Nahri uses her quick wits and small magics to eke out a living in 18th Century Cairo; when her actions in soothing a possessed young woman have unexpected results, Nahri releases both the djinn, Dara, and a number of ghouls, neither of which she is prepared to encounter. Nahri, Dara, and their companions embark on adventures that will lead them beyond Daevabad, the titular city, from Qart Sahar to Tukharistan, engaging with extraordinary and magical beings associated with the four elements, and discovering the significance of Nahri’s mysterious heritage. Lush and rich with the power of storytelling, The City of Brass is a tale to savor over several pots of cardamom tea.— Maryelizabeth
For Nahri, a con artist on the streets of Cairo, life is far from magical - most of what she earns (or steals) goes towards survival and her seeming impossible dream of journeying to Istanbul to train and become a doctor. When she accidentally summons Dara, a centuries-old djinn warrior, during one of her cons, life gets ... complicated. Journey with Nahri to the distant city of Daevabad, the locus of djinn politics, culture, and magic. Intrigue and betrayal, secrets and usurped dynasties all await in its streets. The City of Brass is the first chapter in an epic adventure, effortlessly weaving a spellbinding tale of a young woman discovering who she was born to be. - Kylie
“S.A. Chakraborty introduces a fantasy set in the Middle East that thrusts us into the magical world of Daevabad. The City of Brass follows, in parallel, Nahri, a con artist and naturally gifted healer, and Ali, prince of Daevabad and fiercely trained soldier. Nahri and Ali find themselves learning new lessons on how to survive changing environments and difficult challenges, while trying to figure out the complexities of their lives. I found myself turning page after page, following Nahri's and Ali's story while deciphering the fantastic terminology and the world that is Daevabad. The City of Brass is a wonderfully written, mystical adventure that keeps you guessing about what will happen next.”
— Barry Nelipowitz, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI
“I loved this novel SO MUCH! Not only is this an epic and fast-paced read, it’s also reflective of many of history’s most complicated relationships (Israel and Palestine, for one). Few of the characters are truly good or bad, and each of their motives and experiences are wide-ranging and understandable to some degree. The details Chakraborty built into this world are impressive and rich. I cannot wait to inhale the next part of the Daevabad Trilogy!”
— Michelle Publicover, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Library Journal Vulture The Verge SYFYWire
Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty perfect for fans of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and Uprooted, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts.
Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of eighteenth-century Cairo, she's a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trades she uses to get by--palm readings, zars, and a mysterious gift for healing--are all tricks, both the means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles and a reliable way to survive.
But when Nahri accidentally summons Dara, an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior, to her side during one of her cons, she's forced to reconsider her beliefs. For Dara tells Nahri an extraordinary 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 birds of prey are more than what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass--a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.
In Daevabad, within gilded brass walls laced with enchantments and behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments run deep. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, her arrival threatens to ignite a war that has been simmering for centuries.
Spurning Dara's warning of the treachery surrounding her, she embarks on a hesitant friendship with Alizayd, an idealistic prince who dreams of revolutionizing his father's corrupt regime. All too soon, Nahri 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 to be careful what you wish for . . .