Author: Somaiya Daud
Genre: YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Rating: 5 STARS!
Source: Digital ARC from NetGalley
First, I’d like to start by saying, OMG THIS BOOOOOK. It was lush and beautiful and everything I could want in a book. I could just gush all day about it.
I keep hearing about this subgenre called Science Fantasy that mixes elements of both Sci-Fi and Fantasy and I had no idea what that actually looked like until I read this book. The world-building is just like that of a fantasy, except the story takes place in a solar-system where many of the planets and moons are habitable and the characters are able to travel easily between them in spaceships. It is my new favorite thing and I want more!
Our main character is a girl named Amani. She lives on a moon in this solar-system with her parents and brothers. She is taken from her home by royal droids and taken to the palace where she finds out she looks almost identical to the Princess, Maram, and was brought there to become the Princess’ body double. She must go in Maram’s place to any event that is deemed even remotely dangerous. Now her life is in danger no matter what she does. If she does not impersonate Maram well, she is threatened with violence from Maram and others within the palace who know her secret. And she may well be killed in the Princess’ place at an event.
But not everything is terrible. Amani befriends Maram’s fiance, Idris, as they spend a lot of time traveling to and from different events together. And the friendship might grow into something more…
The story is just so good and the descriptions are rich! I enjoyed the characters so much as well and I was super excited to see the relationship develop and change between Amani and Maram. I cannot wait for the next book!
“The crown of Dihya had been stripped from me, my face changed, my body broken. But I was not a slave and I was not a spare. I was my mother’s daughter, and I would survive and endure. I would find my way back home.”
-Somaiya Daud, Mirage
*Please note, this quote is from an ARC copy, so it may change in the final copy.
Synopsis: In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.
But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.
As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.
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