Among the bustling markets of eighteenth century Cairo, the city’s outcasts eke out a living swindling rich Ottoman nobles and foreign invaders alike.
But alongside this new world the old stories linger. Tales of djinn and spirits. Of cities hidden among the swirling sands of the desert, full of enchantment, desire and riches. Where magic pours down every street, hanging in the air like dust.
Many wish their lives could be filled with such wonder, but not Nahri. She knows the trades she uses to get by are just tricks and sleights of hand: there’s nothing magical about them. She only wishes to one day leave Cairo, but as the saying goes…
Be careful what you wish for.
Review by Tanaya Lowden
The City of Brass is one of the best books I read in 2017, and I’m so glad it has finally released because I want everyone to read it and love it as much as I do.
Set in eighteenth century Cairo, The City of Brass follows Nahri, a young con woman who has never believed in magic, and Ali, a young djinn prince who lives in the magical hidden city of Daevabad. When Nahri accidentally summons a mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s suddenly forced to accept that magic is indeed real, and that she is bound to it in ways she never would have expected.
Something to note about The City of Brass is that it is actually an adult fantasy title, however, it has a strong crossover appeal with the YA audience and can definitely be enjoyed by them. In saying this, the younger side of YA may struggle a little bit with the book.
The most fantastic thing about this book is Chakraborty’s writing. The prose is stunning, with elegant and rich descriptions; the world that’s crafted is detailed and meticulous; the characters are complex and flawed; and the conflicts that occur are so two-sided that I found my stance on the matter diverging between the two as more information was revealed. Simply put, The City of Brass is a masterpiece.
I had a lot of fun reading this book, and this is in part due to the characters. Nahri in particular was such a joy to read, and I love that her character has so much depth. Ali was also enjoyable to read, and seeing him deal with his inner turmoil between doing what’s right and doing what is expected of him took him on a great character arc.
If all of the above isn’t enough to convince you as to why you should read this book, than let the cover be the final argument. The cover is so stunning and detailed and absolutely beautiful (trust me, the website does not do it justice!).
The City of Brass is a definite must-read, and one I will be rereading over and over again. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel!
About the Author
S. A. Chakraborty is a speculative fiction writer from Queens whose work has appeared in Crossed Genres, Expanded Horizons, The Future Fire, Fey Visions of the Mediterranean, and Kaleidocast. An organizer with the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers' group. The City of Brass is her first novel.
`THE CITY OF BRASS is the best adult fantasy I've read since THE NAME OF THE WIND. It's stunning and complex and consuming and fantastic. You must read it'
Sabaa Tahir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES
`An extravagant feast of a book - spicy and bloody, dizzyingly magical, and still, somehow, utterly believable'
Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author of STRANGE THE DREAMER
`Even a few pages will enmesh you in its magic'
Robin Hobb, New York Times bestselling author
`Blends legend and history to create a fascinating world...thoroughly enjoyable'