August 10, 2020

#BookReview: Court of Lions (Mirage #2) by Somaiya Daud






Synopsis: 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?


Goodreads
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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
My Review: I am so devastated right now.  I went into this book excited to read the conclusion to this series only to be bored out of my mind.  I was loving the new POV of Maram and learning more about their world and the dangers that both girls was facing.  But around 150 pages the story just felt stagnant and it also felt like it lost its luster and spark.  


This one for the characters I loved how the extra POV was added but it just felt off.  I am not sure how to really explain it.  But pacing and placement of this extra POV just made the story feel choppy.   The romance was pretty good but I wished that Maram's would have been done better.  It felt like a missed opportunity.   

The twist at the end and the ending itself were pretty great.  But it felt like it took me a year to get there.  The story overall was so bogged down by extra people that I don't remember and slow story telling in a choppy format. 


Overall, to me it felt like the author lost the love of the story and just didn't know what to do. 






Review

“An excellent story that builds momentum until the very end and continues the unique premise that we found in Mirage.” ―The Nerd Daily

“In the conclusion to the Mirage duology, identity and self-acceptance are inextricably tied to revolution and the dismantling of colonial oppression and power. Daud’s prose is poetic and rich...the climax satisfying. A solid conclusion.” ―Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Mirage
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults List
ABA IndieNext Pick

Junior Library Guild selection
Booklist Top 10 Scifi/Fantasy Book for Youth
Children’s Africana Book Award Honor Book for Older Readers

“Superb...a refreshing and unique coming-of-age story. The way Amani uses her heritage to facilitate her survival makes Mirage a beautiful and necessary meditation on finding strength in one’s culture.” ―Entertainment Weekly

“Daud’s debut novel has the flair of an Arthurian drama, the lavish sensory detail of a Nizar Qabbani poem, and the sleek technical flair of a sci-fi series...this audacious combination is so skillfully done that it’ll shock breath into your lungs. If you loved The Wrath and the Dawn and Children of Blood and BoneMirage will captivate you.” ―The Christian Science Monitor

“This poetically written novel will appeal to many, particularly fans of Cinder by Marissa Meyer and An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Verdict: This debut novel has what it takes to be the next big thing in sci-fi/fantasy.” ―School Library Journal, starred review

“This gorgeously written, immersive, and captivating series starter is sure to have fans eager for a sequel.” ―ALA Booklist, starred review

“Prepare yourself for a story that’s enriching, thrilling, and captivating.” ―BuzzFeed

Mirage is smart, sexy, and devilishly clever. Somaiya Daud has penned a tale worthy of all the stars in the sky, and I can't wait to read what she writes next.” ―Renée Ahdieh, author of The Beautiful

“Daud is a masterful storyteller. Mirage gives readers an exquisitely wrought world with deft characters, death-defying stakes, and an aching romance. Bound to linger in your dreams.” ―Roshani Choksi, author of The Star-Touched Queen

“Somaiya Daud’s Mirage reads like the lushest of fantasies, set in an unforgettably immersive world that is both dangerous and impossibly lovely. The characters are complex and nuanced, and the story is by turns romantic, harrowing, climactic and hopeful, though the unresolved ending paves the way for an even grander sequel. I didn’t want it to end, and I can't wait to return to the world Daud has created.” ―Rosalyn Eves, author of Blood Rose Rebellion
Mirage is full of my favorite things: secrets, intrigue, gorgeous mythology, and complicated characters. It will break your heart and fill you with hope.” ―Kat Howard, author of An Unkindness of Magicians

“A rich, dazzling, powerful debut. Somaiya Daud is an author to watch.” ―Tahereh Mafi, author of the Shatter Me series

“Lush and dangerous, Mirage had me entranced. Amani’s journey―from rural innocent to calculating young woman, from village girl to royal impersonator―is galactic. Daud’s novel asks, ‘what does it mean to impersonate your enemy?’ And the answer she provides here is nothing short of thrilling. I was here for all of it, and I desperately need to know what happens next.” ―Tochi Onyebuchi, author of Beasts Made of Night

Mirage is full of characters who feel like they existed long before the story began, and a rich world that is as beautiful as it is cruel. Somaiya Daud is a rare talent. A smart, romantic, exciting debut.” ―Veronica Roth, author of Divergent 

Mirage reads as an impossible trick of the light, a feather that carves words into stone, a banquet of longing and loss. Every page comes roaring to life in a way that overwhelms and transforms you. This isn’t a debut novel so much as an heirloom, and the work of a master storyteller.” ―Margaret Stohl, coauthor of Beautiful Creatures 

Mirage had me enthralled from its first page to its last. It’s a heart-wrenching, romantic, and exhilarating page-turner. Begin preparing yourselves for it now. Somaiya Daud is a brilliant writer and she has written a brilliant book.” ―Courtney Summers, author of Sadie
“With its breathtaking worldbuilding and characters who grabbed me from the first page, Mirage is by turns thrilling and ruminative, sexy and heartbreaking. Somaiya Daud has written a moving and unforgettable debut.” ―Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes

About the Author

Somaiya Daud is the author of Mirage and holds a PhD from the University of Washington in English literature. A former bookseller in the children’s department at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C., now she writes and teaches full time.









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