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.
Out August 2018
I received this book in exchange for my honest review.
This is a slow-burning fantastical read with a Moroccan flavor and historical similarities that drive the premise of the story and gives soul to its writing. Corruption, dominance, extermination, dictatorship, conquering, politics, religious repression… all are included with a tad of romance to round it off.
With a realistic structure and fantastic character development well-fleshed out for successful growth allowing her to reach goals, you will love her and hate her oppressors.
I think this debut novel is exceptional in its genre in that it ties closely to historical factors brushed upon with a delicate precision. Overall, I was greatly entertained and look forward to the next book by this author just to see what happens next.
I gave this book: