Thank you to Flat Iron Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Mirage is the first in a new series by Somaiya Daud and is out today. Walk don’t run to your nearest book store!
Daud’s debut effort takes the foundational approach and puts a lot of needed effort into building worlds, families, and dynamics between each. Idris and Maram, Maram and the warring bloodlines within her veins, Maram and Amani, Amani and the rebels, Amani and Idris, Nadine and Amani/Maram (hints at Nadine’s own intentions). Most are left open but with obvious speculation and tension at hand. Except two. Unfortunately, at the end of Mirage both Amani and Maram, and Amani and Idris’ relationships played out very predictably.
All the build-up and suspense leading up to Amani taking Maram’s place at the Inheritance Ceremony and then despite risking her life all the obvious plot points avalanche into each other. Maram assumes the worse, Nadine tortures Amani’s family, Idris comes to get Amani to run away with him but of course, not really.
There is hope left to be had that the second book will not leave this predictable plot point to be the end of these two relationships. That Daud’s knack for suspense, climax and twists will bring a more satisfying and dynamic due to Amani’s encounter with the fated Tesleet bird.
I truly am excited to see some of the poignant themes come into focus during Mirage’s sequel. There are the complicated factions introduced in Mirage, such as, Maram’s mixed bloodlines, her own battle to do good as Queen within herself and her complicated, for instance.
Additionally, the rebels were fascinating and should have a larger role in the sequel, along with the idea of what might happen if Amani is able to authentically be a “sister” to Maram? Could she be a bridge between the rebels and the Vath?