The City of Brass is a story about a girl who unintentionally calls out for her past.
Even though Nahri didn’t have the most splendid life in Cairo, Egypt, you could say, she was “managing”. By managing I mean stealing. The con-artist doesn’t turn out to be a complete con, as she summons a djinn, Dara, who changes her life and unravels her past.
If you like magic, kick-ass characters, exotic atmospheres, and somehow messy politics, then this is definitely the book for you. You should pick it up and get to know the ways of the djinn.
The City of Brass Review
Assuming that you read The City of Brass, you can imagine the amount of pain and struggling the love triangle in the book had me feeling. The fact that this is an unusual love triangle that doesn’t really qualify as one makes all this mess even better.
I am deeply wounded by the ending of this book because it was basically the beginning for The Kingdom of Copper.
Why would a book that has 400+ pages do that to my soul? Especially when I don’t really have time to read the next one right away. This is obviously one of the lessons learnt from reading this book: Always make sure you can read the whole series at once.
Presumably, this started off as “another book” to get it done with, and I thought it would be nothing special at all.
Frankly, it continued being so till half the book was over, which is why it earned itself four stars not five stars on Goodreads.
But then I grew attached to the legendary Darayavahouch.
I grew attached to the whimsical Nahri whose more rebellious than the color of the ugly duckling.
I also grew attached to the gallant Alizayd, even though his chapters at the beginning of the book bored me and made me uninterested in his character.
The characters in the book grow on you all of a sudden. You start asking yourself, what are the essential things in life? Power and glory or love and humanity? Alizayd has struggled throughout the book to find an answer to this question.
It wasn’t easy for him to accept that his kind heart allows him to be fooled yet at the same time, allows him to be humane.
Nahri’s rash decisions usually made me angry but this is part of the fun while reading this book. You’re always on the edge of your seat wondering what’s the next illogical decision she’ll make?
Dara’s mysteriousness is what lured me towards loving his character.
Who doesn’t like a war-her/war-murderer with a traumatic past? I mean the very fact that both Nahids and Qahtanis view him in completely different aspects, shed light on how each story has two sides.
Is war even worth all the ruin? I’m sure that’s what Dara always felt. His guilt haunted him to the extent that he suppressed all his emotions and when they finally came out, it was in the form of an explosion.
I’m mostly attached to the love interests in the book as I’m not accustomed to such slightly annoying details. I’m usually aware who will end up with who and when. Here its unclear. Or it’s clear but it’s mind-boggling how this will happen.
One last thing, I daresay, since I am an Egyptian myself, the Arab representation in the book is completely false and out of a 1001 nights that is extremely unrealistic.
Due to the world being a “fantasy” one, I had to overlook this fact.
Yet I can’t help but wonder if people really do believe this representation. I mean Alizayd is such a prude. Nahri is straightforward a thief and the funniest of all, the king and his legacy are drunkard, racist, selfish human beings.
However, I read this for fun, not for scholarly examination. So I will overlook that fact, and the fact that it isn’t exactly “own voice” because this isn’t an accurate representation like I mentioned.
The plot of The City of Brass is similar to the normal fantasy world and at the beginning it kept going on and on and on without a purpose.
Yet, once Nahri and Dara reach Daevabad, the events start kicking off. The element of mystery is what the author played with the most. She is more than talented in keeping the readers at the edge of their seats because of the mystery. No doubt the book ended with even more mystery.
I loved the characters and their development. I loved the magic and the ethereal atmosphere of The City of Brass. I loved the slow burn and the build up to the events.
I enjoyed The City of Brass. I’m sure you will enjoy it too. I’m more than eager to see what Nahri will do to her “marks.”
Looking for more great reviews?
Check out our review of Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim