The City of Brass

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TRB Twit The City of Brass Review
Jenn reviews S.A. Chakraborty’s The City of Brass

About the Book

The City of Brass; SA Chakraborty
Young Adult; Fantasy; 569 Pages

Harper Voyager; Reprint edition (November 14, 2017)

Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty perfect for fans of The Golem and the JinniThe 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.

On the streets of eighteenth-century Cairo, Nahri is a con woman of unsurpassed skill. She makes her living swindling Ottoman nobles, hoping to one day earn enough to change her fortunes. But when Nahri accidentally summons Dara, an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior, during one of her cons, she learns that even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

Forced to flee Cairo, Dara and Nahri journey together 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 more than what they seem, to Daevabad, the legendary city of brass.

It’s a city steeped in magic and fire, where blood can be as dangerous as any spell; a city where old resentments run deep and the royal court rules with a tenuous grip; a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound—and where her very presence threatens to ignite a war that has been simmering for centuries.

About the Author

S. A. Chakraborty is the author of the critically acclaimed and internationally best-selling The Daevabad Trilogy. Her work has been nominated for the Locus, World Fantasy, Crawford, and Astounding awards. When not buried in books about thirteen-century con artists and Abbasid political intrigue, she enjoys hiking, knitting, and re-creating unnecessarily complicated medieval meals. You can find her online at or on Twitter and Instagram at @SAChakrabooks, where she likes to talk about history, politics, and Islamic art. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and an ever-increasing number of cats.

Jenn’s Review

An epic fantasy set in a mythical city filled with magical beings, deep in the sands of Arabia? Complete with magic carpets, djinn, and its own Prince Ali? Welcome to The City of Brass.

Nahri doesn’t know the first thing about her roots – only that she can sense and heal illnesses, and that she has a gift for understanding languages. She has never heard her native language on anyone else’s lips, has no idea how she knows it… And she’s Cairo’s foremost pickpocket and con artist. At least until she accidentally summons a daeva during an exorcism and all hell breaks loose.

Enter Dara – he’s dark, brooding, rude, and arrogant. And a whole lot baffled by the young woman that summoned him, when she shouldn’t have been able to. She has abilities that haven’t been seen in his world in decades, and he assumes that she is a half-breed djinn. The only appropriate place to stash her and keep her relatively safe, is Daevabad, his own home, and a place that equals certain death for a centuries-old daeva guard.

The pair have to band together to survive the journey, only to be parted when they finally reach their destination. Nahri has no experience with royalty, and has to learn quickly, lest her missteps bring her to a quick end. And Dara needs to find his way back to Nahri, less because of his curse than because of his feelings for the young woman.

This epic reads a bit like a Middle Eastern Game of Thrones, with political intrigue seeded liberally throughout. Dara and Nahri have some amazing chemistry, and I found it difficult to not cheer for them to find a way to overcome obvious racial and caste differences that hold them apart. To confuse the matter further, Nahri develops feelings for the second-born prince (who was tasked with getting to know her and sway her favor for a match with the crown prince).

This is book one in a trilogy and a debut novel, and I’m looking forward to book 2, hoping that the developing, complicated romantic theme gets untwisted. Chakraborty’s writing is concise, describing colorful, intricate settings and characters with an effective economy of words. The plot simmers, steadily cranking up the intensity, and it was hard to put this down.

TRB Pin The City of Brass Review
Jenn reviews S.A. Chakraborty’s The City of Brass

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, audiobook, hardback and paperback editions here.

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