November 13, 2017

Review: The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty!

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
Series: The Daevabad Trilogy #1
Publication: November 14th, 2017

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 City of Brass left me more torn than any book I can (currently) recall. There were things about it that I absolutely adored, and other things that were just...meh.

Let's start with the cover. Let's just take a moment to look at it. Soooo pretty...*pets cover*. And you know what? Not only is it gorgeous, but it encapsulates this setting with absolute perfection. My favorite part of The City of Brass was easily the world-building, as Chakraborty creates her scenes so well you feel like you're living there. Outstanding. 

I also really liked the characters, and thought the author did a great job making them real. I wasn't crazy about the romance, and I think part of that is the fact that I still have no idea who we can trust, and I don't think that was unintentional. Since The City of Brass is the first of a trilogy I'm sure there will be plenty of answers to come.

Now what I didn't like...which is kind of difficult to explain. In a way I guess I feel like The City of Brass felt like Season 1 of an ongoing television show. A lot happened, and I can remember these scenes vividly so I don't want to say I was bored. But the entire time I had this feeling like...what are we working toward? And then once we hit what was supposed to be the climax, I thought, that's it? Seriously? This book is long, and it all just felt very anti-climactic. Like, hey, tune in next season! Not only anti-climactic, but I felt a bit blindsided by what did happen. I can rave all day about the writing, the world-building, and the characters, but I couldn't really sum up this book for you. It just feels...incomplete. Again, hard to explain. :)

Cover: 5 | Characters: 5 | Plot: 3 | Pace: 3 | Creativity: 5

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