The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Inside cover blurb:

“Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new 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 hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass?a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she 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.”

-from publisher


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This book has it all: magic, djinn, badass female main character, Middle Eastern culture, incredible world building…

But I was pretty lost for the majority of the book. There is just a lot to keep track of here because, not only is it set in a mythical world, it’s also a political intrigue story. So think Game of Thrones, but with a Middle Eastern flair.

I will say it is rather ingenious because you’re discovering the history of this world right alongside Nahri, who grew up in the human world and has no clue what she’s gotten herself into either.

But with so much ground to cover, The City of Brass clocks in at over 500 pages. So it’s a bit of a commitment, but ultimately, I was glad to have read it.

Definitely a slow burn (that’s funny because they are djinn).

Interested to see how this series continues!

Plus: Magic, intrigue, the Middle East. This book was basically pulled straight from my brain.

Minus: You might need some plot and character charts to help you out.

If you like this book, try:


The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury- It may be pretty cheesy of me to recommend an Aladdin retelling right now, but this one has some pretty great reviews on Goodreads. Brb adding it to my shelf.

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