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.
Mirage is an #OwnVoices Moroccan inspired story. It is truly a wonderful and lyrical tale, about preserving one’s culture, family and love. Our main character is Amani, a village farm girl, who gets kidnapped on the night she becomes of age while celebrating with her friends and family.
Like the blurb says Amani is a dreamer, who despite her life circumstances, the oppression her community faces since the Vathek invaded and conquered the planet. The Vathek being a race who are invading and conquering various Moons? Planets? in their galaxy. Embedding their beliefs and culture on the lands they conquered as they wipe out or try to banish the norms, tradition, cultures and religions known on the planet before their invasion. Amani never loses hope or forgets her roots.
Bring in Maram, the half princess and heir to the Vathek throne on their planet. Maram is cruel, and it is so clear that she is an afraid human, who has suffered so much emotional trauma, that she can’t help but trust anyone but herself, because to her everyone else has an ulterior motive when it comes to her.
She fears she’s going to get murdered, and when she realizes she has a body double in Amani, she, of course, kidnaps her so Amani can take her place in risky situations, where she may be assassinated, by the people she is to rule over. Maram is that character you want to hate but can’t help but sympathize for, even if I do find her very annoying.
Amani in Maram shoes gets to understand Maram a lot better and sees that she just needs a push in the right direction, even if she has to be very cautious because Maram’s temper is one to be wary about.
I love Idris. My newest book boyfriend. He is completely a sweetheart, I was suspicious of him, but he’s a good one, and the romantic parts in this book, made my romance junkie heart happy and my cheeks swell up with glee. Idris has his own tribulations in the story and I can’t wait to read more about it in future.
Of course, when people are oppressed there is always going to be rebellion. When Amani situation is found out, the rebels seek her out, because is in such a high position, to give information back to the rebels. She agrees to be an insider and she pays the ultimate price in their time of war.
I love how the books portray the various characters. Because there are so many to meet, all with important roles within the tale. I love how Kindness is a thing in this book, how it highlights the importance and need for kindness, especially in trying times, it goes a long way. It also has a wonderful take on building friendships, with all kinds of people.
That is to say, I can’t wait to read Mirage again. I can’t wait to get my hands on the final/finished copy of this book. It’s a book worth reading twice or even more, because I know once I read this the second time, I’ll better understand the world in which this book is set, as for right now I have a pretty good idea of how the world works, and what is what, but there are a lot of details I need to go back and read, to comprehend better.
Somaiya Daud is a captivating author. She is a beautiful writer, with a way with words, she sucked me in and I didn’t want to stop reading until I got to the very last page. I believe Somaiya’s book is one we should all support, especially as she is a debut #OwnVoices author, who still has so much to give us.
One signed & personalized copy of MIRAGE (US ONLY)
(p.s. it’s a rafflecopter giveaway)
About the Author
Somaiya Daud was born in a Midwestern city and spent a large part of her childhood and adolescence moving around. Like most writers, she started when she was young and never really stopped. Her love of all things books propelled her to get a degree in English literature (specializing in the medieval and early modern), and while she worked on her Master’s degree she doubled as a bookseller at Politics and Prose in their children’s department. Determined to remain in school for as long as possible, she packed her bags in 2014 and moved the west coast to pursue a doctoral degree in English literature. Now she’s preparing to write a dissertation on Victorians, rocks, race, and the environment. Mirage is her debut and is due from Flatiron Books in 8/28/2018.
This is my second blog tour with Aimee, the host. And it isn’t going to be my last. I hope you enjoyed my tour stop! Are you looking forward to reading Mirage? Have you heard of the book before? Add it to your Goodreads!
Blog Tour Schedule
AUGUST 20 (MONDAY)
Aimee @ Aimee, Always
Harker @ The Hermit Librarian
Austine @ NovelKnight
AUGUST 21 (TUESDAY)
Kaleena @ Reader Voracious
Jamie @ Books and Ladders
AUGUST 22 (WEDNESDAY)
Lara @ Bellibone
Karlita @ Tale Out Loud
Sara @ A Gingerly Review
AUGUST 23 (THURSDAY)
Naadhira @ legenbooksdary
Shealea @ That Bookshelf Bitch
Breanna @ Paws and Paperbacks
AUGUST 24 (FRIDAY)
Caro @ Bookcheshirecat
Lila @ Hardcover Haven
Sarah @ Sarah June Blog
AUGUST 27 (MONDAY)
Brianna @ Polish & Paperbacks
Kate @ The Backwards Bookshelf
Simant – Flipping Through the Pages
AUGUST 28 (TUESDAY)
Nandini @ Unputdownable Books
Carolina @ fictionologyst
Kevin @ Bookevin
AUGUST 29 (WEDNESDAY)
Wendy @ whatthelog
Jacquie @ Rattle the Stars
AUGUST 30 (THURSDAY)
Vanessa @ Through Prose Tinted Pages
Imogene @ Amidst the Pages
AUGUST 31 (FRIDAY)
LaRonda @ Flying Paperbacks
Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads
Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books