A stunning and lushly imagined young adult debut about a girl who is kidnapped and forced to become A stunning and lushly imagined young adult debut about a girl who is kidnapped and forced to become the body double for the princess of a ruthless empire. Perfect for fans of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES and CINDER.
The crown of Dihya had been stripped from me, my face changed, my body broken.
But I was not a slave and I was not a spare.
I was my mother's daughter, and I would survive and endure. I would find my way back home.
The instant Sunday Times bestseller!
'Prepare yourself for a story that's enriching, thrilling, and captivating' - BuzzFeed
'Somaiya Daud is a rare talent. A smart, romantic, exciting debut.' - Veronica Roth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of DIVERGENT
'By turns thrilling and ruminative, sexy and heartbreaking' - Sabaa Tahir, author of an EMBER IN THE ASHES
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 and receiving a sign that one day, she, too, will have adventures, and travel beyond her isolated moon.
But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects. She is kidnapped by the government and taken in secret to the royal palace. There, 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 to appear in public, 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' fiance, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear, and she soon realises that one wrong move could lead to her death...
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.
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.
Mirage had me enthralled from its first page to its last. It's a 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.
Mirage is filled with incredible world-building, compelling characters, and gorgeous writing. It is not only completely unique, but it is a story that will immediately make you want to pick it back up and read it again.
Mirage centralises on oppression, erasure and slavery. Although contrasting characters and circumstances, the imprisonment of a young woman who is tortured and a Princess within her gilded cage, both young woman are tormented by the burden of expectation. It scrutinises colonisation as the Vathek conquered the Mizaal Galaxy, poisoning the atmosphere of Vaxor and colonising Andala, enslaving the Indigenous population and depriving the Andalaans of their ethnology and spirituality. Rebellion arises as rebels strategise against their oppressors, Amani becoming embroiled in the uprising. The narration infused with delicate female and Indigenous empowerment throughout the instability of dissent and cultural reclamation, comparable to the current political climate and resonating with Indigenous readers. Amani represents a quiet endurance and resilience against her environment, a reiteration of nevertheless, she persisted. Somaiya Daud has composed an exquisitely imagined narrative, enchanting and affluent. A remarkable debut.
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 to the west coast to pursue a doctoral degree in English literature. Now she's writing a dissertation on Victorians, rocks, race, and the environment.