City of Brass by SA Chakraborty


I picked up this book following some online buzz and an Amazon discount, and I'm glad I did!

The book is the first of a trilogy, and it's a rip-roaring adventure in a fantasy Middle East. It follows Nahri, an orphan in C13-ish Cairo, who quickly discovers her magical heritage when she accidentally summons a murderous ifrit in the body of a young girl, trashes a chunk of the Cairo necropolis, and gets rescued by by a djinn of dubious background. Meanwhile, we follow a noble in a city of djinn who gets caught up some nasty crackdowns on a civil rights movement.

There's action, adventure, chases, intrigue, romance, realpolitik, fights large and small, revelation of dark secrets, and quite a bit of characters growing. Events rattle along at a good pace, the characters are all nicely drawn, are all active and engaged, and pretty much act in believable ways, rather than doing things for needs of the plot. I think the author lets the power level of the magic get away from her a bit towards the end of the book, but even that doesn't detract from the central verisimilitude of the characters.

Book 2 in the trilogy is now out. I'll get it just as soon as I'm up to date with the club's monthly read.


  • 0
    Sounds interesting! If the power gets out of hand in vol 1, I wonder what happens by vol 3 😁
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    In the author's defence, the "overpowered enigmatic bad boy" is a mystery to the other characters too and a plot point. I trust the author to have a plan for why it's happening.

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    I saw this book some time ago and was intrigued - I do quite enjoy the Middle East as a setting. "Djinn of dubious background" - what could be more dubious than just being a normal Djinn?

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    Oh, it's very much a more dubious background than the rest of the djinn. To the extent that he's well-known and notorious among all the rest of the djinni.

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    Everything is relative, Apocryphal! :smiley:

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    I've just started book 2, The Kingdom of Copper. That creeping power level was a foreshadowing of a Major Plot Point in book 2, so that's fine. Let's see what she does with it!

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