The City of Brass Review

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty is the first in The Daevabad Trilogy. This is a good one folks. Sometimes, it can be as simple as just that but alas, I need to write more for my personal review. Firstly, I loved the middle eastern setting. I think it harmonizes perfectly well in combination with the fantasy aspects of the story. There’s always something mysterious and beautiful when conjuring up images of Egypt and other parts of the Middle East in my mind as I read through the story. Secondly, what really set this book apart from others is the beautiful and buttery smooth writing from start to finish. I’ve never heard of the author prior to this but if she is new to this, I can’t imagine how much better she will be as she writes future books. I’ve always thought that a talented author can write about the most mundane things and still manage to hold the readers attention. I really believe this author is one of those and fortunately, the story is anything but boring.

The excellent cast of characters adds much depth to the story. Nahri especially is a very fun female protagonist to read. Surviving on the tough streets of Cairo as a street urchin who makes a living by swindling people makes for some pretty hilarious dialogue and of her inner thoughts. When paired up with Dara, there were moments when I literally laughed out loud. I also warmed up to Ali’s character mainly because I can see so much of myself in him when I was also a youngster. I initially thought that the story would have your standard good vs. evil characters battling it out for control but I am humbled to say that I was wrong to think that. City of Brass actually has a fairly interesting political/court intrigue setting that makes the choices the characters have to make not as simple as just black and white. There’s always a grey area and I loved this. Forcing characters into making tough decisions is something I always cherish and look forward to when reading a story of any kind. I personally wanted a heavier dose of political intrigue though so I’m hoping the second book in the trilogy will satisfy that. I guess I can attribute this to just how natural the author is at doing this. One thing that would have helped is including an additional character point of view rather than alternating between just Nahri and Ali throughout the entire book. I would have loved to see the author include maybe Jamshid/Kaveh or Ghassan into the mix. With Kaveh and Ghassan being tied to the courts, it would have been fun to dissect their thoughts and actions, which will undoubtedly add even more depth to the story.

Color me impress with The City of Brass. Fun, witty, adventurous with a bit of mysteriousness are just some of the terms I can think of to describe it. Wrap it all together with an interesting story involving court intrigue and I see this being a clear winner. There were times when I got a little confused in trying to keep up with the different tribes and of what happened in the past in relation to how it is affecting the modern times. My usual dilemma now obviously is deciding whether to rush straight into book two while part one is still fresh on my mind or take a break first. First world problems for sure!


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