I first found out about this book through an Instagram story by Roshani Chokshi, who was a critique partner for the book. I’m so happy that I took her suggestion to read is, because this is definitely going to make it onto my top 15 books of the year.
In summary, the book follows a young girl from the far reaches of the kingdom. She possesses a power that only those in the kingdoms royal court should have, but instead of being viewed as holy, she is feared and outcast by the close minded people where she was raised. She journeys to the capital in hopes of joining the Queens royal court and finding a place where she will be renowned -not scorned- for her gifts.
But the court is not the home she was expecting. Instead, she must navigate the intrigue and power games of power hungry courtiers, all the while trying to discover a mystery that has been lurking the halls of the court.
Overall, I loved the writing of this story! It was so lyrical, and I felt swept away by both the story and it’s telling. I also loved the characters, especially Mirage, the main character. She was so ambitious and strong, and I could relate to some parts of her personality. It made for a transcending read. (I also really loved the love interest even though I really also want to hate him.)
I normally don’t like comparing books, but I feel like if you loved the Cruel Prince by Holly Black and An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, you will love this book too. While I was reading it, I felt like I did when I fell in love with the two books mentioned above. Amber and dusk was fast paced, mysterious, and magical. I loved the lore in the story, and the world building was really on point.
There are a few things that knocked this down from a five star to a four star read. The first is that there were a lot of cliche story points woven in. I don’t want to spoil them for you, but a few things have been really overdone in YA fantasy. There were a few that the book could have done without, and it was sad to have several of these overdone tropes in a book that was otherwise very uniquely written.
The other thing I didn’t appreciate was that the romance was captivating and kept me on my toes… until all of the sudden it was kind of shut down. I wanted it work, and I understand dissolving a romance if it furthers the plot, but I feel like this was done so abruptly.
This being said, I hate cliches and will almost always rate lowly or not finish books with even a couple in them these days. However, the rest of the book made up for the tropes included in this book.
Aside from these things, this really was just such a good book. I had read a couple chapters when I first received the book, but then finished the rest in one sitting a few days later. It kept me turning pages far into the night, and I was constantly torn between wanting to know the end, and not wanting the story to stop.
This book is one I’ve been waiting for for a while now. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when it hits the shelves next month! Please be sure to preorder a copy ASAP and support the author!