The Kingdom of Copper
Author S. A. Chakraborty
Publisher Harper Voyager | 2019
Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.
Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of the battle that saw Dara slain at Prince Ali’s hand, Nahri must forge a new path for herself, without the protection of the guardian who stole her heart or the counsel of the prince she considered a friend. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her family and one misstep will doom her tribe.
Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the marid, the unpredictable water spirits, have gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried.
And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad’s towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates . . . and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve. (from Goodreads)
This might have slight spoilers for The City of Brass!
“And because for all her supposed cleverness, she couldn’t see that the dashing hero who saved her was actually its monster.”
WOW. OH WOW. Where do I even begin? This book was INCREDIBLE. I enjoyed it SO MUCH MORE than the first installment and it hooked me from the very beginning. The plot, the pacing, the characters, the reveals… all so amazing. I’m SO happy that I continued on with the series, and if the finale is nearly as good as this, this trilogy will go down as one of my all-time favorites!
I’ll start by addressing a couple worries I had going into this book. I was apprehensive about having Dara’s POV thrown into the mix, because I was seriously not a fan of his in the first book, but it actually was fine. His chapters are sparse and even when he does have a POV come up, they were interesting enough to hold my focus, and it was valuable to get to know Manizheh. One thing that bothered me a bit about City of Brass was the constant time jumps, but although a lot of time was covered in this book (not to MENTION the five-year jump at the beginning), it didn’t bother me as much! I felt that I missed less with these small skips and they were handled better.
“You don’t stop fighting a war just because you’re losing battles, Alizayd. You change tactics.”
I was much more invested in the worldbuilding this time around. I felt I had such a better grip on the politics and hierarchies that I was able to enjoy the world so much more. The plot was super thrilling and kept me entertained throughout. There were so many fun interactions and shocking twists that I enjoyed, and the characters were even more magical. Side characters took a much more prominent role. I LOVED Zaynab in this and it was so great to see more interaction between the three royal siblings! Muntadhir… wow. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions with him throughout this book, but I’m SUPER thrilled by where his storyline went! Ghassan was as terrible as ever, I loved meeting Hatset and getting to see her and Ali’s relationship. Ali’s two new friends were fun, and I even loved getting to see more of Vizaresh, which was a shocking surprise!
“She almost wanted to believe him. To believe that the boy who’d taught her to conjure a flame was real, and that the man he’d become was not manipulating her yet again, to believe that not everyone and everything in this miserable city had to be second-guessed.”
OK, on to my favorite part, the ROMANCEEEEEEE! If you read my COB review, you’ll know how much I love and adore Nahri and Ali. I love their friendship a lot, but I’m still holding out a very strong hope that they’ll end up together at the end of all this. There wasn’t much romance in this, since they’re still pretty firmly in kinda-sorta-friendship territory, but their relationship grew so much and I was so frickin’ pleased with how early their reunion happened and that they spend most of the book around each other. It was so fun and stressful and painful to see their interactions with the thought of Muntadhir in the background, but I was also pleasantly surprised with how Nahri and Muntadhir’s relationship grew as well! I think Chakraborty has such a firm grasp on her characters and I love how they’re portrayed. Nahri’s strength is admirable, Ali’s beliefs are unshakable (even tho that boy has a SERIOUS DEATH WISH, LIKE KNOW WHEN TO SHUT UP, MY DUDE), and Muntadhir’s last few chapters were LEGENDARY. THE LEGEND JUMPED OUT. I just love them all so much. I still don’t like Dara much, but he’s still a pretty interesting character and I am really looking forward to see where his story ends up!
So yeah, THANK GOD I gave this sequel the benefit of the doubt because I loved it SO MUCH. I’m already gearing up to preorder Empire of Gold so I can have it ASAP. YAY FOR DISCOVERING NEW SERIES TO LOVE!