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

The City of Brass

Series :  The Daevabad Trilogy

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Source :  Publisher

Release Date : March 8th 2018


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 . . .

Tash M

This review first appeared in Aurealis #109 Australian science fiction and fantasy magazine,

A Chakraborty’s debut The City of Brass is a wonderful Middle East-inspired tale that pits djinn against djinn. A masterful storyteller, Chakraborty introduces the world of djinns, a complex world where political tensions are frayed by the actions of the djinns’ ancestors and the royals. At the forefront of this story is Prince Ali, a young royal questioning his morals and beliefs. At the other side of spectrum is the  mysterious thief Nahri, who is trying to find her place in the world. As two young people who have the world on their shoulders, Prince Ali and Nahri bring a ‘coming of age’ element to the tale. Readers are whisked away on an adventure with them, alternating between their viewpoints.

Through Prince Ali and Nahri’s polarising perspectives, readers experience a wide range of emotions. Ten- sion is thick throughout the book at every turn, posing questions to consider. Blood will be pumping and minds active as Chakraborty dives into this world and presents a confronting tale. Chakraborty builds a vivid world as the pieces of the story fall into place, pre- senting Daevabad, the legendary City of Brass in its full glory and opening readers’ mind to a world where magic is revered. Yet there is a sense of the forbidden and unspoken with this story. The City of Brass is a well-rounded novel infused with history and culture, and with diversity in a natural environment. These elements make The City of Brass a must read that will provide hours of entertainment. 



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