The final chapter in the bestselling, critically acclaimed Daevabad Trilogy, in which a con-woman and an idealistic djinn prince join forces to save a magical kingdom from a devastating civil war.
Daevabad has fallen.
After a brutal conquest stripped the city of its magic, Nahid leader Banu Manizheh and her resurrected commander, Dara, must try to repair their fraying alliance and stabilize a fractious, warring people.
But the death of his people and loss of his beloved Nahri have unleashed the worst demons of Dara’s dark past. To vanquish them, he must face some ugly truths about his history and put himself at the mercy of those he once considered enemies.
Having narrowly escaped their murderous families and Daevabad’s deadly politics, Nahri and Ali, now safe in Cairo, face difficult choices of their own. Though Nahri is finding peace in the rhythms of her old home, she is haunted by the knowledge that the loved ones she left behind and the people who considered her a savior, are at the mercy of a new tyrant.
Ali, too, cannot help but look back, and is determined to return to rescue his city and the family that remains.
As peace grows more elusive and old players return, Nahri, Ali, and Dara come to understand that in order to remake the world, they may need to fight those they once loved…and take a stand for those they once hurt.
Available on NetGalley
After the ultimate cliff-hanger that was THE KINGDOM OF COPPER’s final chapter, THE EMPIRE OF GOLD mercifully picks up immediately where that last book left off, and so begins a compelling story that weaves magic, adventure, war, betrayal and friendship into a tale as fantastic (and fantastical) as anything found in the Thousand and One Nights. There are revelations and plot twists which affect every character as they make choices and sacrifices which have lasting repercussions not just for the shattered city of Daevabad, but for all of the magical realms beyond it. Plot threads from the previous two novels coalesce throughout and come to an epic conclusion in a thrillingly tense finale. As with the first two novels, EMPIRE OF GOLD balances fantasy with reality, exploring themes which are recognisably grounded in our world, such as the very real consequences which result from the fallout of a civil war. It similarly questions the morality of those who misguidedly use violence as a means of ‘saving’ their people – something we have so often seen throughout human history. A tyrannical leader is brought down in a coup led by righteous freedom fighters, only for a new tyrant to rise again from the ashes of this civil war; history, it seems, is always doomed to repeat itself – even in fiction. What I loved so much about this book (besides the gorgeous writing, effortlessly engaging storytelling and fantastic characters!) is that even as we drew close to the end of the series, there were still new places to see and new characters to adore. I loved seeing more of Queen Hatset and Ta Ntry, while pirate captain Fiza was a very welcome addition to Nahri and Ali’s resistance alliance, and a real standout character for me. The only bad thing about this book is that it ended, but now that the Daevabad trilogy has come to its perfect conclusion, I can’t wait see what S. A. Chakraborty does next.
So how do you start to review the last book in a favorite series of all time? I'm looking at a black page and I'm quite literally at a loss for words. This review will be in two parts: first, a non-spoilery overview of my thoughts and then I'll just need to go into spoiler territory. A lot of our enjoyment of a last book in a series is directly linked to what we were hoping to see in the plot or from the characters and I cannot say that without spoilers. However there will of course be spoilers for City of brass and Kingdom of copper. NO SPOILERS AREA : The World building The world expands so much in this book, during the first two we were mostly in Daevabad and I loved that, but it's also so refreshing to have different stories and see the world outside of that one city. Moreover, it doesn't just expand geographically, we get a much better understandings of the other magical beings in this world, the Peris and the Marids and that was fascinating. I also loved to understand more about what happened during Anahid’s time and during Zaydi’s time. We also go to new parts of the world of the Djinns, see how they live outside of Daevabad. It just made me wants to have *more*. I really hope we get a new series in this world, or even a novella or short story… There could be so much more that we would see and discover. PLEASE. On the magic side, there's no big explanations of why this thing works and why this doesn't, there's no carefully defined magic system and it's really okay. It actually works better that way with the world that was created. I usually prefer very well crafted magic systems but here it's the other way around. this book is pure magic, in all the definition of the word. And it's not like it has no law, we can see there's some, they are just not explained to us. but nothing ever felt like it was just an easy trick from the author to get the plot along. It was always "believable". Because yes, even fantasy stories set around magical beings can be believable, or not. There has to be some sense, some rules have to be set even if they are not explained, characters can't suddenly do things out of nowhere when no one, no where has ever done it. And yes, I think S.A. Chakrabory found the perfect balance here, between giving us information and keeping us in the dark to make us look at the world through Nahri's eyes, from a human eye : incredible and magical. The plot I think it all worked very well, Ali and Nahri on one side going from place to place, trying to find a way to save Daevabad, and Dara on the other side, in the city, seeing everything happening and being…Helpless ? Or is he ? That’s always the big question with Dara. I really liked the adventure part of Ali and Nahri, as I said about the world it opened the world and let us see so much more and I loved all of that. I was never bored for one moment, either because I was so stressed out for the characters or because some more funny/other type of moment was happening and I was grinning like a fool. Ali makes for great entertainment, as always, especially with Nahri’s cutting remarks. The characters I love Alizayd SO MUCH. He is really one of my favorite characters of all time. He really reminds me of Fitzchivalry Farseer from the Realm of the Elderling series by Robin Hobb at times and damn, that’s not always in his favor because that’s always for the senseless shit he does but that shit is WHY I love him so much. Idiotic soft men are my jam. Give me a man who always does the wrong thing with the best of intention, who puts everyone’s wellbeing above his own and doesn’t realize other people don’t want him to do that for them and sometimes want to do that *for him*, and who will just leave a person or a city/country because he thinks it’s better *for them*. The comparison with Fitz was obvious for me in books 1 and 2, and in the beginning of book 3 again…Damn, Fitz walked so Ali could run. But then they took different path. Where Fitz never actually learned and did the same idiotic choices time and time again I feel like Ali actually grew and learned from his mistakes, especially in regards to Nahri and I LOVED to see that change in him. I want to hug this boy and protect him forever. But Ali isn’t the only amazing character in this story. First of course we have Nahri who also get quite the development in this one. But she is strong, she is now confident in her abilities, and she just won’t deal with your bullshit. She also gets a little more in touch with her feelings and gets to open up a bit and we love to see that for her! Overall she is still the thief from Cairo and we love her very much. Dara… Well. What do you say about a war criminal who committed a genocide and helped commit another? I don’t love him and I don’t ship him with Nahri either, but I have to say I liked his pov in this one. It was very hard; the most difficult chapters to get through were his, especially during the second half of the book. The book was bordering on changing genre and becoming Grimdark at times there. I think I like what happened to him and his development. I appreciate how it was written and that nothing was ever remotely excused. As for the non-POV characters… Muntadhir and Zaynab really deserve more. I really hoped we would get at least a couple POVs from both. They are SO GOOD. Muntadhir grew so much in this book, I was so proud of him! Zaynab we barely saw but she deserves her own books, that’s for sure. SHANNON, I’LL BE WAITING. I have a more difficult relationship with Jamshid, probably because of his feelings toward Ali and the fact that he tried to have him killed, my poor boy. That’s a personal thing however, and it’s here because of my love for Ali but I did enjoy him a little bit more in this book. And I love his relationship with Nahri. The writing style There's a couple of sentence that are over used like the the different version of they"put their lips in a grim line". Albeit, it was used much less in this book but I did read all 3 this week and there was just a little too much of it aha. Not a big thing but I thought I would mention it. I really don’t have much else to say, nothing new at least. Solid writing style, I don’t like too many metaphors and simile and we don’t have much in here which I enjoy. It’s simple and understandable and the action scenes are actually possible to follow, the world-building is never info-dumpy… All around a good time ! To conclude, was this series absolutely *perfection*? No book is, in my opinion. But it’s still pretty damn close. Of course, there will be nitpicking on stuff and for the couple of negative things I said that was really what it was: nitpicking. This is a solid 5 star read, as were the previous 2 books. This series just feels so real. It really feels like I could transport to Daevabad, and meet these characters, everything has been fleshed out so well, it’s never just a book, it’s a story and a world in and of itself. The fact is : I was INVESTED. In a way that I very rarely am with books nowadays. I couldn't stop reading, I inhaled this 750 pages book in a weekend after already reread the first 2 books the previous days. When a book makes me invest so much energy and feelings into its plot and characters and when it breaks my heart in such a majestic way, then I just have to applaud. It's the kind of books that just transports you into another world and make you truly feel like you're somewhere else for a time. That you actually know those characters. It's when a book really becomes magic. Only a few gems do that for me and this series is definitely one of them. Now that it’s over this series is definitely finding its place in my top 3 books/series of all time along with the Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb and the Imperial Radch trilogy by Ann Leckie. I would give anything for a follow up series or something more in this world. Either from a character we already know ((view spoiler)) or from characters in the past or future that we don’t know yet. SPOILERS BEGIN HERE, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED STAY AWAY The relationships : I don’t think anyone will be really surprised by the endgames here. As I said in my review for book 2, I wished Ali and Nahri could stay best friends and not lovers but I wouldn’t be mad if they ended up together, and that’s what happened. During the first half, as their relationship was growing, I was actually getting really into it. As long as they were alone together their relationship actually worked and I was invested. But by the end, once Nahri meets with Dara again… there’s just something off. Not because I ship Dara and Nahri (gods, no) but they definitely have more chemistry and it feels like, if Dara had turned on Manizeh sooner and could be redeemed in Nahri’s eyes, then she would have picked him. Ali feels like a second choice somehow and because I love him with all my heart, it hurts a bit to see it go down like this. His love for her is much more established than her love for him. During the ending parts all the important scenes were between Nahri and Dara, Ali didn’t even get to fight alongside her but Dara did. Dara and Nahri had a very important conversation together about something that was important for them both… while Ali and Nahri didn’t really get a last scene like this. They did not even kiss once they found each other again…. I think I really needed at least one last kiss, something showing why she chose Ali… or did she ? It was no that clear if they were ending up as friends or as lovers to be honest and as I’m writing this I have my doubts (on Nahri’s side, because Ali’s feelings were made quite clear). Jamshid and Muntadhir better get a novella or at least a short story. We could get so much from them both trying to navigate this new world. They also must have a ton of PTSD that they could help each other through (with the help of a shrink if that’s possible in that world, PLEASE). The Characters I need to talk again about Dara... I wish he had died. I think he should have chosen to go die and just BE DONE. I was really hoping this would happen but…. Here we are. However, that he goes around looking for the enslaved Jinns around the world is probably the best second choice and I am happy with that. He is away, he finally tries to do good… But he is still a liability. I mean, sure, he thinks like this now but in a 100 years ? In 1000 ? He might still have blood purity idiotic ideas and go on a rampage again and I don’t trust him not to do that. I love that Nahri finally got a family member… It was so sweet to realize her grandfather was the one bringing her Egyptian food. The fact that Manizeh wasn’t actually her mother was a cool reveal, it was so established since book 1 that I wasn’t even thinking about her brother being actually the father. I imagined all the fathers possible but it was always Manizeh at her mother but it makes SO MUCH SENSE. It’s not like a reveal that just seems to be here for the element of surprise. It does really make sense. Poor Jamshid though, stuck with two war criminals as parents. Some plot points Was I surprised by any plot point ? Not really. Except for Manizeh not being Nahri’s mother of course. It was easy to see for instance that Dara had to be the one killing Manizeh, we basically knew that from the beginning of book 2 and yet that wasn’t a problem at all. I loved to see how we got there, and it was obvious because it was the best thing to do and anything else would have felt weird. To have Nahri kill her ‘mother’ (or aunt) would have just continued the circle of death and this time she was able to come out of this story with barely killing anyone. Which is kind of the point too, this whole series is about breaking the toxic family resentments and desires of vengeance. To be able to move past it and create something new. And it was for the best that Nahri didn’t have to kill anyone to reach that. It was so hard at times to read Dara’s chapters. Manizeh actually killing all the Daeva’s high nobility was… Like…???? And enslaving some of them ? And then cutting Muntadhir’s eye ??? Please have mercy… And then when she enslaved Dara as well I was simply speechless. That she could do that to him after everything. As I said, I’m not a big Dara fan, he is a murdered and worse but DEAR GOD. And when he destroys part of the city to find Zaynab I had to take a little break. Shannon didn’t even have to describe gruesome deaths in details, to just be in Dara’s mind as he was forced to see this and DO this was enough to make me feel ill. It was really well done. A horrible yet incredible chapter. I had chills thinking of what she would make him do next. Let this poor man rest. I was hoping we would get more from the Marids and WE DID!! And we got a lot of it actually, with not that much pay off if I’m being honest as Nahri, Jamshid and Dara did most of the work during the final battle there but definitely less people got killed in Daevabad thanks to Ali so that’s definitely a win. It’s the kind of thing that makes me think we just have to get another story in this world to get to see what happens NEXT. Especially for Ali, with his new powers and his new appearance… We could get so much more from this! And that’s what we deserve. In any case, I loved all that part of the story-line, to get to understand more about them and see how they are linked to Nahri as well. I already concluded my review in the non spoilery section but I will just end up by saying that I love these characters SO MUCH, and I miss Alizayd already way too much and I'm dying for some ind of sequel, even just a short story.... I'll probably reread at least this book in June with everyone else. I need my fix, and I need to talk to people about this. COME TALK TO ME IF YOU HAVE READ IT PLEASE <3
The Empire of Gold was everything I wanted and more. It was full of action, had an amazing plot and a fantastic cast of characters. The story has so many twists and turns and it culminates into an awesome and highly satisfying conclusion to the series. I don’t really have a bad word to say about it. The story picks up immediately from the end of the second book and what follows is fantastic (no spoilers). The characters and how they interact with each other are a joy to read, they all work well together. I’ve grown to love Nahri, Ali, Muntadhir and the other characters over the course of the trilogy. Every character has their moments. I’ve loved reading the highs and the lows and I felt all the happiness, anguish, pain and grief alongside them. I even didn’t mind Dara in this novel. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t always been his biggest fan but Chakraborty really puts him through the wringer, both physically and emotionally and, being the sort of person who loves that sort of thing, it really helped me to enjoy reading his chapters. I liked how his story ended, it was emotional and very fitting for his character. His last meeting with Nahri was beautiful to read. I love the story that Chakraborty has created. It’s set in a beautiful and very rich world which she writes in a vivid and evocative way. I loved everything about this book and the trilogy as a whole was fantastic. The Empire of Gold concludes the trilogy in a satisfying way. Chakraborty brings together the various threads set up in the first two books and brings them altogether into a thrilling conclusion that has both action and some really nice character moments. I looked forward to picking up the book everyday to find out what was going to happen next and I was not disappointed in the slightest. It’s one of the best books that I have read so far this year and a fantastic conclusion to the series. I loved every minute of it.
Empire of Gold picks up minutes after the ending of The Kingdom of Copper. Banu Manizheh and Dara have taken Daevabad, Muntadhir is alive and imprisoned and Nahri and Ali have somehow been transported to Cairo. Nahri, at first afraid of what would await her in her old haunting ground, finds comfort in the human world. Knowing what is awaiting her if she returns to Daevabad, a mother who tried to kill her and the man she thought she loved who betrayed her, she is reluctant to return to that world. It is only when Ali chooses to leave by himself that Nahri realises that she can't and doesn't want to let him risk his life alone. On their journey back to their home they make enemies and find the unlikeliest of allies. They will need all the help they can get if they are to take back the city they both love, even if it means killing those they love in the process. I can honestly say that this is one of the best endings to a trilogy I have ever read. The author took her time, there was no rushing, trying to make the characters come to realisations before they should. It was brilliantly paced and even though I wanted to fly thought it, i had to take my time, reading bit by bit, taking pleasure in every chapter, knowing this was likely the last time I would have the pleasure to enter this magical world. Nahri became a favourite character of mine from her first introduction in City of Brass, and my love for her has only grown over the books. Despite being out of her depth in a world full of magical beings she could only dreamed of existing, she falls into the roll of Banu Nahri with an ease, while never loosing the essence of who she is. She fights for the rights of all, no matter their station and is willing to put up a fight, and trust me she fights dirty, if that is what it takes. She is an amazingly complex character, fighting against the things she wants because she believe she doesn't deserve them. Ali, my little cinnamon roll, does not quite know how his life turned out this way. He keeps his feelings for the Banu Nahri deep down, knowing that showing them will do him no good whilst she is married to his brother. He feels greatly changed now that he has started to embrace the Narid power that flows through him and feels like he is not worthy, not of the crown, of his life or of Nahri's love. His character growth in Empire of Gold is truly impressive and I loved seeing him embrace himself as whole, good and bad. Dara, poor poor Dara. I think the only goof choice that man ever made was loving Nahri. But now under Banu Manizheh's control that bit of him has to stay silent. He may not agree with everything she does, but he is hers to command. It is only when Banu Manizheh starts unravelling that Dara realises he may have been on the wrong side of this fight all along. I love him so much and his parts in Empire of Gold were so heartbreaking. He is doing what he believes is the right thing, what he is supposed to do and seeing his inner turmoil and some of the decisions the Banu made had me heartbroken. Talk about twists and turns, this book had plenty of them. Everything gets tied up in a neat bow at the end, but there are plenty of revelations throughout this book that I really struggled to find good places to stop reading. I would finish a chapter and just be like: What Have I just read!!! And I had to instantly dive into the next chapter. In fact it was pretty much just work and sleep that kept me from reading. When I say things get wrapped up, I don't want you to think its an easy journey, there is more than enough heartbreak and Chakraborty managed to give us everything we didn't realise we needed, without having to change anything about the characters. She kept them true to their former selves and the story true to the rest of the trilogy. Chakrabortys writing style and world building is something that every author should hope to attain. To say that this is her first series is kind of mind blowing. The Daevabad series has made me a life long fan and I will be eagerly awaiting anything else she graces us with. This was a spectacular read, and you know that because its taken me over a week to manage to semi-coherently write down my thoughts and that never happens. I love everything about this series from the characters to the world she builds and I will certainly be re-visiting from time to time.
"Luck is a fairy tale we use to make people feel better about the world being unfair as shit." Well, officially this has become one of my favorites series ever. Chakraborty has managed to close the story in the best way, and although I know that not everyone will be happy with the ending, I think it was the most appropriate way to do it. My favorite will still be The Kingdom of Copper, but this book deserved no less than five stars for how well spun and interwoven everything is, the plot is sustained and fairly consistent. If there is something you might not like about the end of the trilogy, I think it will be more reader's personal opinion than problem of the book itself. SO, what can I say? I was very satisfied with the end. Having a balance between plot and characters is usually difficult because one tends to stand out more than the other, but Chakraborty achieves this and makes you empathize even with the characters that you don't like. Not to mention the secondary ones, because each one has its nuances and they get to stand out in their personal way. Could she have lengthened the ending further to satisfy everyone? Obviously, but personally I see it totally unnecessary. Honestly, I think it's the end this series deserves. Also, there are certain characters who deserve their own spin-off! If you have read the book, surely you know who I am talking about. ''I don't believe in kings. Not anymore.
eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for honest review. I’ll keep this fairly brief for fear of spoiling anything. Because trust me, going into this without any inclination of what is to come, with all your hopes and dreams for these truly wonderful characters, will mean you can fully immerse yourself on the rollercoaster that is sure to follow. I will however say this. Wow! What a story! The whole trilogy was wonderfully wild and woeful. I was captivated by the vivid and whimsical world of Daevabad from the very start, back in City of Brass. As soon as I met Dara, that was it, I knew I was a goner. He was without doubt my favourite character and his story arc alone made this a worthy read, but then there’s just so, SO much more. I will also add that I actually found the politics complex and sometimes confusing (which is probably the closest I’ll get to a criticism). Daevabad’s history and cycle of violence and vengeance meant that it was difficult to see clearly who were the heroes and who were the villains. I think it even makes you question your own moral compass at times. But honestly it probably just made everything that bit more intriguing. The pages practically turned themselves! And whilst I really don’t want to give anything away, I must just finish with the ending. It wasn’t what I wanted, but then it was also the perfect ending ;) And that’s it, that’s all I’m prepared to write. Other than I obviously loved it and you should absolutely go read it!
If I could give this more than 5 stars, I would. This trilogy has fast become one of my favourites of all time, and I don't say that lightly. The characters, the plot, the relationships, the world building, the magic system - absolutely everything is *chefs kiss* and I can't wait to see what SA Chakraborty comes out with next.
I have been anticipating the conclusion to this trilogy since the moment I read the last word in Kingdom of Copper, I kept opening and closing the book hoping that more would just appear, but unlike the magic that fills the pages none did, instead I had to wait impatiently. But not as long as I had thought….. my wish was granted when Netgalley so kindly sent an e-copy to read before release. The Empire of Gold was everything I didn’t know I needed it to be. It starts exactly where the other one left off. A country that survives on magic and is also torn apart by it no longer has magic. Everything is chaos. Narhri and Ali have left Daevabad, not entirely on purpose, Muntadhir is a prisoner of war, Jamshid and Zaynab are still missing Dara is still Dara torn between his head and heart…. literally anything could happen! The characters I have laughed and cried with have their beliefs and loyalties tested to the extreme. Exactly how far will they go to do the right thing? It’s been a long journey for all of them, but the character development is amazing and I love how we get to see how they all become better versions of themselves. This doesn’t mean they are perfect, because throughout the series they make mistakes and dubious decisions but that is how people learn and grow. We get introduced to new mythical, magic creatures as well as some we haven’t seen in a while and we get to visit places that have been hinted at. This is all very vague because I don’t want to spoil anything. If you have been waiting for this then you won’t be disappointed. If you haven’t read the series go read The City of Brass right this minute and then The Kingdom of Copper so you can be as excited as I was for The Empire of Gold. All I can say is that I absolutely loved this book, this series and I think everyone should read it so we can all talk about it.
Actual rating: a gazillion stars Given that I loved first two books, it seemed impossible for this book to surpass my expectations. But somehow it did. This final instalment was pure perfection for me. Everything from plot to characterisation to world building really shines here. All the threads in this story, all the foreshadowing, it all comes together here and it's fantastic. I never thought I'd love a series as much as Mistborn, but somehow this series managed to do that. Right from the beginning, there's a strong emotional pull that was absent from previous books. In Dara's opening chapter we follow him in Nahri's room, reminiscing all the things he'd done wrong in their relationship. There is such a strong sense of loss and regret in that scene that it sets the tone for the rest of the novel. It gives the feeling that even though they'd won, he'd lost something precious. That sense of loss is so prominent throughout the novel that I could swear I was hearing some tragic music in the background. One of my favourite elements about this story is the tone. To be more specific, I love how the tone gradually changes. Specially in this book, author's mastery of tone really shines. The story start from a very bad place, and it gets darker and darker from there. I don't think I've ever congratulated a book about violence, but there's something incredibly magnetic about Daevabad's descent into violence. It's dark and it's bloody but it's also fucking brilliant. From the brutal coup, they start from at a bad place but they get worse and worse at each step as Manizhe tries to establish her rule. And the saddest thing was that at some point I wanted, I hoped, as much as Dara did, that Manizhe get what she wants. Because the opposite meant just more death and destruction for people of Daevabad. This book is really horrifying in the way that the brutal world of Hunger Games or The Broken Empire can never be. Most of this violent worlds exist in a safe space in my mind where I know everything is fiction. But with recreating all the nuances and complexities of real-world societies, Chakraborty managed to build a society that is incredibly believable and thus, its violence is much more terrifying than anything else I've read in fiction. What I've written so far seems pretty dark. But there's actually a sweet love story here that really tones down some of the darkness. The heart-wrenching romance that started out in the kingdom of copper gets more page time here, and I loved it. I loved every second of it. All the shyness, all the side glances, all the lust, all the internal reservations that either one of them had, it's SO incredibly well-done. Nahri's fear to ever love again, Ali's insecurity, it all made me FEEL for them so much. There are two romantic stories in this series and I'm amazed at how well the author handles them both. One is immature, controlling, selfish, borderline abusive, and the other is mature, slow, subtle, beautiful and at times a little bit sad. And I love them both. To be more specific, I love how the author writes them. It would be so easy for her to start romanticising the controlling, genocidal maniac in this book, but she never goes to that route, and that alone is enough to earn my respect. My absolute favourite thing about this story has always been the world-building. And here Chakraborty continues with fantastic world-building. So far we've only got some mythologies about the marid but in this book we finally get some actual history about them. Their past is so skilfully woven into narrative that I just couldn't get enough of it. The peris also get more page time here. I was afraid that some of elements of this fantastical world would get left behind without author explaining them. But thankfully everything came together here, and it was fantastic. Lastly, this book has my favourite last line. Like, I'd read that last line and I just knew my babies would be alright. Okay I just have to stop myself here because if I want to write all of my thoughts about this book and series it'll become an incoherent mess. I don't think I can ever properly explain what this series mean to me. I can only tell you all that this is a fantastic conclusion to a brilliant series. And that it's amazing peace of fantasy fiction. And that you all should read this.
Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for the digital copy in exchange for an honest review. How can I even start? What a ride! The Daevabad trilogy is one of the best series I read in these years and this book only confirms my thoughts. It was unpredictable (so many twists, until the very end) full of action and emotions! It's not perfect but It's very near to a perfect ending for me, I would a prefered a different path for a thing or two but the choices made by the author were very fitting. I loved how we get to discover new things in this already very complex world, how she deepens our knowledge chapter after chapter. Every single character had a story to tell (and I actually would love to have more content about the ones without a pov) and they were coherent with themselves. They make mistakes, they grieve, they grow and they become the best version of themselves. They're so realistic and relatable, it could have been a person in blood and bone making those decisions. I'm so proud! I'm definitely getting emotional now. Another thing I was really struck by was the romance and how well it was handled, not rushed at all like I read in so many other books, it builds interaction after interaction and it's so interesting to see the characters have doubts and fears. Also it was not at the center of the plot, it seems obvious but it's not. To conclude, if you still need to read this series and you're looking for an exciting, action packed fantasy with Aladdin vibes definitely give it chance (be warned, you will suffer, A LOT). If you're a big fan of the first two book you will not be disappointed, I promise!
First of all, I'd like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC of this fantastic book in exchange for an honest review. (I've read this book in a couple of days when I have a dissertation project to write, so I think I can safely say this was AMAZING.) This review contains spoilers (but they are minimal). The Empire of Gold is the concluding volume in The Daevabad Trilogy, and unlike some other conclusions of fantasy trilogies I've read in the past year, Chakraborty excels in giving a satisfactory and well-deserved ending for all her characters. One of the things that always fascinated me in the trilogy is how believable the characters are - the author manages to make all of them three dimensional, with goals and ambitions and fears that are extremely relatable. Especially Nahri, and especially in this book - she's more vulnerable, even though she wouldn't freely admit it, and she's also more open to admitting she has a family she built in Daevabad. Nahri really is an exceptional protagonist, and her emotional journey in this book was delightful to read (not to live through - poor Nahri has been put through hell since the beginning of her journey in the magical world). The book is divided in 3 POVs: those of Nahri, Ali and Dara. Dara has had POVs in the second book, but they were more sparsed then they were in The Empire of Gold. (If you love Dara, that's fantastic news - I don't care much for him and struggled a bit during his chapters, but I really do believe he added a lot to the storytelling.) I completely understand why those three were the chosen ones to tell this story; I just wished we could see a little bit of Daevabad through other characters, such as Muntadhir, Zaynab, or even Kaveh. (I would have loved a Jamshid POV as well!!!) I'm aware that my criticisim of the number of Dara chapters is not really fair - he's an interesting character, clearly conflicted and up to his neck in moral dilemmas. He's our way into an Nahid-occupied Daevabad, and I appreciated his attempts to bring a peaceful resolution to the city itself. I think his ending was bittersweet and therefore exactly what he deserved - he's got a lot of penance to do, and he won't shirk from it. He's realized he's done horrible things and is willing to atone for it, which I think is the most appropriate end for him, since the rest of the djinn world moved on and changed drastically from his time and he simply did not fit in anymore. Ali is my baby. I cried multiple times during his chapters - I just love how much he loves his siblings, his relationship with his faith and how he feels about Nahri. I think one of the greatest things Chakraborty achieved in this series is how faith is portrayed: Ali and Nahri come from different traditions and both of them respect each other, and find comfort in praying and strenghten themselves from it. Ali was, as always, a delight: a flustered, awkward and self-sacrificing delight, who was willing to do anything to protect and preserve Daevabad. I have no words for Ali, because I love his character deeply - I think Chakraborty has built him with so many contradictions that work and enrichen him; his one of the most interesting characters I have ever read, period. (And he's an accountant. This woman is a sorcerer.) My only drawback in this book (and I guess in the trilogy as a whole, because this perpasses the three books) is the whole deal with the marids. I get the message - we can only build lasting peace if we address and try to correct all the hurt and injustice that everyone suffered, and given the fact that the marid suffered with the creation of Daevabad, they should be included - I just wasn't completely sold on this storyline. The marid are important and add up to Daevabad's last stand against Manizheh, but something about it irked me, so I thought it fair to mention in this review. Lastly, the solution Nahri and Ali came up with in regards to the ruling of Daevabad made my heart sing. I'm just in awe of such deep problems like intergenerational trauma, questions of justice and even genocide were approached in this series. Chakraborty did not shy away from some thorny issues, calling out on the bigotry of her characters in a way we should do in the real world. The Daevabad Trilogy is, quite frankly, one of my favourite fantasy stories ever. I feel honoured for been given the opportunity to see Nahri and Ali grow as characters and people. If you read thus far, thank you! And thank you to S.A. Chakraborty for such an incredible, complex and touching story. :)
The Empire of Gold was one of my most anticipated releases for this year and I am happy to report that it more than met my expectations. It wrenched on my heartstrings. It made me laugh. It made me tear at my hair. It made me smile with delight and then with a bittersweet kind of pain. Suffice to say, it hooked me with every line. It was such a thrill to be back among the characters that I adore for all of their strengths and flaws, and even the few new faces who make their introduction in this book were engaging and memorable. The lore grew richer than ever as we got to see more of the world outside Daevabad and the different kinds of magical peoples who inhabit it. The peris and especially the marid feature once again in larger roles, and some of the burning questions I had about their agendas and motivations were certainly answered. I also love the way this book continues to explore all the difficult complexities and moral dilemmas that has always made this series so intriguing. What can be done to end a cycle of violence and vengeance that has lasted hundreds of years? What could possibly constitute justice when all parties have committed their own share of offenses? Is any one tribe’s view of righteousness truly just if it only subjugates another and propagates further hate? Do any of the families who supposedly have a claim to Daevabad truly deserve a chance to rule it? Our ever-distressed characters, too, are still grappling with these questions. They also find themselves struggling with their own identities as new realizations come to light, and it does not make it easy for them to determine what their place should be (if any!) in Daevabad. Nahri, Alizayd and Dara all have fascinating arcs in this book as they are forced to evaluate their own choices and justifications. This book more than ever finds them questioning what they are expected to be, what they believe they should be, and ultimately who they truly want to be. As much as I loved EOG as it is, I do wish we could have seen more of Zaynab and Muntadhir! I love seeing all sides of a conflict, so personally I think it would have been great to have had additional viewpoint chapters from one of these two. A POV of someone in Daevabad with a view into the resistance to contrast with Dara’s would have been wonderful. But given that this book is already a good 750 pages, I understand why the perspectives were limited to only our three main characters. (Not that I would have the slightest issue reading this even if it were 1,000+ pages, though!) There’s still so much more I’d like to add to this review, but it may veer into spoilerly territory so I will hold off for now. But I promise that Daevabad fans are in for an intense treat and that the ending to this series will leave readers simultaneously satisfied and yearning for more.
Umm...it was glorious . A great end to one of my favourite series ever. There is not many ways one can review the last book in a series . If you are interested in it , you obviously have read the previous two and believe me you are going to love it.
SA Chakraborty's sweeping tale of a young thief who gets swept away to a magical kingdom with characters and creatures straight out of your most fantastical dreams and worst nightmares comes to an end with the dazzling and triumphant Empire of Gold. Picking up where the Kingdom of Copper left off, the Empire of Gold carries the reader from Daevabad to Cairo, from Ta Ntry to the dark depths of the ocean itself. Chakraborty's impressive writing makes you feel as if you're right there alongside Ali and Nahri fighting for a better world. The characters are complex and the world is vibrant and alive. The story of the Daevabad trilogy is a once in a lifetime journey that luckily you'll be able to visit again and again.
Wide-ranging, brutal and, ultimately, hopeful, this book stuck the landing in every way I'd hoped. I have enjoyed spending time in Daevabad so much- the intensely political storylines are married so well to the fantasy that it makes the world feel alive and breathing in a way that few other series manage- and I found this book to be the perfect, satisfying farewell. Chakraborty has a talent for growing and developing characters (Ali's journey, in particular, has been a really wonderful one to read), one that is displayed to its fullest extent in Empire of Gold. If you have loved Dara, Nahri, Alizayd, Jamshid- heck, even the murderous ifrit- you will find satisfaction here. It's a huge achievement, and I can't wait for it to be available to everyone.
What are emotions? What are feelings? I don't know anymore because OMG I CANNOT EVEN FUNCTION ANYMORE JESUS ROOSEVELT CHRIST. This book was just sooooo unbelievably good, and then just that ending, and how everything turned out and led to that point, and my heart just hurts it is so full. Breeeeaaattthhheee... okay, let's try to write some kind of coherent review. The book starts off pretty much immediately where the last book left us, which I liked because that cliffhanger at the end of the second novel had me reeling. Reeling, I tell you. I must admit that it took me a minute or two to get back into it because it had been over a year ago since I read the last one, and I had forgotten a few things... BUT once I remembered who everyone was (😂) I was more than happy to be thrown back into the thick of it. Just like the other two books in the series, this book was a whirlwind of political intrigue, which I am a massive fan of. I just think incorporating some politics into a fantasy book makes it seem more 'real,' even amongst hidden kingdoms and djinn. I also think that the different kinds of magic were explored and explained really well; the history and the reasoning behind the powers made them seem more legit, vs. a writer who just throws a random magical sword into the mix and then suddenly everyone's' problems are solved. Not Chakraborty - she gives us substance. World-wise, Chakraborty did such a good job on building what was already there. I feel like in the first two books we were still getting to know Daevabad and all of the different types of people and magic, so I was not entirely sure how she was going to expand on it. What she did end up doing, however, was so good, and made so much sense for the story (now that I am thinking back on it). SPOILER YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED but introducing the neighbouring kingdom not only made sense given the ties that Ali had there, but it was also a great way to expand the world and to make it feel a little more realistic END OF SPOILER. And then, the characters... EVERYTHING HURTS AND I AM DYING. Okay, that ending, the way things progressed and changed not only within this book alone but through the whole series. It hurts so much. There was definitely so much character development going on with our three main characters, and they really grew up in the span of the books. The ending, did I love it? Well, not going to lie, within my heart of hearts, there is another ending I maybe would have preferred but given the way the series and characters changed throughout, this is what made sense. Like, if Chakraborty ended things the way I deep-down wanted them to end, then it would've been disingenuous to the people that the characters had become. Overall, I thought that this book trilogy was amazing. Absolutely fantastic, from the world to the characters to Chakraborty's writing, I am a massive fan, and will definitely be reading Chakraborty's next book, no matter what it is. If you like djinn, deserts, and fantastical fantasy, I urge you to pick up this series!
A long awaited finale to a trilogy that captured me when I first discovered the first two books months ago. Though this is a long book - I normally go through them like nobody's business, this one took me a good day to finish, and I was glued to it, I couldn't put it down! To me, there doesn't seem to be any filler in the book, even chapter and scenes moves forward the plot and brings meaning As an added plus point, I was able to dive easily back into the world again after such a substantial break, which is always very much wanted for people who don't have the time or simply want to dive back into it and not read the first ones in the books. The cast of characters section - albeit an edited version so not to push for spoilers could have been put at the beginning so you get that extra reminder before you begin reading. I love the conclusion to the book, it didn't feel forced, and *Spoiler* I was perfectly happy that Nahri and Ali were the endgame for this, they both grew so much through the trilogy, as did all of the characters. Everything wasn't just simply black and white, and there were lots of twists and turns to keep you engaged throughout the book. An amazing end to a trilogy, and overall a must read. These are just my first initial thoughts right after finishing the book and after a re-read I'm sure they'll be more things to pick up on. *Disclaimer - I was provided with an ARC but NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Shannon is a master of storytelling. Her world building is immaculate and the way she develops her characters is amazing. She has made them so complex. I loved everything about this whole series. The representation. The story. The challenges the characters faced. It is truly one of those stories that will stay with me. You can tell that Shannon really researches her books, and is well versed in history. I love seeing it — I also follow her on social media and just love the stuff she shares. She really seems like an all round great person, and I am honoured to support her by buying her books and shouting about them!! Anyone who has not read this book series, and loves fantasy, MUST. It has become one of my favourites. I know Shannon is working on a new story, and my oh my, I CANNOT WAIT. TAKE MY MONEY!! Can’t wait to see what else she comes up with. I will be posting this review on goodreads when I go on it. Thank you so much for sending the e-book to me.
The Empire of Gold is a story that deserves a Gold Medal. The story picks up straight from The Kingdom of Copper, there is no break in the drama and the action. As the story is told in four points of view, Nahir, Ali, Dara and Banu Manizeh (Banu Manizeh POV is minimal). The reader is taken on a journey through the characters eye. Where you see them grow, lose, love, hurt and hope. Dara point of view is the darkest as he battles with his actions and duties. As they weigh heavy on Dara shoulders. All three lead do some sort of soul search but Dara does the most. Ali and Nahir have some sweet/cute moments between them throughout The Empire Gold. I enjoyed the moment where they were thinking about the other, those unguarded moments when they are truthful to themselves. The Empire of Gold continues to build on the magical world that S.A Chakraborty has created. It was fascinating to learn more about Ali and Nahir heritage. As well as seeing the magical community outside of Daevabad. S.A Chakraborty has beautifully weaved a compelling story that brings this amazing series to a fantastic conclusion. I always worry when a series I love is coming to an end that I will hate how it finishes. But I needn't have worried, I won't say anything more as I don't want to spoil the ending. Ali and Nahir have really grown as characters throughout the series. I have always like Nahir, but Ali I was never sure on. But he truly stepped up in The Empire of Gold and become a great man. My Favourite aspects of The Empire of Gold; The revelations The Actions/battle scenes Time away from Daevabad and the other locations. medical My Rating for The Empire of Gold is 5 out of 5. Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collin for granting my wish. And supplying me an E-book copy of The Empire of Gold for a fair and honest review.
It's difficult to describe how perfect this series is and The Empire of Gold closes the trilogy in a satisfying and powerful manner. The character development is one of my favourite aspects and the main character arcs are explored even further in this book. The world-building is richly descriptive and the prose is beautiful. Please read this series if you haven't yet!
Cards on the table, I was terrified to read this final instalment of the Daevabad trilogy, how could it possibly live up to the amazing first and second books? But I knew I had to find out how this story ended so I pulled on my big girl pants and got to reading. Sidebar: I had the audiobooks for the first two books and I highly recommend that format especially if these books seem a little daunting to you. They are exceptionally well narrated. One of the real strengths of this series is the characters. For a story so epic and sprawling, the cast of characters doesn't actually feel too huge, and the fact that there are only two or three perspectives means that it's always clear who's story is important. As a person who struggles to keep track of multiple POV books and epic fantasy with a lot of politics, I never felt lost in this narrative - so much so that I actually think it would be possible to pick this book up even with a long gap between reading the previous book and now - not something you often find with epic fantasy. These characters are all amazingly written, they have their strengths and their failings and, despite the fact that there are 101 other things going on in this book, Chakraborty manages to give them some intense character growth within this book. That's probably one of the things that impresses me most about this series as a whole if you handed me The City of Brass and then had me read the final few chapters of The Empire of Gold like some kind of bookish sadist then it would probably blow my tiny mind as to how on earth the story got to that place. But across the whole story everything just makes sense, pieces fall into place just as they need to and it's hugely satisfying - especially given how many books have had endings that just fall flat. Whichever aspect of this story you are invested in - I think you'll find something satisfying in this conclusion. Now, I read this in a day, because apparently, I am a bookish masochist, but I've heard from a couple of other people that it can drag a bit towards the middle - which I can imagine, but the ending is very good so I would say persevere! I think it will in part depend on which characters you are invested in - and what aspects of the world you want to find out about. I just...adored this series from start to finish - and I couldn't have been happier with the ending than I was. It was pretty much everything I like in fantasy rolled into one. I genuinely can't wait to read what comes next from this author - and now I have to go and find a new trilogy to obsess over in the meantime! My rating: 5/5 stars I received a free digital advanced review copy from the publisher via NetGalley - all opinions are my own. The Empire of Gold comes out June 11th
EXCELLENT sequel to The Kingdom of Copper. LOVED every minute of it. All the answers were given, good pace, exciting story continued. I couldn't ask for more. If you haven't read this series, you should! Thanks a lot to NG and the publisher for this copy.
You know that feeling of loss when you’ve finished a book that you enjoyed in the absolute, and felt like the characters’ world was one you wanted to be a part of as well? That’s what Empire of Gold did to me. Finishing it a few weeks ago, I wanted that feeling to settle down before I could attempt a review. In the final book of the Daevabad Trilogy, Chakraborty’s fantastical world has expanded beyond Daevabad, that famed city of magical magnificence, as Nahri, and Ali find themselves in Cairo, Egypt. Suleman’s Ring is a moody possession that does little to enhance the power of its new, reluctant bearer. And Daevabad is suddenly bereft of its magic. As Nahri and Ali recover from the war for the conquest of Daevabad in Nahri’s old home, they come to grips with the difficult choices they must make to bring back Daevabad’s magic, and return some semblance of magical normalcy to their world. And Dara can not leave Daevabad, his magic is the sole survivor from the War and Banu Manizheh needs him by her side more than ever as she tries to resurrect the glory of her daevas, to mixed results, and reception. In Empire of Gold, Chakraborty takes us to TaNtry, where Ali’s mother rules. The cast of ‘beings’ also expands beyond humans and beings of fire - the Marid and Peris are just as invested in Daevabad and its magic, and the fate of Suleman’s Ring, as well as its bearer. In this trilogy Chakraborty has created a world, and people who are as messy, and nuanced in a magical setting as they are in the world around us. She addresses wars, civil wars, historicism, romance and geopolitics in the djinn world, not once offering easy solutions to problems literally, That rise out of the water, or appear out of thin air. She does however show that old ideas stand little chance when new problems are met with creative solutions instead of the win/lose equation of the past. Stepping away from winning and losing, that is where the strength of Daevabad Trilogy lies. The people are not straight up good or bad, they have been shaped by circumstances and their histories, but they can chose to act independent of what history dictates, and that is what will bring the trilogy to a somewhat satisfying end. I say somewhat because instead of a neat end, Chakraborty conclusion to the series has left room for us to imagine a journey for the characters, long after the last page has been turned. A fantasy book, I believe should have that kind of hold on its readers, and all the best fantasy series do.
After finishing Kingdom of Copper and THAT cliffhanger, I was desperate to read Empire of Gold. Empire of Gold picks right back up where Kingdom of Copper finished off. We start with a prologue from Manizheh who has a beautiful and heartbreaking card up her sleeve regarding her daughter. This first chapter, while giving an insight into Manizheh and her plans for Daevabad, sets the tone for this book in promising a devastating and action packed story. As with the previous two books, the storytelling is sublime. Each character is rich and tangible and the world so descriptive, you can imagine it in your mind. I love that within this book we see some other stories develop further with characters that were passing mentions in the other two books. I wanted more of the fiery Queen Hatset and we got it as well as introducing some rather interesting new characters like Fiza and Sobek. We’re back in Cairo in this book which feels like a beautiful full circle for Nahri, having trained as a healer back in the Nahid hospital to be back on the streets where we first met her, in a place that she calls home. We also pay a visit to the famed Ta Ntry and a few other places where mentioning will spoil the story! I really feel for Nahri, having been dragged to a magical city and trying to fit in while dealing with both Djinn and Shafit heritage. As a Nahid, she belongs in Daevabad but as the little thief, she belongs in Egypt. She is torn, much like many of our heroes in stories between duty and what her heart wants. She goes through many revelations in this conclusion and my heart was aching for her. She handles everything brilliantly and always looks to the bigger picture and allows herself small moments of joy. She is a unique character and I love her wit and heart. Daevabad itself is in civil war, each tribe separated and locked behind their gates after the conclusion of Kingdom of Copper. The Geziri’s suffering the most due to Manizheh’s vapour which decimated their population, that was only a taste of what she is capable of. Each leader thinks that they are doing what is right for the people negating the fact that an equally cruel tyrant has taken over their city in yet another vicious cycle. The biggest victims are the people, being slaughtered and this seen as a price for freedom. The actions scenes in this are both breathtaking and disturbing. Chakraborty paints ruly chaotic, epic battle scenes while allowing for no detail to be missed. This really is an epic conclusion. You can see when you read this how the first two books set up this last stand. Nahri and Alizayd whose friendship blossomed, who are now tasked with saving Daevabad from Manizheh to Darayavahoush, our ever suffering Afshin. I have a massive soft spot for Dara, he had his choices taken away from him and has to suffer the repercussions of that for all of this years. That being said Ali grew on me over this trilogy, I love his purity and righteousness, he hates to cause a scandal and it’s a beautiful awkwardness that I adore!. This book is filled with love, betrayal, discovery, friendships and heart stopping, gasping moments. A thrilling conclusion to a spellbindingly beautiful story, Chakraborty is a genius. You won’t want to put it down. A small part of me wishes for a different end (more for my own selfish love) but it was the perfect conclusion that left me fulfilled and teary at the same time. I really hope that we get to visit Daevabad again one day, but for now this was beautiful. Massive thank you to HarperCollins for letting read this book early, it was truly a gift.
I don't think I have adequate or even coherent words to say just how much I adored this book. 750 pages that somehow feels like maybe 400, perfect pacing, perfect conclusion, and Chakraborty broke and mended my heart multiple times. This book was perfection for me and I thank the publishers and NetGalley for the eARC I read in exchange for my honest, but very fangirl-ish, review.
I don't even know what to say about this book, it was utter PERFECTION!!! If you know me at all you’ll know how much this series means to me. I’ve fallen in love with this world and characters since I've discovered this series from @b00kdragon, she was always gushing about it on her bookstagram page 😁 Now that I’ve read it I can definitely say that it solidifies the trilogy as one of my all time favorite book series ever. This book had everything I could have wanted and more. What I love most about it is the character development.Dara has been my favorite character since his very first appearance in The city of brass and his ending - and his last scene with Nahri - made me cry so many tears of happiness that I had to stop reading, I couldn't see the words lol😭🤣. For me, his ending is the ending every antihero/villainous character should have!!!
Thank you to Harper Voyager and Netgalley for sending me this arc in exchange for an honest review. This book was the absolute perfect conclusion to the most amazing trilogy I have ever read! This review will contain spoilers for the first two books so please don’t read this if you haven’t read the first two books. I have tried to keep this review spoiler free! Before I start my review let me just say, I love Alizayd with my whole heart and I will forever be thankful to Shannon for bringing him to life and giving me the complex nuanced Muslim rep of an apologetically practicing young Muslim I had been craving. This whole trilogy is phenomenal and Empire of Gold was an absolutely amazing conclusion which simultaneously left me satisfied and yet left me craving more stories of all the amazing characters. The story starts where The Kingdom of Copper ends which was a nice surprise as I had no idea what to expect with how much time had passed. But The Empire of Gold starts exactly where book two ends so we see the aftermath of everything that happened in The Kingdom of Copper. Shannon’s writing is extraordinary, I am completely immersed in the world that she has created, I can almost touch and taste everything and any and all food references left me craving it all. Her world building is absolutely phenomenal and in this book we get to explore new places that are part of the Daevabad world including Ta Nytry and all I want to do is go on holiday there, it sounds incredible. This trilogy has some of the most complex characters I have ever read and they all make you see their side of the story which makes it more complicated as to who you want to root for. No character is perfect, they all make bad decisions, things they regret and they all have to deal with the consequences of these decisions. It made each of them more compelling to read. We get the point of view of Nahri, Ali and Dara so we see what is happening both in Daevabad through Dara and outside Daevabad through Ali and Nahri. Through Ali and Nahri we see them trying to recover after ending up in Cairo and their chapters are much more light hearted and at times absolutely hilarious and it contrasts starkly with Dara’s point of view which is really dark and at times very difficult to read. I found myself going back to reread Ali and Nahri’s chapters and their banter and awkward flirting and skirting around their complicated feelings and honestly it was a joy to read. The first half of The Empire of Gold has some of my favourite scenes in the whole trilogy, especially chapter nine. I love that chapter with my whole heart! Nahri’s story arc was so wonderful to read. She goes from a con artist in the streets of Cairo to leading a rebellion and fighting for justice for all in Daevabad. I loved watching her grow throughout the trilogy. She has been through so much and because of her circumstances she finds it hard to trust people and open up to anyone in case she gets hurt but watching her slowly open up to Ali was so wonderful to see. She deserves to have someone in her life that she can trust and depend on and who won’t hold her back or dictate her life. Ali is of course my favourite character in the whole trilogy, it’s no secret how much I love him and watching him grow from the naïve teenager to the man we see by the end of the trilogy was truly wonderful. He is still socially awkward and has the absolute worst timing but he learns and grows so much throughout the books. He is still unapologetic in practicing his faith yet he has learned that Islam is not black and white and there is a lot more nuance to the religion than he initially believed. He also learns a lot about his families past and heritage which also affects him in many ways. Especially in chapter thirty seven I felt for him so much. His story by the end is one of a man who will rebuild his home and care for it’s people and he is still driven by social justice but just like he is there for Nahri, Nahri is also there for him to ground him when he may get carried away with his ideas of change. Dara’s story arc was fascinating to read, I really do not like him, he spends so much of the book saying how he has been made into a weapon, which is true and I hate how the Nahid council manipulated him into becoming who he is, yet it takes him far too long to learn and take a stand for himself. There is a scene where he is talking to Kartir about this and Kartir tells him to instead think of all those victims who died and to try to atone for his mistakes and I just wish he had learnt that earlier. I wanted him to realise that actually the shafit or jinns weren’t the ones who caused his life to become what it was it was in fact the Nahid council and to spend more time thinking about how to make amends for his actions. I felt like screaming ‘please Dara use your brain’ at him many times! It got to the point where it was very difficult for me to empathise with him anymore but there was a chapter that despite everything I truly felt for him and could not believe that Manizheh actually did that. But Shannon’s writing is truly exceptional that she created such a complex character that people see in so many different ways. We learn a lot and have many questions answered that have been on our minds since reading the first two books and yet I wanted more. If Shannon had written a thousand page book I would have happily read it, I am not ready to leave Daevabad. I am especially not ready to leave Ali, Nahri, Muntadhir, Jamshid and Zaynab. I want to know more I want to follow their lives post Empire of Gold. I especially wish we had gotten to see Muntadhir’s or Zaynab’s point of view in this book. It would have been so interesting too see what was happening in other parts of Daevabad and these two siblings trying to work out how to save everyone from within. I also loved seeing Ali and Nahri’s relationship develop over the trilogy. I loved how they were rivals and initially hostile towards each other and were forced to be around each other and ended up becoming friends and slowly we see something more. The fact that despite them developing more than friendship feelings for each other doesn’t stop them being friends was so wonderful to see. Ali is of course smitten (though he constantly denies this). Nahri slowly develops more feelings for Ali in Empire of Gold and when anyone points this out she also denies it but I really loved seeing such a healthy relationship in a book. Ali expects nothing from her, he knows that she finds it difficult to let people in and he lets her decide where their relationship goes. And of course the awkward flirting was absolutely hilarious to read. No smooth lines between these two idiots and I loved them for it! Shannon ended the trilogy beautifully, it isn’t a happily ever after, instead we get to see a hopeful new beginning for all of the characters as they navigate their lives with all the changes that will inevitably happen. This trilogy will forever hold a special place in my heart and I couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion. I have so much I want to know about their lives at the end but I also love the ending. I could talk about this book forever, there is so much more I want to say but I don’t want to spoil anyone so this will have to do for now. PS. I will never be ready to leave Daevabad so I am praying that Shannon returns here one day but I am also very excited about reading her next series which will involve pirates!
Every 5 years or so, I read a book, usually a series of books, that I can’t stop thinking about, and this right here is the finale of my latest obsession. Over the past two years, I spent sleepless nights making up theories, whole days drawing fanart until my carpal tunnel started complaining, weekends discussing the fandom with like-minded people online… I even made normie friends read it, more or less forcibly. And now the series is over, but my thoughts are still revolving around it. I’m sure it’s going to occupy my mind for a long time yet, and of how many other books can I say that? After the sudden cliffhanger at the end of The Kingdom of Copper, Nahri and Ali, magically transported back to the shores of the Nile with Suleyman's ring in tow, have to choose between hiding in the relative safety of Cairo or taking action against Daevabad's conquerors, now that the world of djinn is left empty of magic. Back in Daevabad, Dara assists Manizheh in establishing what he believes to be a new dynasty of rightful Nahid rule, yet starts to doubt her good intentions towards her subjects - and slowly finds himself serving yet another tyrant. There are so many great additions in EoG to the already overwhelming world of djinn that I have lost count, but just for you to get an idea: we get a deep dive into Marid lore (which deserves a whole fantasy novel of its own, minimum), slave-djinn solidarity at its finest, shafit pirates, human sacrifices, demonic possession, a visit to Cairo, digusting medical procedures (that are still practiced to this day), exquisitely heartbreaking romance, and more. I can promise you, The Empire of Gold is the final installment everyone wished for, and I can’t imagine a single reader who won’t be content with this resolution. S.A. Chakrabroty, like many authors before her, had the thankless task of writing an ending that would satisfy most of her fans, and all that in the middle of a shipping war, but she managed to do everyone justice with closing chapters I did not in the least expect. Beforehand, I had anticipated lots of the scenes and plot twists (always watching them unfold with great satisfaction, as one does when there have been just enough hints and foreshadowing, theorizing and late-night talks with friends), but I did not see that coming. And oh, I cried. Dara remains one of my favourite characters of all time. [insert "the power that he has, the intelligence that that has, the clearance that he has" reaction image] His plotline goes beyond even my expectations, but there is more character development in unexpected places, and extra page time for some beloved deuteragonists the fandom had barely gotten to know before. I still have my problems with this book: For one, I felt like this installment oddly relied on sexualized content more than the previous two, which threw me off a little. [Ali's eroticizing every part of Nahri's body constantly was making me uncomfortable pretty quick. (hide spoiler)] And there were parts that circled in on themselves – „I just told character A that [very important thing], now I have to make up my courage to tell character B that [same very important thing], but oh, they were told by someone else already! So the plot can continue now.“ I was glad about the book’s length, savouring every extension of the trilogy, but feel that there were moments that called for a bit of cropping. I’ll admit it: The middle third of this novel dragged somewhat, and I kept counting the pages between Dara’s POV chapters, which were without doubt the darkest, most depressing of them all (I do like books hurting me). I could also sense the author's intent to change the reader's opinion of a character and/or situation behind some of the scenes, which I do not appreciate. Besides, I still have burning questions that need answers [Now, how exactly was Dara brought back a second time? Are there rules to how the slave curse is transferred from one master to the next? Why couldn't the asexuality spectrum be explored further here??? (hide spoiler)], so that I briefly considered rating EoG down to four stars, but… who am I even kidding? Of course the ending made me sad. [“broken immortal being spending their days alone in exile for all eternity“ is a hateful trope. (hide spoiler)] Still, I got to know so many lovely people in the Daevabad fandom whom I can’t imagine not talking to on a regular basis by now, was offered amazing opportunities to develop as an artist, and participated in a fan community the way I always wished I could but I had never done before. I’m leaving Daevabad deeply grateful for the many experiences it gifted me with – imaginary and not – and hope to see many others enjoy it the way I did. I’ll make sure to return again. Normally, I write and publish reviews in a matter of hours to days after finishing a book, but I had to think over this one for literally months. The Empire of Gold made me scream. It made me sob. In the end, emotion is all I ask for, and I definitely received it. I can hardly put into words what these books made me feel. But as I said: I like books that hurt a little.
I've reviewed the book on my blog and on my Booktube channel. The Empire of Gold is, without a doubt, one of the best conclusions I’ve ever read. The City of Brass is one of the best series I’ve ever read, and I’m very glad that Chakraborty wrapped it up in this way. It’s full on perfection, so read my review below to hear my somewhat rambly thoughts on it. If you’re interested, I’ve also uploaded a video review on Booktube, in which I almost cry on camera, get really protective of Nahri, and gush about how proud I am of everyone. I can’t promise this review is going to be any good because since finishing The Empire of Gold yesterday I’ve been a bit emotiona and unable to put my thoughts together. Sorry everyone. But I also really need to talk about this book! So here I am. So, let’s start off with the basics. The Empire of Gold is the third book in the City of Brass series, based on Middle Eastern mythology that involves djinn. And various other creatures, but that’s for later. Unlike The Kingdom of Copper, there’s no time jump in this book. The Empire of Gold picks up with Nahri and Ali in Egypt, having accidentally fled Daevabad to escape Manizheh. Dara, meanwhile, is still wreaking havoc in the city as the djinn go into what is essentially lockdown. Muntadhir is imprisoned, and Jamshid is missing. I’m not even sure where to start with my thoughts on this series, because it completely blew me away and mangled my brain. Will anything else ever live up to this? Probably not. Okay so the plot. SO MUCH HAPPENS. You’ve got the three POV characters doing their own thing, mostly, and I loved how Chakraborty managed to split them up. Ali and Nahri were together for a lot of the book, but they both added to their storylines and having them together didn’t make any of their bits redundant. Seeing Daevabad fall to Manizheh was soul destroying. You really get to know the city along with Nahri in the previous two books, and I was so attached to it. So seeing the way the djinn had to protect themselves and how they were treated by Manizheh and her people was awful. It really pulled on my heartstrings. The plot moved along really nicely because Ali and Nahri were travelling a lot. It didn’t stagnate at any point, although I will say it started to almost (ALMOST, but not quite) drag for me in the middle because I kept wanting to go back to Daevabad to make sure my faves were okay. They were also discovering more things about the world(s) they live in, which was fascinating. The balance between new information and the old stuff was perfect, and a lot of the new stuff had been hinted at before so seeing it all come to fruition was beautiful. The characters…. oh boy. Nahri continues to be an absolute boss. She’s gone from being a con artist in Cairo to a future queen in Daevabad, to embracing both sides of herself. There’s one part in the book where she realises she needs her con artist side to pull her through and win, so f*ck all the people who put her down for that. Seeing her open up was wonderful. She’s always been on her own and fending for herself but now she slowly trusts people and stops lying to them and lets them in. Nahri is the most precious and I stan. Ali has never really been my favourite character, but I’ve always really enjoyed his POV as wel as his character growth, especially from The Kingdom of Copper onwards. He also goes through a lot of growth in The Empire of Goldd. He stops acting so irrationally and impulsively, and uses his head a bit more. He also spends a lot of time figuring out his feelings for Nahri, which is fine, I guess. I don’t ship them together, but I do love their relationship. Dara… is just f*cking tragic. Just when you think he’s going to realise what he’s doing and turn on Manizheh, he goes and does something even worse. He’s loyal to the Nahids and doesn’t know how to stop. I was honestly disgusted with his actions and the things he did in this book, and you’re supposed to be. But there’s also a small part of him that you hope will step up and change his course. Chakraborty has done an INCREDIBLE job with developing these characters and giving them three separate and distinct storylines. She’s a very talented writer to get all of this so write. And Muntadhir! <3 He could have been in this more to be honest. The book would have been even longer, and at 750 pages it’s already huge, but I wouldn’t have cared. He’s got a lot of potential if Chakraborty wants to write some short stories about him, iajs. Manizheh is TERRIFYING. And super villainous. But you get it. There’s no redemption for her, but Chakraborty makes sure you understand why she is the way she is. She’s such a well written villain, and she puts a lot of other fictional villains to shame. And the world building! If you thought you had a solid grasp on the worldbuilding in this trilofy and in The Kingdom of Copper then you are so wrong. Things that were hinted at in the previous books in the series were brought to light, touched upon, and expanded in The Empire of Gold. This world is so vast and complex that even the characters don’t know it that well. I loved how Chakraborty brought back parts of the previous books. I’d strongly recommend rereading them if you can because you’re going to want to remember even little details. (LIKE THE CHEF). Ultimately, I think the message to take away from The Empire of Gold and the Daevabad series as a whole is to show compassion. The villains in this series became villains because they stopped thinking about others. They only focused on the select lucky few instead of extending that compassion to everyone around them. So, like Nahri, be compassionate. Be kind. Be inclusive. And be understanding. I think it’s a really beautiful message from a truly incredible series, and I’m so thankful that S. A. Chakraborty wrote this and shared it with the world.
This is the third in the trilogy and as I had a significant gap between the books I struggled at first to get into the groove but I am so glad I did. The third book completes the story of Nahri, Ali and Dara as they struggle to save Daevebad, the city of Djinns that they all love for very different reasons. Much which is a mystery in the first 2 books is explained and the characters have evolved and matured and are more explicable. I was so gripped I re read the trilogy through in its entirety again. It is a fantasy worthy of the Arabian nights and I suspect the door is open for sequels but although this book really needs you to read the first parts of the trilogy to make sense, it neatly finishes the stories without leaving the reader hanging. Five stars.
Writing this review is hard. It marks the end of one of my favourite series. And I loved it so much, I really struggle to put all those emotions into words. Words that are not just me rambling about how much I fell in love with the Daevabad trilogy. Words that are supposed to make actual sense. Believe me, if a review could just be a series of „aaaaaaah“s and some crying, this review would contain not much else. But words are needed. And I shall try my best. Empire of Gold starts off right where book 2 ended. Ali and Nahri are literally stranded in Egypt, with Suleiman’s seal but no power. They are both struggling with their situation, the loss of magic and how they feel about returning to Daevabad. They need plans and allies. But they also have inner demons and own memories to deal with. I loved how their relationship has developed over the first two books and it continues to do so beautifully in this one. They care deeply for each other, they already went through so much and they know that they might not survive what’s going to come. But they know, despite the enmities between their families and the differences between them, that they can count on each other. Their relationship is so wonderfully written, growing over a large amount of time, having its ups and downs. The two of them just share so much, their bond going so deep, uniting them in trauma and a strong friendship. But I also loved Nahri and Ali individually. I wasn’t Ali’s biggest fan in the first book, but he really grew on me in Kingdom of Copper and I fell more and more in love with him while reading this one. He is a cinnamon roll, always trying to see the best in people and I am soft. How could I be dumb and not like him in City of Brass? Why? And Nahri, my fierce Nahid. She’s still so stubborn and never holds back with her opinion. I love that so much about her. She’s so strong, getting back up when she’s down, and even when she has doubts, she usually does the right thing for everyone while still looking out for herself and caring for her own wants and needs, too. I loved reading both PoVs. The third narrator of the story is Dara. Oh, Dara. My poor, poor, heart. While I love all of the protagonists in this series, if I had to pick a favourite, it would be Dara. Where Ali and Nahri’s chapter felt a bit like an adventure story, Dara’s chapters were dark and lanced with conflict. Dara is an incredibly complex character, constantly torn between what’s right for his rulers and what’s right for everyone else, between his guilt and conscience and the wish to finally end this war at all costs. Torn between living and dying. And that tore me apart, too. His emotions and feelings were described in such raw, sometimes hopeless ways, my heart broke and broke and broke for him. The things he had to go through in his long, long life. Nevertheless, his whole character arc was so well written and developed, it made sense. Even though he hurt and I hurt too. I quite liked the contrast of Dara’s chapters and those of Nahri and Ali. This way, it was a good mixture of heavy content, a bit of fun, some romance, some friendship, light and dark and hope balancing each other wonderfully. In my opinion, Empire of Gold was the perfect last book for this series. It did a great job of finding solutions for every character and beautifully enough, those solutions fit. While my heart wasn’t exactly happy with the outcome of everything, my rational mind surely is. The characters got the endings they deserved, and more, they got the endings that fit them. I felt both content and like nothing will ever fill that Daevabad shaped hole in my chest. I’m still not over it and it’s been a week. The whole series is just so good, so wonderful and each book has something unique with this one rounding it up perfectly. And I might reread the series soon because ugh, I just love it so much.
Thank you to HarperVoyager UK and Netgalley for an early copy of this book! Please be warned that as this is the final book in a trilogy, the review will contain SPOILERS for the first two books: The City of Brass and The Kingdom of Copper. Appropriate to how The Kingdom of Copper left off, The Empire of Gold starts with a brutal, dark time for all our characters as a brutal coup had just fractured many alliances and factions on top of many innocents lives lost. While the Daevabad trilogy has been a dark series from the beginning, The Empire of Gold is a much grimmer book compared to its predecessors as it dives in the full depth of the darkest desires one may have that result from circumstances or in some instances, ones regardless of them. Dara's chapters embody more of this raw journey while Nahri and Ali's reflect more of the hopeful adventure to end the bloodshed in Daevabad. As a result, however, some chapter transitions come a bit jarring due to the contrasting tone of these two paths that occur in the book. While the author never lets us forget the dire stakes of our heroes' journey in form of Dara's perspective inside conquered Daevabad, Nahri and Ali's chapters are slower in pace as they have more obstacles that are more political in nature which may result in some readers' frustration knowing fully well how high the stakes are. Regardless, however, the political nature of this book helps to develop the stakes as the author masterfully recreates all the nuances and complexities of real-world societies in the world of Daevabad. As such, we get to see how political failure after failure descends to horrific violence as we reach the climax of the book. A major strength that has been true for all books in this trilogy is that the characters have rich and complex layers that are so well-developed one can easily understand and empathize with *any* character in the book, even the villains while never devolving to romanticizing or excusing their actions. A thrilling finale to the Daevabad trilogy, The Empire of Gold could not have ended more perfectly as each character gets an ending they deserve, and long-spanning threads planted in previous books are brought together seamlessly. This series has been amazing throughout its run, and its conclusion The Empire of Gold has solidified its excellence.
After reading the first two books in this trilogy in mere days a few months ago and adoring them, I was highly anticipating this final part. And this novel didn’t disappoint. It’s been so refreshing to have a fantasy series that doesn’t fall back on the ‘medieval European’ style that so many use. The Arabian Nights and Arabic/Middle Eastern influences made this a truly special series. The mythology blends beautifully with the characters, and the way that was expanded in this final book was magical without being overwhelming. Following the events of Kingdom of Copper, Nahri and Ali need to find a way back to Daevabad, while Dara starts to question his allegiance to Manizheh after her destructive actions. As the pair travel back to their beloved city, gathering alliances along the way, things take a turn for the worst in the city at the heart of it all. Looking back over the entire series, it’s lovely to see how the characters have changed while each change has seemed entirely natural. You can see who they were at the start, and how they have grown, how their flaws held them back and their strengths helped them move forward. Nahri is a shining star in this sense: she isn’t a perfect person, which makes her — to me — a perfect character. There are times she wants to turn back and give up, which is incredibly believable. Ali is one of my favourite characters I’ve ever read, after being ambivalent about him at the start. Dara commits some terrible acts, and yet I am thrilled with his ending. As a final book, I loved it. Everything was wrapped up, questions were answered, but there were still some things left to the readers’ imaginations. Seeing the main conflict/action ending at 91% in my version made me so happy, because it was plenty of time to wrap things up for all of the characters I’d invested my time into. Overall, the writing was gorgeous, and unafraid to go to dark places. I can’t wait to reread when I get the chance, and to find a nice boxset of the series to have on my all time favourites shelf.