Review: City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on February 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

Review: City of Brass by S.A. ChakrabortyCity of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
Series: The Daevabad Trilogy #1
Published by Harper Voyager (11.14.2017)
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
Format: Hardcover, 533 pages
Source: Library

3.5 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...

My thoughts

This book is rather difficult for me to review, because in the beginning I had really mixed feelings about it. I didn’t love it quite like I’d hoped to. My girl Erin (@asthebookends) LOVED this book so I was expecting to be blown away and maybe my hopes were just too high. I actually put it off for a few weeks when I was planning on picking it up because I was afraid it’d send me into a reading slump and I had books that I needed to read!

So, the first half was a bit rocky for me. I did like it for the most part, but I wasn’t invested at all. Mostly I just loved the setting and concept; but I was rather confused about the world of the Daeva and I wasn’t connecting to the characters. I also hated Ali’s chapters. I was bored out of my mind during his chapters because it was a lot of politics and nothing was really happening. To be honest, none of it seemed remotely relevant and I wouldn’t have missed much if I’d just skipped them. I would also just start getting interested in Nahri’s chapters and then it would switch to Ali and totally throw me out of the story.

I didn’t start getting invested until 200 pages in, and even then I still didn’t enjoy Ali’s chapters until he finally met Nahri. But after that, I loved it! If the first half had been like the second half, I would have enjoyed it a lot more. Even in the end, I still didn’t particularly care about Ali. I mostly just enjoyed the Nahri/Dara parts, I totally ship them! I looove Dara so much! View Spoiler »

I really loved the Arabian setting and feel the story had! That was my favorite part along with the magic and the djinn. I was, however, rather confused about the history of the djinn and Daeva. I had trouble discerning the difference between them because they are the same thing but djinn was the human “dirty” word for them (according to the Daeva). I didn’t quite understand the distinction, and some of the history was overwhelming because there’s just SO MUCH to take in and it’s really extensive. I can tell the author really thought the world out and spent a lot of time building it, but I think maybe it made more sense to her and didn’t translate to the page clearly enough.

do love the direction the book took in the end, I was sooo not expecting that!! I love that! View Spoiler » I am super curious to see where things go in book 2!

Overall Assessment

Plot: 3.5/5
Premise: 5/5
Writing style: 4/5
Originality: 5/5
Characters: 2.5/5
World-building: 4/5
Pace: 3/5
Feels: 1/5
Cover: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5

Jessi (Geo)

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