Book Review: Mirage

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.

  • Author: Somaiya Daud
  • Edition: Kindle Edition
  • Publishing: September 4th, 2018
  • Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction
  • Star Rating: ★★★★★
  • Goodreads

Wow, I am truly blown away by this book. Mirage is one of the best YA novels I’ve read in some time. Though it did fall into the genre’s trademark “insta-love” trap, Daud’s writing is so entrancing, beautiful, and utterly devastating that I couldn’t find myself too mad about it. This is a book that needs to be on the top of everyone’s TBR list. It’s evocative, heartbreaking, chilling, and the world-building is so rich and culturally astounding that it feels as if you’re living and breathing the story along with the characters.

A young woman named Amani is ripped from her home because she bears striking resemblance to a cruel princess and for that she is forced to become a body double, to take Princess Maram’s place in any situation where her life could be threatened. The character’s are all full of depth, even the seemingly shallow and antagonistic Maram. Relationships are developed with care, not one iota of this book is underdeveloped or rushed. The precision and expertise of Daud’s craft makes for an impeccable story and I cannot wait to see the follow-up to this story because the ending left me breathless.

Thank you so much to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for providing me with a ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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