The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Advanced reading copy of The City of Brass, UK edition
The City of BrassThe City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
Series: The Daevabad Trilogy #1
Published by: Harper Voyager on March 8, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Pages: 544
Source: ARC From Publisher
Book Details
Rating: ★★★

Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty—an imaginative alchemy of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and One Thousand and One Nights, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts

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 . . .

I’m really disappointed that I didn’t love The City of Brass like I wanted to. It was such a cool setting and the main character was pretty great, but sadly I think information overload weighed me down and massively affected my enjoyment of the book.

In The City of Brass, politics and culture is REALLY important; the whole story is based on those. That means you need to have a really firm grasp on them if you want to keep up with the story. Unfortunately I really struggled with that.

There were a ton of new terms to learn and I struggled to keep those straight (even at the end of the book). Plus, I really couldn’t remember why X tribe hated Y tribe or why X tribe hated some word/slur (or what that word even meant). I lost a great deal of enjoyment purely because there was so much I didn’t remember that ended up becoming immensely important. If you can’t keep all that straight, then the various riots, rebellions, and different “sides” are pretty much impossible to understand the significance of.

I do think The City of Brass was a cool story. I enjoyed almost every character, particularly when Ali and Dara were pitted against each other a bit. The tension there was wonderful, and really highlighted how awesome Dara is. 😀 My disappointment is just greater because this book was so hyped and I think I went in with too-high expectations.

If the culture and politics come easily to you in The City of Brass, then I do think you’ll enjoy the book a lot! Sadly that just wasn’t the case for me.

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