Genre: YA fantasy
Pairings: f/m, although nods given to f/f as occurring in world
Rating: 4 stars
So S.A. Chakraborty and I are from the first #DVpit cohort, and were some of the first to get book deals. She also signed a trilogy, so there are two more books in this series currently in the works. The City of Brass is currently only available for preorder, but you should go do that right now! This book was amazing! (link at end of review)
The City of Brass is a rich, intriguing tale of destiny, magic, djinn, and a young thief pulled between her mysterious past and her unexpected future.
The story is told through two POV characters, Nahri, the young thief, and Ali, who is not a djinn. Really. Don’t make him run you through. The main story is, of course, Nahri’s, and I found her to be compelling right from the first page. I was immediately gripped by her world, her struggles, and the weight of her ancestry (as discovered later in the book). Her struggles were realistic, her emotions understandable, and her abilities simultaneously awesome but grounded.
The book is strong on descriptive language, seldom if ever venturing into purple prose. Chakraborty gives us a strong flavor for the lands and cultures of the book, so much so that one can smell the market place, see the brass, feel the silk.
I dropped a star only because of the pacing. I’m not generally a YA reader, so keep that in mind, but I found the pacing of the last 1/3 of the book to be very slow. That was particularly strange, since the first 2/3 of the book flew by, and I was eagerly turning pages. As I reached the climax, however, I found myself upset with a lack of closure and no completion of any arc. I realize this is the first in a trilogy, but generally I like each book to be a self-contained story in which the wider plot elements continue on, but the small stuff resolves. I didn’t get that in The City of Brass, and the sense of wonder I had at the start of the book ended on a flatter note than I would have liked.
Overall, however, this was a hands down amazing book that should thrill YA readers, both young and old.
Preorder The City of Brass here.