Ask a Bookseller: 'What the River Knows'

Ask a Bookseller Podcast
Ask a Bookseller

Amy Jiron of Hearthfire Books in Evergreen, Colo., recommends a visit to the Nile this December, in the form of Isabel Ibañez's novel “What the River Knows.”

Set in 1884, this historical fantasy novel has adventure, romance and a dash of magic.

What the River Knows
"What the River Knows" by Isabel Ibañez.
Courtesy of Macmillan Publishers

Marketed as a young adult book, the story opens upon 19-year-old Inez Olivera, living in posh, upper-class Buenos Aires and desperately waiting to hear from her parents, who are abroad in Egypt again.

In quick succession, she receives two important missives: a ring from her father, mailed without note or explanation, followed by news that her parents have gone missing, leaving her with a fortune and a mysterious guardian.

The ring is imbued with Old World magic, whose practices have been all but forgotten. Guarding her father's gift carefully, Inez travels to Egypt to meet her guardian, an archaeologist, and to learn what happened.

Jiron says she zoomed through this high-adventure book, and she loved the creative magic system, in which objects can retain and transfer magic.

“What the River Knows” is the first in a planned Secrets of the Nile duology.

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