The City of Brass

THE CITY OF BRASS (The Daevabad Trilogy #1)

Written by S.A. Chakraborty

Published by Harper Voyager, November 14, 2017

My star rating: 5 stars!


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… FIND IT ON GOODREADS

spoiler free graphic


When I first picked up this book, I only wanted to read the first few pages to see if I was interested. I was trying to decide between this one and two others. After I had made it twenty pages without stopping, I obviously knew that this was the one. The first few chapters captured my attention immediately, and swaddled me in a warm fuzzy blanket, intent on not letting me go until I turned the last page. I was beyond hooked!

I will warn you that the first 50-75 pages are a little confusing; though not in a bad way. We meet Nahri as she’s conning two men with her “sight” and “healing”. She’s living alone in Egypt, in a time where she is expected to always have a male companion. But she’s tough, independent, and strong, and will live her life as she damn well pleases. Quickly we learn that there is more to her than is at face value, which sets a turn of events into motion. A lot of things happen from that moment – and fast! Things are weird, chaotic, and mysterious. We’re left in the dark about the why’s and how’s of it all, and we experience these events along with Nahri. Information is revealed little by little as her life and course changes forever. But it was a little much to take in not knowing the details of why it was happening.

Nahri as a character is my kind of girl! She is strong, independent, motivated and determined. She has a goal in mind for where she wants to end up, and will stop at nothing to reach that goal. Even though her life seems to set her back two steps as soon as she gets one step ahead, she pushes through with that goal as her target. When her life is suddenly uprooted, she doesn’t immediately become a victim. She doesn’t lose her will and determination. She remains herself, never once forgetting who she is and where she wants to be. I find that in so many books, where characters (women specifically) are put into a dangerous position, or a position where they are offered a lavish life or love, their personality changes. They forget where they came from. But not here! Nahri is an immovable rock who is able to adapt to her surroundings, camouflage herself, and come out strong and with a plan.

Prince Ali was a little harder to figure out. To be honest, I still don’t know what he’s all about! He’s fighting within himself. Loyal to his family yet at the same time knowing that the things they’re doing is wrong and the society is suffering. He is forever choosing to do what’s right or sticking with the family that he loves more than anything.

And Dara. Sweet, dark Dara! This warrior is a total mystery! On one hand is loyal and protective. He seems like he will risk it all to protect Nahri. But as we get to know him, we learn that he has an insanely dark past that may taint what we learn of him.

As amazing as the characters are, I have to say that the first thing that grabbed my attention was the writing, the world building, and the atmosphere. This was a book where you could picture every detail of your surroundings. Right down to the texture of the walls, the colour of the sky, and the sand at your feet. It was all SO BEAUTIFUL! And it was effortless as well! Sometimes the writing and descriptions can feel forced. But this book would talk for lengthy paragraphs about the buildings and the flowers, and so on, and I wouldn’t even realize it. I wanted to drown in her words so I could close my eyes and be right there with the characters. The atmosphere also just had this energy. It felt alive – sparking and magical.

And, because this book was so beautifully written and descriptive, the pace could be slower than some might like. There was always something happening, but it took a little bit for the pieces to fall into place. But once they did, it was incredible just how large this world and the set of characters was.

There are SO many fantastic elements to this book! There are different tribes, ancient warriors, water magic, fire magic, healers, djinn zombies (or at least that’s what I called them), royal politics, a rebellion, sibling rivalries, and SO much more. If you’re interested in a gorgeously written fantasy, full of magic, atmosphere, and interesting characters, PLEASE READ THIS! It’s going to make my top 10 for the year for sure!!!!!

Until next time, happy reading!


28 Comments Add yours

  1. I can’t wait to read this book!! Nahri sounds like an amazing character 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jina Bazzar says:

    I don’t mind a little confusion, as long as the writing is, like you said, effortless , and engrossing, i’d keep reading. Any cliff hangers?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes there are cliff hangers but not in the way that it leaves you needing to know what happens next immediately. It wraps it up nicely, nothing is really in the air, but you smile and wonder how her plans will come into action in book 2 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jina Bazzar says:

        To be released this year?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. January 2019. So somewhat soon 😂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. pcochrun says:

    I just picked this one up. Excited to get started. Especially after your review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you like it as much as I did!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Alex says:

    Wow, okay, you have me convinced, and I don’t normally read fantasy at least, not these days. It’s usually so formulaic but this? Sounds really interesting if, what you say is true. Your enthusiasm alone has me writing this one down on to look for at the book shop. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not really formulaic at all. We get two different perspectives. That of Nahri and Ali the prince. They stay separate in the beginning but come together somewhere in the middle. Both are very opposing yet find common ground. It’s not your typical fantasy so you may really enjoy it. The writing is so beautiful and it’s a bit of a slow burn, rich in atmosphere and legend. It might be worth a try if you’re in the market for something different 😁


  5. Nahri sounds like a great protagonist, I really enjoy main characters who have defined goals and pursue them, instead of the ones that wait for the plot to happen to them. I also don’t mind slower paced books if the writing makes it worth my while, so this one sounds like something I might really enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She does get a little confused when her life is upturned and an opportunity presents itself, but she still stays strong in her convictions. She was wonderful. I hope you like it as much as I did!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Beware Of The Reader says:

    OK OK I trust you!!! Need this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you do! I think you would love it!


  7. Shannon @ Shelfish For Books says:

    This sounds amazing! Awesome review

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! And it really was amazing! I hope to push this book on as many people as I can 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ooohh, I love the idea of this one.. Great review, *added this on my TBr*

    Liked by 1 person

  9. evelynreads1 says:

    This book sounds so good! Can’t wait to read it ☺️ I first was thinking about listening to the audiobook, but if the beginning is confusing then maybe it’s better to physical read it!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. From what I’ve heard the audio is great! There are also a LOT of hard to pronounce names and places, so the audiobook might be the perfect choice!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sahi says:

    Such a wonderful detailed review… I love your writing style 😊😊😊 I hope u’ll read this soon too …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe thanks so much 🙂❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I was on the fence, but I might need to pick this one up now. Great Review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I recommended it to a friend and she just finished it. She rated it 5 stars as well and is totally obsessed! Hope you like it if you pick it up 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s been floating on my lists, but I’m thinking that might be this years Christmas present!

        Liked by 1 person

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