***I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
Title: Court of Lions
Author: Somaiya Daud
Published Date: August 04, 2020
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: YA Fantasy
Two identical girls, one a princess, the other a rebel. Who will rule the empire?
After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess’s body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani’s connection to the rebellion and has forced her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once more, her identity – and her betrayal – will be revealed to everyone in the court.
Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people’s freedom. But she must make a devastating decision: will she step aside, and watch her people suffer, or continue to aid them, and put herself and her family in mortal danger? And whatever she chooses, can she bear to remain separated, forever, from Maram’s fiancé, Idris?
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“Superb…a beautiful and necessary meditation on finding strength in one’s culture.”—Entertainment Weekly
If you want to know what I thought about Mirage then check out my review on Goodreads by clicking HERE!
Oh my goodness this was a wild ride. I love the dynamic between Amani and Maram. Amani is forced into being Maram’s body double and if she gets caught her family will be the price she’ll pay.
Amani is such a strong character given her circumstances. Maram is always seen as cold but it’s not in Amani’s nature to be that way so by pretending to be her she starts to build relationships Maram never would have made because of her personality. Amani never forgets who she is even in the moments she fully embraces the coldness of Maram to get what she needs.
Maram is afraid of any potential threat to her life and starts to give control over to Amani more and more. I think that in her isolation she realizes that being the cold person she portrays to everyone is not going to get her what she needs. She starts to really lean on Amani and I think in the end they both learn from each other. Maram sees that you can be a good ruler and still be mindful of the feelings of those around you and within your people.
This is a story about friendship and love. Amani finds love with Idris who is so sweet and wants everything for Amani even if he doesn’t understand that she’d take death over slavery. Amani and Maram build a friendship close to sisters by the end of this final installment and I really enjoyed their journey.
(1) Copy of Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud
Starts: August 4th
Ends: August 9th
Somaiya lives, works, and writes from Seattle, Washington.
In 2018 her debut novel, Mirage, was released in the United States with Flatiron Books and the United Kingdom with Hodder & Stoughton. It was hailed as “poetically written”, “immersive and captivating” and “beautiful and necessary” by The School Library Journal, Booklist and Entertainment Weekly. Mirage has been shortlisted for the Children’s Africana Book Award and the Arab American Book Award. In 2020 Somaiya received her PhD in English Literature studies with a focus on world literature and nineteenth-century orientalism. She is available for speaking engagements.
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