Arc Review – The city of Brass by S.A Chakraborty


November 16, 2017 by ceresbooksworld


The city of Brass by S.A Chakraborty

Book one in The Daevabad Trilogy

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: November 14th, 2017

Source: eArc from the publisher via Edelweiss

Rating: 4 hearts




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.


Nahri has a gift, she knows by looking at someone if that person is sick and can eventually heal her. She uses her powers and what she learns from her apothecary friend to defraud wealth people. Despite the warnings of her friend, Nahri once again plays a dangerous game and she invokes a very angry warrior Djinn. The Ifrits are in pursuit, and the warrior takes her to Brass.

Nahri has always lived alone and has always been on her own, she is selfish and doesn’t trust anyone. The Djinn with whom she travels, Dara, is quite proud, he doesn’t want to go back to Brass.

The story is interesting, it’s a bit long to put in place but it’s necessary to explain the different kinds of Djinn, and their past. Before the Daeva protected the Nahid and were in power, since all Nahid were murdered and Daevas are no longer kings. It’s the Quatanis who took this place.

As much to tell you that Dara doesn’t like them and he doesn’t like people like Nahri who are born of the union of a human and a Daeva, they are called Shafit.

The relationship between Dara and Nahri evolves over the book, I find this relationship very beautiful but it’s unfortunately tainted with secrets, mainly those of Dara. He tries to protect Nahri but everyone knows that secrets don’t protect people.

Forcibly a third character comes into play, it’s Ali, the second son of the king, he has a good background but his prejudices about the Daevas are quite execrable.

I really liked Dara, he had a rather difficult past and finally found a reason to survive. Nahri is nice but I find that very often her reactions are selfish and it bothers me. As for Ali, I don’t like him, I don’t like his way of betraying people, to believe that he is the only one to be right. And I don’t like the love triangle I see coming.

I will read the second book to know the rest of the story because what happens in the end necessarily gives you want to know more. I liked the Djinn world, their different species, their past, and the way they live now. The story is well treated and the author manages to teach us a lot of things without getting lost.

Quick Word: A magical story to read this winter.

About the author

A. Chakraborty is a speculative fiction writer from New York City. Her debut, THE CITY OF BRASS, is the first book in an epic fantasy trilogy set in the 18th century Middle East and will be published in November 2017 by Harper Voyager. When not buried in books about Mughal portraiture and Omani history, S. A. enjoys hiking, knitting, and cooking unnecessarily complicated meals for her family. You can find her online at www.sachakraborty.comor on Twitter (@SChakrabs) where she likes to ramble about history, politics, and Islamic art.



One thought on “Arc Review – The city of Brass by S.A Chakraborty

  1. Jameswolanyk says:

    This one was great! The Djinn was really what kept me invested in the story, to be honest – I’ve grown a bit weary of the Euro-centric beasties floating around fiction. Nice review.

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