adventure, and that Alia's character was pretty much dead in the middle of all the action.
One of the things that pulled me into this book, other than Ms. Kihara's writing, was the vivid setting and the MC who was an absolute joy to read about.
I thought Ms. Kihara did an excellent job of bringing the 3rd century and how the people of that era depended upon traders in order to survive to life. I especially loved how the basis of the story was about Alia and her journey to ultimately find herself and that it wasn't a love story. I thought that had the main focus of the story been about love it would have lost what made it such a great read.
I know that most people will probably shy away from a book set in the 3rd century, but I cannot recommend this one enough. Ms. Kiharar's writing and the story that she sets forth in The Frankincense Trail is not one to be missed because both will pull you in and not let you go till the very end.
Alia, was definitely an interesting character to read about. I thought her stubborn streak was one of the qualities that made her such a great character because it pushed her . While she could be a bit quick tempered it was only ever directed at those who truly deserved it, like, her boorish older and younger brother. All that aside, what really endeared Alia to me was how near the end of the book she didn't go all soft when _____ (I can't tell ya'll his name, would give the ending away) when he confessed his love.
As for her brothers, they were two of the most awful male characters I have read about in some time. I just wanted to strangle both of them, but the younger one more because....words can not describe just how rude and piggish that little dude was. I for one was glad that they weren't in the picture much.
What really made this such a great read was Alia, the main character. I thought she was definitely a fascinating and strong character to read about, especially given the time period in which The Frankincense Trail is set, 3rd century B.C.. I definitely enjoyed reading about Alia because she wanted so much more than what she would be able to be/do in the third century as a girl. I think that Ms. Kihara did an excellent job of capturing Alia's personality and making her come to life.
My only problem while reading The Frankincense Trail would have to be the ending of the book. The whole book was absolutely stunning in the visuals that the author put forth in her account of Alia and her journey upon the trail, while all the was great I would have liked to see the outcome of Alia's return to Teloum and how the news she brought back was taken.
There's isn't really anything that needs to be addressed content-wise in The Frankincense Trail since it's a pretty clean read. I don't recall any language or suggestive situations.
Final Verdict: The Frankincense Trail a richly written account of a princess's harrowing adventure along the Frankincense Trail.
The Frankincense Trail earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.