NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Library Journal Vulture The Verge SYFYWire
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 . . .
- ISBN-13: 9780062678102
- ISBN-10: 0062678108
- Publisher: Harper Voyager
- Publish Date: November 2017
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.55 pounds
- Page Count: 544
Magic, intrigue and power
Can two young adults maintain their own ideals amid a swirl of politics and age-old family feuds?
In 18th-century Cairo, Nahri is on the verge of saving enough to study real medicine, but for now she ekes out an existence as a con artist, healing with powers she doesn’t quite understand nor can she control. When an exorcism goes awry, she accidentally summons a djinn warrior. The djinn, Dara, introduces Nahri to a world she never thought existed, and the two begin an adventure that will lead them to the mythical city of Daevabad, where Nahri will be well-received—but Dara may not be. While Nahri and Dara fight ifrit (ghouls) and other enemies on their way, Daevabad is on the verge of crisis. Within the city, Prince Ali funds a fundamentalist djinn faction without his father’s approval. These two strands converge when Nahri enters the city and Ali’s royal family and their enemies attempt to use Nahri’s miraculous arrival to their advantage.
With this rich and layered novel, S.A. Chakraborty builds a fantasy world as intricate and intriguing as its Middle Eastern setting. Following the various subplots is like pondering vibrant Arabic design; readers will lose themselves in the wonder and complexity. A helpful glossary in the back of the book defines djinn terms and helps readers keep track of six djinn kingdoms that were divided and set at odds by a long-ago ruler.
Chakraborty ends the novel without a simple resolution, which will no doubt lead deftly into the next book in this planned trilogy about a marvelous civilization built on strategy and tenuous allegiances, at the helm of which stand courageous and cunning heroines such as Nahri and brilliant, fierce heroes like Dara and Ali.