The City of Brass

The Daevabad Trilogy #1

S.A. Chakraborty

fiction fantasy
adventurous mysterious slow-paced

533 pages | first published 2017

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.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for...

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adventurous 97%
mysterious 53%
tense 37%
emotional 35%
dark 31%
challenging 13%
funny 9%
inspiring 5%
hopeful 3%
lighthearted 2%
reflective 2%
sad 2%
informative 0%
relaxing 0%


medium 58%
slow 22%
fast 19%

Plot- or character-driven?

A mix: 59% | Character: 20% | Plot: 19%

Strong character development?

Yes: 70% | It's complicated: 17% | No: 10% | N/A: 0%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 59% | It's complicated: 33% | No: 7% | N/A: 0%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 93% | It's complicated: 3% | N/A: 1% | No: 1%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 78% | It's complicated: 12% | No: 7% | N/A: 0%

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