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

As 2017 comes to an end, I couldn’t ask for a better book to close out the year with.

This book was all over my Instagram feed for weeks and it was also on Book of the Month so it basically got a lot of hype. I was really hesitant because of the hype, but believe me when I say—the hype is real!

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 (summary from Goodreads).

So let me just fangirl for a minute…..this book was outstanding! I burned the midnight oil on more than one occasion with this book. It was so good and I couldn’t stop thinking about it every time I had to put it down. It was fantastic and I can’t say enough good things…..go read it. NOW. You’re welcome.

Lets start with how unbelievably eye-catching this book is. The cover is to die for. The bright colors and design just scream read me. That’s what caught my eye to begin with. Beyond the colors though, the design itself just says that this book will be different with an exotic flare.

It’s hard to say how this novel is marketed…..on BOM it’s listed as fantasy but on Goodreads it’s listed as YA. This one is a hard one…..it’s more than YA even if the characters are younger, but it’s not just fantasy alone either. It was a brilliant hybrid. If you don’t like YA, I think you will still find enough in this book to love it. There isn’t a whole lot of moody teenager issues happening in this book that you find in lots of YA, at this is a brilliant take on a Middle Eastern folkloric tale with younger characters. Yes there is a love element but it’s not what you find in traditional YA novels.

When you read this book, you will feel like you are reading something different. The setting alone was enough to grab my attention. I loved how the story itself was rooted in Middle Eastern folklore, it really made me feel like I was reading something unique and different.

I loved all the characters for different reasons. I loved that it wasn’t just told from a singular perspective but rather through the eyes of two different characters. There are a lot of things happening in this novel that I am excited to see play out in future books…..lots of unique plot points to see explored which is exciting.

The characters themselves were well written and developed. I loved the complexity of all of the main characters. Clearly there is a rich backstory with each of them which the author reveals one layer at a time. And the way the book ended…..talk about cliff hanger. I need the next book like NOW.

The only complaint that I had with this book was having Nahri from the 1700s Cairo. For me she read a little too modern. I kept having to remind myself that she wasn’t a woman from 2017 who suddenly found herself in a magical realm. I personally didn’t see why having her be from 1700s Cairo was any different than having her be from the modern age. It felt off to me but at the same time I didn’t care because the overall story was so well done. If there was a gripe at all for me then that was it.

If you haven’t read this book, you need to. The writing is solid and the story itself is different and refreshing. I loved it. I can’t wait until the next book comes out in Nov 2018…..if I can wait that long! I wanted to preorder it now but I can’t yet but believe me, when that book is available for preorder, I will be the first one to preorder it!

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

  • Hardcover, 533 pages
    Published November 14th 2017 by Harper Voyager
    ISBN 0062678108 (ISBN13: 9780062678102)
  • Review copy provided by: Personal collection

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 5 out of 5

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Speculative fiction

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