The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty | A Lush Magical Story

About the Book

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty • Published November 22, 2017 by Harper Voyager • 533 pages • Fantasy • #1 in the Daevabad Trilogy

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for.

Review

The City of Brass is one of my favorite reads this year. I read it a few months ago but I didn’t have an opportunity to review it until now. I highly recommend this book to a lot of people because I loved it. The story follows Nahri, a con woman, who accidentally summons a djinn warrior during one of her cons. This incident leads to Nahri discovering that she’s from a long line of Nahid healers. The djinn warrior, Dara, tells her a little bit about her family, Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, and they set out to find the city. The journey to Daevabad is dangerous and the story doesn’t end there.

So, let me briefly count the reasons why I enjoyed this book:

Intriguing plot with court politics ✔️
World-building ✔️
Lush writing and mythology ✔️
Lovable characters ✔️

The story is narrated from the point of view of Nahri and Alizayd. Nahri is equal parts sassy, fierce, resourceful and lovable. My favorite kind of heroine. Her struggles to adapt to her new reality are depicted about as realistic as you can expect after accidentally summoning a warrior and getting thrown into this magical world. Ali is devout, awkward, and super naive. He’s so precious. I loved his relationship with his brother and hated the way his father treated him. The writing for these characters are pretty distinct and they experience a lot of growth and development. The side characters are also written well and there are signs of an LGBTQ relationship, which I hope we see more of in the sequel.

Chakraborty brilliantly crafts this story. The writing style is superb and lush. My goodness. Chakraborty’s prose is stunning. The book gets better as the plot unfolds and we are introduced to the numerous side plots. There’s this mysteriousness about the story that had me flipping pages so quickly. There are flying carpets, swords, and mischievousness. There’s some violence, but it’s minimal. I was thoroughly entertained and even purchased the audiobook just to continue the story when I had to leave my house.

Daevabad jumps off the page. Have you ever read about a fictional world and instantly wanted to travel there? Well this was the case with Daevabad. Chakraborty’s world-building is immaculate. Daevabad is intriguing and her descriptions of this world are fascinating. At the heart of the plot is readers discovering this beautiful city as much as it is about Nahri discovering that she is bound to it.

My only critique of this book is the pacing. The first half has a lot of world-building and information about Daevabad’s history, the different tribes, and the magic system. At times, I had to pause just to absorb everything because of information overload. That kind of dragged the story a bit; however, don’t be deterred by that because everything afterwards was super addictive and the ending had me shooked.

The City of Brass is an exciting new series and quite the adventure. It’s adult fantasy, but it has some crossover appeal. The characters ages range from 18 to immortal. I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel, which comes out in January 2019. I’m hoping the universe will see fit to bestow me with an early copy.

Recommendation: If you’re in the mood for badass characters, lush writing and djinn magic then may enjoy this.

Seriously. You should pick this up. Then pre-order The Kingdom of Copper.


Have you read The City of Brass? If so, let me know your thoughts!

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