Somaiya Doud.

I am not usually one to be enticed by space travel. Just because it typically makes me think of Star Trek or Star Wars. Both excellent series in their own rights but not something I have overly been interested in. What drew me into this book was most definitely the romance aspect.

Since reading Sarah J. Maas’s book Crescent City, I would say that my taste buds for romance has been thoroughly ruined for life. I have read books since then and they just haven’t quite satisfied that itch. Like a hole in my heart that will never be filled again. So, when this book brought the interest of forbidden romance I thought “OK let’s put this book to the test”.

It didn’t disappoint. But it still didn’t quite match up. And I know what you are thinking. That it is unfair for me to compare to completely separate pieces of writing together. My answer to that. Yes it is, but you can’t tell me that none of you do it as well!

This book is about a young girl, who has only just turned eighteen, being kidnapped from her home to act as a perfect body double for a rather cruel princess. She is abused and trained to be just as cruel as the princess to act in her place at social events. This role she has to play is not only dangerous because of the hatred the occupied people feel towards their oppressors but also from the very political people who stand to gain from her failure. ** SPOILER ALERT ** Made even more perilous by being discovered by the prince that the princess is engaged to and falling in love with him.

The love is quickly developed. Sort of like fated lovers they meet at an event, he is unaware (as far as she believes) that she is not the princess, and she completes her first task. She is then sent out to a moon where the princess’s grandmother lives instead of the princess because they are estranged. This is when she realises that she has been discovered and the open development of their affection for one another builds. However, it is also at this vacationary period that she makes rather risky error. I am calling it an error because it is this decision that ruins her current freedoms that she has managed to acquire.

Because after this visit she begins to actually get to know the princess she is being a body double for. And so does the audience. She is a child. She is only seventeen. Easily influenced and manipulated and very frightened by the people around her. More specifically, a official who believes she has the princess wrapped around her finger. Which at the end she does. We discover that the princess has been raised to believe that the occupied people have been striving against her even though that isn’t necessarily true. So, she has feared them, and hated them back.

The main character grows to love this princess as a little sister. Which is consequently broken when an assassination attempt goes wrong. She is discovered, the princess loses trust, and the official basically has full reign over the situation again. Under the threat of her family the main character is locked down. The prince breaks in to comfort her but she tries to make him realise that they can never be together and goes into a dark place to cry at her hopelessness.

Her hope is renewed by the appearance of an animal that she and her faith attribute to her God Dihya. That is the end, which is where I imagine the second book will pick up from.

It was good, I enjoyed it, and the world building was good. It was well written throughout and there was always something happening. The only thing I am a little concerned about was that the main character was quick to trust. No sooner had she learned that she had been discovered by the prince, did that same prince request that she reveal herself to others to… put them at ease? That would have frightened me more if I was in that situation. I would have pleaded and begged him not to reveal me… not trust that he could protect me if anything went wrong. That is an empty promise. He is just as much a prisoner as she is. Then to align yourself with the rebellion but then befriend the body double the rebellion hate and not connect that that same rebellion will attempt a hit on that princess? How would you not have seen that coming?

Though I did like one sense of reason she had. Kill that princess and something much worse would take her place. Or should I say someone.

There was also a point I was reading and I questioned if the princess was even capable of doing any of the political duties herself? I mean every political move that impacted whether or not she received the inheritance of the planet was made by the main character. Not the princess. At one point the main character advised her on how to behave in front of people who would take great pleasure in watching her squirm. So… what was the princess actually capable of doing?

I wasn’t blown away by this story but it wasn’t a bad read. It was easy, nice if you wanted to just have a quiet chill out.

I struggled to decide what book I wanted to read next out of my ever growing to read list. I settled on Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I have heard good things about it and it is a series that I have been looking at in the shop but didn’t buy for some strange reason. So, now I am trying it out.

That is it for now on the reading front. I hope you are all having a nice day and I will update you soon. Bye!