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The City of Brass

Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
Length: 19 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (79 ratings)
Regular price: £12.99
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Summary

Discover this spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty.

Among the bustling markets of 18th century Cairo, the city's outcasts eke out a living swindling rich Ottoman nobles and foreign invaders alike.

But alongside this new world, the old stories linger. Tales of djinn and spirits. Of cities hidden among the swirling sands of the desert, full of enchantment, desire and riches. Where magic pours down every street, hanging in the air like dust.

Many wish their lives could be filled with such wonder, but not Nahri. She knows the trades she uses to get by are just tricks and sleights of hand: there's nothing magical about them. She wishes only to one day leave Cairo, but as the saying goes....

Be careful what you wish for.

©2018 S. A. Chakraborty (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

" The City of Brass is the best adult fantasy I've read since The Name of the Wind. It's stunning and complex and consuming and fantastic. You must read it." (Sabaa Tahir, New York Times best-selling author of An Ember in the Ashes)
"An extravagant feast of a book - spicy and bloody, dizzyingly magical, and still, somehow, utterly believable." (Laini Taylor, Sunday Times and New York Times best-selling author)
"A richly imagined, stunningly immersive book that takes you into a world. You will race to the end of this bold and brilliant debut." (Ausma Zehanat Khan, award-winning author of the The Bloodprint)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome!

A great start to a fantasy series. Setting the story in a fantastical North Africa feels fresh and the Nahri is a compelling character. Looking forward to book 2.

Narration was good.

The only downside is book 2 in the series has been released in other formats but no sign of a release on Audible, so you might be out of luck if you end enjoying this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Really good, can't wait for the sequel

A bit difficult to follow at the beginning (this might just be my fault as I struggled to keep track of names) , but we'll worth persevering with as the story and characters are great.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

City of Brass

Nahri is a con-woman on the streets of Cairo. She calls on ancient powers to "heal" her marks, playing on their weaknesses. Only, those powers are more real than she could have dreamt, and she is about to be dragged into the deceitful world of the Djinn.

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook, the narrator does an amazing job, and I couldn't wait for an excuse to listen to more.

The story follows Nahri, a woman in her early-twenties, who is living in Cairo in the 18th Century. She knows nothing of her family, and is just another orphan, that grew up on the streets of Cairo, making money where she can. She long to save up enough to get real medical training, and wants so much more from life.
There are a couple of odd things about her - that she can detect illness in people, and can sometimes wish it away. She can also understand every language, which gets her into trouble when she uses a mysterious language that lingers in her memory, and accidentally summons a Deava warrior.

The story really kicks off when Dara appears, and Nahri has to come to terms with magic and the djinn all being real. Oh, and that she is being chased by Ifrit (crazy fire spirits). Her only hope of survival, is to travel to the djinn city of Deavabad.

The plot keeps you guessing throughout, as it weaves together the stories of Nahri and Deavabad's Prince Ali, a young man with strong ideals on how the city should be. His morals are put to the test, when his loyalty to his family is tested, and he has to grow wise and try and see the bigger picture, and play the longer game.
Characters are pulled in and out of this story, sometimes in a brutal way, that is fantastically done.

I loved the whole style of this story. It is colourful, and enchanting, and wonderfully authentic!
I can't wait for the next book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good just not great

I liked the politics but it took me half the book to really understand all the different jinn terms, types and alliances. Whilst a good story and well written my main problem was that I didn’t massively connect with any of the main characters given their biased views and prejudices, therefore was less excited about who was going to win out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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So much potential but failed to deliver

I'm still in two minds about this book. It took so long to get anywhere and by the time it did the book finished, I wanted to give up around a third to half way through but persisted. By the end it set up to be a good story but by that time I'm not sure I want to Devote any more time to it, so not sure if I'll read the next book especially if it follows the same arch and takes forever to get any where. Had the potential to be a really good epic but for me fell short

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An absolutely amazing & unique piece of Literaure!

I had a great time reading/listening to such a nuanced depiction of both sides of a conflict, where there are no obvious good guys and bad guys. There is guilt, cruelties and righteousness on both sides. The political discussions/groups presented in this book are ones we can still recognise in today's climate. This is mainly seen through the characters, who are not just one-note stereotypes, but are fully fleshed out with ideals and flaws. The two leads, Nahri and Ali, are well written and intriguing characters. I could personally relate to Ali and his beliefs, being torn between doing what's right and what's expected by our families.

And the WORLD BUILDING!!!! Steeped in history and culture I found my self truly transported into Cairo, and the Palace in Daevabad. My only qualm was that we did not get to see more of the city of Daevabad and did not get to meet more people from the other tribes. Hoping the sequel rectifies this.

For those looking for a fast-paced, action-packed YA with a passionate love story, then this book ISN'T for you. But if you want to read something that would make you question your own beliefs on what's right, or see the unfolding consequences for the conquered vs the oppressed, or an intriguing view on court politics or even to just escape into a well- written world of magic and djinn, then this book is DEFINITELY for you.

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Great fantasy that's a little different

Loved it! Finished it very quickly indeed. Only slight negative, and it is slight, is that the narrator made this sound like a teen drama at times. I ended up finding the main character to be quite whiny. Not sure if this was how she was intended to sound. If yes, then great job. But a little annoying. Otherwise, the narrator does a fairly competent job of differentiating the characters

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  • Carolyn
  • 27-09-18

Fabulous characters and world-building and plot

It’s been a long time since I read a fantasy that felt new. This one does. The world feels real and consistent and magical, the characters are whole people with all that entails, and even the food is enticing. More, please!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful