Book Review: THE KINGDOM OF COPPER by S. A. Chakraborty

the kingdom of copper.png
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 5/5 stars
Series: Yes - book 2 of the Daevabad Trilogy



the kingdom of copper

Nahri’s life changed forever the moment she accidentally summoned Dara, a formidable, mysterious djinn, during one of her schemes. Whisked from her home in Cairo, she was thrust into the dazzling royal court of Daevabadand quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.

Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of the battle that saw Dara slain at Prince Ali’s hand, Nahri must forge a new path for herself, without the protection of the guardian who stole her heart or the counsel of the prince she considered a friend. But even as she embraces her heritage and the power it holds, she knows she’s been trapped in a gilded cage, watched by a king who rules from the throne that once belonged to her familyand one misstep will doom her tribe.

Meanwhile, Ali has been exiled for daring to defy his father. Hunted by assassins, adrift on the unforgiving copper sands of his ancestral land, he is forced to rely on the frightening abilities the maridthe unpredictable water spiritshave gifted him. But in doing so, he threatens to unearth a terrible secret his family has long kept buried.

And as a new century approaches and the djinn gather within Daevabad’s towering brass walls for celebrations, a threat brews unseen in the desolate north. It’s a force that would bring a storm of fire straight to the city’s gates . . . and one that seeks the aid of a warrior trapped between worlds, torn between a violent duty he can never escape and a peace he fears he will never deserve.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


This book, simply put, is wow.

It takes everything I loved about THE CITY OF BRASS and broke the dial turning it up. The political tensions in the city not to mention the relationships. Chakraborty is just as brutal to her characters in this book, if not more so. It really put me on edge wondering what she was going to throw at them next.

Ali was my favourite again. He’s fanatical about his beliefs, his morals unshakeable and it makes him so impulsive. The realisation he had after talking to the old woman? Or him marching into the citadel? I was cheering him on so hard there.

The relationship between Ali and his brother was one of the highlights – the mess of the lives they’ve been raised to, breaking brotherly love and different agenda creates a brilliant dynamic. They’re a tinderbox in every scene, and it explodes in such an entertaining, satisfying way.

I mentioned in my reading update that Nahri was a little too passive for my liking. Of course, maybe an hour or two after I wrote that I reached the hospital scene and she is anything but passive. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve read it. It was brilliant and so key to her arc. She has such courage, and her fighting for her hospital was a joy to read.

Dara? Still want to punch him. He’s every bit as fanatical as Ali, but it’s not morals so much as duty – and I couldn’t get behind his blind loyalty.

Zaynab becomes such a key character, and I fell in love with her. She doesn’t take anything sitting down, and perfectly manipulates anyone and everyone – including her mother, the redoubtable Hastet. Can we have more of these lovely ladies please?

The plot is tight, with so many elements expertly woven in. It starts slow, gradually accelerating at a constant pace until we’re hurtling towards the finale. And yes, my brain and hands are fighting over including a reference/analogy to acceleration of a stationary point charge in a uniform electric field. It’s been a long day.

I struggled a little with the beginning of this book, but I entirely chalk that up to being so exhausted and busy at that point that I just couldn’t read. Having flipped back and looked at these chapters, they’re very good. Note to self (and everyone) reading complicated books when so tired you can barely stand is a bad idea.

I only picked up THE CITY OF BRASS earlier this month (my first February read, and this is my last. How’s that for pretty, unintentional symmetry?), which meant I only had to wait a few weeks for THE KINGDOM OF COPPER. I now have a full year to wait for the conclusion, and I’m not sure how I’m going to manage that. The ending was so good, but it’s such a cliff-hanger. There is a satisfying ending, but there’s so much left that means I want the next book now.

Read my reviews of other books by S. A. Chakraborty

The Daevabad Trilogy (this series):

Amina al-Sirafi:


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