THE CITY OF BRASS ****
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
THE CITY OF BRASS
S. A CHAKRABORTY
Growing up in the city of Cairo, Nahri is used to doing what she can to survive; she uses her somewhat strange ability to heal others as a chance to con people into giving her money. However, when she accidently summons a real Djinn in a fake religious ceremony, she discovers her heritage and a whole new world she never thought existed.
The City of Brass is a great take on the fantasy genre – based on Middle Eastern mythology which I don’t think is really explored enough in other books. The world of The City of Brass is extremely well-developed with a lot of historical back-story and political figures. This can be a little overwhelming at times, particularly with the addition of unfamiliar words – there is a glossary at the back but it’s a little inaccessible for kindle readers. The book does pull you in to the world though and I think the detailed descriptions are needed for a story that is part of a trilogy. You do occasionally feel like there are too many names to keep in your head at one time though and by the time the second book comes out I think I will need to re-read this one again. One of my problems was I struggled to understand what sides people were on a lot of the time, the Nahid’s are supposed to be the mortal enemies of the current people of Daevabad and yet there seemed to be inconsistencies with them being hated but also revered and treated like royalty.
Although the descriptions and world-building is well thought out I struggled a little with the plot. Not much seems to happen for a lot of the book and then suddenly everything is thrown into the last part of the book very quickly. Towards the middle if you try to summarise what’s happened you realise that very little of excitement has actually taken place, although this may be because it is the first part of a trilogy. There seems to be a lot of reviewers thinking this is a young-adult story and I would say it most certainly isn’t that. The romance side of the book is quite juvenile though, with the introduction to how handsome Dara is at the beginning of the book making me roll my eyes and the love triangle that develops felt quite cliched.
The book bounces between perspectives of Nahri and Prince Ali very well and I felt all of the numerous characters were well-written with their own motivations and personalities. That said, I didn’t like how the feisty and interesting character of Nahri seemed to lose all of her personality when admiring the men around her.
Overall The City of Brass is a bit of a slow-burner but sets up a brilliant and complex world with some interesting characters, I am excited to seeing it develop in the next book in the trilogy. Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.