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The City of Brass – S.A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
Published:  November 14, 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…

I’d like to ask for forgiveness from those who adore this book before you go ahead and read this review.

City of Brass was the first purely Fantasy book I’ve read in a WHILE (and I know I just wrote about Legends & Lattes but this is on a whole different level). So I’m not sure if my timing wasn’t right, or if I just need to re-read this one after reading a few more fantasy books. But, this was really hard for me to get through. This book took me over a month to read, and I just felt confused most of the time.

So I guess lets break this down a bit:

Nahri – One of the perspectives of this book is told through Nahri, she’s a con-woman with aspirations of being something greater. During a con gone wrong she summons a djinn and everything goes sideways from there. I wish Nahri got better from there on, but she didn’t she made bad decision after bad decision, second guessed herself at times, and just overall felt like she didn’t grow much on her journey through this book. ESPECIALLY at the end, it was kind of frustrating. It felt like there was always so much potential for Nahri but it never really went anywhere

Alizayd – He’s the second perspective we get in this book, and man did I get confused by his perspective. His perspective contained a lot of the political and religious nuances in it. And I think that’s what threw me off a lot in understanding this story. I also couldn’t figure out if I liked his POV or not. Sometimes I felt like he was getting in the way and was being a complete shit head, other times I totally understood him.

Plot – Ok, so…loved the pacing…of the action moments. It worked for me, a lot of action moments and the end was like ACTION PACKED but it a lot of it kind of went unfulfilled for me, especially because a lot of the informational stuff and political intrigue went over my head a bit. This being a more serious fantasy, and definitely not something I’m as accustomed to anymore, it was really hard to get through the in between parts that connected the action together.

Wrap up – This was okay. I think I want to give it another try and read the rest of this trilogy. Like I said, I enjoyed the action based stuff that kept the plot moving, but politics (in books and in real life) and political intrigue is really hard for me wrap my mind around and I think this just had a lot of that. It’s really the heart of the issues in this book from what I grasped. But the writing is great, the characters are good, there’s surprise, humor, action, and it’s a challenging read. I’m so happy I picked it up and I know where my downfalls were in understanding this book fully, so I think if I gave it a re-read I’d appreciate it more.

Also, anyone want to explain Daeva vs. Djin to me?

Rating: 3/5 Stars



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