Mirage – Somaiya Daud

MirageFrom the publisher: “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.”

There is nothing new here: conquered people, rebellion, cruel regime, body double, love triangle.  However, it was a fun read. The writing is well paced, the characters are clearly drawn yet complex.  Princess Maram softens a bit too quickly but does manage to snap back and that was appropriate to her character.  Odd though that fiancé, Idris, whose family was overthrown and conquered is not more closely watched when with her body double.  For Maram to show such naiveté might be due to her youth, but her advisers should know better.  I did enjoy the book and look forward to reading the sequel that should become more complex and with much higher stakes for all key players.

eGalley review                                                   Publication date 8.28.18

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