The City of Brass (Daevabad Trilogy #1)

The City of Brass (Daevabad Trilogy #1)

by S. A. Chakraborty


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"Dizzyingly magical." –Laini Taylor

"You must read it." –Sabaa Tahir

"An opulent masterpiece." –Roshani Chokshi

"Leaves you wishing for more." –Michael J. Sullivan

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 trades she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, and a mysterious gift for healing—are all tricks, both the means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles and a reliable way to survive. 

But when Nahri accidentally summons Dara, an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior, to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to reconsider her beliefs. For Dara tells Nahri 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 more than what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass—a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In Daevabad, within gilded brass walls laced with enchantments and behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments run deep. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, her arrival threatens to ignite a war that has been simmering for centuries. 

Spurning Dara’s warning of the treachery surrounding her, she embarks on a hesitant friendship with Alizayd, an idealistic prince who dreams of revolutionizing his father’s corrupt regime. All too soon, Nahri 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 . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062678102
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/14/2017
Series: Daevabad Trilogy Series , #1
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 56,181
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

S. A. Chakraborty is a speculative fiction writer from New York City. The City of Brass is her first novel.

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The City of Brass: A Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is beautifully written with complex and multilayered characters. You find yourself rooting and condemning the actions and beliefs of your favourite characters. Can't wait for book 2
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing story, with characters who burn brightly. Happy to know it is the first of a trilogy. as I did not want the adventures to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I need more!
Anonymous 18 days ago
City of a brass took my mind to faraway, mystical lands that left my mind hungry for more. Before I knew what was happening, I was so entrenched in the tale I could practically see it playing before my very eyes. I look forward to starting book number 2!
Anonymous 9 months ago
Very entertaining! I loved getting to explore a different side of fantasy.
Anonymous 9 months ago
The pace was non-stop,it never lagged for a second. It's not like anything I've read before. She beautifully brought a whole new world to life, one that I'd love to return to.
ByEllieM More than 1 year ago
This book is full of lush world building and deep characters and relationships. The complicated relationships between all the characters makes it impossible to pick a favorite--or a side. Muddy politics and detailed history bring everything together in this book that was impossible for me to put down. And that ending... The author doesn't hold back!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars Nahri is a con artist and thief. As part of a con, she accidentally summons Dara, a Daeva/Djinn warrior. She then has ifrits and ghouls chasing her. Dara helps her escape, and they travel to Daevabad, home to the Djinn rulers and many Daeva/Djinn. Nahri discovers she is descended from the Nahids, the former ruling family, who was overthrown by the al Qahtanis, the current rulers. When she gets to Daevabad, she is revered by the Daevas, 1 of the 6 tribes of the Djinn. She struggles to learn her healing powers, which only the Nahid family has, and is caught up in the politics in Daevabad. The 2nd POV is Prince Ali, 2nd son of the King. He is a devout Muslim, has trained most of his life to become Qaid, commander of the Royal Guard, and is sympathetic to the shafit (part Djinn/part human). Though the king is from the Am Gezira tribe, he is sympathetic to the Daevas, who loathe the shafit. The shafit are persecuted and treated unfairly. Their children are kidnapped and sold by the pure blooded Djinn, and they live in squalor, and the king does nothing about it. Ali tries to help them by giving them money from his own funds, which he believes is going towards food, medicine, help for orphans, etc. However, he discovers they are also using his money for weapons, which he does not approve of. His father finds out and makes him acting Qaid while the current Qaid is away. Ali has to do things he does not like, such as putting some shafit to death. He stands up to his father and tells him he doesn’t want to be Qaid, and his father forces him to befriend Nahri to pave the way for his older brother to marry her. However, they become true friends, and Ali helps her. Overall, the book was good, and I would recommend it, but I did have some problems with it. The pacing was a bit slow, especially the first 1/2 from Nahri’s perspective, which is spent traveling to Daevabad. Another problem I had was Dara. I really, really tried to like him since he was Nahri’s love interest, but I really couldn’t. I did have some sympathy for him for the things he was made to do as a slave. However, he did other horrible things before becoming a slave that just seem inexcusable. He is also basically an Aryan. He is highly prejudiced against humans, shafits, and anyone non-Daeva. He is disgusted by pure bloods mixing with humans and by Daevas mixing with non-Daevas. The other Daevas seem to be of the same mindset, with the exception of 1. They won’t even eat meat as they feel the animal blood will pollute theirs. Dara is arrogant, rude, condescending, and completely disrespectful of Nahri and what she wants. Despite knowing these things, Nahri nevertheless loves him, basically because he is hot. She also doesn’t want to know of the bad things Dara did in his past, so she can keep on loving him. At first, I really liked Nahri, but I did lose some respect for her due to her feelings for Dara. I just can’t see how someone can love such a vile creature. I also disliked how the romance basically seemed to come out of nowhere. One minute, Nahri hates Dara and is cursing him, the next they are making out. Ali, on the other hand, I really liked. While a bit naive, he is kind, caring, and really wants to help the shafit. He respects Nahri and teaches her to read and to use magic, which Dara did not do. I’d like to see him and Nahri together, but regardless, I hope Nahri doesn’t continue to love Dara, especially after what he did at the end of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The City of Brass is one of my favorite reads this year. I read it a few months ago but I didn't have an opportunity to review it until now. I highly recommend this book to a lot of people because I loved it. The story follows Nahri, a con woman, who accidentally summons a djinn warrior during one of her cons. This incident leads to Nahri discovering that she's from a long line of Nahid healers. The djinn warrior, Dara, tells her a little bit about her family, Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, and they set out to find the city. The journey to Daevabad is dangerous and the story doesn't end there. So, let me briefly count the reasons why I enjoyed this book: Intriguing plot with court politics ✔️ World-building ✔️ Lush writing and mythology ✔️ Lovable characters ✔️ The story is narrated from the point of view of Nahri and Alizayd. Nahri is equal parts sassy, fierce, resourceful and lovable. My favorite kind of heroine. Her struggles to adapt to her new reality are depicted about as realistic as you can expect after accidentally summoning a warrior and getting thrown into this magical world. Ali is devout, awkward, and super naive. He's so precious. I loved his relationship with his brother and hated the way his father treated him. The writing for these characters are pretty distinct and they experience a lot of growth and development. The side characters are also written well and there are signs of an LGBTQ relationship, which I hope we see more of in the sequel. Chakraborty brilliantly crafts this story. The writing style is superb and lush. My goodness. Chakraborty's prose is stunning. The book gets better as the plot unfolds and we are introduced to the numerous side plots. There's this mysteriousness about the story that had me flipping pages so quickly. There are flying carpets, swords, and mischievousness. There's some violence, but it's minimal. I was thoroughly entertained and even purchased the audiobook just to continue the story when I had to leave my house. Daevabad jumps off the page. Have you ever read about a fictional world and instantly wanted to travel there? Well this was the case with Daevabad. Chakraborty's world-building is immaculate. Daevabad is intriguing and her descriptions of this world are fascinating. At the heart of the plot is readers discovering this beautiful city as much as it is about Nahri discovering that she is bound to it. My only critique of this book is the pacing. The first half has a lot of world-building and information about Daevabad's history, the different tribes, and the magic system. At times, I had to pause just to absorb everything because of information overload. That kind of dragged the story a bit; however, don't be deterred by that because everything afterwards was super addictive and the ending had me shooked. The City of Brass is an exciting new series and quite the adventure. It's adult fantasy, but it has some crossover appeal. The characters ages range from 18 to immortal. I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel, which comes out in January 2019. I'm hoping the universe will see fit to bestow me with an early copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Let's get to the heart of the question: should you read this book. YES! Hands down YES! "Tell me why nena, but don't tell me what HAPPENS." OK *Sucks in deep breath.* - brooding warriors who SLAY - magic cities with potions, betrayals, curses, revolts, and death - flying carpets - demonic monsters that you would dive into their murderous waters to learn more about - royal intrigue - world building that touches on known and imagined religions, languages, cities, customs, magics, and wars - non westernized settings and inspiration from non westernized legends/stories - characters that draw you in and then stick in your mind even after you put the book down, like Nahri the thief with magic up her sleeve. "He was an easy mark. Nahri smiled behind her veil, watching the two men bicker as they approached her stall." Pacing is a little slow in the beginning (compared to rest of book), but it established what Cairo life is like, and what our MC Nahri is like. Unless you're just not interested in seeing Cairo during this old old time, it could be considered slow, but I'd disagree. I was sucked in the minute Nahri picked a gullible mark to swindle, until the final pages. Once her adventure really gets under swing with a "lunatic fire creature" we call Dara (name said with a melancholy sigh and with a small hint of longing), the POV does switch to Ali. The switch jarred me a bit, but eventually people start getting chopped up, and things picked back up. Even in the middle of the action, the author digs into the heart of her main characters (Dara aside, because SECRETS). I feel like I could tell you why I would be friends with Ali, why I want to be a thief like Nahri, and I can even tell you why I sympathize with the "usurper" king sitting on the throne (who never gets a POV but the author is so talented you feel like you did). But why should I take all the fun from you when you read a be a part of the adventure and the characters yourself?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for the next book to come Out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting plot
Raine23611 More than 1 year ago
Oh. Oh my. Why did I read this book before book 2 was released? Drowning in tears of my own regret. The writing. The characters. The setting. The pacing. The EVERYTHING. I couldn't have more love for this book. Chakraborty is a mastermind of adult fantasy and I cannot wait to read her next book. The depth of her world-building is on par with C.S. Friedman. It's the first time I've read another author who could make me fall so completely in love with every part of the story. So. Well. Done.
pooled_ink More than 1 year ago
pooled ink Reviews: Well first of all it’s an impressive debut novel to be sure! The imagery, the plot, the writing, it unfolds with such unique flavor and grandeur that it’s to be commended. I certainly enjoyed the fresh take on this fantasy tale as it not only is inspired by Middle Eastern culture but is actually rooted and suffused with it. Egypt, Islam, and Middle Eastern myths are not mere facets to the story but are the story’s heart from whence the story blooms. That being said it was easy to enjoy while reading but just as easy to put down and step away. My favorite aspect of this book was the world-building however it could admittedly become quite dense and overly-detailed in the writing, but the imagery and concepts were breathtaking. If you're able to persevere and utilize a determined imagination then you'll likely get swept away by it all. THE CITY OF BRASS is a novel proud with magic, myths, and destiny. Spun together with an expert pen, adventure and politics whisk the reader away in this desert tale of family, oppression, fate, and love. Boldly told and adorned by a delicate hand, this historical fantasy deserves the praise it receives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book sooooooo much! The world was intricate and wonderfully described. The characters were all amazingly fleshed out and multi-faceted with their own motivations and goals that were weaved together with a fluidity that is rare to find(in my opinion). I was on the edge of my seat from page 1, and scared my dog as I screamed my way through the book. The plot took some unexpected twists and turns that were highly refreshing. As much as I love Nahri and Ali (Ali more so towards the end of the book, to be fair), my favorite character was -------- (I can't tell you the name, as that is not revealed in the synopsis or for a while in the book and I don't want to spoil as it is pretty relevant to the plot). I love this character sooooo much, and everytime they were in the story I was completely enamored of the layers and depth of personality (not that the other characters do not have depth and layers to their personalities, but wooooooooo buddy). I could literally go on forever about this book, and I highly, highly recommend anyone go out and get this book. I cannot wait for the sequel, The Kingdom of Copper, to come out in January 2019! So if you haven't read it yet (or you want to reread it), you have time to get yourself, your mom, dad, sibling, cousin, extended family, friend(s) a copy of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've ever read. Each step of the way Chakraborty weaves an immersive tale full of moral gray areas and political intrigue. This has easily become my favorite book and I can't wait for the next installment of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When will the next book be out?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Historical Cairo, a dangerous journey across the desert, and the djinn city Daevabad... There are few books that tick all of my boxes the way THE CITY OF BRASS does. This book is wonderfully researched and filled to the brim with an enchantingly built world. The pacing, too, is excellent with just enough information given to keep the story engaging and compelling. It is steeped in mythology to the point that I even forgot we ever inhabited the "real world" in the first place. However, as usual, my favorite aspect was the characters. We have Nahri: thief, healer, con artist and veil-wearing BAMF who accidentally uses magic she knows nothing about. Along the way she learns more about her legacy, thanks mostly in part to Dara, the grumpy Daeva warrior of legend. Their relationship in particular - which builds slowly over their time traveling from Cairo to Daevabad - gave my angsty heart everything it ever wanted. "She stomped toward the forest. If I die out here, I hope I come back as a ghoul. I will haunt that arrogant, wine-soaked daeva until the Day of Judgment." We also are privy to the goings-on in Daevabad through Prince Alizayd, and learn about the less than ideal state of affairs. Tensions are high between the different djinn tribes, and the relationship between shafit (mixed djinn-humans) and full-blooded djinn even more so. Ali is trapped between his moral compass and loyalty to his family, a position that is even more fraught with anxiety once Nahri and Dara arrive. If all of this sounds complicated, it's because it is. But it never once feels dense. Chakraborty has a way of crafting characters and a world that at once feel familiar and legendary. There is a weight there, an anticipation that is prominent throughout as an undercurrent. All of our protagonists are fleshed out to the fullest, making their flaws just as endearing as their strengths. Most impressively, they all sit on issues differently, which means that as problems arise, the tension is palpable. By the last quarter of the book, I was holding my breath, frantically trying to read between tear-soaked eyes. I am rarely taken this strongly by debut series openers, but if this first book is anything to go off of, Chakraborty will be an author I'll be reading for many years to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this more than I thought I would! I cannot wait for the sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I found myself completely immersed in the world, and could not put it down. I can't wait for the sequel!!
eclecticbookwrm More than 1 year ago
I devoured this book and enjoyed every single minute of it. Easily my favorite read of 2017. This book fires on all cylinders: captivating, fast-paced plot, gorgeous prose, and setting, and wonderful characters that leap off the page. I will read everything by S.A. Chakraborty.
padfoottonks More than 1 year ago
AMAZING! It was so great to read a book with muslim characters and the fact that it was set in 18th century Cairo and is genre'd as historical fiction made my nerdy little heart so happy! I do recommend referring back to the glossary in the back when things get a little confusing. These characters are so multi-faceted and the world is so consuming! GIMME THE NEXT BOOK ASAP. ALSO PROTECT ALIZAYD AT ALL COSTS!!!!!