The City of Brass

The City of Brass

Book - 2017 | First edition
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"Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty--an imaginative alchemy of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and Uprooted, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts. Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of eighteenth-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 and a reliable way to survive. But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she's forced to question all she believes. For the warrior tells her an extraordinary 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 birds of prey are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass--a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound. In Daevabad, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. A young prince dreams of rebellion. 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 to be careful what you wish for"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062678119
Characteristics: 532 pages : map ; 23 cm


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Dec 21, 2020

Great Fantasy series! Fell in love with Nahri and Ali right away. Almost done with second book and it’s still hard to figure out why which group/person hates which group/person, but that’s political intrigue and insanity at its best really (not knowing why?!?). I liked learning about the culture, religions and myths of the Middle East, and found the glossary helpful.

Dec 20, 2020

I loved this series! The books sucked me in, and the plot moves along at a good pace. Great character development. It takes a little bit of effort at the start to learn all of the different terms, but it's worth it.

Dec 16, 2020

The most engrossing fantasy I've read in ages. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Dec 14, 2020

The beginning wasn't bad but somehow after a chapter or two this lost me. Maybe the panoply of religious and cultural artifacts and protocols got my back up. I may come back to the book anotyher time but by the time I got to the start of their trek across the desert, I found myself bored.

Nov 29, 2020

Written by a white woman but disguised as the creation of a woman of colour, this is an exercise in cultural appropriation and a textbook example of orientalism. The story is generic and the writing is average. It is aimed at adult readers but is closer to a YA novel. AVOID.

JCLRachelN Sep 09, 2020

This dual narrative story pulled me in instantly and held my interest. I found myself looking forward to when the two narratives would intertwine. If you enjoyed the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, pick this up and join Nahri as she travels from 18th century Cairo to the mysterious Daevabad.

Aug 28, 2020

Engrossing new fantasy series.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jul 20, 2020

While published for adults, this has some markers of teen fantasy (leans a little heavily on romance). Good thing I enjoy both flavors of fantasy, I was just expecting something a little darker. I loved the world building and Middle Eastern flavor of this one...definitely going to check out the rest of the trilogy!

CCPL_Laura Jan 11, 2020

Hands down one of my favorite fantasies ever! SA Chakraborty is an author to watch. The City of Brass is a unique, layered, richly detailed fantasy. The characters provide ample moments of humor in the midst of heart-pounding adventure. The political complications throughout the novel – from the variety of djinn races, to the fascinating mythological creatures, to cultural and historical clashes – only heighten the emotional intensity between Nahri and her djinn warrior Dara. Avid readers of historical fantasy from Juliet Marillier, Katherine Arden, and Naomi Novik will enjoy this Middle Eastern debut, inspired by one of the stories from 1001 Nights.

Aug 23, 2019

A great book, a very refreshing change from the usual Western European fantasy settings.

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May 31, 2018

bex_darkartist thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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SPL_Brittany Nov 27, 2017

To survive in 18th century Cairo, Nahri a young con artist, survives by performing minor cons, healings and a little theft. She knows nothing of her heritage or family, only that she can heal remarkably fast and understand any language. Nahri's life is upended when she accidentally summons Dara, a handsome djinn warrior in one of her healing cons who in turn, saves her from murderous Ifrit and demon spirits who have become aware of Nahri and her healing abilities. They flee towards Daevabad, Dara's homeland the legendary City of Brass, where Nahri must claim her magical birthright in order to prevent a war that threatens to destroy the entire djinn kingdom.

Meanwhile in Daevabad, Ali, the second son of the ruler of Daevabad has his own struggles. A deft warrior and devout follower of the faith, he sympathizes with the Shafits - a mixed race who are part djinn, part human who are restricted to living in the city, and suffer ill treatment at the hands of his father. When a mission to help the Shafit goes awry, Ali is placed in a situation that will test his loyalties between the crown and the Shafit cause.

Debut author Chakraborty writes an engrossing, fast-paced novel filled with richly detailed images and vivid prose. Written in a dual narrative, Chakraborty weaves a fascinating tale of speculative fiction that offers to the curious reader a glimpse into Middle Eastern mythology and djinn lore. The first novel in a trilogy, perfect for those who enjoy historical fiction with a blend of fantasy, as well as for readers who have previously enjoyed Helene Weckers’ novel "Golem and the Jinni".


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