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The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

This was entertaining enough but I wasn’t mad about it and not sure I’ll continue with the series.

Set in Egypt and somewhere in the Middle East during the Napoleonic Wars, this is the story of Nahri as she unwittingly gets herself involved in the secret world of the Djinn and other fantastical races and beings.

So there are three main characters here. The aforementioned Nahri, Dara a kind of Djinn called a Daeva and Ali, a prince of the Djinn people and a zealot. Dara is supposed to be thousands of years old but due to reasons he’s quite young seeming. The others are young with Ali being an actual teenager and Nahri in her early twenties I think. I mention this as I’ll be honest I think this is a YA book though I’m not sure it was billed as such. There’s a lot of time spent on who fancies whom and it quickly becomes apparent there’s going to be friction between the two men over Nahri. A love triangle. I really dislike that trope.

The book starts strong. Nahri is interesting, a bit generic but I liked her. But as soon as the action moves to Daevabad then it slows down. I love me a bit of political intrigue but this was fairly basic and didn’t seem to have much tension. The world here is amazing though and is basically what kept me interested in the book. The author paints the world vividly and though I’ve no idea how much is based on real legends and myths, but what is shown is great and well described.

Apart from the world building though the rest of the book is just OK. The characters are a bit bland but I didn’t dislike them. The story is fine too, apart from the love triangle thing. Would I like to know what happens next? Yes. Am I willing to read two more books to find out? That I don’t know, certainly not straight away anyway.

A generous 3 stars

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