ARC Review: The City of Brass – S. A. Chakraborty

The City of BrassStep into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty—an imaginative alchemy of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and One Thousand and One Nights, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts

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 received an ARC of The City of Brass from the publisher. I’d been meaning to read this book for ages, because it just sounds awesome!

It’s #ownvoices for Muslim representation.

This book is awesome. I just want to mention that right at the beginning of this review,  because you absolutely should get it. It was one of the best reading experiences I have ever had.

I love reading NA fantasy, and I had no idea that this was NA. Imagine my delight when I realised that the main character, Nahri, is 20 years old. And she’s such an awesome character. She’s very nuanced, and her personality and character is so detailed. This is something that I would actually say about every single character. Not one of them is one-dimensional. They all have more to them than you would assume.

It’s damn creepy. Like, as you might know, I love dancing in my reading. But creepy dancing… The ending of the first chapter had me hooked and I knew it was going to be a great book.

The worldbuilding was awesome. It’s so detailed and rich, and there are so many facets to everything. The fact that we were able to discover the city through both Nahri’s and Ali’s perspective. They are very different people and thus perceive the city differently, and allowing us to get a more detailed description of Daevabad. The different groups in Daevabad are written very intricately and it’s all very nuanced. As of the moment, I’m still not sure who the good people are and who the bad people are. I can’t wait for the sequel, The Kingdom of Copper.

The writing is pure gold. It’s beautiful and very lyrical, with lots of magical descriptions. I also loved the humour interspersed within the conversations.

If you’re looking for NA fantasy and you want something rich and detailed, definitely give The City of Brass a go. It’s wonderful!

Trigger warnings: possession, death, blood, violence, assault, mention of rape.

5 stars

Have you read The City of Brass? Is it on your TBR?


7 thoughts on “ARC Review: The City of Brass – S. A. Chakraborty

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