Book Review – Mirage by Somaiya Daud

The stunning and lushly imagined Sunday Times bestseller about a girl who is kidnapped and forced to become the body double for the princess of a ruthless empire.

Hello Bookworms, as I am apart of the Court of Lions(Mirage #2) blog tour, it only makes sense that I read the first book! I have heard such great reviews and am sooo excited to read both these novels.

Mirage: A Novel: Daud, Somaiya: Books

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Publisher: Published August 28th 2018 by Flatiron Books

Length: Hardcover, 320 pages

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this novel! This did NOT influence my review in any way, shape or form.

Summary:  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.(Goodreads)

Recommendation: Although not fully satisfied with this book, reading Mirage brought me great joy, and believe it or not I read it in less than two hours! One of the most significant elements in a novel for me is the pacing and plot structure. As someone who loses interest FAST(I am very impatient🥱) pacing is crucial to me. That’s why I rated Mirage as high as I did. I didn’t feel bored once, the plot, the character development and the writing actually made me question how this could be a debut novel!


Oh Amani. I loved our 18 year-old village girl(as Maram called her) from the moment I met her. Reading about her background, her parents and her culture was one of the best parts of this novel. I was SO invested in her story and her growth. She is so sensible, intelligent and makes for a great lead.

Then we met Maram, the 17-year-old fierce and ruthless Princess. When you first read about her, it’s clear she isn’t the nicest girl around. Her father resents her existence(I mean could you imagine your parent doing that?) and she’s vicious to anyone and everyone. As the book nears to an end, although her character is still misguided, the author strips her down to what she truly is. A little girl who doesn’t belong. I am excited to read more about her character development in the sequel!

Now onto the relationships! Amani and Idris’ relationship blossomed and was written flawlessly. It really felt “right“. Their relationship didn’t seem forced or written in to add some romance to the book. But having said that, I don’t feel strongly about their relationship either. I personally believe that Amani didn’t have enough time to find herself or explore the impact she could make in this world before her relationship began.

Another relationship is Amani and Maram’s friendship. This friendship grew from hatred and turned into one of the best dynamics in the book. There is nothing better than a duo of an impressive lady lead and an extraordinary lady anti-villain.


The plot was so well-developed, sophisticated and was supported by all the other elements in the novel. Along with the scifi genre and the Moroccan culture that was seamlessly incorporated by the author, Mirage has everything you are looking for.

Overall, I think you can tell that I enjoyed Mirage quite a bit. I didn’t rate it 5 stars simply because it’s not a book I would re-read, or isn’t one that really made me think/had an AMAZING plot. That being said, in one sentence Mirage has GREAT characters, a GREAT plot and GREAT writing! I would recommend this book to the ages of 14-20.

A little 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.

Praise for Mirage

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, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Divergent and Carve the Mark

“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 Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

“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, New York Times bestselling author of An Ember in the Ashes

Thanks for reading! Have you read Mirage? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

6 thoughts on “Book Review – Mirage by Somaiya Daud”

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