Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass
by S.A. Chakraborty
Publication Date: November 14th 2017
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Find This Book: The City of Brass
Rating: 3.5/5

I was given an eARC of this book by HarperCollins.

The hype for this book was so real that I somehow managed to get through this even though I can’t normally focus on ebooks. I loved how much cultural information was packed into this book and all of the political details between the daeva tribes and their magic system. I didn’t find much of the ending predictable in the slightest which was really refreshing but honestly most of it is hard to talk about and discuss unless you’ve already read it!

I must say I only vaguely new about Djinn, Ifriti, Marid etc. from my Bartimaeus days (I love those books and I love Jonathan Stroud) and that being said it really felt like I was getting thrown in the deep end with the MC Nahri who was also being introduced to everything around her. A paperback/ hard copy is definitely the way to go with this book because there are a lot of mythological/cultural terms that were a pain in the ass to flip back to the glossary of the ebook every time, but I did feel like I learned a bit which is always something I enjoy when reading. There where plenty of terms I didn’t know and just went along with not really knowing and getting context clues to work things out which was weird, but something I can appreciate. So many books are written by white women about white women for white women and I think this book had an all non-white cast with a minor side plot of lgbt diversity. A breath of fresh air, honestly.

What could have added to the experience for me might have been doing something similar to the beginning of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns where the author gives readers the pronunciations of the character’s names. I do understand this is a bit of a double edged sword though. On one hand, it’s ridiculous that names like Julia and Margot aren’t expected to have pronunciations accompanied with them while names like Darayavahoush are, but at the same time as a reader I want to completely respect the character’s name and the culture behind the story by not butchering their name. It’s certainly an interesting debate to say the least and I would love to hear other opinions on the subject, but I suppose this is a bit of a tangent in regards to my purpose being to review the book!

Another quick side note, there's a bit more swearing (the f word) and a bit more sexual content than I was expecting from a YA book. Not anything explicit, just more than expected i.e. insinuating sexual rumors, calling character whores etc. though that again could be a result of a more conservative culture being the background of the novel. 

Like I said, the last 100-200 pages (again this was on ebook I read on my phone screen so real page numbers are a mystery) were a wild ride with a lot happening at once and a lot of the stuff happening at once was really unexpected. Everything felt like it was really wrapping up into a stand alone book and I was wondering where the story was going to go since I had heard this was to be a trilogy. It only made me realize that what I thought was the big picture wasn’t actually the big picture! I will definitely be reading the next book but the hype won’t be as intense for me as I don’t think my favorite character will be receiving a lot of screen time especially considering how book twos are primarily just less interesting set-ups for the end of a trilogy. However, I seem to be in for an amazing book three and I anxiously await a conclusion (and my fav character better be stellar in it or I will fight someone)!