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The City of Brass

(The Daevabad Trilogy #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  46,171 ratings  ·  7,625 reviews
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 s
Hardcover, 533 pages
Published November 14th 2017 by Harper Voyager
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S.A. Chakraborty The City of Brass is classified as an adult fantasy, but I suspect older teens would enjoy it. The main characters are 20, 18, and well, vaguely immor…moreThe City of Brass is classified as an adult fantasy, but I suspect older teens would enjoy it. The main characters are 20, 18, and well, vaguely immortal ;)
There's not much sexual content, but there is some violence.(less)

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Average rating 4.11  · 
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chai ♡
I can tally my life in good days and bad days, and thanks to this book, this turned out to be a very bad day.

I’m less of a person and more of a physical manifestation of how much this book disappointed me. It’s like my personality has been factory reset and all I want now is to go out into an empty field and scream for about an hour and generally just give in to the brief privilege of hating myself for harboring so many expectations.

I really can’t wait to not be let down by every single one of m
Will Byrnes
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It’s time to polish that special lamp gathering webs in the attic, put a fine edge on your bladed weaponry, remind yourself of ancient tribal insults and outrages, dust off that list of wishes that is around here somewhere and vacuum your magic carpet. You are about to be transported.

“The Magic Carpet” (detail), 1880, by Apollinary Mikhaylovich Vasnetsov © State Art Museum, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia/Bridgeman Art Library

Nahri, our Aladdin here, is a twenty-year-old thief and con artist, working
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Ugg, tried a reread but didn’t like it at all the second time. I’m not sure why I thought I liked it the first time around. Unhauling special edition. 😕

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

ARC provided by Harper Voyager in exchange for an honest review.

The City of Brass was unlike any Fantasy novel I’ve read before, and I completely adored it. This debut novel is easily one of the best books I’ve read in 2017, and I will sing its praises even after its release on November 14th, 2017. Please guys, don’t sleep on this story, because it has not received the hype it deserves.

This is the first book in an own voices Muslim Fantasy series, that walks the line between Young Adult and Adu

The long-overdue review finally posted.

This could and would have been a 5-star read for me had it not been for that incredibly slow start all the way through almost the end of the book.
The first half was very much foundational which introduced us to the world, the characters, as well as the inner workings and machinations of the city of Brass. Obviously, this is highly appreciated but I don’t think we needed to spend the entire three-quarters of the book just getting introduced to thing
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites-2020
I was entranced from the beginning of this book. Politics, schemes, magic, brutality, and beauty all wrapped into one. I cannot wait to continue with the series.

I’ll be doing a full review and discussion on my channel.
may ❀
Full review FINALLY posted

Every time I think about this book and how excited I was to read it and how it caused me the biggest disappointment of my life I laugh through my tears bc wHY WAS I EXPECTING ANYTHING LESS

Im aware ^ sentence made no sense but im really fragile and vulnerable and sad right now also it took me like 3 weeks to read this book ??? so I also feel scammed. I want a refund my time and tears.

i'm terribly sad to be writing such a review because i had SO MUCH HIGH hopes for th
Robin Hobb
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
As always, I want to let others know that I received this book as a gift from my publishers. In this instance, I have not met the author, but hope that at some time I will.

Do you remember the first time a book took you out of your culture? I think for most of us it happens in childhood. For me, my passage to other countries and times came in the form of fairy tales and legends. We had a fat volume of Arabian Nights (most likely edited for kids) with lavish line illustrations. That was my first i
Apr 14, 2018 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Edit: I've decided to not go back to this book.
For one, I realised how relieved I felt when I decided to quit on it.
Second, I would stop mid-sentence and paragraph several times.
Third, I do not think I'll be missing out on greatness if I don't read it. 🌚
Farewell, book. We broke up for good.

So, this took a turn. 😬
I want to blame the book. I think I will blame the book. But this could also very well be that I haven't been in the mood to read fantasy books in fore
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the only way to describe this book is as an enticingly ambitious journey.

one you will need to be prepared to endure, because it is long and somewhat exhausting. as the most rewarding journeys tend to be.

but i assure you, you will experience some of the most magical surprises and adventures, meet some of the most complex and intriguing characters, and devour some of the most deliciously crafted words along the way.

and once you finally reach the destination, well, its a wonder beyond anything y
Roshani Chokshi
I just finished reading this by the dying light of my cellphone while small, devious looking insects clamored towards the light and attacked my face. I HAVE NO REGRETS. That is how spellbinding this book is...I could not put it down. I haven't had that kind of visceral "No one touch this book, it is actually a clever extension of my hand, and I will BITE you if you come between me and these characters" reaction in awhile. Chakraborty has some truly dazzling workdbuilding skills, but beyond that, ...more
Joshita ❤
Sep 03, 2020 marked it as dnf
Shelves: fantasy, series

I am sorry but I don't think we can work this out. Believe me when I say that it is not YOU—it is ME. That does sound like the biggest lie, doesn't it? But I haven't even explored you entirely and I can't judge something I haven't seen the full potential of (that just sounds very inappropriate in my mind now). For a brief time, we knew each other...10 chapters to be precise, I liked you, or maybe I liked the idea of you because everyone else liked you. Then I even
i really wanted to LOVE this book but unfortunately it just didn't work for me 😭i wasn't super invested in the characters so i didn't really care about what was going on (i also found it confusing at times). it definitely wasn't a bad book and the world was amazing, it just didn't work for me personally.
may ➹
Jan 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who like to suffer
The feeling you get when one of your most anticipated books lives up to your expectations is one of the best. It’s the contentment that you feel about not hating everything you read. It’s the peacefulness that you feel knowing that you actually can like books. And most of all, it’s the excited feeling of finally NOT being crushed by overwhelming disappointment that a book turned out to be as good as you thought it was.

Unfortunately, The City of Brass did not give me ANY of those feelings whatso
Charlotte May

“Often the mightiest things have the humblest beginnings.”

This was a wonderful and immersive fantasy. Though at times the world building was pretty damn heavy and I still don’t understand everything even after finishing all 500 pages. (Like the difference between Djinn and Daeva, and what the war was actually caused by.) There are loads of tribes, and religions and stuff.

Despite this, Nahri is a fantastic heroine. She is feisty yet soft when she needs to be, able to take care of herself withou
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Nahri, a young woman living alone in 18th century Cairo, gets by doing minor cons, fake healing rituals and a little theft. She knows nothing about her parents or heritage but, in addition to being able to diagnose disease in others with a glance and occasionally truly heal them, her own body automatically heals of injuries almost instantly and she has the magical ability to understand ― and speak ― any language.

Nahri’s life gets upended when she
chan ☆
May 18, 2020 added it
Shelves: on-pause
on pause, had to return my audiobook whoops
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's like the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy.
Feb 13, 2019 marked it as to-read
I've seen this book all over bookstagram, it;s crazy. Sounds interesting
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
May 2020 edit: if you're going to read this for the first time, I recommend not doing it via audiobook, the narration is okay but the Arabic is butchered. So i know that if I didn't already know this story by heart, and love it so much, I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much.

I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review.

Full review originally posted on my blog: Word Wonders

Content Warnings: Death, blood, violence, assault, passing mention of rape.

Well. Thi
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sfdoiajhrsohfdraokufskjvf I DON'T KNOW HOW I FEEL. If I'm being honest, I found the first 3/4ths of this book to be.. just fine? Not bad, but nothing special. The ending was GREAT, but is that enough to rate this book higher? I don't know how I feel!!!!! I'm going with a 3.5 rounded up to 4 for now, but I reserve my right to change that as I mull it over further lol
✨ A ✨
Oct 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ✨ A ✨ by: Azrah
“So you just live quietly with these powers?" he demanded. "Haven't you ever wondered why you have them? Suleiman's eye... you could be overthrowing governments, and instead you steal from peasants!”

Nahri grew up in the streets of 18th century Cairo — a con artist and a thief.

Though possessing mysterious healing abilities herself, Nahri does not believe in magic. It comes as a shock to her when one night she accidentally summons a djinn named Darayavahoush.

Dara informs Nahri that she is not a no
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, edelweiss
Soo.... This book. If you've been following my updates you probably already know I wasn't a huge fan. There are a lot of things The City of Brass does right, and one very important thing it doesn't. I'm also going to cover this review with a disclaimer in saying that I think plenty of readers will enjoy this book. It might just be me.

I really loved Nahri's character from the beginning. She's a thief and a con artist. She has a smart mouth and doesn't really take crap from anyone. If you give her
April (Aprilius Maximus)
“Greatness takes time, Banu Nahida. Often the mightiest things have the humblest beginnings.”

representation: characters of colour (characters from various African countries (mainly Egypt), own voices Muslim rep, Jewish rep, m/m side relationship).

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


This was really good. I personally found the world building a litttttttle bit too confusing but that could just be because I listened to the majority of this on a
*Gathers 1 kg of chocalate. Picks up two mugs of coffee. Snuggle in a blanket*


Behold the most dissapointing, the most boring, and the most..dissapointing (one time is not enough) book of my reading carrier. I had never thought that an own voice muslim fantasy novel with djinn politics and a theif as a protaganist could be this much underwhelming, but apparently, it is. This book felt like a 500 pages long prologue. And not the exciting one. There was nothing special here except rich
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-shelf, fantasy
So, I was fairly excited to read a fantasy involving Jinn in both Cairo and Daevabad. I was only slightly worried that it was YA. In the end, I give it more of a 3.5 rating.

BUT WHY? (Says the hoard of YA enthusiasts)

Because while I actually didn't mind the love triangle-ish direction of the tale near the end while Nahri and Dara and Avi have their little intrigue in the famous City of Brass (Daevabad), getting there was something of a slog.

Wait, wait, have you heard this one?

Thief discovers she
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
[re-read Aug 2020] did a speedy reread because I was gifted the third book and I still haven't got to the second, but it's been a while so I seriously needed to refresh my memory of the first 😂

But now having finished my reread . . . I FORGOT HOW GOOD THIS BOOK IS!! I am a fool who now feel stupid because she didn't keep up with this series as it released because ARGH THE ENDING, THE IMPLICATIONS. Diving into Kingdom of Copper asap.

Bar the slow first third/journeying before they reach Daevabad,
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is one of the books I picked up as part of the BooktubeSFF Awards for 2018 as this is on the debut shortlist. I have to say I am very, very glad that I was able to get to this one because although it was on my radar already, this shortlisting made me get around to reading it a whole lot quicker and I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.

This story starts off by following Nahir, a young girl who is able to heal herself instantly. She's a human who lives in Cairo, and she be
*Dara is introduced*
Me: wait that description...looks like Jesse Williams to me
*Dara is a sarcastic and unapologetic bastard*
Me: that’ favorite character there
*Dara gets all angsty and loses his mind*

I’m apparently incapable of writing a good review for this book and the more I wait the more complicated it gets to write it. So we are going to do a bit of a quick review.

I did expect a lot more from this book than what I got, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t love it. I was fascinated by ch
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S. A. Chakraborty is the author of the critically acclaimed and internationally best-selling The Daevabad Trilogy. Her work has been nominated for the Locus, World Fantasy, Crawford, and Astounding awards. When not buried in books about thirteen-century con artists and Abbasid political intrigue, she enjoys hiking, knitting, and re-creating unnecessarily complicated medieval meals. You can find he ...more

Other books in the series

The Daevabad Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy, #2)
  • The Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy, #3)

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