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The Empire Of Gold Hardcover – 2 September 2020
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- Hardcover : 782 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0008239495
- ISBN-13 : 978-0008239497
- Product Dimensions : 15.9 x 4.9 x 22.7 cm
- Publisher : Voyager - GB (2 September 2020)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 59,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer 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, #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Ember in the Ashes
“A rich Middle Eastern fantasy…Against [a] syncretic yet nonderivative and totally credible backdrop, Chakraborty has constructed a compelling yarn of personal ambition, power politics, racial and religious tensions, strange magics, and terrifying creatures, culminating in a cataclysmic showdown that few readers will anticipate…Best of all, the narrative feels rounded and complete yet poised to deliver still more. Highly impressive and exceptionally promising.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“An opulent masterpiece. Chakraborty's debut is desire-soaked, intrigue-laced, and ripe with so-delicious-you'll-sink-your-teeth-into-it worldbuilding and equally mesmerizing characters. The City of Brass is a must-read.”
Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen
“A richly imagined, stunningly immersive book that takes you into a world of darkly alluring djinn, terrifying monsters and beguiling magic. Subversive and clever in its politics, nothing is quite as it seems in treacherous, seductive Daevabad. Peopled with irresistible characters and steeped in the myths of the Middle East, The City of Brass is a dazzlingly inventive tale, set in a world that feels both familiar and new. You will race to the end of this bold and brilliant debut.”
Ausma Zehanat Khan, award-winning author of the Khattak/Getty mysteries and The Bloodprint
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Dara - he finally got there in terms of pulling himself off the terrible path he was on, but I'm not sure what was different here to the various warnings that had been put in his path in previous books. He was a difficult character for me to really engage with throughout the series, but I did like how his story ended - it felt very satisfactory
Ali - I continued to really enjoy Ali in this book. While never changing his fundamental beliefs and values, he learned how to balance those with the world and people around him. A really richly drawn characted who evolved in interesting ways throughout the series. Loved Alizayd.
Nahri - she was just as awesome in this as previous books. She's the heart and soul of the story for me. So tough and clever, but also human. Her ending was perfect, and big props to Chakraborty for such a brilliant character
Found the ending very boring!
Top reviews from other countries
Before I start my review let me just say, I love Alizayd with my whole heart and I will forever be thankful to Shannon for bringing him to life and giving me the complex nuanced Muslim rep of an apologetically practicing young Muslim I had been craving.
This whole trilogy is phenomenal and Empire of Gold was an absolutely amazing conclusion which simultaneously left me satisfied and yet left me craving more stories of all the amazing characters. The story starts where The Kingdom of Copper ends which was a nice surprise as I had no idea what to expect with how much time had passed. But The Empire of Gold starts exactly where book two ends so we see the aftermath of everything that happened in The Kingdom of Copper.
Shannon’s writing is extraordinary, I am completely immersed in the world that she has created, I can almost touch and taste everything and any and all food references left me craving it all. Her world building is absolutely phenomenal and in this book we get to explore new places that are part of the Daevabad world including Ta Nytry and all I want to do is go on holiday there, it sounds incredible.
This trilogy has some of the most complex characters I have ever read and they all make you see their side of the story which makes it more complicated as to who you want to root for. No character is perfect, they all make bad decisions, things they regret and they all have to deal with the consequences of these decisions. It made each of them more compelling to read.
We get the point of view of Nahri, Ali and Dara so we see what is happening both in Daevabad through Dara and outside Daevabad through Ali and Nahri. Through Ali and Nahri we see them trying to recover after ending up in Cairo and their chapters are much more light hearted and at times absolutely hilarious and it contrasts starkly with Dara’s point of view which is really dark and at times very difficult to read.
I found myself going back to reread Ali and Nahri’s chapters and their banter and awkward flirting and skirting around their complicated feelings and honestly it was a joy to read. The first half of The Empire of Gold has some of my favourite scenes in the whole trilogy, especially chapter nine. I love that chapter with my whole heart!
Nahri’s story arc was so wonderful to read. She goes from a con artist in the streets of Cairo to leading a rebellion and fighting for justice for all in Daevabad. I loved watching her grow throughout the trilogy. She has been through so much and because of her circumstances she finds it hard to trust people and open up to anyone in case she gets hurt but watching her slowly open up to Ali was so wonderful to see. She deserves to have someone in her life that she can trust and depend on and who won’t hold her back or dictate her life.
Ali is of course my favourite character in the whole trilogy, it’s no secret how much I love him and watching him grow from the naïve teenager to the man we see by the end of the trilogy was truly wonderful. He is still socially awkward and has the absolute worst timing but he learns and grows so much throughout the books. He is still unapologetic in practicing his faith yet he has learned that Islam is not black and white and there is a lot more nuance to the religion than he initially believed. He also learns a lot about his families past and heritage which also affects him in many ways. Especially in chapter thirty seven I felt for him so much. His story by the end is one of a man who will rebuild his home and care for it’s people and he is still driven by social justice but just like he is there for Nahri, Nahri is also there for him to ground him when he may get carried away with his ideas of change.
Dara’s story arc was fascinating to read, I really do not like him, he spends so much of the book saying how he has been made into a weapon, which is true and I hate how the Nahid council manipulated him into becoming who he is, yet it takes him far too long to learn and take a stand for himself. There is a scene where he is talking to Kartir about this and Kartir tells him to instead think of all those victims who died and to try to atone for his mistakes and I just wish he had learnt that earlier. I wanted him to realise that actually the shafit or jinns weren’t the ones who caused his life to become what it was it was in fact the Nahid council and to spend more time thinking about how to make amends for his actions. I felt like screaming ‘please Dara use your brain’ at him many times! It got to the point where it was very difficult for me to empathise with him anymore but there was a chapter that despite everything I truly felt for him and could not believe that Manizheh actually did that. But Shannon’s writing is truly exceptional that she created such a complex character that people see in so many different ways.
We learn a lot and have many questions answered that have been on our minds since reading the first two books and yet I wanted more. If Shannon had written a thousand page book I would have happily read it, I am not ready to leave Daevabad. I am especially not ready to leave Ali, Nahri, Muntadhir, Jamshid and Zaynab. I want to know more I want to follow their lives post Empire of Gold. I especially wish we had gotten to see Muntadhir’s or Zaynab’s point of view in this book. It would have been so interesting too see what was happening in other parts of Daevabad and these two siblings trying to work out how to save everyone from within.
I also loved seeing Ali and Nahri’s relationship develop over the trilogy. I loved how they were rivals and initially hostile towards each other and were forced to be around each other and ended up becoming friends and slowly we see something more. The fact that despite them developing more than friendship feelings for each other doesn’t stop them being friends was so wonderful to see. Ali is of course smitten (though he constantly denies this). Nahri slowly develops more feelings for Ali in Empire of Gold and when anyone points this out she also denies it but I really loved seeing such a healthy relationship in a book. Ali expects nothing from her, he knows that she finds it difficult to let people in and he lets her decide where their relationship goes. And of course the awkward flirting was absolutely hilarious to read. No smooth lines between these two idiots and I loved them for it!
Shannon ended the trilogy beautifully, it isn’t a happily ever after, instead we get to see a hopeful new beginning for all of the characters as they navigate their lives with all the changes that will inevitably happen. This trilogy will forever hold a special place in my heart and I couldn’t have asked for a better conclusion.
I have so much I want to know about their lives at the end but I also love the ending. I could talk about this book forever, there is so much more I want to say but I don’t want to spoil anyone so this will have to do for now.
PS. I will never be ready to leave Daevabad so I am praying that Shannon returns here one day but I am also very excited about reading her next series which will involve pirates!
After I read The City of Brass I wasn’t sure I’d ever describe this series as one of my favourites, but here we are. Are there still some things about it I don’t quite get as much as I’d like to? Of course, but what I love about this series is that it’s clear it’s been written by a history lover, and as a history nerd myself I’m weak for stories like this.
After the explosive end of The Kingdom of Copper I knew we’d be in for a ride in this third and final book, and man was I right. At around 750 pages long, this is the chunkiest book in the trilogy but I raced through it; this whole novel felt like such an adventure and I was torn between wanting to do nothing but read it and not wanting to finish it so I could stay with these characters, and in this world, a little longer.
If you love fantasy stories that heavily feature politics and history, written by authors that aren’t afraid to hurt anyone, then you need to give this series a try. There’s so much in this series that readers can sink their teeth into. Personally I always know a fantasy series has done its job when I want to read even more stories set in its world, and while I’ll happily read whatever Chakraborty writes next I’d definitely be interested in seeing another side of this world from her in future.
Right now, though, we’re here to talk about the finale of this story, and I loved it. Perhaps even more importantly, I was satisfied by it. Sometimes endings can feel too wrapped up in a neat little bow and, while a part of me might argue that quite a few characters ended up a lot safer than I expected, there’s no denying that Chakraborty puts her characters through the ringer. Everything in this novel, both good and bad, felt earned, and there’s nothing more satisfying than that in a series finale.
What I loved most about this particular novel was how Chakraborty was able to change my mind. I was so frustrated with Dara in both of the previous books, and he’s still not my favourite, but wow is it easy to understand where he’s coming from. There’s so much more of a sense of how unfair life has been to Dara in this novel, how badly he’s been used over and over again by those who demanded his loyalty, but what’s wonderful is that his history is never used as an excuse for his actions. Dara isn’t allowed to play the ‘life’s been hard’ card and move on—he has to face the consequences of his actions, and in doing so make decisions that will leave a better legacy than the one he’s already left.
I mentioned in my review of the previous book that I wasn’t keen on the romance that seemed to blooming between Nahri and Ali – I want more women and men to just be friends in fantasy, please – but, I have to admit, this was another thing Chakraborty managed to twist my arm on. I still don’t love the idea of them together romantically, I still prefer their friendship, but I’m not exactly against it either. Their relationship in this novel, whether it’s platonic or romantic or a mix of the two, is one I couldn’t help rooting for, and I particularly loved the way Chakraborty left it. That’s all I’ll say on that matter.
Speaking of Ali, yes I still adore him and it’s him, more than anyone else, that I was gutted to say goodbye to when I got to the end of this book. Like Dara, Ali goes through some stuff and learns a lot about his own family history in the process. So much of this novel focuses on the sacrifices we make for the greater good, whether it’s the greater good of the world or merely our own greater good. For Dara it’s whether or not he’s going to be remembered as nothing but a weapon; for Ali it’s what he’s willing to trade to guarantee the safety of the djinn; and for Nahri it’s whether a fresh start in Egypt is worth leaving everyone in Daevabad behind for.
In fact Nahri is another character I was pleasantly surprised by. I’ve mentioned in both of my previous reviews that I’ve never quite got her – for me her con artistry never quite matched her desire to be a doctor – but I did understand her a lot more in this book. Does a part of me still wish she wasn’t as sanctified as she in this book? Yeah, kinda. As soon as a series tells me its heroine is a con artist then I want a con artist, y’know? I want someone who’s bordering on villainy, and Nahri isn’t. Ultimately, she’s good-hearted.
I can’t hold that against her, though, and I don’t want to waste my review talking about what Nahri isn’t instead of talking about what she is, and what she is is a survivor. All of her choices make sense and that’s all I can ask of the characters I read. Nahri might not be as morally grey as I expected her to be when I first picked up this series, but there’s no doubting that she’s fun to follow around and that she’s a woman who really deserves a break.
This novel did what many of the novels I love most do: it made me nostalgic. That makes no real sense when stories like this aren’t hugely similar to the stories I grew up with. This series is much more Arabian Nights than Grimm’s Fairy Tales and I was more familiar with the latter as a child, but The Empire of Gold had the same sense of adventure and journeying and doing what’s right over what’s easy that I’ve always loved in my stories. Add to that its focus on history and politics and this is a winner for me.
I’m going to miss this world a lot, although I’m sure I’ll re-read this trilogy in future, but until I return to it I’m so pleased the ending was a good one!
It’s been so refreshing to have a fantasy series that doesn’t fall back on the ‘medieval European’ style that so many use. The Arabian Nights and Arabic/Middle Eastern influences made this a truly special series. The mythology blends beautifully with the characters, and the way that was expanded in this final book was magical without being overwhelming.
Following the events of Kingdom of Copper, Nahri and Ali need to find a way back to Daevabad, while Dara starts to question his allegiance to Manizheh after her destructive actions. As the pair travel back to their beloved city, gathering alliances along the way, things take a turn for the worst in the city at the heart of it all.
Looking back over the entire series, it’s lovely to see how the characters have changed while each change has seemed entirely natural. You can see who they were at the start, and how they have grown, how their flaws held them back and their strengths helped them move forward. Nahri is a shining star in this sense: she isn’t a perfect person, which makes her — to me — a perfect character. There are times she wants to turn back and give up, which is incredibly believable. Ali is one of my favourite characters I’ve ever read, after being ambivalent about him at the start. Dara commits some terrible acts, and yet I am thrilled with his ending.
As a final book, I loved it. Everything was wrapped up, questions were answered, but there were still some things left to the readers’ imaginations. Seeing the main conflict/action ending at 91% in my version made me so happy, because it was plenty of time to wrap things up for all of the characters I’d invested my time into.
Overall, the writing was gorgeous, and unafraid to go to dark places. I can’t wait to reread when I get the chance, and to find a nice boxset of the series to have on my all time favourites shelf.
Well when my pre-order popped up (I had completely forgotten when it was due - the world's home mad let's be honest) I immediately knew I had to recap. So this week I've spent almost every spare minute with Nahri and followed her journey from beginning to end.
Beautiful stories wonderfully written. I hope one day it will become a fabulous tv series - although how you would do these justice I have no clue.