Review: The City of Brass by S A Chakraborty

The City of Brass The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The cover and the blurb , basically the mere mention of djinn took me back to the story of Aladdin. Such was the nostalgia with which I started reading the story of Nahri. Nahri is a con woman with some special skills - she can understand any language , can feel the aura of a sick person and can suggest cures for the same. The story starts in Cairo where she accidently and very unknowingly calls upon the warrior Djinn Deva. For someone who does not beleive in magic and the stories of the mythical creatures , it is a shock for Nahri to accept that she is the offspring of one of these creatures and Deva is the protector warrior for her tribe. From here, we travel along these two to the city of Devabad - once occupied by the powerful Nahid clan who were overthrown and now are believed to be extinct till Nahri turns up. In Devabad , we have various tribes , ruled by a single king. The two princess - Muntadhir & Ali are two main characters we meet first followed by some others from different tribes. Needless to say Devabad is a boiling pot of political chaos which is further stirred when Nahri & Deva are accepted into the palace.

The world building in the book is pretty stunning and mesmerizing in the grandeur - be it cities or some of the beasts. Also , the characters are very much realistic and interesting with their choices , thoughts and little ways of standing out. It is a little sad to see Ali the scholar trapped between political scenario and his own belief system. Nahri shows sparks of growth and maturity at places but most times I feel she acts out without much thought. Though I found Nahri & Ali a little naive through out the book, I was impressed with Muntadir a lot. Even though he appears to be a spoiled prince, he has lot more diplomacy and understanding of the politics than Ali. He is one of my favorite character from this book while I await to know more about Deva. I felt Deva's story has been planted well but i need to know lot more about his past and future now. Also, the love story of Deva & Nahri was not at all convincing for me. I am not sure if it was even necessary because I still feel bad for Deva's end in the book. I still am not too clear about all the inter-tribe history and the details of the palace politics but I did not find it too distracting in the flow of this book atleast.

The story and the dialogues of the book are written very well , with a good flow and enough humor to make one laugh quite a few times. There is a natural feel to all the interactions and the various plot twists. The banter between Deva and Nahri in the beginning and later with Ali are refreshing. The end of the book, though felt might be a decent closure, had way too many twists that have raised a lot of questions in my mind now. I am eagerly looking forward to read the sequel and luckily , the last part of the series is set to be released in June 2020.

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