Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

Title: Kingdom of Copper

Genre: Fantasy
The Daevabad Trilogy # 2
Hardcover, 621 pages
Publication: January 22, 2019 by Harper Voyager
Personal library
Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad—and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.

Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of a devastating battle, Nahri must forge a new path for herself. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her family—and one misstep will doom her tribe..

Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the marid—the unpredictable water spirits—have gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried.

And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad's towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates . . . and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve.

My Thoughts

I read and fell in love with The City of Brass when it first came out and the sequel, Kingdom of Copper was my most anticipated sequel. But as usual, life happens and the book sat unread on my shelf for years. Fast forward to now with the series completed I finally picked up Kingdom of Copper. The book jumps forward and five years has passed. Nahri married Muntadhir and is now a permanent fixture in the palace as she continues to learn and heal the people of Daevabad. While Ali is in exile dealing with his new powers and Dara is resurrected to once again be used as a weapon.

I’m shocked that I’m saying this but this book wasn’t good. Or my expectations were too high.  I’ll start off with what I enjoyed. I enjoyed the world-building and expansion. Readers are introduced to more characters and intricate layers to the world and magic. I liked learning about the history and backstory about the marids and nahids. After world-building is the characters. The characters are what made me love the first book so much but it seems like everyone did a complete 360!

Pardon my language but everyone was an asshole (except. Zaynab). Nahri may have married the king’s son, but let’s be real, she was still a prisoner. She kept going back and forth between her hatred and budding affection for the Qahtanis. It gave me whiplash. And while Nahri wanted to improve the lives of her people, her attitude has changed and not for the better. Nahri found her voice and backbone to stand up against the soldiers, Ghassan, and even her long lost mother but I think her time at the palace had made her feel untouchable thus arrogant. Muntadhir is a player but I adored him in City of Brass. The Muntadhir now is a shell of the man  he was before. He spent 90% of the book fooling around with everyone, getting shit-face drunk and hating life. Ali was his usual annoying self. I forgot how I  felt about Ali before but I am certainly not a fan of him now. I disliked how much he pines for Nahri. Why did Chakraborty have to insert a love triangle???! Why? It was pointless and irritating. Then there is Dara. I, like many readers loved Dara, the powerful Djinn warrior. That Dara is also gone. Dara in Kingdom of Copper is once again a puppet for someone else. What I don’t understand is if he is technically free and not under control of Solomon’s seal then why does he not turn on his ‘master’? He is literally repeating his past, doing things against his beliefs. Of all the characters in this book, with the exception of  Zaynab, Hatset, and Ali’s two friends who are the only ones with any redeeming qualities.

This book started off shakily and as the story progressed it got worst and worst. The last few chapters, leading up to the attack on the city was quite nerve-wrecking and full of action, but that didn’t save it. The carefully planned attack, went south real fast and hard. I didn’t like the turn of events and the revelations and ending were so-so predictable. I saw it coming a mile away.

I invested so much time and energy into the series that I am still determined to see the characters' story and journey through. Despite the book being such a disappointment. I just hope beyond hope that the third installment is nothing like the Kingdom of Copper.