Title: The City Of Brass
Author: S. A. Chakraborty
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: March 8th 2018
Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
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 . . .
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review!
The City Of Brass was one of my most anticipated releases of last year so coming to the realisation that it wasn’t releasing in the UK until March 2018 was not fun. Nevertheless, I squealed when an ARC arrived in the mail because 1) I wasn’t expecting it at all and 2) it meant I got to read it early. HANDS DOWN, THIS BOOK DELIVERED ON EVERY SINGLE EXPECTATION THAT I HAD.
It really is the Muslim fantasy of my dreams, from the very first page. I knew I would love Nahri long before I started reading but she was literally my problematic fave. She had the best comebacks, and the banter – especially between her and Dara – was so on point. The book is written in dual narrative but I definitely preferred Nahri’s chapters even though I proudly declare Alizayd al Qahtani to be my son. Please give me all the books with vulnerable princes. My heart constantly ached for Ali; his siblings loved to tease, his father was mean and his relationship with his brother was often heart-warming yet heart-breaking at the same time.
“I’M COMING BACK, NAHRI,” HE PROMISED. “YOU’RE MY BANU NAHIDA. THIS IS MY CITY.” HIS EXPRESSION WAS DEFIANT. “NOTHING WILL KEEP ME FROM EITHER OF YOU.”
I also adored the slow burn romance, though the overall pacing of the book was so sluggish that it killed me. I enjoyed learning about the history and the time spent on world-building but half of the book was literally Nahri travelling to Daevabad. The chapters are incredibly lengthy too and this only makes it feel much longer.
That being said, it does pick up at the very end to the point I had no idea what was happening because everything was happening so fast. I also kind of wish more of the book was actually set in Cairo because I was under the impression it would be. I’m not Egyptian and I don’t speak Arabic but Abu Zebala causing death by garbage was one of the highlights for sure.
Overall, I loved this book so much; I had such high expectations and it really did not disappoint. Despite the slow pacing, the world-building is incredibly rich, the characters are complex and the writing is so captivating. Like I already mentioned, the Muslim fantasy of my dreams. The Kingdom Of Copper can’t come quick enough.