All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Kingdom Of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

on December 17, 2020

The Kingdom Of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy #2)
S.A. Chakraborty
Harper Voyager
2019, 625p
Personal purchased copy

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

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.

I haven’t really been reading much lately – before I finished this I’d read just four books in December (one was an audiobook that took me 10 days to listen to). I’m not sure if it’s just the end of year burnout, with things that need to be done revolving around Christmas, or if it’s just the fact I can leave my house and do other things now, reading isn’t my only option for entertainment anymore! But I’ve been wanting to read more but when it comes time to do it, I just can’t be bothered picking anything up. I decided to try this book because I bought it straight after finishing the first one and I did want to read it before I forgot everything that happened in City Of Brass.

It picks up briefly just after the end of the first book and then skips forward about five years in time. Nahri has been married to Muntadhir for about four years and Ali escaped from those accompanying him after his banishment when there was an attempt made on his life. He’s managed to find his way to a community who embrace him for his new…skills, acquired after the events toward the end of the previous book. However there’s about to be a big celebration in Daevabad and Ali finds himself manipulated back into that location for the celebration. Although Nahri is understandably hostile at first after what Ali did, they bond over a shared desire to rebuild the hospital Nahri’s ancestors once worked in. Nahri even has a grand idea for the hospital to treat both djinn and shafit, healers of both types working on their own kinds and learning from each other. She is hoping it might bring a sort of peace to the area but there are still violent uprisings and events which make this incredibly difficult.

This felt like a really dark book. Like where the Empire Strikes Back in Star Wars type of thing, which isn’t uncommon in the middle instalment in a trilogy. There’s a lot of violence, bloodshed, plotting to overthrow the King, Nahri being shot down in different ways about her ideas. She agreed to the marriage with Muntadhir even though the two of them don’t really know each other and Muntadhir is a prince fuckboy whose affections mostly lie in another area but all of that doesn’t bother Nahri. She knew she was going to have to marry him anyway and so she negotiated best she could. The two of them sort of rub along together okay, they don’t really interact that much unless they really have to. The arrival of Ali back into the palace complicates things enormously as Muntadhir resents his brother right now, for lots of different reasons. And I think Ali is deeply envious of Muntadhir, who has many things that Ali desire and is grateful for approximately none of them.

This is told by three different narrators: Ali, Nahri and one other. For some of the book they are all in separate locations but then Nahri and Ali come together when he returns to Daevabad and slowly the friendship they once had is forged anew, albeit in a different fashion. The past cannot be ignored but with time and knowledge and trust, it can be moved on from. Then, right at the end, the third narrator joins them in the same location in the most shocking of ways and Nahri is forced to make a terrible choice. This book ends on a really interesting note, right after she makes that choice and betrays two people for the sake of, well, everyone. In doing so, she’s made herself a powerful enemy and also potentially ruined the closest thing to a friendship she had left. If definitely made me want the third book as soon as possible.

This is a long book, no denying it and there were times when it did feel a bit…..unnecessarily long. My attention wandered a couple times in the middle, a lot of people arguing with each other rehashing the same arguments they’ve already had a lot of times: Ali’s fanaticism and his defying of his father, Muntadhir’s wastrel tendencies, Ghessan’s tyranny, Nahri’s idealism. Hopefully this won’t be as much of an issue in book 3, given the way things ended in this one!

8/10

Book #238 of 2020


One response to “Review: The Kingdom Of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

  1. Iza says:

    This year, I feel like I’m reading this sort of trilogies : wonderful first book, average second book, lousy third book. So I think I’ll wait for your final review to make up my mind. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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