book reviews

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass (Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty

Rating: 4/5

Publication Date: November 14th, 2017

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 Uprooted, 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 eighteenth-century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trades 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 and a reliable way to survive. 

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to question all she believes. For the warrior tells her an extraordinary 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 birds of prey are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass—a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In Daevabad, within 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 to be careful what you wish for…

This was such a surprise to read! I don’t know what I expected, but going in blind really helped make the experience more fun! I loved the world building and the character arcs, though honstly Nahri wasn’t my favorite. I AM excited to see where her story goes, she just got a bit… desperate (???) for me near the end.

Anyway, from the very beginning I was very intrigued. You’re thrown into this gorgeous fantasy historical fiction setting and it honestly felt so real. I was totally sucked in and fascinated by it all!

The world building and the magic that was introduced honestly made this story so REAL. It’s what sucked me in and kept me hanging onto every word!

In the beginning, I was a bit confused by the sudden change in perspective when we meet Ali, but after the brief moment of disorientation, I started to understand how the stories were connected, and it made the drama all the more exciting!

I didn’t really care all that much for the romance, especially because it was just… there. Well, maybe that’s because I didn’t ship the two that DO get together. That being said, I did love the drama and angst and the choices all the characters would make despite the fact that some of those choices would make me INCREDIBLY ANGRY.

My favorite character was definitely Ali, just because he was more complex and the politics and just the drama were so interesting! Nahri was a fierce character, but lacked something that I hope to see maybe in the next books! I think it was probably to keep that element of surprise and the whole “unreliable narrator” thing, so it wasn’t bad enough to make me hate her.

However, I did NOT like Dara… like… I don’t see the appeal. Maybe it’s because I don’t enjoy secrets and he was just being really frustrating. His story was interesting, but as a character, I honestly wanted him to die. (sorry not sorry)

ANYWAY, this review is probably super badly written because I liked the book but don’t even know where to begin! The only reason it wasn’t a full 5 stars was because near the end, there was a point where I was a bit lost as to what exactly was happening. I had to re read a few scenes and then look it up to make sure I understood what had happened!

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy story with great world building, witty banter, political drama, fierce females, magic and interesting folklore! If you enjoy smart characters, plot twists, and royal court drama, this is definitely something you should pick up!

11 thoughts on “The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty”

  1. I went into this not knowing anything about it, too! I think I like it more when I do that, tbh. I can’t wait for the sequel. Some of the characters I definitely didn’t LIKE but still thought they were good characters. However Ali is my bb and I would do anything for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review. I really enjoyed this book. I did get a little confused bewtween the different types of Djinn but other than that I loved it. I wasn’t sure what to make of Dara either, he was just a little meh thoughout the book.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ye, I cannot decide if he is friend or foe. I searched for city of brass and read a few reviews (which is how I found yours) and a fair few people do not know how to feel about dara

        Liked by 1 person

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