The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2019/1/22
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Return to Daevabad in the spellbinding sequel to THE CITY OF BRASS. In Daevabad, where djinn can summon flames with a snap of their fingers, where rivers run deep with ancient magic, and blood can be as dangerous as any spell, a clever con artist from Cairo will alter the fate of a kingdom. Nahri's life changed forever when she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabad, she needed all of her grifter instincts to survive. Now, as Nahri embraces her heritage and her power, she must forge a new path. Exiled for daring to defy his father, Ali is adrift on the unforgiving sands of his ancestral land, hunted by assassins and forced to rely on frightening new abilities that threaten to reveal a terrible family secret. And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad's brass walls to celebrate, a power in the desolate north will bring a storm of fire straight to the city's gates . . .
"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商品の説明をすべて表示する
*POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD*
First off, the pacing is slow. I mean, REALLY slow. The action doesn't happen until the last four or five chapters--chapters which, by the way, are the only reason I'll probably stick around for the third book--and most of the rest of the story is centered around city politics and public works. If you found the political issues in the last book to be a turn-off, you're not going to like this one. It took me nearly a week to finish because I kept getting so bored by what was [not] happening in the story.
Then there is Ali. I am so sick of this character, people. I groaned through almost all his chapters in the last book but stuck it out because I was so enamored of Nahri and Dara and I wanted to get to their chapters quickly. In Kingdom of Copper, Ali's character actually shows a lot of personal growth, but at the bottom of it all he's still annoying and impulsive and so, so mind-bendingly naive. I haven't rolled my eyes this much in a long time.
Why is he being set up as a love interest for Nahri? I got a whiff of it during the last book and was hoping it would go away, but no. NAHRI AND ALI ARE NOT RIGHT FOR EACH OTHER. She is so much more mature and intelligent than he is, and half the time Ali is such a child that their relationship comes off as more brother/sister to me than her relationship with Jamshid! There is no chemistry there, so the idea that he's the third person in what is now shaping up to be a love triangle is ridiculous. Even Muntadhir is more believable as a rival to Dara for Nahri's affections, and Muntadhir is in love with another man!
And the story was just so BLEAK. I counted maybe two or three moments of pure, sustained joy in the whole thing. The rest was just people being horrible to one another over and over in a struggle for power. I get that there's effectively a war going on in Daevabad the whole time, but if you want to engage readers you HAVE to give us a little something. Every single victory for the good guys was followed up directly by something crappy, or some limitation on what little happiness or progress my favorite characters had made. It was suffocating.
Speaking of suffocating, wtf is going to happen with Dara's storyline? To me it feels like Chakraborty is leaning toward throwing Nahri and Ali together in the end despite their having no spark together, and then Dara flies off into the wind on his own, where he can be happy blowing sand around the desert or something? My heart hurt for him throughout this whole thing; it's very difficult for me to believe that in all the years he'd been alive, he couldn't have recognized Manizheh's real motives when she set him free? Really? REALLY? 1500 years and he can't see through some very obvious ethnic cleansing bullsh*t THAT HE HAS BEEN THROUGH EXACTLY BEFORE? Watching him continue to be tortured after all he's been through already--and then having Nahri turn against him on top of that, made me want to throw the book in the trash.
Bottom line: as I mentioned, the last few chapters are top-notch in terms of pacing and action. I even liked Ali a little bit, and Nahri uses her Cairo con skills to good advantage. (Dara may also have finally grown a pair, but I'm not holding my breath on that.) It's worth noting that most of the reason I am so angry at this book is that the first book made me fall deeply in love with the characters, and I hate how the author did them so dirty here. I'm not giving up on the series, but I'm praying this storyline isn't going to end the way I think it is based on what I've inferred from reading Book 2.
What I can tell you is that the characters you loved from the first book, for the most part, continue to earn your affection in this one. The true villains become greater monsters than any Scourge, ifrit or marid. And we have three central figures whose hearts and minds continue to be gradually changed by each other, who learn to question deeply what loyalty, friendship, affection, and love really mean. However...
While I loved this book as much as the first, I do have one warning for those who truly hate cliffhangers- unfortunately this book ends on a *tremendous* cliffhanger (much, much more so than in the first book) and will leave us waiting for its resolution another year.
I received a Digital Review Copy of this book from Harper Voyager via Edelweiss, along with a paper review copy, in exchange for an honest review.
Five years after the events of The City of Brass, and Daevabad is in trouble. The shafit, those with human ancestry, are being treated worse than ever, and tensions between all major fractions are high. Plus, the city’s facing intense economic issues. Nahri’s now married to Muntadhir and living a highly constrained life, as her father-in-law barely ever allows her to leave the palace. Ali’s survived assassination attempts and has made a life for himself in a small, backwater village where his powers over water left to him by the marid possession of the previous book can mean life or death in the desert. Meanwhile… Dara’s back. He’s somehow been raised from the dead, and furthermore, restored to what the djinn were before Solomon’s Seal. And he’s not the only one who’s unexpectedly alive — so is Nahri’s mother, and she’s planning to reconquer Daevabad, no matter what cost.
I apologize for this, but I desperately need to get it out of my system — I hate Dara so much. So so much. When I saw he was back in Kingdom of Copper, I was like “urghhhh WHY.” I find Dara to be the possessive, alpha-male-character type who has all sorts of warning signs for abusive relationships and chockful of toxic masculinity. Also, he’s a literal war criminal, just throwing that out there. Frankly, he’s just the worst. But here’s the thing: the narrative knows Dara’s borderline abusive. While the narrative might have some sympathy for the horrible things that have happened to Dara, it doesn’t let them excuse the horrible things he’s done. I’m all here for stories holding shitty men accountable. But although this is my reading on Dara, a quick scan through Goodreads reviews reveals that I’m practically alone. Apparently, a lot of other reviewers really love Dara (this sometimes involves gushing about how “broody” he is)? And ship him with Nahri??? As much as I hate this, I guess it makes sense. So many stories treat abusive behavior as romantic (shout out to Naomi Novik’s Uprooted), so what I read as a deconstruction, other people might be reading as straight romantic. I guess it’s kind of like the Star Wars fans who ship Rey and Kylo. Yes, I did just call Nahri/Dara shippers equivalent to Reylo shippers. And I’ll stand by it.
Now that I’ve finished yelling about how we shouldn’t romanticize dudes down with genocide, let’s move on to another topic: just how freaking good The Kingdom of Copper is. I adored The Kingdom of Copper. I did not want to put this book down. Do you know how much self-control it took to put the book down to go to sleep or go to class??? So much. Also, I legit avoided people before class so they wouldn’t try to talk to me and interrupt my reading. I had to find out what happened! The plotting is just so exciting because you’ve got these multiple strands that are obviously all converging in the worst possible ways for our protagonists. It’s delightful.
The beginning of The Kingdom of Copper was a bit hard for me because I could remember so little from the first book. Mostly what tripped me up was remembering all the different divisions within Daevabad, but I figured it out eventually and was able to become really immersed from there.
Otherwise, what I loved about The Kingdom of Copper was also present in the first book: superb world-building, excellent writing, and characters I quickly grew attached to. Weirdly enough, I kind of like the idea of Nahri and Ali as a couple? That’s super unusual for me. I’m mostly more into fictional friendships than romantic relationships. I think it’s the whole Chaotic Good/Lawful Good dynamic they’ve got going.
Before I wrap up this review, let’s talk about queerness in The Kingdom of Copper! This series does acknowledge queer people exist and actually has two queer male characters who are in love with each other. One of whom is Muntadhir, Nahri’s husband. I was seriously scared that one of the two would die (this was a big fear in the first book too), and I am really hoping this series doesn’t involve queer tragedy. Spoiler: [( We keep almost getting a queer tragedy. Both with the ending of the last book, and some stuff in this one. Muntadhir was about to be fatally poisoned but got saved at the last minute. I really don’t know how I feel about how the narrative keeps edging up to queer tragedy because it stresses me out. ) (hide spoiler)] On another point, I think Muntadhir may fall into the promiscuous bisexual stereotype. I guess my verdict on queer rep in this series would be that it’s not terrible but also not super great.
I’m really thankful I got the chance to read an ARC of The Kingdom of Copper (thanks specifically to Pam Jaffee at HarperCollins), and I can’t wait to read the third and final book in the trilogy. This is not a series you want to miss, and I highly recommend it!
I received an ARC in exchange for a free and honest review.