TITLE: City of Brass
AUTHOR: S.A. Chakraborty
TRIGGER WARNING: Graphic violence, human trafficking, rape, slavery, and war.
WHERE DID I RECEIVE THIS?: HarperCollinsNZ sent this to me in exchange for an honest review!
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
So I found out about this book on twitter, I watched everyone clamor over it & give it such high praise that I just got intrigued by the cover & reputation it got. All I knew about this novel when I picked it up was that it was an own voices Muslim fantasy novel that toes the line between YA & Adult with poetic writing. While I wasn’t as swept away as others with this novel, it definitely deserved the hype.
This novel has two point of views. One, is Nahri, a con artist who is very talented at what she does. And a djinn prince, Ali who has been groomed to be everything his brother needs. I think the strongest point of the this novel was the characters, an array of characters were presented to us, and alot of them grew within this massive novel. For example we see Ali go from blind service to being able to see the horrible way that the poorer were treated & how unfair their lives were compared to the royalty.
I honestly loved the characters in this novel because none of them were good or bad, they were all morally grey with different things pushing their emotions and actions which meant you couldn’t stick them in boxes, you couldn’t label one as the villain & one as the good guy, because they were constantly surprising you & changing, it was insanely refreshing to see,
A beautiful part of this novel is the setting, this is set in 1800’s Egypt, where the magical world runs along side our world, hidden under layers of magic & protection, but it never stops some humans wandering through. You also get to see a few things that show the timeline for the human world, the treatment of Egyptians from the Turkish & some French soldiers appear in the novel showing us what life was like for the humans & linking the novel seamlessly with real history.
Overall I think if you’re looking for an epic fantasy set in a fantastical world, this is the one for you guys !
until next time,