What do you do when your rose tinted glasses are pulled away?
Imani believes in the council and her brothers death. She believes in keeping Qalia a secret and her family's honour and place in the clan. When all that is threatened by her brothers disappearance, she throws herself into her duties as a shield until her brothers horse leads her and her sister to his secret letters; starting a journey across the desert.
There are many things to like about Spice Road! Imani is a character that shows tremendous growth throughout the book. She doesn't question the history she's been taught; she's secure in her position as an old clan member and expects members of new rising ones to seek her out; she believes her brother is dead; and that no one goes to sleep hungry at night in Qalia.
For Imani the entire journey is a rude awakening to her own privilege (her sister confesses to stealing for her friends because she knows she won't be punished) and also the idea that isolation is perhaps not a good thing. This happens partially because of Taha who resents her privilege who has had to fight for what he had, as opposed to Imani who expected it. And yet, even as we understand Taha, we continue to resent him because the book is told from Imani's perspective and he's still the bad guy. Taha has to kill the boy who mentored him and anyone who learns about magic because he knows that if he messes up there are consequences because of his father. In turn, his father may not be able to hold onto his position because of Taha if the latter shows weakness. Honestly, a take from his perspective would be really interesting!
I loved the whole dynamic with Qayn and how that also pushes Imani into being better! Not just in terms of her skills but also her learning to respect other people. There's one scene which really stands out in this regard, but I'll let you read the book to find out!