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The City Of Brass By S.A. Chakraborty: Book Review

The City of Brass is a fantasy with hints of historical fiction too, being set in 18th century Cairo. I was being recommended it due to it having diversity, great characters and plus one of my favourite ever genres too. So I finally gave in!

Introduction To The City Of Brass

Nahri is a conwoman in 18th century Cairo with learned skills she believes are not magic. But summoning a djinn warrior means she has to face up reality and accept that the magical world does exist. And so they both embark on a journey to Daevabad, to the city filled with tribes and court politics where power and schemes come into play.

The Plot of The City Of Brass

I have mixed feelings about the plot. I absolutely love the uniqueness of this book, it being set in Cairo and the descriptions were lush too. It’s definitely quite a change to the usual fantasy settings. I just felt that the actual plot had it’s ups and downs, it started off quite strong and I definitely was so interested to see how it progressed. However, once they reached Daevabad, I felt like it was just development of characters and readers knowing more about the world. The ending did pick up the pace and it’s definitely what made me bump up my rating.

I was so excited to see Muslim and Arabian representation. However, I don’t think it was done correctly. I’d say only one character followed the religion and that made him be boring to other people. The majority of the characters didn’t even seem Muslim and it just makes me think that the book might have been better if it didn’t have a religious aspect.

The world building was complex and confusing too, at times it was hard to read. But this might be the case given that it’s a first of a series so it could be developed.


I absolutely loveee the characters! We have cinnamon rolls, morally grey and brooding bad boy. Nahri is one of the best morally grey female characters, she definitely did things for the right reason but wrong way. Ali was someone who I instanly loved and his passion for the people of Daevabad (and reading, because we all love a guy who can read) was the best. And finally we have Dara, private and reserved with a touch of sarcasm. With them all having different ambitions, it made for such interesting interactions. And if you haven’t guessed it by now, there’s a little bit of a love triangle 🙂

Conclusion of The City Of Brass

I think I’d rate this a 3.5, and bump it down to a 3 stars on Goodreads. If I discard the Islamic representation, I might recommend this given that others have given it 5 stars. And from what I’ve heard, the second book is filled with all the good plot twists. If you want to hear more about my bookish opinions, you can find me on Instagram and Twitter. And my latest review was The Court of Miracles.

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