Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud

Title: Court of Lions
Author: Somaiya Daud
Published: August 4, 2020
Publisher: Flatiron Books

Court of Lions is the long-awaited second and final installment in the “smart, sexy, and devilishly clever” Mirage series by Somaiya Daud (RenĂ©e Ahdieh, New York Times bestselling author of The Beautiful)!

On a planet on the brink of revolution, Amani has been forced into isolation. She’s been torn from the boy she loves and has given up contact with her fellow rebels to protect her family. In taking risks for the rebel cause, Amani may have lost Maram’s trust forever. But the princess is more complex than she seems, and now Amani is once more at her capricious nature. One wrong move could see her executed for high treason.

On the eve of Maram’s marriage to Idris comes an unexpected proposal: in exchange for taking her place in the festivities, Maram will keep Amani’s rebel associations a secret. Alone and desperate, Amani is thrust into the center of the court, navigating the dangerous factions on the princess's behalf. But the court is not what she expects. As a risky plan grows in her mind, and with the rebels poised to make their stand, Amani begins to believe her world might have a future. But every choice she makes comes with a cost. Can Amani risk the ones she loves the most for a war she's not sure she can win?
This is a perfect finish to the Mirage duology. This is one of those series that I hope more people pick up and appreciate.

I love how when I’m reading about this world sometimes I feel like it’s a Fantasy and then they get into a spaceship and I’m like oh ya the Sci-Fi aspect. The two genres are so well merged that it delights me.

The story is filled with politics. After all it is a story of Maram trying to take the throne and Amani trying to save her people. I absolutely love the writing style, I think it really made this part of the story more interesting. I was fascinated by the alliances being made and the courts being navigated. I was really impressed by the different things characters said and how they operated.

As far as characters are concerned. We really see Maram and Amani bloom in their own ways. They give one another strength, even when they are at odds.

Amani character development was so great to read. Remembering her from Mirage to who she has become is just amazing. She’s drawn from her experience of being Maram’s double. As herself she had seen first hand the destruction the Vath can cause. When she pretends to be Maram she sees how the politics of the Vath work. She becomes this well rounded formidable woman who finds strength in her love for people. She has some really great lines in the story that had me riveted.

Maram also develops in the story and we actually get to hear from her POV. I really liked the character that is introduced into her life and how that has some impact on her. Also despite her anger with Amani, she also has the seed of what love of a sister can be like sprouting in her. Amani shows her another way things can be and Maram finds that strength that Amani always knew was there.

The romance is sweet but again the two badass ladies are the main focus of the story. There are also other characters we are introduced to and more culture that I loved learning about. The descriptions of the celebrations, food and clothes made me wish I could visit their world.

If you enjoyed Mirage this is the perfect way to end the duology. The characters work hard and make sacrifices and find their ending.