The City of Brass
Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.
But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass?a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.
In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.
After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for.
This is rather an astonishing debut novel. I cannot believe it is a debut. Pretty outstanding!
From what I understand, the author of this novel is a total history buff with a keen interest in the Middle East. That is absolutely apparent when reading about the cultural details that describe the people, their garments, their homes, customs, foods, and cities they live in. While reading, you will feel immersed in the sprawling city of Daevabad with it's markets, the smells of herbs, meats, vegetables, teas, baked flat breads, wines, flowers etc. You'll hear the flutes playing, bells ringing, people singing, dancing and laughing.
This long and epic journey that Nahri is on for most of the book is packed with hair raising challenges, scary moments, riddles, warriors and magic. It falls nothing short of extraordinary and you won't be able to predict the big conclusion. Which happens to be with a twist in the end that Nahri does not even know about. That's where the next book will continue and I cannot wait.
In all I am so surprised how much one can pack into one novel. With over 500 pages long, it keeps going with so many characters and turns, it just does not get boring. I may actually want to reread it to be sure I did not miss anything. The blurb of the book depicts the content perfectly, so I did not go into those details in this review. This YA novel was done very well. It reminds me of Kiersten Whites novels. So if you like The Conqueror's Saga, I think you will enjoy this one. Happy reading!