I have a goal this year to write reviews for
the books I read most of the books I read. The first book I finished this year is The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty.
The story centres around Nahri, a woman making her way on the streets of Cairo in an alternate past. An orphan for as long as she can remember, she’s tough and resourceful, doing what she has to to survive. Including using a power she keeps hidden.
What I liked about The City of Brass
I loved the world the author created. She’s taken Middle Eastern myths and legends — and Western interpretations of them — and twisted and tweaked them, turning them into a rich, complex, vibrant world. It’s refreshingly different fantasy world.
How the author takes the history we know and plays with it a bit also add great texture to the story — it’s familiar…but not.
Chakraborty is also deft at dropping hints of things along the way, little gems that you might see but don’t realize the import of until much later — something she shares with V.E. Schwab (the third book in her Shades of Magic series is on my TBR shelf).
It was very enjoyable sinking into this world and collecting these gems.
What I …am waiting to see how things play out
There’s nothing I didn’t like. However, I loved Cairo Nahri. I’d love to read a prequel of Cairo tales. The main character changes through her journeys, physical and emotional, and I’m waiting to see how that plays out.
There are also some secondary characters that had a lot of bite to them, and I hope they continue to play a role in the rest of the series.
There were some big questions left unresolved at the end. Which is to be expected, but with my TBR (to-be-read) shelf overloaded to groaning, it might be six months or longer until I get to book 2. I hope there’s enough context at the start of the second book to remind me where I am.
If you’ve read The City of Brass, what did you think? Is there another fantasy novel you’ve read set in a refreshingly different world or unique premise?