Good old YA! Court of Lions was one of those books I just raced through once I finally started it. It’s the sequel to 2019’s Mirage though sadly with a completely new, non-matching cover… I’m torn about the re-design because I loved the old cover, but then, having Black girls on covers is visibility and should always be supported. So, maybe, have them there from the start? Anyway, you didn’t come here to read me ramble about cover design (can you tell I just wrote a big chunk of my dissertation about girls on covers?), but to read my review…
Many thanks to Hodder and Kate Keehan for sending me an eARC for review, as always all opinions are my own!
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
RELEASE DATE: 06/08/2020
SUMMARY: After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess’s body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani’s connection to the rebellion and has forced her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once more, her identity – and her betrayal – will be revealed to everyone in the court.
Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people’s freedom. But she must make a devastating decision: will she step aside, and watch her people suffer, or continue to aid them, and put herself and her family in mortal danger? And whatever she chooses, can she bear to remain separated, forever, from Maram’s fiancé, Idris? (from Hodder)
OPINIONS: So, this is North African inspired. Set in space. AND there is a f/f romance. And all the great things from Mirage continue on in Court of Lions. Oh, and revolution. I think I enjoyed this second installment more than I did the first, but then, it’s been a while. I would definitely recommend Court of Lions. The characters are nuanced, the world building is excellent and I like the writing style. The duology is unique in concept, while still hitting the mark for comfortingly familiar YA tropes.
Both the relationships featured in Court of Lions are well-crafted and avoid the pitfalls of insta-love or unreasonable over-commitment. Although, there is an element of arranged marriage to the book, but that is a trope that I kind of adore…