A huge thank you to Caffeine Book Tours for including me in the Court of Lions blog tour and to the publishers for providing a gifted review copy! I’m so excited to be sharing this review with you all. I read Mirage last month and it was one of my favorite reads. You can imagine how over the moon I was to continue the journey with Amani and Maram in Court of Lions!
Author: Somaiya Daud / Publication date:06 August 2020
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?
Publisher: Flatiron Books / Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
I was so excited to be a part of this tour! I read Mirage very recently and I devoured it in about a day and a half because I just couldn’t put it down. I’m here to tell you that it wasn’t any different with Court of Lions. I felt like I couldn’t read fast enough. I wanted to take my time with it but I was also looking forward to what the next page would bring. It was a bit of a slow read at first but after reading the first 4 chapters I started feeling more immersed in the story and I got back into the world.
I just adore the writing and especially the prose. You can’t help but be invested in what’s happening. The author has the most amazing way of holding your attention with the detail, characters and world. I kept reading and only when I checked how much I had read did I realize how far I’d gotten.
Amani is my favorite character! I just love seeing things from her perspective. How much she loves her culture and where she comes from. Her emotions are so raw and it tends to rub off on you. At times I felt her emotions so strongly and that added to the overall amazing experience I had with this book. We also have Maram. After the events of book one I wasn’t so sure how I felt about her. I felt bad for her and I knew there must have been something going on but I was still conflicted. In this book we got a glimpse of things from her perspective. There weren’t many chapters from her point of view but it definitely gave a much better understanding about her character. I loved reading her chapters and learning about how she felt, along with her fears and hopes. Idris was a favorite from the first book and I loved his relationship with Amani. We got a lot more of his character in this one which I appreciated a lot. There was also so much yearning!
The political intrigue in this one was very prominent. The first book seemed more focused on Amani coming in as the body double. While this one has so much more planning and talk about rebellion. I loved this one so much more for that. The stakes were also much higher. The whole thing kept me on the edge of my seat which is exactly what I was hoping for. The book ended before I was ready but I’m so happy with the way it ended. I didn’t think my heart would squeeze the way it did when I turned the last page, but I’m so happy I got to experience this book.
Overall, this series ended up meaning so much to me. Books written by Muslims are making their way into our lives more frequently and I’m so so happy about that. The stories are always so rich and end up meaning a lot to so many readers. As much as I’m sad to see Amani and Maram’s story end, I’m also really thankful that I got to read this series. I loved so much of this and I know it will be on my list of recommendations from now on. If you haven’t read Mirage I urge you to. The story is unlike anything you’ve read before and you won’t regret it.
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.