Author: S.A. Chakraborty
Series: The Daevabad Trilogy # 1
Hardcover, 533 Pages
Publication: November 14, 2017 by Harper Voyager
Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a 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 . . .
The book is narrated from two different point-of-views; Nahri a con-artist living in Cairo and Ali, a Daeva (Djinn) prince of Daevabad whom are both young adults (18-20s). Nahri never really believed in magic, sure she has heard tales of evil Djinns but they were just that, tales. Even with healing abilities and her knowledge of most, if not all languages still made her a skeptic of all things magic. However, one night while trying to exorcise a demon from a child; Nahri sang in a foreign tongue even she wasn’t aware of and woke ifrit demons and a long forgotten warrior. From there Nahri is thrown head first into the world of Daevabad, caught between the different tribes of Djinns, elemental creatures hunting her, and a dangerous game of politics as everyone is trying to make her their pawn.
Ali is the younger and second of two princes. He is training to be Qaid, the head of Djinn Royal Guard and to be his brother’s protector. Ali is a well-educated, passionate, kind hearted prince and one of the best swordsman Daevabad has seen since it’s last ruler, Zaydi was alive 1400 years ago. He would be the perfect son and prince if it wasn’t for his secret, or not so secret views of the Shafit people, those of mixed blood of Djinn and Humans. Ali believes the Shafit should have equals rights as the other tribes, but his father and the nobleman think otherwise.Being known as a Shafit sympathizer has damming consequences but Ali had a bigger secret that could condemn him to death if his father ever found out.
I’ve always found tales of Djinn fascinating but it wasn’t as prominent as other supernatural beings and it’s almost nonexistent on the literary front not counting the famous Arabian Nights Tales. Not only did Chakraborty put Djinn on the map but she also put Middle Eastern Fantasy at the forefront; bringing something fresh, new and unique to the Fantasy genre. After reading The City of Brass and being so enamored by the world and characters Chakraborty created, I did some research on Djinn mythology. I saw the basis of Djinn mythology and where she incorporated it into the story but she took the idea and completely made it her own; heavily expanding it to create a world that felt so realistic that one can’t resist the urge to go to Daevabad. I’m pretty sure anyone who has already read The City of Brass, wished Dara was real. Yes, please!
I absolutely loved The City of Brass! It’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel because Chakraborty writes like a seasoned author. If you want to be swept away on a magic carpet and go on an unforgettable adventure; then you’ll want to read this book! The City of Brass will captivate you from the first page and have you begging for the sequel when you turn the last page. The City of Brass is wholly originally but it also reminded me of Disney’s Aladdin…but for adults! There’s a thief, a prince, a djinn and a magic carpet…need I say more? If you haven’t checked out this first in a new series then you need to hightail to the nearest bookstore, online retailer or library A.S.A.P. This is a book you don’t want to miss!