Wednesday, June 26, 2019

2019 5 Star Review #10 - City of Brass

City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
The Daevabad Trilogy, book one
Published Nov 2017 by Harper Voyager

Format Read: eBook I Own

Description from Goodreads:
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 Review: 
One of the things I like best about fantasy is that a story can unfold into a beautiful new world when done right.  This book starts out a trilogy in a fantastic new middle eastern world that came alive on the pages.  Not only the beginning that took place in somewhat familiar settings, but the portion that opens up a whole new fantastic realm created by the djinn.  The descriptions were vivid and I wanted to dive in and explore the world myself. 

Additionally, the characters were interesting and the plotline was so rich with political, religious, and ethical layers that I was riveted.  This was an intense reading experience.  In a good way.  I'm so excited to see how things unfold moving into book two.  

Someone had described this book to me as a "gender-bent Aladdin story," and while on the barest surface it certainly meets that description, it is also so much more! Recommended for readers who enjoy rich fantasy and other cultures. 

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