I LOVED this book. It has some of my very favorite tropes: a desert kingdom, a magical race, morally gray characters. And what it does with them is fantastic.
From the start, Zahru's mad plan -- well, her best friend Hen's mad plan -- lands her in one disaster after another. She just wants to sneak into the palace for the night and eat some cake... and she ends up in a mad race across the desert, a pawn in the three royal siblings' race to win the crown. Of course, she isn't just a pawn...
My favorite part (aside from the swoony romance and non-stop race action) is the way Zahru sees the good in each of the royal siblings, and the way her kindness brings it to the surface. As she is stolen by each of them in turn, she sees their strengths and weaknesses, and what they could bring to ruling the kingdom.
There's also diversity among the characters and some casual LGBT+ relationships thrown in that make it even better.
I can't wait to read the next book!
*thanks to Bookishfirst and the publisher for sending me a finished copy to review when the ARC would have arrived too late