12 must-read August YA book releases to close out your summer

The Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman. Image Courtesy Penguin Random House
The Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman. Image Courtesy Penguin Random House /
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Court of Lions – Somaiya Daud

Court of Lions is the highly anticipated sequel to author Somaiya Daud’s Mirage, an epic space opera of a tale about conquerors and the conquered told through two identical girls – one a princess and one a rebel.

Forced to serve as an unwilling body double for the princess of the occupying Vathek army that conquered her planet, Amani is desperate to help the rebels attempting to free her people. But she also finds herself drawn to the half-Vathek Maram, who has roots on her planet and the makings of a good queen. (If you can get past her fear and selfishness.)

At the conclusion of Mirage, Maram discovers Amani’s connection to the rebels and their fragile friendship dissolves. As the story continues, which side will both of these women choose?

The official synopsis describes the story as follows.

"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?"

Court of Lions is available on August 4.