The City of Brass

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Member Reviews

There is so much hype on this book that I had to put this on hold for months but I finally felt it was the right moment to read this and just wow. I really need the sequel now. I do have to say that it felt more like a solid four stars until the last third. But what an end it was.
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Unfortunately not the book for me. The writing style is quite good, and the blurb certainly piqued my interest, but unfortunately the story just wasn’t to my taste, that being said I can see how others would love it!
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I struggled to rate this for a number of different reasons. On the one hand, an #ownvoices novel that features a world of djinn and politics and characters of colour, Islamic religion and curses. On the other hand, a YA novel that doesn't really seem to break out of the same tired tropes we've seen before. Sure, you can put a veil on Nahri all you want, but that doesn't make her any less of a special snowflake protagonist with a super secret backstory and ~mystical powers~. Oh and a hot bad boy love interest. 

See, what The City of Brass actually wants to be is a sleek, smart novel about a girl who finds out that her small healing powers are actually so much greater than that, who has to travel to a magical realm and claim her birthright, all the while assailed from all sides by foes and danger. It's supposed to be a book about how Nahri uses her street smarts to outwit a society of haughty djinn driven by blood purity and ancient squabbles. It's also supposed to be a book about a second son who trains in a religious order for a life dedicated to serving his elder brother, the heir to the throne, but who finds himself compelled to the protect the lives of shafit (half-djinn half-human), even at the expense of inciting conflict with his family. 

Instead... instead you have Nahri, a young woman who's grown in Cairo and used her magical healing abilities to bluff, trick and steal her way to a life of relative freedom (albeit poor, but at least she's not married against her will!). Until she uses a spell she barely understands and ends up summoning a djinn, whereupon she learns that she might actually be the last known member of a family of powerful djinn which used to rule Daevabad, the City of Brass. So, armed with a Hot Badboy Bodyguard, Nahri must make her way across a desert and then survive court politics, all the while seemingly falling for a guy who treats her like dirt/gaslights her constantly and then somehow forgetting everything that helped her survive in Cairo. Meanwhile, Ali is the only decent person in an entire court of djinn, but that makes him gullible, so he spends a lot of his time trying to right his own decisions, only to have them blow up in his face. But of the main trio, he's the only one who comes across as a decent person; he doesn't do this out of gullibility and he actually changes and grows throughout the novel. 

I see what Chakraborty wants to do, but it never feels like she allows her characters to truly fail. Dara is basically meant to be some bad boy we all root for, even though he's a millennia old djinn who crushes on a teenager (look, seriously, this shit was creepy when Edward Cullen did it and the years haven't been forgiving on this trope) and because he knows better he decides to treat Nahri like a child and she somehow accepts this and then crushes on him like a lovesick puppy. Even at the end, when Dara goes full on nuclear with his ridiculous jealousy, it's just creepy, it's not romantic. At all. 

I don't hate YA as a genre. I try my best not to judge it by its cover, I try to think that not every YA novel needs to follow the ridiculous trope route. But sadly this time it does. I expected a lot more from The City of Brass and it just didn't deliver. I don't know how I feel about the sequel - on the one hand, the promise of a timeskip means that I can perhaps hope for some character growth. But if the endgame is really going to be Dara/Nahri, then I don't think I can really endorse that. Ultimately, I feel bad only rating it a two star, because I think we need more Muslim fantasy and we need more #ownvoices works. But The City of Brass just wasn't it.
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The plot of this book intrigued me. However, the book was actually better than I expected... at first. This book was so slow! Two characters hated each other and then suddenly they had a strong attraction out of nowhere that just didn't make sense. It would have been better as a slow-burn romance. The other main character's story was confusing, boring and annoying to be honest. I feel that these characters, and the story could have been improved to make it so much better. I DNFed this book after listening to almost half of the audiobook.
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From GoodReads:


That's really all I need to say isn't it.

Transports you right back to Arabian Nights as a child. 
Great mix of hisory, geography and magical fantasy
Genies, demons, monsters, magic powers, political tinderbox and a love story
Ambitious and really looking forward to the next instalment
From GoodReads:
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I want to thank the publisher for allowing me to read this book because it's amazing and I'm happy I discovered a great fantasy series.
I loved stories set in Middle East and this one had the perfect setting plus a lot of amazing world building.
The plot was enthralling and entertaining, once you start you're hooked and cannot put the book down.
I loved everything: the cast of well written characters, the plot and the setting.
I look forward to reading the next installment because this one was a great reading experience.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to HarperVoyager and Netgalley for this ARC. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book, all opinions are mine.
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S.A. Chakraborty's The City of Brass is a story I've read twice now, but it was only on re-reading this book a year or so later, that I really feel like I was able to properly form a conclusion about this story, rate it, and review it. The first time I read The City of Brass it was an eARC (graciously provided by the publisher) with slightly dodgy formatting and a slow, plodding pace that I barely could keep the world building straight in my head because it had been so long since I'd been introduced to it all in the first few chapters of the book. On re-read, I chose to pick up the hardback and the audiobook (magnificently read by Soneela Nankani) and I'm glad that I made the decision to re-read this story because I now better appreciate the skill behind its plotting, world-building, and characterisation.

This book is a book that dumps you into the fantasy scenario and expects you to keep up - if you don't, that's your own problem, and the story doesn't hand-hold you all the way. At times, it can be a little info-dump-y, but that's because the central character, Nahri, is an outsider to the world of the djinn and so when she is introduced to this otherwise invisible world by the djinn slave named Dara, whom she accidentally summons in a moment of peril, we are also being introduced to it alongside her. It's a fairly well-used literary device but it can make the storyline, especially once Nahri and Dara journey to the titular city of Daevabad, a little hard to grasp fully. After two reads, I'm not sure I've even fully grasped the twists and the turns of the world-building but it's something I have complete confidence that Chakraborty understands inside and out and will slowly unravel as the sequel books continue to play out this long history of Daevastana and its warring tribes of peoples.

In terms of characters there are three main protagonists, I'd say: Nahri, a not-so-innocent young woman living in Cairo who has a strange affinity for sensing disease in people but mostly just cons them; Darayavahoush, an enslaved djinn warrior and last of the Afshin (a military caste who were the right hand men of the Nahid people) whose exploits under the command of his previous masters are famed throughout the lands; and Ali, the idealistic second son of the current ruler of Daevastana whose skill with the zulfiqar blade and morally upright(eousness) character make him perhaps a more appealing future ruler than his older brother. From the very opening chapter, Nahri is an outspoken and strong female character - not in that all too tropey, "strong female character" mould but rather in terms of her character and fortitude when she's dropped amidst not only a physically dangerous but, later, also a politically difficult, situation in a world that is so unlike the one she has left behind. She is headstrong and funny and doesn't take anyone's crap, let alone her djinn companion, Dara's.

Unceremoniously and accidentally summoned back into the world by Nahri, Dara finds himself dragging her across the country to Daevabad, the city of his people created from pure Daeva magic, as he suspects she is the daughter of the city's last Nahid, a tribe of peoples who were healers. Suddenly, Nahri's gift for 'sensing' disease seems to make a lot more sense. Dara, however, does not expect a warm welcome in the city as the last time he was there he helped to scourge it - his reputation as a fearsome warrior makes for an uncomfortable welcoming committee by the Al Qahtanis, the current ruling family of Daevabad, of whom Ali is one. Ali was, hands down, my favourite character. For all I enjoyed Dara and Nahri's blossoming relationship, Ali was the idiot character to whom I owe my heart. Intellectually smart, he despises what he sees as the fickleness and show of the court and scorns the world of socialising that his brother, Muntadhir, so loves, instead taking refugee in concentrating on training to become his brother's qaid, the person who will help Muntadhir to rule when he ascends to the throne, essentially the one who will do all of the leg work of actually keeping a city under control, whilst his brother manages the entertaining side of things. It's a role to which Ali is raised, and which he seems suited, but his penchant for trying to help the downtrodden of the city lead him down a slippery slope to (potential) treason, for all his allegedly good intentions. It is following him as he gets in over his head, to put it lightly, that completely endeared me to his character, but it was the development of his storyline and his later interactions with Nahri that cemented him as a favourite. I just worry what the next book will bring.

Moving away from the characters, the world itself is stunning and enchanting, but also deadly. Chakraborty doesn't shy away from showing how dangerous the city is for people who don't conform to its ways. Running underneath the alleged calm there is an undercurrent of distaste and distrust for its current rulers, largely due to the way that they took power, and as a reader you constantly get the sense that there could well be rebellions bubbling beneath the surface - by the factions of ifrit (the cursed Daeva enemies of the Nahids) or the shafit (part-human, part-djinn peoples). None of the characters ever feel quite safe - it seems like everyone is capable of being led, or wilfully going, astray and finding themselves on the wrong side of the king, Ghassan, which is never a good place to be. Ghassan is portrayed as exacting and merciless, everything a strong leader likely needs to be, but it is his tight hold on the city that makes for some more questionable decisions when it comes to his family. Chakraborty never shies away from showing the dark, malicious side of the ruler and his kingdom, but equally never shies away from also showing how capable of inexcusable violence and abuse some of the "good characters" of this story are. It's part and parcel of the world they live in, with its complicated social and political class system where tribe loyalties are tested to the extreme.

In conclusion, The City of Brass marks the first outing in what is bound to be an enthralling and enchanting trilogy of books, richly plotted and masterfully told by S.A. Chakraborty. The complex world which readers are plunged into is never easy, but if you're willing to put the time and effort into immersing yourself in a story whose cultural touchstones may very well not be immediately familiar to you, then you will find your reward in City of Brass and its cast of morally questionable characters. Despite the book's serious maelstrom of political unrest, treasonous plotting, and brutal violence, there are moments of levity, situations that will make you cringe with the awkwardness of it all, and scenes which will make you love the characters for their audacity - if you are willing to put the time into the compelling world of Daevastana and its djinn, you won't be sorry you did.
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There is so much hype on this book that I had to put this on hold for months but I finally felt it was the right moment to read this and just wow. I really need the sequel now. I do have to say that it felt more like a solid four stars until the last third. But what an end it was.

Nahri is a thief living in the streets of Cairo when she accidently calls forth a djinn who tells her of a magical city and, with demons also accidently called forth, Nahri has no choice but to follow him.

I do have to mention the problematic start. I didn’t like that the story started by having an autistic girl possessed by a demon and murdered simply to earn the main character sympathy points and push her off on her journey. It could have used something else and I’m surprised that it hasn’t been mentioned anywhere which is disappointing. I also felt the pacing of the first half was a bit slow and things could have moved quicker but the rest of the story was griping and other elements kept me engrossed until then.

I am VERY invested in happy endings here (for some people anyway. Definitely not for others).  Dhiru better end up happy (I think I spelt that name wrong). I have a lot of other demands but I feel like that’s the only thing I can say without giving away spoilers and is the most important one anyway!

Personally I did find the characters a bit too flawed. It does make for more epic character arcs but means for quite a lot of the book they were annoyingly flawed and I rolled my eyes a lot. But the relationships between all of the characters and how they are all connected means you can’t help but love them anyway (even if they’re being annoying!) And as I said, it all came together so well in the last third of the book that I can’t wait to read more. I also loved the world created. The different cultures, names, and characters really made the world vivid and rich and set it apart from the same old western inspired fantasy setting. I’m looking forward to the sequel (although part of me is also dreading it because INVESTED)
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A really interesting blend of historical fiction (as we open in Napoleonic era Cairo) and the fantastical. Full of magic and danger, I look forward to the next book in the series.
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Despite having a slow start, this book was rich in culture, exposition, and action. The narrative is leisurely, but beautifully styled, and the plot was more like multiple sub-plots, but worked well to flesh out the characters by putting them in different situations. I liked Nahri from the first few pages; she's a thief and a con artist and gave me serious Six of Crows vibes. Her determination and will power (not to mention her quick tongue) are two things that make this book so readable. Prince Alizayd, on the other hand, was hard to read at first, as his story takes a while to get going. The two characters don't meet until quite a way through the novel, but when they do, things really get going. 

The lore of the book is exquisitely filled with Arabic mythology and I loved reading about Muslim culture. The politics were weaved together intricately, and I really admire Chakraborty's ability to hold all the threads and pull them into a pattern. The pacing  of the story was uneven at times, the world-building more than made up for it. This is a fantastically well-imagined debut. and I can't wait to read the sequel.
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Nahri lives in Cairo. With no family, she uses her wits and gift of healing to get by as a con artist. Nahri dreams of the day she will have enough money to leave Cairo.
Everything changes when Nahri unwittingly finds herself drawn into a world of magic, djinn and powerful beings. 
Will Nahri survive unscathed?

I was wary going into The City of Brass that I wouldn't like it - it's popular and rather long.
However, I'm relieved to say that I did enjoy it. Very much.
I really liked the characters in this. They all had their flaws but that made them all the more relatable and believable. Nahri was witty and wily. Dara had a dark past but I loved every conversation with him in it. I liked Ali too. I felt sorry for him - he was trying to help his people but things didn't go very well for him.
The plot was interesting and held my attention. 
I really liked the romance. While it happened slightly faster than I would like, I could feel the spark.
The writing style was easy to follow and I found the world that the author has created really interesting. However, there were a lot of terms introduced at once and I was a bit confused for a while.
I definitely want to read the sequel.

Overall this was an enjoyable read that I would recommend.
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I love fantasies with different settings than usual, like in this one. I love reading Russian folklore retellings, Middle Eastern settings, etc. It just adds richness to the story 
I thought I would definitely love this book, and I enjoyed it, but it has its flaws. It's based on Middle Eastern folklore, the characters are well developed. The setting is crystal clear. 

However, the pace is the biggest issue, and that endless set up. The book was only action packed at the very end, and leaves you with a feeling of wanting to continue. But, how much I wish the writer did it more evenly. I had to push myself all the way to reach to a part with more energy. 

So, I think the writing is good, the set up, development is a big focus of the book. But, really, there needed to be more energy and action from early on. Regardless, I liked the story and I will pick up the next book.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for granting a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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My review for this book is long over due, but so was my finishing of this book. I struggled. I picked it up and put it down numerous times hoping I would be pulled into the story, but it never happened. I struggled through to the last page.
I can't say it was any single thing that just prevented me and this book from clicking. 
The characters were well rounded and well written with flaws and attributes that made them genuinely appealing.  I didn't particularly like Nahri, but the supporting cast were enough to cover up my dislike. I found her a little whiny, but I could appreciate she'd had a hard like. 
The locations were fantastically exotic that offered me a trip to far off lands without ever leaving the sofa (train carriage/waiting room/etc). They were also mystical, steeped in legend and  myth. The locations alone had me wishing for a magic carpet to take a trip of my own.
The story....maybe this was were I struggled most. The story hops around in locations and time periods and, in hindsight, for me this made it quiet disjointed and difficult to keep the flow. However, it does cover a good back story that helps to better understand the book's main events.
Overall, I think it was my issues and not the books. So I would recommend this book for a summer read to far off places that inspire daring adventures.
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Every once in a while you start a book by a debut author, and just know that you've come across something special.  I had exactly that moment of delight and surprise with S A Chakraborty's The City of Brass (review copy from Harper Voyager).  This is a novel with all the magic and wonder of the Arabian Nights, but with a contemporary sub-text.

Nahri lives in Cairo making a living as a healer, but hustling on the side to augment her income as much as she can.  She will con rich clients out of as much money as she can, sets them up for burglary and conducts fake rituals on the side for extra cash.  She even has an arrangement with her local apothecary to get a cut of the business she sends his way.  But as a lone woman with no formal training she struggles to make a living, even though Nahri's secret is that she can diagnose and heal illness in a way that no normal healer can. 

Nahri's world is turned upside down when she uses a childhood song during one of her fake rituals.  She finds that she's accidentally summoned djinn who are desperate to kill her - but also Dara, a warrior djinn sworn to protect her.  Nahri learns that she is the last of the Nahid, one of several races of djinn.  The Nahid specialise in healing, and were wiped out following a brutal civil war.  The ancestral home of the Nahid - Daevabad - is now controlled by another sect of djinn and there is a price on Dara's head for the crimes he committed during that war.  But Daevabad is the only place Nahri can be safe from those seeking to kill her. 

In Daevabad Nahri is thrust into djinn politics in a way she never expected.  This is a city of warring factions, and as the last Nahid she is welcomed as a saviour and Dara as a hero in some parts of the city.  Nahri must find her place in this city fast, and has to call on all her street smarts to survive.  She must also cope with her growing - but forbidden - attraction to the charming and heroic Dara.

It's in Chakraborty's world-building of Daevabad that The City of Brass really sings.  This is a complex, multi-layered city with a rich history and complex patterns of power and influence.  Everyone is flawed and has good motivations for what they do.  There is no clear sense of good versus bad here - even Dara has a very dark past.  Ghassan, the current ruler, oppresses certain djinn sects, and the humans who live in some parts of Daevabad, and is prone to cruel and arbitrary behaviour.  But his family's rule has brought an unprecedented period of peace and stability to the city.  We see this most clearly through Ali, Ghassan's second son.  He has been brought up to serve in the military,.  But his deeply ingrained religious faith and strong sense of right and wrong come under significant pressure as the book progresses. 

And The City of Brass is a novel with a nod towards contemporary Middle Eastern politics.  This is a book of warring religious sects.  Peoples marginalised into ghettos and subject to discriminatory and oppressive laws.  Aid money used to buy weaponry.  Religious extremism used to justify violence.  Chakraborty asks us whether the ends can ever justify the means in messy, complicated world.  I can't wait for the next books in the series.

Goodreads rating: 5*
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Mystery and magic, genies and cities of fantastical beauty, where the purity of your blood can make or break you... The City of Brass is built on a wealth of mythology and fairy tales, with characters that are complex and who exist in a world of stringent social rules and long held grudges. The links between the various characters are, at times, overwhelmingly complex, and the constant veiled motivations and shifting alliances are hard to keep track of. But the imagery and beauty the author weaves of the environment and the magic help to carry you through.
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I got surprisingly invested in this book.

It's been looking guiltily at me from my Kindle for a while now. I had an ARC, and people kept raving about it, and I knew I should probably read it. But it's seriously long, and I wasn't sure I was ready to commit to it. Until yesterday, when I found myself stuck in Stansted Airport waiting for a delayed flight. I figured I had the time, so I gave it a go.

It took me a little while to get into the story. This was partly because I was unfamiliar with a lot of the terminology, being white and British and horribly ignorant of cultures I haven't personally experienced, though I didn't feel it was too difficult to understand and I picked up most terms fairly quickly. Mostly, my lukewarm initial reaction was because of the main issue I had with the book: I didn't really like the writing style. I'm not sure why, but something about it kept bothering me. A couple of times I wondered if it would have worked better in 1st person (maintaining the switching POVs), rather than in 3rd, but I don't know if that would have helped. The prose just didn't entirely convince me.

However, that aside, once I got into the story I really got into. Despite reading it in an airport, and then on a plane, and then in my accommodation at 1am when I finally arrived, and then the next day in a new place -- i.e., in a fairly disjointed manner with lots of other things to distract me -- I stayed invested in and engaged with the plot. When I put it down, I found myself thinking about the plot and wondering what would happen next.

I also enjoyed the characters, and the way it was difficult to tell who was meant to be "good". Seeing things from two different perspectives meant that certain characters (mostly Dara) were portrayed in two very different lights: either as a trustworthy, if worryingly powerful, rescuer, or as a feared and hated monster of legend. It was never clear which side you were supposed to be on, and who was telling the "truth"; the resulting shades of grey made for a much more interesting story.

Despite being a hefty book (I assume; I read it on Kindle but it seemed pretty long), I still found myself wanting more at the end. I needed to know what would happen, and I was particularly eager to see more of certain characters, even if it's not entirely clear whether that will be possible in the sequels (without giving away any spoilers...!).

On the whole, then, I really enjoyed this, particularly the plot and the characters. But the writing style came close to putting me off in places. I wonder if, because this is the author's debut novel, that will become less noticeable in later books.

Real rating: 3.5*s. 


This review is on Goodreads. I hope to get my blog back up and running in the next couple of weeks, at which point I'll cross-post it there.
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Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK for giving me this book to review

The City of Brass is an enjoyable fantasy book with excellently described world. This book is full of politics and oppression. It felt very slow for most of the book and it mainly just felt like an introduction to the next book. While I loved the Daevabad, I wish we had spent more time in Cairo as I wanted to see and learn more. Action-packed and with a bit of romance but it didn’t take over the plot.

Nahri was a brilliant character to being with as she was very independent and resourceful, with an amazing ability, however, when she got to Daevabad is really regressed and didn’t make any decisions and just lost her spark. Ali is very devout and knows his own mind, even if he is influenced by those near him. Dara was the most interesting character as he has a dark past and was very intriguing, I just think this book would have been better if we had had his point of view.

While this book didn’t live up to the hype for me, I plan on reading the next book The Kingdom of Cooper, as I feel the next book will be better without having to explain everything. I would recommend The City of Brass to fans of The Hundredth Queen series and Rebel of the Sands series.
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The City of Brass refers to the ancient city of Daevabad, a magical city that is split between six djinn tribes. Nahri, a young con woman, accidentally learns of this world after summoning a daeva warrior. And suddenly her skill to magically heal and deduce other’s medical issues makes almost sense. But now she’s on the run with a daeva warrior with a past that’s as cloudy as hers. The point of view switches between Nahri and a young djinn prince named Ali, who resides in Daevabad, and is training to serve his brother and future king.
I think I’ve found a series where I’m genuinely in the middle of how I feel about it. The City of Brass is very action-packed, literally filled to the brim with storytelling and history which was quite interesting to read. I have not yet found myself to love the central trio (Nahri, Dara and Ali) however they all seem to lose their initial spark when we first encounter them in the novel. I think maybe the sequel is where I’ll consolidate how I feel for them. I often say romance can make or break a story and with how jam-packed this novel was, the romance was sort of disappointing. I believe there wasn’t enough of a build-up to understand what they felt was there or just a spur of the moment. 
The world building was the best part of the novel. Even though there’s so much of it and the plot doesn’t really shine as much as the world it’s set in does. It’s just so intricate and intensely detailed that it’s a shame it overpowers the actual plot. The cultural detail from the people to their clothes and customs. I imagined it all so well the sprawling city of Daevabad. 
This book is very full on and more foundational than what felt like an actual moving plot. Most of this book is us being introduced to the vast world and its people, and I can see most readers being put off by this. I genuinely believe the final quarter of the book was the best. But judging from Goodreads, it looks like everyone was thrown off its exhaustive beginning and ends up DNF’ing the book before they experience the final excitement. 
Overall, The City of Brass will be a huge hit or miss for loads of people. I don’t expect anyone to hold on the way I did. I read this during a large reading block (note to self: don’t read a 500-page book during a reading block) it took a while to churn through, but it was, in the end, gratifying with a conclusion that definitely hooks you onto the next book. I have a habit of enjoying the sequels more than the original text, so I do still have high hopes for the rest of series despite being let down a little here. But I definitely recommend this story of a young healer, a djinn with a dark past, and a prince who wants to do his city justice
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I received a free ecopy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

A most excellent read. This is the kind of story that I can't even try to explain. There are djinns (aka genies), magic, power struggle and a lot of unexpected twists. 

The story is told from a few different points of view, namely the main character, Nahiri. I thought she was brilliant, well, brilliantly flawed. She's an excellent healer (and thief/ con woman) in the human world but when she's expected to heal magical beings she has no clue. 

It's a funny, fairly easy read but the various types of djinns and supernatural creatures with odd names did confuse me. I also found it a tad difficult to get into it but once the adventure kicked off it was very quick to finish!

 Here are some of my fav quotes:

 “Someone steals from me, I steal from others, and I’m sure the people I stole from will eventually take something that doesn’t belong to them. It’s a circle,” she added wisely, as she gnawed on the chewy bread. Dara stared at her for a good few heartbeats before speaking. “There is something very wrong with you.”

 He chewed his lip. “I suppose I forgot my manners.” She whirled on him. “Your manners? You go into a wild rant about the djinn— you know, the ones who stopped the indiscriminate butchery of shafit like me, insult me when I show some relief at the news of their victory, and then announce you’re planning to leave me at the gates of that damn city anyway? And you’re blaming it all on wine and your lack of manners?” Nahri scoffed . “By the Most High, you’re so arrogant you can’t even apologize properly.”

 A long cry pierced the air, so high-pitched it seemed to tear right through her. Unable to cover her ears, Nahri could only pray. Oh, Merciful One, she begged, please don’t let this thing eat me. She’d survived a body-possessing ifrit, ravenous ghouls, and a deranged daeva. This couldn’t end with her being gobbled up by an overgrown pigeon.
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This book was ..... Gripping. I felt completely immersed in this beautiful time and world. This author made me feel as though I was in the story. I thought the pacing was brilliant and as this is the first in a series the foundations for future books was built solidly and fascinatingly. I could not put this book down! 
Such a great debut and first novel in a series. Thoroughly recommend this book. It had everything i wanted - magic and intrigue!
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