Publisher: Harper Voyager
Published: January 22, 2019
Read as: Audio book from Audible
Average Goodreads rating: 4.51
My rating: 4
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 a devastating battle, Nahri must forge a new path for herself. 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.
First off, I read this book as audio and the voice actress, Soneela Nankani, is marvelous. Just as in the first book, she brought these character to life through her voice and she performed with wonderful cadence and characterization. I highly recommend books she narrates.
Being the second book of a series, I came into this story with the cast of characters already fleshed out in my head. We already have their background information and a fairly solid idea of what motivates them. The only one that really through me for a loop in this book was Dara. He seemed to be a completely different character from the first book and, I have to admit, I didn’t like him very much. I’m not sure if we as the reader were supposed to have sympathy for him and whatnot but he elicited a lot of hard eye rolls from me. I hope he gets a redemption arc in the third because because right now I just want him gone.
Lets face it, being the second book of a series there isn’t a whole lot I can say without giving away spoilers. I can say that I love Nahri even more this go round than I did the first time. She has really grown and become a strong woman with solid ideas and goals and the guts to go for them. She is a wonderful character and obviously the shining star of the book.
The plot was a little slow moving which I also found as an issue in City of Brass. Things start off with a bang and then trudge along for several chapters before picking up again. If Chakraborty’s writing wasn’t so engrossing it would have been easy to merely skim read several sections. However, the writing flows so well even when you hit a dull bit that it is difficult to care. The settings were once more painted gloriously and the characters vivid and varied.
I will definitely be picking up the third book in this series without question. They are well written, well thought out, and have varying and attention grabbing plots. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what happens with Nahri in the final installment of this series.