The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty is the third and final installment in The Daevabad trilogy. I just want to know just what the heck happened here?! How can this be such a far cry from the first two books? Was a co-author involved? Was the story altered due to publisher concerns? The Empire of Gold read so differently than how I had envisioned it to be. I loved The City of Brass, was a bit disappointed with The Kingdom of Copper but still enjoyed it nonetheless but here with The Empire of Gold? I believe it is the worst out of the three and it’s such a shame because it is the last in the series.
“If you rule by violence, you should expect to be removed by violence.” – Manizheh
The book picks up exactly where the last one ended with Nahri/Ali separating from Daevabad along with Dara and Manizheh. The city is torn in half due to the invasion and civil war is about to break out if Manizheh can’t get things under control. The format of the book is exactly the same as the previous two in that the chapters alternate between Nahri, Ali and Dara. Whereas Nari is usually together with Ali, Dara is paired with Manizheh. The first problem is that the chemistry between Nahri and Ali has worn off. While it was tolerable previously, it was mainly due to Nahri getting a break in between as she was able to converse with Dara as well as well as other characters. With them two as the main duo, it gets fairly boring. With Dara, how many more times does the author need to remind us of the suffering he has to go through? That was hammered into our brains with the previous books and we shouldn’t have to go through the same thing again here in the final book. It is easy to understand that both Ali, Nahri and Dara are unique in their own ways, with each having their own inner struggles, beliefs and faith and so I felt it unnecessary for the author to keep pointing this out to us in the final installment when this was clearly done previously.
I also felt there were just too many things to follow along with even though it was explained in the previous books. You have the shafit, djinns, Daevas, ifrits, Nahids, Afshins, Geziris, marids and not to mention I somehow still had a hard time keeping track of each faction and members. Throw in other terms used by some to describe these and confusion was just bound to happen in my mind. Because past events play such an important role in the series, it was also imperative that we remember those as well.
“I would rather make a mistake than have my choices stripped away.” – Nahri
The final showdown also felt like a disappointment and overwhelming in a very bad way. It literally felt like the author just decided to throw everything at the readers at once and because there is so much “stuff” going on, it must be exciting and dramatic. Right? No. Please don’t ever do this again because you’re insulting the readers at this point. Blood falling from the sky that is poisonous? Seriously? Stop it. Just stop. I have a feeling the author got some inspiration from the Pirate of the Caribbean series. The whole Ali and the marid ordeal also just felt silly in execution. The author spent a lot of time on this in certain sections but I felt it didn’t contribute to much at the end although it felt like Ali was the only character that sacrificed the most.
Disappointed. I simply cannot find a more apt word to describe The Empire of Gold. I don’t like skipping over sections until I get to the dialogue but I had to do it here and there towards the later half of the story. The book could have been cut short 100-150 and probably even more pages with so much rehashing and filler going on. There were even parts that got me scratching my head because the author got into things I felt weren’t properly explained. The whole magic thing just got lost on me towards the end but I was beyond the point of caring and I am 100% positive it wasn’t due to me skipping certain sections. The Empire of Gold makes this a very hard series to recommend. If anything, I would suggest reading just the first two books but reading only the sypnosis for the third book instead. I certainly wished I had.