The City of Brass | A magically brilliant complex, fabulous fantasy read

by - 21:50

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 and a mysterious gift for healing—are all tricks; both the means to the delightful end of swindling unwitting Ottoman nobles and a reliable way to survive.

But when Nahri accidentally summons Dara, an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to reconsider her beliefs. For Dara tells Nahri an extraordinary 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 Daevabad, within gilded brass walls laced with enchantments and behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments run deep. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, her arrival threatens to ignite a war that has been simmering for centuries.

Spurning Dara's warning of the treachery surrounding her, she embarks on a hesitant friendship with Alizayd, an idealistic prince who dreams of revolutionising his father's corrupt regime. All too soon, Nahri 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 to be careful what you wish for...

So I eyed this book for weeks around Christmas, going up to it in every book store I went and picking it up, just to carrying it around and conclude, once again, that as it was Christmas time, I could justify buying myself this beautiful book. I then started to see it everywhere. And everyone who was posting it on Instagram were raving about it so much, clearly I was meant to have it! Now that I have read it, I know I was meant to! A fast paced, magical, expertly crafted world, characters and general writing making an intriguing, exciting story that was a joy to read and one I just want to unread so I can simple re read and experience it all again. I have been begging my friend to read it just so I can re-experience it with him and talk about it all day long!

It was the world that I fell in love with first of all, and almost immediately. The City of Brass is set in eighteenth-century Egypt with a wonderfully magical twist. I am not sure how much of the story is based on the mythology of Egypt and I am not sure what would be better, that it was based of real storied or crafted in the mind of SA Chakraborty. The City of Brass is told from two perspectives, the first is Nahri, who is discovering this new world, and Ali, who has a very important part in it already. I love that you get a really well rounded concept of the history, and the world as it is through this, which is great as at times it gets quite complex (another reason why I want my friends to read it as they can then explain the bits I got lost in) But, despite getting slightly confused, its complexity is what really made this book interesting. It made the characters more real, their issues more relevant and I felt so much more convinced and invested with the world as worlds do have very complex pasts.

S.A. Chakraborty also has beautiful writing and amazing descriptions. I am not normally a person to annotate books and when I tried to a few years ago, I gave up after two books (if that!). I have always liked the idea of being able to go to your favourite parts, mark quote you love and interesting points, plus it would be so useful when a sequel comes out a year after you've read the series. But I was always really crap at it. I kept forgetting to mark parts that I wanted to and then could never find them when I went back, or I just didn't feel like marking anything at all so found it to be a but of a waist of time. But, as I was reading this, I found I really wanted to start tabbing away! I wanted to mark my favourite parts, write down my theories, and even just bits I found funny or moments where the characters did something I really loved. And so I bought some sticky tabs and began tabbing like crazy and I really enjoyed the whole process! The only issue is that I started half way through which means I am going to have to re read so it is all tabbed (oh what a horrible chore that will be...😊)

And finally, reading this inspired me in my own writing. The plot is so great, the magic so entirely magical and the world so brilliantly complex and real, so amazingly written, I just really want to create something that is hopefully at least half as good that people will love as much as I loved this..

Obviously, I gave this 5 stars (I've raved about it enough that it would be shocking if I didn't!) and would heavily encourage anyone debating whether or not to read it to please pick it up. And even if you have never even thought about picking it up, pick it up! Especially since the second book, The Kingdom of Copper, is being released at the end of this month which is SO EXCITING because THAT ENDING! Oh ma word I have so many questions and am slightly confused at what happened but I cannot wait to dive right back into this amazing world. 

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