The Daevabad Trilogy (The City of Brass and The Kingdom of Copper, currently) is a sweeping adventure that conjures a world where djinn summon flames with the snap of a finger and waters run deep with old magic; where blood can be dangerous as any spell, and a clever con artist from Cairo will alter the fate of a kingdom.
(This review is SPOILER-FREE for the whole series. You will not be spoiled for The City of Brass.)
🌸 This is an adult fantasy actually (so not really for teens), but teens can definitely enjoy it and none of the content matter is particularly explicit (there slow burn is like…so slow the fire hasn’t started and I JUST WANT IT TO SPEED UP). The writing style is what I would say is the biggest challenge to making it accessible to teens–it’s definitely a little dense and nuanced compared to traditional YA, so it takes a certain type of teen reader to be a good fit with that. I definitely think anyone 15+ could enjoy it if the writing style works with them.
I’m obviously not the most experienced at reading or reviewing adult fantasy.
But unlike with The City of Brass (which I admit I read somewhat haphazardly), I really put my all into paying attention to The Kingdom of Copper.
And you know what?
It was so worth it.
Even though I remembered basically nothing from book 1 at the beginning of The Kingdom of Copper, somehow I managed to jog my memory as I read the sequel, and it was so subtle I cry at how well Chakraborty brought up book 1 without info dumping us.
That is how you write a sequel, y’all. Especially for the readers who pain themselves by waiting a year to read each book.
So besides the fact that Chakraborty seamlessly made us remember everything about this world, she also did just a really good job with this book?
It’s not to say that I found it perfect–but I definitely tried my best to read it from an adult fantasy perspective rather than a YA fantasy perspective to keep from being one of those people who go “I’m not the intended audience but this book is dumb.”
So I really focused on this and gave my undivided attention to The Kingdom of Copper, and I ended up enjoying it.
Of course, it was an adjustment. The writing was denser than I was used to and the politics more complicated and the slow burn even slower and burnier. But despite me not being the intended audience, I was still able to enjoy this a lot.
I did find it better than book 1, but that also is probably because I focused way more on reading The Kingdom of Copper and really put my all into this book, which paid off in giving me a better reading experience.
The main characters (I won’t mention for the sake of spoiling book 1) all had very distinct storylines and emotions and I really liked how Chakraborty wrote about them in this novel (and how she brought them together at the end).
I did feel like something was missing from Nahri’s storyline because I felt like I didn’t get nearly enough layers from her character ARC? She felt a little flat, even though I really enjoyed her in book 1.
But everything else was amazing. The worldbuilding was so lush. Sometimes authors really slack in sequels at building the world, but Chakraborty did not disappoint with how she built up the magic and world in The Kingdom of Copper. Sure, we revisited old places, but she also introduced new ones which I really enjoyed.
Plus, although the pacing Is definitely a lot slower than what I’m used to in YA, I liked how it gave us that development and buildup that I was looking for and missing in YA–the slow burn both in the romance, and the relationships.
It was 600 pages and these aren’t like, big font pages. They’re pretty long, and it did take me a good amount of time to read, but ultimately I found reading The Kingdom of Copper to be worth it and a really good time, now that I gave the series more of my effort.
It’s a story that kind of starts out slow, but builds and builds and builds as your read further, until the explosion at the end where you’re left screaming for book 3. And wow, do I want book 3.
Overall, I had a great time reading The Kingdom of Copper, and a big part of it was Chakraborty’s incredible writing, but also my own committment to enjoying this book instead of rushing through.
Thank you so much to Mike for sending me an ARC! These are my honest opinions.