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The Daevabad Trilogy #3

The Empire of Gold

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Fantasy (2020)

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 bloodletting 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. While Nahri finds peace in the old rhythms and familiar comforts of her human 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. Seeking support in his mother’s homeland, he discovers that his connection to the marid goes far deeper than expected and threatens not only his relationship with Nahri, but his very faith.

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.

765 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 11, 2020

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About the author

S.A. Chakraborty

9 books10.8k followers
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 her online at www.sachakraborty.com or on Twitter and Instagram at @SAChakrabooks, where she likes to talk about history, politics, and Islamic art. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and an ever-increasing number of cats.

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5 stars
28,784 (60%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,641 reviews
Profile Image for Regan.
457 reviews110k followers
June 9, 2023
This was literally perfect
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.7k followers
March 28, 2021
‘the city of brass’ handed me a map and started me off on an enticingly ambitious journey.

‘the kingdom of copper’ had me at a fork in the road, unable to choose a path as i did not know my destination.

‘the empire of gold’ has rewarded me for my struggles and has shown me that the journey, no matter the obstacles, is worth it.

this book is the X on the map, the lost city of wonder, the hidden oasis in the desert. it is the final resting point at which a traveller can see just how far they have come, understand just how much they learned and grew from the challenges they faced, all while being surrounded by old friends and new ones they made along the way.

i feel so at peace.

5 stars
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,315 reviews44.1k followers
July 20, 2022
Quick confession: When I saw the page numbers of the book, I draw the blanket on my face and try to hide from the book. Nearly 800 pages! I’m so happy it was not a paperback, I’m holding right now! I don’t want to look like wrestler after finishing my reading (I was looking like giant when I finished Dark Tower series of Stephen King book! It gave me cries to look at my triceps!)

Of course the other two books of the installment were long, too but when I start reading something (and you may guess I’m reading two times faster than normal people. But This overusing your brain and killing your brain cells softly technique earned me scrutinizing and suspicious looks and daily at least 10 emails: are you a robot? You cannot read all of them. FYI” Yes I can and yes I will!) time stops! I stop eating ( thankfully I resume my drinking habits, thanks to my stocked straw collection!
After the quarantine: it’s five o’clock at some place in the earth, cheers!), becoming more asocial (which makes my husband happier and my neighbors happiest), living and feeling the book fully.

But I felt so likely because I already invested in this series for so long and after the cliffhanger of second book, I was really curious about the story’s progression so I want to yell at myself to have second thoughts to start this one. So I grabbed it. It already glued to my hands, my mind, my heart and to my soul. Here we go! Let’s get lost in the story inspired by Arabian nights!

I have to admit: The strongest thing about the book is its unique, impeccably detailed, layered, well-crafted characterization. Interestingly one of my favorite characters is Dara. I know his POV was darker, more gruesome and depressing when you compare with other two POVS but I found those parts more realistic, stunning and vivid. The emotional part of the story fed by slow burn Alizayd and Nahri’s romance. I enjoyed the characters’ development and their inner journeys. They grew, they lost, they hurt, they ached and experienced versions of them were much brighter and likable.

I got really surprised but I root for Muntadhir and Zaynab a lot and I wished they have their own POVS ( I know the book would have more pages than War and Peace with their additional narrations but I still wanted to read their inner thoughts and wanted to learn more about the characters!) Fingers crossed, maybe we get a spinoff and see the supporting characters have their own books!

The conclusion was amazing. There are so many unexpected twists make you flabbergasted, shocked. (My spidey senses retired throughout my reading so I didn’t see any of them coming)

I’m so happy to read this ARC but I also feel sad and nostalgic as usual when a trilogy ends and I have to say goodbye to all those characters I invested for a long time.

I’m rounding up 4.5 start to 5 and I’m closing it with red-rimmed eyes at 4.26 am in the morning! It was a long reading marathon for me but truly it was worth it!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins Voyager for sharing fantastic conclusion of trilogy in exchange my honest review!
Profile Image for Mecca-Amirah Jackson.
Author 6 books56 followers
June 2, 2020
Super update: 4/16/2020

Just got the ARC! 😂 Time to put the money where my mouth is

Update: 1/14/2020

I still stand by what I said.


Nahri and Ali better not get together romantically or I will revolt.
Profile Image for Nicole.
514 reviews14.3k followers
April 2, 2023
Połamała mi serce. Jestem tak usatysfakcjonowana, że szok.
Milion gwiazdek na 5. Nie mam nic do zarzucenia temu tomowi.
Profile Image for Aimal .
514 reviews462 followers
April 1, 2021
anyway this series is dead to me, dara i’ll get you out of there!!!!!!!!!

Update: 08/08/20 - Every time I think about this book, the more disappointment I feel and I want to take off yet another star, so here we are at a 2. Had it not been for Dara's arc and chapters, it may as well have been a 1. :) Everyone say thank you Darayavahoush e-Afshin for carrying this series on his back.

If you really want to know why this conclusion sucked, here's a 10k word long post with all my many grievances. Very spoilery. You've been warned.
Profile Image for Will Byrnes.
1,311 reviews120k followers
July 15, 2021
Do you know how many times I’ve had to do this? Forget healing, my specialty should be having my life destroyed and then being forced to rebuild from nothing.


Yet everything was just a touch off. There were empty spaces where conjured buildings should have stood, ugly pockmarks on the skyline. The brass walls were tarnished, the edifices—on closer inspection—riddled with missing bricks and blackened mortar. Defying any weather pattern Nahri knew, somehow the eastern half of the island was draped in snow while the sun scorched the western half so fiercely small fires smoldered in the scrubby hills. A hazy black cloud revealed itself to be a swarm of flies, and the ruined Citadel still lay bare to the sky like a scar, its tower half-drowned in the lake. Just like the mountains, Daevabad was sick…
I finished reading The Kingdom of Copper, the second volume in The Daevabad Trilogy, in December, 2018. Yet, when I picked up the final book in S.A. Chakraborty’s fantastical work, The Empire of Gold, in late April, 2020, it was if I had finished reading #2 the week before. She is such a good writer that you are instantly drawn into the adventures of her characters, and not only their external journeys and challenges, but their struggles, to figure out what the right thing is to do, devise a means of doing it. The most decent way forward is not always all that obvious. This helps you root for them, not that you will need much help, to find their way through the moral mazes that appear, overcome considerable obstacles, and try their damndest to make right what has been made wrong.

Shannon A. Chakraborty - image from Locus Magazine

If this is your introduction to the Daevabad trilogy, stop right now, catch the next available flying carpet, go back to The City of Brass and treat yourself to the first two wonderful books in this series, or I will sic a shedu and a piri on you. If you had read the earlier volumes you would know what those are.

So, we’re all caught up on books 1 and 2, right? Daevabad suffered some deep calamity at the end of book 2. Now Ali and Nahri pop up on the outskirts of Cairo, after having jumped into the lake surrounding the city of Daevabad to flee imminent mortal peril, and expecting to be facing a challenging, but do-able lake swim. Wait, what? How did they get there? What is going on? Be of good cheer, worthy reader. All secrets will be revealed.

from Chakraborty’s Twitter pages

Manizeh, Nahri’s Mommy Dearest, is doing her best to win friends and influence people, for her opposition. The body count in Daevabad is considerable, helped along by Manizeh’s incapacity for politics, and a mega death-dealing field commander in Dara, who would like nothing more than to follow his own conscience, but is his will truly and fully his own?

In addition to having to endure the awfulness of Manizeh’s rule, Daevabad, the capital city of djinn-dom, has lost its magic, and is falling apart, literally. Something needs to be done. But Manizeh’s only tools seem to be killing and demolition. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. So, what’s left? There are plots aplenty roiling within and without the city limits. But will another war destroy the city in order to save it? Well, there are those two kids meandering about in Cairo.

Mamluk Tombs in Cairo – image from History Today

Nahri and Ali are recuperating from their battles and recent escape, reconnecting with some old friends and family, including some very unexpected family, and trying to figure out what to do with their lives. Nahri returns to her medical roots and wonders if that might be enough of a life for her.

Ancient Egyptian medical instruments - image from Wikimedia

It is seriously tempting. And they manage to get some quality time together on a felucca, wafting their way upriver. You know there are boy-girl embers there, and plenty of high energy escapades and battles to keep emotional levels high. They try to match how many times each saves the other’s life, but it can be so tough keeping track. They also spend considerable time searching for, and learning about, their familial roots. So, a fair bit of journey of self-discovery in here too. Chakraborty is much taken with the ancient travel journals that are an important piece of Islamic culture. People were not considered truly educated until they had done significant traveling, seen a bit of the world. So her heroes must range far and wide to learn enough to earn their knowledge and insight. There will be surprises. Another piece of this is Chakraborty’s fondnesss for libraries, which meshes well with the urge to learn. (She wrote a lot of the trilogy in a library, and has spent much research time in libraries near and far.) Libraries in the series are magical places, and gain considerable attention in this book as well.

Felucca -image from SantiagoAtis

Ali is determined to return to Daevabad and liberate it. Through her medical and community work, Nahri had developed a following there, and feels responsible to her followers for trying to repair the damage her mother has done. But making such an attempt, particularly knowing that it would entail having to face one of the greatest single warriors in history, and lacking magic, could be a suicidal mission. Nahri and Ali would both have to make huge personal sacrifices in order to rid Daevabad of its new evil overlord. There is a lot on family, regional, hell, even interspecies politics here. Plots to be plotted, plans to be made, attacks to defend against and foment, and, critically, strange alliances to be forged.

There is also an uptick in the creature level. We get a much better look at piris, and some crocodilian Nile dwellers, and ancient gods, and there is even a battle that involves kaiju-level beasties. What joy!

Sobek, god of the Nile - image from The Discovery Center

The chapters alternate, with Nahri, Ali and Dara all getting good shares of the page-count pie. I liked that there was more equitable balance between the main characters than there was in volume 2.

Tiamat - Image from PBS

Volume 3 felt a bit more YA than the first two volumes, but not problematically so. The underlying payload, however, remains very grown up. Themes persist from the prior books. Chakraborty is holding up a mirror to the political hazards of our actual world. She portrays a particularly oppressive state, with a system designed to crush resistance, and places within it people who are willing to fight for justice. She also wants to show that struggle against oppression is a long, hard slog, with many losses to accompany the occasional victories. And one must always contend with demon of despair. Ali offers a look at how a devout person (reflecting Chakraborty’s Islamic faith) might contend with systemic injustice. Monarchy gets no aureate glow here. Massacres committed on behalf of autocratic leaders bear an unfortunate resemblance to reality. How the trauma of conquest persists on occupied people for generations after the main event has plenty of resonance with the world today. It is still a challenge to find a way past the hostilities and travesties of the past, in order to form a more perfect Daevabad. And what about something totally nuts, like dreaming of a bit of power distribution instead of always replacing one boss with another? I know, call me crazy.

She also takes issue with what is a frequent trope in YA medieval fantasy, monarchies that rule for centuries undisturbed.
Oh, this kingdom was eight hundred years. There’s no kingdoms that lasted for eight hundred years. There’s this one stable ruling family? I think we should pull that apart a bit. - from the Fantasy Inn interview
And the notion that a rightful heir is ordained by a higher power and will rule wisely if only he or she can assume their rightful place. Medieval? For sure. Sane? Not at all.

There are some wonderful additions to the cast. My favorite was a female pirate. She is tough as nails and offers some LOL moments, which are most welcome. She is not at all intimidated by Ali, despite his having that Suleimain seal thing inside him, mocking his recently expanded affinity for things aqueous.
Fiza, however--God bless her--had stopped finding anything about his transformation intimidating and treated him with her normal base level of rudeness. “Yes, your wateriness,” she said with a sarcastic bow.
The love element is not reduced to girl meets boy, or triangulated to girl meets hot djinn AND boy. Chakraborty wanted to get away from the bodice-ripping, all-consuming passion that marks many fantasy novels. Considering how long these characters live, happily ever after might carry some extra baggage. Also, love is diverse and messy. Nahri learned from childhood never to trust anyone. Makes it even tougher to skip through the usual minefields of romantic attraction. Ali had his strict religious upbringing and must contend with the awkwardness of the object of his desire being his brother’s wife. Messy. And then there are political considerations, (would you be with someone from the family that murdered large numbers of your people? Again?). Then there are career pieces. Nahri wants to be a doctor, for example. How will that fit into her schedule if she is busy raising an army and helping lead it? How would that work if she gets killed trying to free her home? (But how perfect it is in 2020 (and now in 2021) to have a lead character in a fantasy series whose primary ambition in life is to be a doctor?)

The older moms get a look too, and not just as wallpaper. Manizeh is not simply a monster, but a mother, and must contend with conflicting emotions when her child opposes her. Ali’s mother is more of a family first sort, eager to protect her progeny above all else. They are powerful, and very engaged in the world, complex, fleshed out characters.

There are many names to keep track of, but there is a who’s who in the back of the book. Some names will come back to you from reading the earlier books. The list is not exhaustive, though, so I would keep track of any new names.

S.A. has begun work on another trilogy, not djinns this time, lady pirates in the 13th century. But she is only at the very beginning, so it will be a good long while before her next trilogy appears.

My ARE of The Empire of Gold came in at 750 pages of story, plus some more for reference material. It is a big one, but it reads fast, very fast. I really have no gripes about this book. Loved it from beginning to end, and the only disappointment was that the series ended. I will say it straight. This series is frickin’ amazing! The Daevabad trilogy offers an intelligent take on family, religion, duty, and morality, is informed by an expert’s take on folklore and Middle Eastern history, and takes on fantasy tropes. The final volume presents characters you already love mixed with a bunch of exciting fresh faces, sustains a wicked pace of action throughout, and gives you plenty of reasons to stay up very late reading. This Empire is pure, twenty-four-carat magnificence.
No more journeying with attractive magical warriors on ridiculously dangerous quests after this. Nahri clearly had a problem.
Review posted – June 26, 2020

Publication dates
----------June 30, 2020 - hardcover
----------July 13, 2021 - trade paperback

FYI, the series has recently been optioned by Netflix. Lots of books get optioned without being produced, so we will wait and see before getting all excited. But how great would it be to see this in a gazillion episodes at tGOT production values? I am ready to binge now.

==========In the summer of 2019 GR reduced the allowable review size by 25%, from 20,000 to 15,000 characters. In order to accommodate the text beyond that I have moved it to the comments section directly below.

Profile Image for Angelica.
814 reviews1,155 followers
March 15, 2021
You ever hesitate to pick up an especially long book? Like, you want to read it but then you see that page count? This was that book. But I'm so glad I did read it.

S.A. Chakraborty managed to create a concluding novel that brings so much new history and lore to her world, and yet manages to perfectly wrap up the story she had began to tell in The City of Brass.

In this book, the stakes are raised tenfold. The throne of Daevabad is at stake and the lives of every person in the city are in the balance. And it was glorious!

S.A. Chakraborty is a master at writing political intrigue as the members of the different djinn and Daeva quarters interact, and yet, that was also one of her greatest weaknesses in previous novels, in my own opinion. In The City of Brass, there were times where it felt like the plot was halted at times for politics and for characters to learn and understand what was going on. This might not have been a problem for many who like stories that focus more on such topics, but for me personally, I found that the story could drag.

This was fixed, to an extent, in The Kingdom of Copper but the balance between action and politics was entirely perfect in The Empire of Gold. There was so much happening, so much is revealed, so many plans and schemes and they flowed seamlessly in a way that made the passage of those 800 pages fly by.

As always, my favorite part of any book is the characters.  Nahri and Ali were great. I admit, I never really loved Ali until this book. I thought him alright in book one. I liked him in book two. But boy, does Ali shine in this novel. He was just too precious for this world. Nahri too was as always an interesting character and I really enjoyed watching her journey after having her world come crashing down so many times.

Then, there was Darayavashouh. I had to devote a section to him alone. He got the most development, I think. Dara is such a tragic character, his story such a devastating tale of enslavement, loneliness, and bloodshed. He could have been so much more than the dreaded Scourge if his world had allowed it.

 I've always liked Hatset, Ali's mother, for her fierce love and protectiveness toward her children. In fact, I've always liked all of Ali's family (minus his murderous father). Zaynab and Muntadhir play minor roles but strong roles.

Manizheh was such an interesting character to me in book two. She was someone who had everything that was hers stripped from her on multiple occasions. It was horrifying, yet strangely... understandable, to watch her do everything she did to get it back, even if I didn't agree with any of it.

And all the characters meet along the way are just as interesting. I would have wanted more of Sobek and the other marid and ifrits if only because their histories are so fascinating.

Overall, I am so happy to have seen this trilogy get such a wonderful conclusion. I recommend this series to anyone who likes a good political heavy fantasy with interesting characters and creative worldbuilding.

I am highly looking forward to whatever S.A. Chakraborty writes next!

**I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.**
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,119 followers
April 27, 2021
This was everything! 😍😍
I will not claim to have understood everything but I loved it nonetheless! 🥰

The end to this trilogy was everything I could have asked for. The extensive world building is expanded even further, the characters are pushed to the absolute limit.

The conclusion was just perfect. I feel like I can’t go into it without spoilers but everything that unfurled I was pleased with.

I’m not going to yammer on because I’m just all gush and no substance. Just. If you enjoy epic fantasy then pick up this series!!!!


Library copy available for pick up.
I will finally get the answers I need!!



I don’t usually care about the romances in books but I really hope Nahri and Ali are endgame and not Dara.

I hate the trope where a girl falls in love with a man/being that is like thousands of years older than them.

And I just love the friends to lovers trope!

Roll on June!!!!
Profile Image for Elle.
587 reviews1,405 followers
February 20, 2023
A 2020 Goodreads Choice finalist in Fantasy!

It’s really no secret how much I’ve adored this series. From the moment we met Nahri in The City of Brass, I knew this was going to be a special story. I’d like to just take a beat and thank Shannon Chakraborty for transporting us into a world of her own imagining; I feel truly lucky to have been able to experience her creation.

“Creator, every time I think I’ve found the bottom in all of this, I get some new story of murder and vengeance.”

But for those who haven’t had the opportunity yet, I don’t want to mislead anyone into thinking this is a series of just beautiful magic set in a far away place. Though the characters are powerful djinn, the setting an enchanted city, at the center of the story is revenge and violence, passed down through the generations. Pain and grudges are inherited, just like their powers, and it can be a difficult cycle to break out of.

Empire of Gold is the final comeuppance for all the characters who have been reeling with this legacy of grief and trauma. Each of the younger ones are forced to make a decision: will they let their ancestral anger dictate their paths or will they forge their own? I’m sure there’s a lot of parallels to Middle Eastern history and politics represented between the 6 tribes which I am not aware of. But you don’t have to have any sort of background knowledge before diving into this series; you just need to prepare to have your beliefs challenged again and again. And take my word for it, Chakraborty doesn’t let anyone get away with feeling 100% vindicated. This is an entire society painted in shades of grey, much like our own.

“she wasn’t going to waste her life regretting other people’s choices”

There wasn’t one character I didn’t feel for in some way. Nahri is our protagonist that tries her best, but is struggling with identity. Ali is devout, rigid in his beliefs, and always attempting to do the right thing. Dara is strong, passionate and stubborn, with a relentless loyalty to those he loves. I won’t give a blurb for every single character, but Zaynab, Muntadhir and Jamshid are also completely captivating. Throughout all three books, Chakraborty explores themes of family, both who you’re related to and that which you choose for yourself.

Similarly, we examine the importance of a shared history, of a shared culture. The importance of someone’s name. It’s up to each person to decide which pieces of themselves make up their own identity. You don’t have to answer for every mistake your family or friends have made, but each of us is responsible for the choices we make. We are culpable in accepting the status quo when it benefits us to someone else’s detriment, even if we aren’t the ones to created that power structure in the first place. Seeing something wrong and doing nothing causes just as much damage.

Please note I have barely scratched the surface of everything covered in these books! Read some other reviews so you can get a fuller picture. If this was being adapted for film instead of a Netflix series, this book would be split into at least two movies. Not just because of the length, but the huge amount of plot and territory that’s covered. But since it is going to be a Netflix show, I would also like to congratulate Shannon & the fandom because honestly this is huge for us too!! 🥳 I’m so excited to see Daevabad on the big/small/silver screen, or whatever it’s called. I’m sure it’ll be more than any of us can dare to imagine. 🧞✨

I will keep the spoiler section short:

Anyways. It’s over. It’s done. I’m going to be entirely useless the rest of the day as I process what that means for me going forward.

**For more book talk & reviews, follow me on Instagram at @elle_mentbooks!
Profile Image for mina reads™️.
545 reviews7,035 followers
January 18, 2021
I love this trilogy so much it’s unreal
More thoughts on my YouTube channel https://youtu.be/8NtUPX_koyY

Empire of Gold was truly a perfect finale in my opinion, it expanded the world so beautifully, it answered all my questions and even a few new ones I never thought to ask. It had adventure and plot twists and character development, and everything else I could have wanted from this wonderfully whimisical fantasy series. The way that Chakraborty is also able to naviagate discussions of the cyclical nature of war and violence, prejudice, etc., was really brillant for me. I think that this book was truly phenomenal and if I had to think of some flaws I'd say that at times the plot was a bit too convenient, and Chakraborty adds alot of new mythology in this book so it may feel overwhelming to some, but for me it wasn't an issue I enjoyed the way the story played out immensely.
Profile Image for halfirishgrin.
288 reviews177 followers
Shelved as 'arc-to-read'
October 13, 2018
I honestly can't even *imagine* what direction this book will take after the events of book #2 but I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED and it'll 100% worth however damn long the wait is. I just want my children (ALI AND NAHRI) happy and safe
Profile Image for Helen 2.0.
415 reviews919 followers
July 18, 2023
A gorgeous conclusion to a beautiful series. I loved these books through and through. I feel like Chakraborty has punched through my ribs and wrung out my heart like a wet rag.

It’s no secret that I have a goldfish attention span, so I thought the >750 pages of this final installment would do me in. But honestly, it could have been 500 pages longer and I still would have eaten up every single word.

SA Chakraborty is the queen of nuance—only she could make me empathize with characters who have committed unspeakable acts of violence while at the same time making me so damn angry at the sweetest people in the world. So much writing talent packed into one person. I don’t know how she does it.

Ali and Nahri spend almost the entire final book glued to each other’s sides, which made me so so happy. As I’ve said before, I don’t even care if they’re romantically together as long as they’re geographically together. They’re just not wholly themselves if they’re not with each other.

So now I’ll just go cry about the fact that there’s nothing more I can read about this world… and wait for the next book to be released in the Amina al-Sirafi timeline.
Profile Image for Jonathan O'Neill.
174 reviews351 followers
July 22, 2020
Update 22/7/20. Removing half a star. With a bit of time to reflect, I definitely preferred the second book and can't justify giving this one the same rating


City of Brass 3 ⭐
Kingdom of Copper 3.5 ⭐
Empire of Gold 3 ⭐

Daevabad Trilogy = 9.5/15 ⭐

Firstly, Congratulations to S.A.Chakraborty on completing her debut trilogy, what a fantastic and hard-earned achievement!
‘Empire of Gold’, despite suffering in the end, from a generic storyline, some under-developed and clichéd characters, one particularly unconvincing relationship and some all too convenient plot points, is an enjoyable climax to a solid debut series that a lot of people are going to love… Ha! I said enjoyable climax.

When I read ‘City of Brass’, I was enthralled by this new world. A world based on the transcontinental region around Egypt which I have never read about. I was having to learn a bunch of new terms, names of clothing, people and places as well as Arabic rituals and it was great. But having finished the trilogy, all of it feels just a little bit surface level and inauthentic. I think there is a clear knowledge of the history of the region but no strong familiarity with the nuances of the society and people within. It felt like a typical Western Fantasy just re-skinned to fit a different region. I still give kudos to Shannon for writing in a setting other than your typical medieval Europe. I hope there’s a lot more of it to come in the genre.

I have seen quite a few people in their reviews or even early reflections on the series saying that they are enjoying it but it’s heavy on the politics. While I’m not devaluing anyone else’s opinion, I have to strongly disagree. I would say to anyone that is considering giving the series a miss because of its “political nature” to reconsider. Mind you, if you’re considering reading the series, you definitely shouldn’t be reading this review ‘cos it’s spoilery as shit! The majority of the politicking going on in the series is Family politicking and in-fighting. There are lies and betrayal, scheming and backstabbing but no heavy politics. There are quite a number of different tribes with unusual names and customs but only three of these are fleshed out in any substantial way.

Chakraborty gives plenty of breathing space at the beginning of the book for the characters to reflect on what happened in the final moments of ‘Kingdom of Copper’ and come to terms with the consequences of what took place. I liked this, it felt like a really mature section of the book, taking a step back and showing us where our mains were at mentally. It also gave plenty of time for Ali and Nahri’s relationship to thrive. Their FRIENDSHIP is the best relationship penned throughout the series. It is the most believable and the most wholesome and attempting to turn it into anything other than a platonic friendship really did it a disservice. It didn’t, however, destroy it. I had quite a bit of fun following Ali and Nahri on their journey and I thought they played off each other really well. If it happened, I wouldn’t have hated it.

Nahri thrives in this final instalment. She is such a strong, smart and courageous female protagonist, you’d be hard-fixed to find anything to hate about her. Except for her teenage style crush on Dara early on but more on that later. She had insecurities earlier in the series regarding her shafit origins, her healing abilities and her role in a world she knew nothing about until very recently but like a Phoenix, she rises from the pile of ashes left in Manizeh’s wake and soars, shedding any of those insecurities and becoming the woman that she was born to be.
The interference of the Peris towards the end of the novel seemed a bit out of place to me. I have a strong suspicion that it was a late addition to the story as a convenient means to give Nahri a way of reclaiming the power of the Suleiman’s seal. I did like how she cheated them though, that was a great representation of the side of her that will always be the ‘little thief’ from the streets of Cairo. Also, the late cutesy introduction of Mishmish the Shedu (Face-palm). You can’t introduce a pet in the last tiny part of a book. One, we have no time to gain an affection for the animal and two, it’s obvious that he/she has only been added to make Nahri’s survival more believable when she confronts Dara, Manizeh, 2 Ifrits and an army of ghouls/Smoke creatures…. Ha! It’s actually funnier every time I think about it.

I don’t have a whole lot to say about Ali. He was previously my favourite character but I think he was potentially the weakest in this book. I enjoyed his chapters, particularly his interactions with Nahri, though his immaturity did my head in. It just didn’t seem like an adult relationship at times. Nahri might have sent mixed messages by brutally friend-zoning him on a couple of occasions but eventually she made it blindingly obvious that she was keen and he blundered it. Maybe he deserves to be friend-zoned. I must say, they did have a fairly touching scene before he goes off to seemingly sacrifice himself for the good of the Ayanlee. I feel similarly about the Marid plotline as I do about the Peri’s late involvement. It was just a convenient way to resolve the conflict between the Daevas and the Marid. At least Ali had to make some sort of sacrifice to achieve it… I suppose.

Dara’s arc is one of redemption and it was, quite unbelievably, my favourite. It is grim! Oh baby, it is dark, that poor son of a bitch! He is struggling with the aftermath of Manizeh’s campaign of genocide against the Geziri people of Daevabad. He is seeing a change in Manizeh and finally grows some balls and begins to openly question some of her decisions. This doesn’t end well for him but that’s beside the point.
Unfortunately, Shannon’s attempts to display the inner-conflict with regards to his love and loyalty for his Banu-Nahida on one hand and the fact that she is clearly going bat-shit crazy and genocidal on the other, often just ended in him doing contradictory things that kept robbing me of getting on board with his redemption. On a number of occasions, he commits a terrible act only to immediately lament the shedding of further blood and sowing of more fear… And then does it all over again.
There is a scene in which he’s trying half-heartedly to convince a group of warriors not to fight him (they are more than justified in doing so). The minute that he realises they won’t be convinced he’s decapitating “dirt-bloods” and shoving his sword through the throats of “sand-flies” all the while thinking to himself how wonderful it is to bathe in the blood of his enemies!! What.The.Fuck.
I had been telling myself since early on in ‘Kingdom of Copper’ that he must’ve been enslaved by Manizeh somehow in order to be so aware that the terrible things he was doing were wrong and still doing them but evidently not as this only happens in a truly tragic development towards the end of this novel. It was ALL HIM which, in my opinion, shows that in 1400 years he hasn’t changed a bit from ‘The Scourge’ that massacred Qui-Zi and, hence, is not worthy of redemption.
Despite all of this, Chakraborty miraculously makes you feel a great deal of empathy for Dara in the latter part of the novel. When he is enslaved in an unthinkable act of betrayal by Manizeh whose family he has bent the knee to, loved and worshipped for a millennium only to be manipulated into taking part in countless horrific acts, you’d have to be stone cold not to feel something for the guy. Though his You even get the sense that one day, he may just have earned his redemption… If Chakraborty hadn’t written him into a corner earlier in this book and KOC. Nonetheless, individually, Dara’s arc is a good one and I feel that he came back with a vengeance after a fairly lacklustre role in KOC.

I have to mention briefly the “relationship” between Nahri and Dara. The elephant in the room. This has got to be one of the worst, most unconvincing relationships ever written. There was never ‘love’. They spent a small time travelling together in ‘City of Brass’ and a young girl developed A CRUSH on a hot Daeva who, despite regarding her as a “dirt-blood”, decided the feeling was mutual. They really didn’t have any meaningful interaction once they reached Daevabad and the whole thing just felt forced. The lack of any genuine connection between the two meant that the final scenes between the two lost a lot of the potential they had to be massive moments. Dara probably should’ve been the main love interest but I don’t think Shannon committed to it early on. I may be completely off the mark here but I actually feel like Dara was out of place in ‘Kingdom of Copper’. Like, he should’ve stayed dead after ‘City of Brass’ but for whatever reason was written into the second book. And I think this may have damaged his redemption arc. Regardless, I think Chakraborty bought his arc back from the brink in the best way she could.

Manizeh… How can I put this? The woman is the Devil’s spawn. Or maybe she is the reincarnation of the devil itself, I don’t know, but she is an evil of biblical proportions. That bitch is so cray, she makes Ghassan look like a puppy dog! The only problem is that she is a very shallow character and a bit of a cliché ‘Evil Aunt’. I get the whole “she had a terrible past; her family was massacred and the family throne stolen etc.” but I never felt for a second, “Man, that’s some sick shit but I can kinda understand”, No! She was just too far gone, too manipulative and self-serving. I think Flashback chapters from Manizeh’s perspective or someone who often observed her in the past would’ve been really interesting and might’ve fleshed her character out a bit more.

Finally, the last part of the book (Part 4) was great. I think Chakraborty achieved a fantastic mix of melancholic sadness for what was lost or even just changed and a kind of guarded hopefulness for what the future holds. I was happy with the conclusion.
That’ll do. My god, this review is long! If you have read until the end, I’m both proud of and a little bit concerned about you.

* Being an early edition, my copy of the book also had quite a few grammatical errors and omitted words as well as a number of chapters (12,23 & 40) That were titled incorrectly with regard to which character’s perspective the chapter represented but it doesn’t affect the reading at all.
Profile Image for Nouf *LostinFantasy*.
145 reviews130 followers
June 27, 2020
I received an E-ARC of the book through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Actual Rating: 4.7/5 rounded up to a full 5!

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 the first book released and I’ve been waiting desperately – and nervously – for the final book.

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.

The book was filled with everything I could have wanted – and more!

What I love most about it is the character development. I was on cloud nine so many times because of these amazing characters. If I loved Alizayd before, I had no idea how much more this book would make me feel for this character! I am just so happy with his journey and the person he grew to be. His storyline was such a joy to read! And then there’s Nahri. I’ve always liked Nahri but I connected to her so much in this book! Her strength, her fears, her vulnerabilities, her triumphs and losses - and everything that got her to this point... you feel all of it with her.

Dara also has a rich and complex arc in this book, but it took a while for me to understand him fully. And I didn’t enjoy his chapters as much I did Ali’s and Nahri’s. They were dark and disturbing sometimes (blame Manhizeh for that and even Dara’s perspective which was always in conflict). My friend called his chapters Grimdark - in comparison to the exciting Fantasy and Adventure of Ali and Nahri’s chapters - and I agree. But rest assured, the author put so much care into bringing all three POV characters’ stories to the right place for them.

I loved seeing more of Jamshid in this book, and getting to know him a little better! I adore the sibling bonds in this series and the development of that in this book is one of my favorite parts!
I just wish there was more of Muntadhir and Zaynab. Though I did really enjoy their scenes! Muntadhir’s sass was at a high in this one, and I loved it! But I wish he had at least one POV chapter because there was one chapter in particular where I really wanted to know what he was feeling and thinking.

There was some wonderful slow burn romance in this book that made me SO happy. I don’t want to say too much, but how these two characters are around each other - completely able to be themselves, and the best versions of themselves too - is exactly the kind of romantic development I like to see. Subtle but deep. Slow but so very real. It’s rare to see a depiction of such a healthy love and friendship, especially in a Fantasy book with so much brutality and conflict surrounding the characters. It’s so well done here!

Expect more magical surprises, exciting adventure, edge-of-your-seat suspense, shocking reveals, heartwarming romance, friendship, family bonds, heartache, happiness... everything you want in a final book!

There wasn’t a single chapter that didn’t pull me in heart and soul! I ended this book with my heart full and my mind filled with thoughts of these characters.

I’m going to miss them and Daevabad so much. But I’m glad I can revisit the books and it’ll be a special joy to reread the series knowing I love the ending and where it all leads to!
Profile Image for demi. ♡.
206 reviews275 followers
July 18, 2020
❥ 5 / 5 stars

Reading this trilogy is the best decision I’ve ever made so far this year. ♡︎

I love it. I love this trilogy so much I couldn’t put into words. It gave me tears sometimes, yes, but it also brought me so much joy. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to move on from this exceptional and amazing world since I feel like I’m completely bound to it and every single character in it already.
Profile Image for Ellie.
578 reviews2,202 followers
November 19, 2022
If you look up the word 'anguish' in the dictionary, you will find the last 100 or so pages of Empire of Gold.

But all jokes aside, this was a very accomplished ending to the trilogy. Character arcs were neatly resolved, narratives concluded, antagonists defeated. Every single character at the end of the book was pointed in a direction that I was incredibly pleased with, and I absolutely confess I wish we had a selection of post-ending short stories. And that is the reason why I have a selection of post-EoG Muntadhir x Jamshid fanfic loaded up on A03. Also, I'm out here for Zaynab and Aqisa being either really good friends or sapphics or both.

At the beginning of EoG, I had zero idea how it would end up for Dara, Nahri or Ali. Nor was I sure who Nahri would choose (romantically) at the end. And personally, I wasn't going to mind whether Nahri chose Dara or Ali, because Chakraborty is a talented writer who made me feel for both men to the point where I didn't mind one over the other.

But in that sense, Nahri's ending was great because it involved romance but wasn't the focus - rather, her own aspirations and dreams of being a healer were. And for me, that was the best way. Because Nahri has always been a capable heroine with her own clear dreams, and suddenly making the resolution of her own character arc about romance? That was never going to feel genuine. I think most readers will feel the same way.

But by far my favourite part of the book, and the one that made me cry the most, was the resolution of Dara's character arc. He's been complicit in acts of war, and then utilised against his will as a weapon, and then finally has the freedom and strength to make his own choice. And this may be mild spoilers, so avoid this if you don't want to know/haven't read EoG yet but for characters like Dara, who have so clearly trodden the line of moral greyness, and who, in other books, would be on the villian team . . . those characters would be killed off at the end. But Chakraborty gives Dara complexity, and I'm glad to see she understands that sometimes, for characters like this, death is the easy way out. It's kind of like a writing cheat. For what is harder is the gruelling atonement arc, but I am so glad Chakraborty chose that for Dara, and within the narrative, Dara chose that for himself. In other infamous words: Dying is easy, living is harder. It was such a perfect ending to his story, and looking back, he's come so far since the very first book. All of the characters have.

It is a long book - almost 800 pages - but between 3 POVs, it was the perfect length to give enough depth and focus to each individual and ensure their stories were done justice. Also, the last 50 or so pages are the after-the-fight and wrapping-things-up type, and they were very necessary to give readers the sense of completion & fulfillment. There was a certain reveal in there which really made me tear up, and you could see the threads all the way back to book one. It was just . . . excellent.

TL;DR: A wonderful, moving ending to the Daevabad trilogy. Chakraborty knows how to work the emotions, and I absolutely recommend this trilogy to all!


me before kingdom of copper: no I want to savour this series

me at the end of kingdom of copper: actually no I'm absolutely going to binge this entire trilogy
Profile Image for micolreads.
385 reviews43 followers
April 26, 2020
This book was like those songs that start slow, almost soundless, but that just go up and up until you cannot not hear them.

This series made me realize that love is powerful, it can get you through a lot and make you stronger. But it's not everything. Friendship and family are always there when love is challenged. I thought i couldn't read more about Nahri and Dara being apart, but the fact that I enjoyed, that I loved them being in love but apart, just reminds me that you can do everything you want, that you can be a Nahri in a world of Manizehs.

“I would do it again, Dara. I would take your hand a thousand times over.”

Their love is platonic and so powerful and I couldn't be happier for this finale.

Final vote: 4,5

ebook provided by Edelweiss
Profile Image for Farheen.
24 reviews1 follower
July 24, 2020
I can't be the only one who ships Ali and Nahri, right? 😭

Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
907 reviews1,819 followers
June 21, 2021
Well, I am glad that it ended. Though not as majestic I was expecting this finale to be after how the second book ended. While I loved Ali, Nahiri, and Dara's story arc but it was Jamshid who stole the show here for me. There were times where I thought he would take a step back when it was time to pick sides but he surprised me at every turn.

My biggest disappoint here was the villain. Her character deteriorated with each passing chapter and lost all its shine by the time we reached the final scene. She forgot what she was fighting for and wend mad for power. Had she stuck to her initial aim and not went on to become a lunatic, I think I would have liked this book much better.

Profile Image for Megu.
133 reviews1,463 followers
July 26, 2023
Nie wierzę, że to koniec. Ta książka to dowód, że jakiś bóg istnieje.
Profile Image for Brenda Waworga.
606 reviews677 followers
July 4, 2020
That was one hell of joy, i cannot rate this below 5⭐️ really, i love everysingle word.. everysingle moment... basically EVERYTHING from page one until the end, this is the conlusion i was hoping for even beyond!

I laughed, i cried, i screamed, i wept, i cheered, i message all my friends who already read this and fangirling with them!


This is such a emotional review i know, but i don't want to say much about it beside.. just gooo gooo read it if you haven't

Thank you S.A Chakraborty for writing this epic tale and these characters . .that now felt so close to my heart
Profile Image for Deborah Obida.
681 reviews620 followers
July 21, 2020
Empire of Gold is one of the best conclusion to a series that I've read in a while.

This book started just from where Kingdom of Copper ended. There is an abundance of action scenes, magic, great characters and unique plot. After finishing this series I think it's safe to say this is the first of it's kind that I've ever read. There was lots of revelations about Nahri's past and many other things like the marid and ifrits.

The entire series is set in a magical city and Egypt, mostly the former. The characters are all coloured and most of them are Muslims, I especially liked the Muslim part, it's a breath of fresh air. The depictions of the clothes and weapons is well done, I loved it.

The world building improved tremendously same goes for the writing, just like the previous books this is also written from the perspectives of three characters namely Nahri, Aliazyd and Dara. Dara's POV was depressing at first but it later improved.

Nahri still remain my favourite character in this series, she is simply amazing, I love the fact that she tends to make good decisions even in terrible situations. She is a realist to the core.

“I do not believe ambitious men who say the only route to peace and prosperity lies in giving them more power—particularly when they do it with lands and people who are not theirs.

Aliazyd is an idealist, and pious man. He isn't exactly judgemental like most pious people, he is kind and selfless, I love that about him.

Dara was a fool almost throughout the book, for someone that is hundreds of years old he is so foolish, he made so many stupid decisions and his redemption was not good enough.

Manizheh is a monster, she made Ghassa look like a saint, to make things worse she thought she was doing the right thing, she was indeed lost. It's actually sad.

Muntadair shocked me here, I never thought he had it in him. Jamshid, Zaynab and Fiza are also good characters in this book.

The book began with Ali and Nahri in Egypt, having escaped Daevabad and the murderous Manizheh. Manizheh is ruling with an iron hand and killing everyone who disagrees with her. Magic has disappeared and civil war is brewing, Nahri and Ali have to decide whether or not to go back, we all know which they choose.
Profile Image for Grace A..
414 reviews38 followers
September 12, 2022
In this epic finale, S.A.C. delivered yet again. So much bloodshed though, friends, enemies, innocents, nobles, servants, young and old, no one spared the brutality of war.
Daevabald was free from one tyrant only to be plunged deep into the hands of another, Menizeh. She made the previous ruthless dictator look like a saint. With magic gone, Menizeh got desperate and gave in to the vilest of evil to maintain control. She got the power she sought, but she lost the people.
It was up to Nahri and Abu-Zayid to find a way to dethrone Menizeh, who has the greatest warrior in their history mind-controlled and wraiths at her beckon...SO MUCH BLOODSHED.
Empire of Gold was an epic conclusion to the Daevabald trilogy. I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed this series very much. 5 stars.
Profile Image for Hafsah (on hiatus).
69 reviews109 followers
September 10, 2020
Fact: I stayed up all night to finish this 28 hr audiobook in under 3 days. And frankly I'm not sure whether to be impressed, or concerned about my priorities.

Fact 2: if Fact 1 doesn't evidence how compelling this story was, I don't know what will.

This was easilyy my MOST anticipated book for 2020, and (disregarding lessons learnt from my past experiences) I had raised my expectations extortionaly high. Yet...miraculously (thank god!) this time I was NOT disappointed.

That said, the one thing I didn't like was the way Ali and Nahri's relationship was handled. It was mainly moments of lust which felt out of character for both of them, especially Ali. I mean staring hungrily at the expanse of Nahri's WRIST? Come on. They still had some cute moments though like the ones I lovedd in book 2.

Infact, if you've followed my reviews for book 1 and 2, you'd know I've never been a huge fan of Dara, and Ali has always been my fave. However, for once I think Daradefinitely deserved some more page-time (I mean 13 out of 47 chapters hardly seems fair) because his arc was amazinggg and I needed more of it! Nonetheless, let it be known: I now love Dara.

All in all, the above 2 things are really my only critiques of this otherwise spectacular finale to one of my favourite trilogies ever! It really was the best ending I could've asked for, and better than I could've imagined.

UPDATE: Expected publication is now FEBRUARY!! *jumps up and down whilst squeling*

Omg would you just look at that GORGEOUS cover!

Now that I'm all hyped up again, I'm 100% sure that I need an ARC. Besides, I've been dangling off the cliff in book 2 for far too long already and I'm not strong enough to hold on for much longer.

And does the fact that I've never recieved an ARC before (sob) stop me from promising to do anything and everything to get my hands on this book before April?
Psshh NO. Of course not.

So basically what I'm trying to say is:
If you're in a position to give out ARCs, please please can you save me? Pretty sure my mental health will deteriorate otherwise (in other words, I will lose my mind). Thank you
Profile Image for Теодор Панов.
Author 4 books143 followers
September 3, 2022
След този нов прочит мога да кажа отново – фантастична трета част, фантастичен финал. Изчаках да мине около 1 година след като приключих с „The Empire of Gold“, за да позабравя повечето от прочетените неща през ноември 2020 и с ново вълнение се впуснах в новия ми прочит на „Империя от злато“. (Макар и да съм я чел на английски, винаги ми е много приятно да прочета същата книга и на български, нашият език си носи своя собствена красота).

За трилогията „Хрониките на Девабад“ съм говорил много и пространно в предишните си ревюта – линкове към тях ще пусна в края на ревюто. И да, за мен това е една от най-силните фентъзи трилогии, изпълнени с приключения, вълшебства и магии, излизали в последните години (и я препоръчвам горещо на любителите на фентъзитата).

Беше ми много приятно да се озова обратно в загадъчния приказен свят на Нахри, Дара и Али и да проследя с трепет техните последни приключения в света на джиновете. А краят за нашите герои беше абсолютно трогателен и вълнуващ.

Сега, разбира се, оставам в очакване за предстоящия сериал по поредицата, а междувременно на хоризонта изглежда се задава още една допълнителна книга с приключения от света на Девабад – „The River of Silver: Tales from the Daevabad Trilogy

А долу, в редовните ми ъпдейти, може да откриете и избрани цитати от книгата, както и обещания ми тематичен плейлист с музика за четене – вече завършен и цялостен. Поместен е тук и може да бъде открит като се кликне на синия текст ^view spoiler^

🎶 music for reading | my playlist 🎶

📌Предишни ревюта:
1. Град от месинг
2. The Kingdom of Copper
2. Царство от мед
3. The Empire of Gold

Review from 18.10.2021
Вече съм с пълната и завършена колекция от трите книги 😍
(Този път подаръците към книгата бяха – тефтерче „Империя от злато“ + картичка с цитат 🥰)
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