(Arc) Mirage by Somaiya Daudo

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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 an 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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This book was such an amazing read. I didn’t quite know what to expect going into it, but it became a new favorite immediately. I received the arc through a trade through Facebook and I’m so happy I have had the chance to read this and review it.

Your mc is Amani and she is a village girl from Cadiz. She is dancing and having the time of her life on her majority night, she receives her Daan and is soon kidnapped by imperial droids and take her back to the palace where she is forced to be the princesses body double and attend events in the princesses place. The princess is 50/50, she is not a pure breed vathek and her people hate her.

I absolutely loved this book and it gives off children of blood and bone vibes and zenith vibes if that makes any sense at all. The writing and creativity in the book were fantastic. The Story flowed perfectly together. The poetry and language translations were some of my favorite parts of the book.

One of my favorite aspects of the book is how two characters grew so close together even after all the hateful and horrible things that had happened. The relationship dynamic between these two strong characters was amazing. To me, it showed how you can see past the evil in someone to who they truly are and why they act out the way they do. The author gave a reason behind everything that happened and nothing was left unjustified or unreasoned.

All of the characters were strong and had very well written storylines, even the ones who didn’t have much part in the book had such a strong part. The princess is really the one with the most complex characters in the book and at times I wanted to murder her myself and others I just really felt bad for her. The author made her a villain, but also showed her human side, her insecurities. She was vulnerable with Amani and I enjoyed their relationship out of everything in the whole book. I’ve never really been this torn on a character before. The author defined her and made her so complex and confusing at times. I was really tacked back at out well of a character she was.

This book flowed together so well and it ended up being one of those that you don’t have to wait for the sequel for you to really get into it or get the main plot. Even though it is sci-fi, yes it does have spaceships. Mirage really reads like all my other fantasies.

Overall I gave this book 5 stars because to me it absolutely deserves it. Mirage is an excellent book and deserves all the hype and more. I hope you all have the chance to read this book and enjoy it.

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