Blog Tour: Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud

***I received this book for free as part of the Caffeine Book Tours blog tour via Netgalley and the Flat Iron Books. This is no way contributed to my opinion of the book.****

In this long awaited conclusion to the Mirage duology, we continue our journey with Amani and Maram as they navigate court politics, love, and friendship. This picks up not long after the first book, Mirage.

Y’all, this was a crazy, fun ride! I don’t think I’ve ever talked about Mirage on my platform but a short synopsis is Amani is a farmer’s daughter who was selected from her home moon because she’s identical to Princess Maram who is hated by the people she is set to rule. Amani serves as a body double for the princess against assassination attempts. I originally read Mirage about a year ago and have recently re-read it last month in preparation for Court of Lions. I liked it the first time, I loved it the second time and I was highly anticipating Court of Lions. (Mild spoilers for Mirage ahead.)

This was such a satisfying conclusion to this duology. In the beginning Amani and Maram are still navigating their friendship after the perceived betrayal at the end of Mirage. The way that the author slowly made had them work through their issues was pure perfection. It wasn’t rushed in the least and it was so realistic. Daud has a way of not only writing characters but also world-building. Also, in this book we get Maram’s perspective interspersed throughout the book. Getting Maram’s perspective was so delightful and much needed for us to better understand Maram’s motivation. I really enjoyed being in her head and learning how tough decisions were for her.

‘”Amani” he whispered. ‘Come back to me.'”

Now, the romance in the book. I swoon! We all know that Maram is duty bound to Idris because politics, but when we finally get her love interest I was shook. Maram was tied to her duty but also she just wanted to be her authentic self. Maram’s relationship is sapphic perfection and I won’t hear anything otherwise. The slow burn of the romance, the looks, the light touches, up until they actually got together was STEAMY, and I was here for it. Amani and Idris relationship was so angsty. The pining between them was unparalleled and I really liked where they ended.

If you’ve ever read any of my fantasy reviews you will know I love political intrigue. This one didn’t disappoint. There were reveals and plot twist that totally shook me. They made sense in the narrative but I would have never guessed most of them. I loved the movements and the people getting what they deserved. I also liked how the ending left hope but wasn’t so neatly tied up. We got satisfying answers to a lot of questions that lingered throughout the series.

Overall, if you can’t tell, I LOVED this conclusion to a book that needs so much more love. I am completely obsessed with these characters and I am satisfied where they all ended up. This is in addition to the superb writing by Daud. Her writing is atmospheric and immersive. Go pick up Court of Lions when it comes out on August 4 from Flat Iron. All quotes subject to change in the final draft.

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.

Thank you Caffeine Book Tours, Somaiya Daud, and Flat Iron for allowing me to be a part of this tour. Check out the other tour host and their amazing post!

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