Summary in Haiku
Djinn love triangle,

magic racist swashbuckling;

drives character growth.

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Worth a read if: You love fantasy adventures but are tired of cliched tropes and settings, or want to recommend something to somebody who does.

Page-Turning 4.5/5
Technically, I listened to the book, so there were no pages to be turned, but Chakraborty’s City of Brass kept me engaged and enthralled throughout.

What kept me engaged:

  • Excellent dialog
  • Well developed characters
  • Fun fight/action scenes
  • A new (to me) fantasy setting in the Middle East
  • Plenty of moral gray

What enthralled me:

  • The tribal histories and prejudices of each character
  • The magic-related mysteries woven into the Chakraborty’s world-building

I found it very frustrating to start and stop the book when real life intervened.

Enlightening 2.5/5
There is plenty to love about this book, but it didn’t reveal any life-altering revelations or present any challenging thought experiments.

What it does achieve is accurately presenting a world of tribal divides, that in many ways correlate to racial and cultural divides in real life.

In their own way, each of the point-of-view characters strives to rise above this tribalism, only to learn (often the hard way) how big an obstacle culture and history can be.

Recommendability 3.5/5
Read this book if:
You love fantasy adventures but are tired of cliched tropes and settings.

Oh – and you have to be patient enough to start a trilogy that has yet to be completed (as of this review).

Otherwise, feel free to skip this one, but keep it in mind for your fantasy-loving friends.

Series The Daevabad Trilogy (Book 1)
Method of Discovery 
Audible 2 for 1 Sale
Method of Consumption Listened