The City of Brass

The City of Brass

A Novel

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
It is the spellbinding debut in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Harper Voyageur, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2017]
ISBN: 9780062678102
Branch Call Number: CHAKR
Characteristics: 532 pages


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jan 30, 2018

Enjoyed this so much. The characters were so believable except that the romantic in me wanted a different ending but the author is right, the way the story ended was perfect.........because life is like that.......Please give us more!!!!!!

forbesrachel Jan 01, 2018

The City of Brass is a delicious debut that deviates from many of the common Fantasy stereotypes. First off, it is set in an alternate historical Middle East, and revolves around a young woman of Egyptian descent, and a young warrior djinn of faith. Chakraborty makes Nahri's and Ali's world feel like it sits somewhere between reality, and the mythical version we hear about in stories. Fantastical elements, even in the few instances where they are used in abundance, always feel grounded by the well-established characters, the historical-feeling setting, and the many issues and perspectives that are of concern in this melting pot. At the book's heart are matters of equality, justice, and rule. Both Nahri and Ali in particular are deeply driven by the idea of right and wrong, while others, such as Nahri's romantic interest, the daeva Dara, and Ali's father, the ruler of Daevabad, are set in their resolve. This is one of the things that makes this novel so interesting; it discusses the moral implications of actions versus the practical. Still, even with so much to sate are minds, it is the characters that we keenly follow. Their story will not go the way that you expect, and that is one of the other ways that makes this book different from many Fantasy. Each twist is thrilling because it affects the characters in profound ways. We'll only find out the results of the last set of twists in the next book, but at least we aren't left wondering. Chakraborty leaves us with a very satisfying conclusion to a wonderfully written, fully fleshed out story. This is one that will appeal to both teens and adults because the type of writing fits snugly in both spheres.

Dec 07, 2017

I want more of this, and I want it now.

Plot: In 18th century Cairo, Nahri was an orphan con-woman with a knack for healing. One day, she unknowingly unleashed a long-forgotten djinn and forged on a journey to rediscover her past and serve her people.

And I loved every minute of Nahri's journey with Dara and how complex the djinn rivalries were. The City of Brass was told from the perspective of both Nahri and Ali, the prince to the current djinn royalty, so we got to see both sides of the story and understand why each side might see the other as the "enemy". There was a lot of cat-and-mouse play and new discoveries by the chapter, but I was intimidated in the beginning. There was a lot of djinn terminology that I didn't understand and I'm still a bit confused with the complex relationships between with djinn tribe, and I'm sure I'll have to give this one a reread before the sequel is released. And can we talk about that ending? The City of Brass had one of the most intense-showdowns I've read in a while and the cliffhanger was just cruel.

Characters: Nahri was just as you would expect: she was stubborn and wasn't afraid to speak her mind. I especially loved how she handled herself when presented with vipers wanting to see her fail. Dara, the mysterious djinn warrior, had a questionable past, and I think was the love interest? I'm unsure; while the romance was hinted at, it was nowhere near a focal point of the City of Brass. Ali, the second prince of the current royal family, was also a contender. Regardless of who romanced who, they were each interesting characters that I wanted to get to know more.

Worldbuilding: The amount of detail that went into The City of Brass was astounding, and I'm thankful for the glossary that Chakraborty included at the end; I highly recommend that readers utilize it since there was a lot of information to digest. I mentioned that it was overwhelming for me, but I wholly appreciate the amount of detail that the author poured into the City of Brass.

Short N Sweet: The City of Brass is imaginative and addictive; you'll want to pre-order the sequel as soon as you finish!

Dec 05, 2017

The general premise is typical of YA/NA fantasy books (young woman in difficult circumstances discovers her special talents and mysterious origins and is the only one who can save the day/overthrow the bad guys) but Chakraborty makes it feel new with the story of the djinn. The characters were well developed and I enjoyed going from 18th century Cairo to the magical Daevabad - both settings richly described and believable.

SPL_Brittany Nov 27, 2017

A full review can be found in the Summary section. Review first published in the Stratford Gazette November 2017.


Add a Summary

SPL_Brittany Nov 27, 2017

To survive in 18th century Cairo, Nahri a young con artist, survives by performing minor cons, healings and a little theft. She knows nothing of her heritage or family, only that she can heal remarkably fast and understand any language. Nahri's life is upended when she accidentally summons Dara, a handsome djinn warrior in one of her healing cons who in turn, saves her from murderous Ifrit and demon spirits who have become aware of Nahri and her healing abilities. They flee towards Daevabad, Dara's homeland the legendary City of Brass, where Nahri must claim her magical birthright in order to prevent a war that threatens to destroy the entire djinn kingdom.

Meanwhile in Daevabad, Ali, the second son of the ruler of Daevabad has his own struggles. A deft warrior and devout follower of the faith, he sympathizes with the Shafits - a mixed race who are part djinn, part human who are restricted to living in the city, and suffer ill treatment at the hands of his father. When a mission to help the Shafit goes awry, Ali is placed in a situation that will test his loyalties between the crown and the Shafit cause.

Debut author Chakraborty writes an engrossing, fast-paced novel filled with richly detailed images and vivid prose. Written in a dual narrative, Chakraborty weaves a fascinating tale of speculative fiction that offers to the curious reader a glimpse into Middle Eastern mythology and djinn lore. The first novel in a trilogy, perfect for those who enjoy historical fiction with a blend of fantasy, as well as for readers who have previously enjoyed Helene Weckers’ novel "Golem and the Jinni".

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at the Library

To Top