Book Review: The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty ★★

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He snatched up the reins again, holding her tight. There was nothing affectionate or remotely romantic about the gesture; it was desperation, like a man clinging to a ledge. “We run.”

I was very excited to read this one, but unfortunately, it didn’t really live up to my expectations. 2.5 stars.

Extra bummed, because that cover is so pretty 🙁.

I was also very interested in the magic system and the mythology here. Egyptian mythology inspired fantasy sounds so cool! I wish it had been better.

This story follows Nahri, a thief in Cairo who doesn’t realize that using magical powers all the time makes her magical. She also has noooo idea how special and beautiful she is either *cue eye roll*. She is tricking people out of their money because she is so heartless yada yada yada and she accidentally calls a Djinn to her world in the process. Guess what? He just so happens to be a hot dude who wants to lead her to the mytchical Djinn kingdom Daevabad, where she can learn more about her powers.

The first half of the book was then the two of them, Nahri and Dara (who has an extremely unnecessarily long and unappealing full name), traveling across the desert on his flying carpet to reach the magic city. Of course they are flirting the entire time, because you know, the whole immortal being falling in love with a vanilla 20 year old mortal has always worked out well right? Their journey dragged and it was chock full of insta-love. The author, and the characters, were trying to play it off as lust though in like a weird bravado way. Nahri kept saying how she could easily just sleep with Dara, but why add that to her problems. Bleh. And the mighty badass Djinn who is called the Scourge and apparently did some evil, heinous things back in the day….was super lame. He kept blushing and acting like a teenager. I was not about it.

Meanwhile, the story is split into two perspectives and, while I wasn’t over the moon about watching Nahri and Dara make gross eyes at each other and pretend to hate each other, that was still better than following Ali’s perspective. He is a prince in the Daevabad city. He’s eighteen. He acts young and immature but is also so serious, because he is the only woke one in his family. Of course. Hi chapters were so boring!!! Oh my god I did not care one bit about him or his privileged righteousness. He was annoying and whiny and so bland. He made the other perspective seem interesting!

Another thing about Ali’s chapters, was that they were extremely confusing. Not in the sense of not knowing what he was doing or the action, but in the world building, the history, the politics, and the social hierarchy of the city. It was very convoluted and unclear. So many words and names and castes were thrown around with zero explanation. There was a change in power at some point in history, but is was never explained why that happened or why the people who were defeated were still treated better than the others. How come the ones who had no powers defeated the ones that did have powers, but then continued to oppress their own kind who had no powers??? I was so confused. I was confused about Dara’s history, too, and who he used to work for, why he died and was reborn, etc. etc. Nahri was completely all over the place, but she wasn’t supposed to know her own history, so that was a little more understandable. Eventually though, I just stopped caring enough to try and figure things out.

By the time Nahri and Dara reach the city, I was already pretty disinterested in their stories. I just didn’t connect to any of the characters, unfortunately, and thus did not care about them. I did not empathize with them or want to continue with them on their journeys. I wasn’t even excited when they all met, because well one, I didn’t like any of them, but two, because of course there was a freaking love triangle thrown in for no reason. Ew no, everyone sucks none of you deserve love.

Sooooo basically, I skim read the last third of this book. The twists at the end were borderline predictable and not very thrilling. I feel like there was no actual potential danger so there were no high stakes. It all played out very commonly. And the things that did happen that were supposed to be so *gasp* shocking, were just not. I feel like they will be reversed/resolved very quickly in the sequel.

I don’t think I will be reading the sequel. I am really mad I didn’t like this book, but I am glad I waited to read it from the library first. I was so close to just buying it so many times, because I was SURE I was going to love it 😐. Oh well, I guess.

Man, they really took a cool topic and made it less interesting than an unraveled ball of yarn.

Am I really in the minority here? What are your thoughts?

Title: The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1)
Author: S. A. Chakraborty
Genre: Fantasy | Adventure | Young Adult | Romance | Mythology | Egyptian
Publication Date: November 14th, 2017
Page Count: 533 pages
Buy It: Wordery Book Depository

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