The Kingdom of Copper

The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy book 2) by S. A. Chakraborty

Length: 640 pages

Recommended reader age: Adult

Publisher: Harper Voyager, 2019

Genre: Adventure fantasy

 

About the author:

S. A. Chakraborty in based in New Jersey with her husband, daughter and cats. She is the author of the Daevabad Trilogy which has been nominated for the Locus, World Fantasy, Crawford, and Astounding awards. When not writing she reads books about thirteen-century con artists and Abbasid political intrigue, as well as hiking, knitting, and re-creating unnecessarily complicated medieval meals. You can find her online at www.sachakraborty.com or on Twitter and Instagram at @SAChakrabooks, where she likes to talk about history, politics, and Islamic art. 

Authors picture, S A Chakraborty
Photo credit to Melissa C. Beckman

Main Characters:

Nahri: An egyptian woman in her 2o’s scratching out a living on the streets of Cairo with palm readings and thievery.

Dara: Daeva and Afshin, former slave

King Ghassan ibn Khader al Qahtani: Ruthless and calculating ruler of Daevabad.

Muntadhir al Qahtani: First son of Ghassan and Emir, heir to the throne. Fond of drinking and women but not to be underestimated.

Prince Alizayd al Qahtani: (Ali) Son of the current ruler of Daevabad and warrior in training. Torn between his family and the treatment of shafit people.

Kaveh e-Pramukh: Grand wazir, advisor to the king.

Jamshid e-Pramikh: Son of Kaveh and guard of Muntadhir

Ifrit: There are a few too many to name, but the ifrit are powerful demons

Marid: water elementals

Daeva: Created from fire but with souls like humans, cursed (or blessed) by Suleiman.

Shafit: Those with mixed Djinn and human blood.

! PART 2 IN A SERIES !

The City of Brass is the first in the Daevabad series. Click HERE for my full review or the link below to purchase via amazon. While I do my best to keep things spoiler free I would hate to ruin the 1st book while talking about the second!

Plot summary, spoiler free I promise:

This book starts by following Ali after the dramatic ending of book 1 and his subsequent exile from Daevabad by his father. We see as time and time again he is the target of assassination attempts, and is left alone in the desert with only his zulfiqar and the beginnings of hatred growing in his heart. He is found and saved by a remote village, but only because of the growing abilities gifted to him by the marid.

We also see the beginnings of neglect for poorer land by Daevabad and, when we switch to follow Nahri, more of the lingering unrest after the previous battle is shown. While mourning the loss of Dara, Nahri is also coming to terms with the palace reawakening and trying to find her feet as the Banu Nahida. Throughout she is walking a fine line between finding herself and inciting violence across the city. 

We also follow the actions of Zaynab, Muntadhir and Jamshid more closely than we did in book 1, as they become more major players and the behind the scenes politics is slowly pushed into public view. Alongside the rising tension within the city, and dramatic events outside, the city is in a hurry preparing itself for Navasatem, a celebration of another century free from Suleiman’s rule.

This novel speeds towards it’s inevitable and dramatic ending, (it truly feels shorter than it is) and along the way it further showcases the politics, infighting and corruption that was so rife in book 1. The magic and abilities of both Nahri, Ali and other characters also grow as the book progresses. And we learn more and more about the history of the land and the truth behind Suleiman’s Curse.

My Thoughts:

If you read my review of book 1 you will know how much I loved it! I had high hopes for The Kingdom of Copper and it absolutely did not disappoint. The beginning was almost a straight continuation of book 1, it certainly left me with the impression that nothing critical has happened in the time that has passed, certainly nothing that was as important as the events now unfolding and I was instantly sucked back in to the world of magic, djiin and deserts.

The writing style is just as descriptive as the 1st book, food sounds so beautiful you can almost smell it, the hustle and bustle of a busy city is clearly captured, as is the shifting sands of the desert and the desperation when drought comes. 

The celebratory feel of the preparations for Navasatem is also beautifully described, and forms a direct contrast to the events, plans and history being revealed by characters outside Daevabad. With the author brilliantly capturing rising tension and unrest within the city and key characters, the celebration was a refreshing change of pace and made the less pleasant aspects all the more intense.

I loved being able to learn more and more about the history of Daevabad, right from it’s founding moments, and the role Nahri’s family had in its creation and past events. Alongside this the truth of Suleiman’s curse is revealed, as is the part that elemental’s and other magical beings have played in the past, and the ties that move them to action in the present. There were so many moments that completely took me by surprise, and so many that showed just how trapped everyone is in a tangle of promises, lies and favours owed.

Throughout all the characters change, grow and learn yet, in the authors style that became clear in book 1, they stay true to core values and attributes. There were a few cases where someone acted in an unexpected manor, but those that did were crucial, brilliantly done and took me by surprise which is always lovely.

There is also a whole fantastic, dramatic and crucial part to this book that I cannot talk about for fear of spoilers, and it absolutely needs to be discovered by reading it yourself. There are characters introduced that will leave you either shocked, proud for guessing right, or a combination of both. There are relationships too that are both beautiful and heartbreaking, adding more hurt to that already felt by the existing bonds of both friendship and marriage. The fighting is powerful and brutal, the conclusion built up to perfectly and the characters emotions raw and captured perfectly.

 For me there was nothing in this book that disappointed or left me feeling cheated by a rushed conclusion. It was truly a ride from beginning to end, and one that saw me pre-ordering book 3 before I had even finished the Epilogue. 

Recommended for anyone that loved book 1. If you haven’t read The City of Brass yet then why are you reading this review? Any spoilers for book 1 are on you!

Favourite quote:

“The sight of his home made him feel as though someone had reached into his chest and turned over his heart. He looked up at the facades of the long-dead Nahids carved into the cities brass walls as the boat drew near. Their distant metal gazes seemed ethereal, bored, the arrival of some exiled sand-fly prince a mere footnote in the long history they’d witnessed”

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