Title: The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1)
Author: S.A. Chakraborty
Give me all the stories with djinn. With only two days left to complete my Goodreads reading challenge, I decided to pick this up. I considered this a daunting task, as it was over 500 pages, but I would soon find out that I had nothing to worry about. The City of Brass was completely mesmerizing and impossible to put down.
S.A. Chakraborty’s writing is incredible. She weaves a vivid story, which easily pulled me into the pages of the immensely creative world she created. The City of Brass was everything I could have hoped for in a fantasy: action and adventure, slow-burn romance, complex characters, political intrigue, and so, so much more.
The characters of the story are so well developed and complex that I honestly believe they’re one of the strongest elements of the book.
Nahri – One of the main protagonists, an orphaned con artist/thief living in Cairo with an affinity for healing who knows little to nothing of her past. I absolutely adored her. She was smart, resourceful, grounded, and such a well-rounded character.
Dara – The Daeva warrior Nahri accidentally conjures. As the tormented, brooding, morally-complex hero with a tragic past, he quickly became one of my favorites. His character is woven into the history of the places and other characters so intricately that he’s one of the most important parts of the story.
Ali – The second protagonist, he’s a djinn prince with immovable morals and a headstrong attitude. Like the other characters in the story, Ali is very complex. He possessed qualities that caused me to both like and dislike him. His loyalty to his family and commitment to duty and honor were commendable, but also the root of the problem for some of his other actions. He is torn between loyalty to his family and what he believes is right, and so tiptoes the line between.
One of my favorite things about the story was the fact that it felt very realistic, especially in terms of right and wrong. It highlighted that nothing is black and white, and both sides of the turmoil participate in actions that were morally grey, and sometimes just plain atrocious, feeding off the transgressions committed against one another which then only cause an escalation in the unrest.
The City of Brass was one of my favorite books of 2017 – a shame that it was the very last book I read – and a fantastic debut novel by S.A. Chakraborty. Everyone needs to read this and hopefully it will gain the popularity it so deserves! I don’t think I could have asked for a better book to end the year with. The heartbreaking moments and revelations made at the end have me excited for the sequel and I can’t wait to return to this world and these characters.