Welcome to the next stop on the Ayesha Dean The Seville Secret Blog Tour! We are so excited to finally share our review of this fantastic book by Melati Lum.
Melati Lum returns to the world of Ayesha Dean to take middle grade readers on a new, exciting adventure through Seville, Spain! The second book in the Ayesha Dean series is titled The Seville Secret and is just as thrilling and fun as its predecessor, The Istanbul Intrigue. Be sure to read our review for book one here.
Before Ayesha, Sara, and Jess even land in Seville, they’ve got themselves a mystery to solve! Ayesha meets a young Muslim teen named Kareem on the plane and he shares with her that his grandfather is missing and the police have no leads on his whereabouts. Ayesha offers to help find him, and as soon as they arrive in Seville she begins her investigation. Her sleuthing leads to the discovery of a 4,000-year-old diary and the mystery of a valuable necklace that has been missing for generations. As Ayesha and her friends race to find Kareem’s grandfather and put the pieces together to solve the mystery, enemies lurk about every corner to stop them.
I love the way Lum writes about Spain. It’s descriptive, detailed, and immersive. I’m not sure if her writing is based on research or her experience, but it feels very real. Just like in the first book, I feel like I’m right there traveling with Ayesha and her friends. She does a fabulous job of weaving in history and culture (with a particular focus on the Muslim influence in Spain) into the story and this only makes the reading experience richer.
Ayesha is still the brave, compassionate, and intelligent young girl she was in the first book. However, this time she’s willing to take more dangerous risks. I thought this added more high-stakes to the story and kept me guessing at how Ayesha was going to find a way out of her perilous predicaments. It’s her self-confidence and her faith in Allah that helps her in these instances. Ayesha wearing the hijab or saying her prayers is a natural extension of her character and seamlessly fits into the narrative. Ayesha Dean continues to be a positive role model for Muslim young readers.
As for the plot of The Seville Secret, there are three story threads that coalesce into one big mystery. The why and how this happens is pretty fun to figure out, and yet there were a couple of reveals I didn’t see coming! There’s a good balance of action, mystery, adventure, and humor to keep readers turning the pages.
Ayesha Dean: The Seville Secret will appeal to anyone looking to explore beautiful cities, meet some very likable characters, and solve an ancient mystery. It’s perfect for fans of Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series and Heist Society series.
I really hope Melati Lum continues to write more Ayesha Dean books!
Be sure to check out all the other stops on the Blog Tour!