Book Review: THE EMPIRE OF GOLD by S. A. Chakraborty

Title in yellow in front of a black onion-dome palace and gold swirling leaves
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 5 stars
Series: yes - last book of trilogy



Daevabad has fallen.

After a brutal conquest stripped the city of its magic, Nahid leader Banu Manizheh and her resurrected commander, Dara, must try to repair their fraying alliance and stabilize a fractious, warring people.

But the bloodletting and loss of his beloved Nahri have unleashed the worst demons of Dara’s dark past. To vanquish them, he must face some ugly truths about his history and put himself at the mercy of those he once considered enemies.

Having narrowly escaped their murderous families and Daevabad’s deadly politics, Nahri and Ali, now safe in Cairo, face difficult choices of their own. While Nahri finds peace in the old rhythms and familiar comforts of her human home, she is haunted by the knowledge that the loved ones she left behind and the people who considered her a savior are at the mercy of a new tyrant. Ali, too, cannot help but look back, and is determined to return to rescue his city and the family that remains. Seeking support in his mother’s homeland, he discovers that his connection to the marid goes far deeper than expected and threatens not only his relationship with Nahri, but his very faith.

As peace grows more elusive and old players return, Nahri, Ali, and Dara come to understand that in order to remake the world, they may need to fight those they once loved . . . and take a stand for those they once hurt. 

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


THE EMPIRE OF GOLD was utterly incredible.

In a way, this was a pretty scary book to go into. Not only is it massive, but it also has to tie up the incredible trilogy where the stakes are just so high and the characters have been through so much. I read this on the heels of devouring the first two books in essentially a day, and so it was all fresh in my mind.

In short, it lived up to it – thank goodness. I’m going to be really cagey in the review, because I don’t want to spoil it, but this is a book that is landing right in my top books of the year.

So the plot – where to start with the plot? It’s just surprise and emotional blow one after the other. I spent the whole book in mortal terror of people dying. It also delves into the mysteries about Nahri’s past as well as the marid – which are mysteries across the three books finally resolved.

The characters – aw, poor little things, bless ’em is about all I can say. The journeys they go on are YES!!! and I the relationships are incredible. Nahri is still reeling from all the betrayals and trying to carve out a new life she’s happy in, Ali is the embarrased, idealistic prince now learning the prince of it all, and Dara is just… a mess somehow only just realising the world can always get worse. Also Ali’s journey of faith is incredible. It was wonderful to see such a deep faith portrayed and how it centres him during the book.

The ending is perfect for the world and characters. It’s certainly not the ending I know some people would want, but it feels so true to what the characters themselves needed. It ties the story up while showing that these characters will still have a life, adventures, and a space to both heal and grow post the trauma they’ve been through.

I’m very sad to see this trilogy finish, but it was worth it and I can’t wait to see what else she writes – lady pirates who are working mothers is next, I think.

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

The Daevabad Trilogy (this series):

Amina al-Sirafi:


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