The Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy, #3) – S. A. Chakraborty [ARC Review]


Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


The final chapter in the bestselling, critically acclaimed Daevabad Trilogy, in which a con-woman and an idealistic djinn prince join forces to save a magical kingdom from a devastating civil war.

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.


Huge thank you to HarperCollins Publishers and Netgalley for providing me with this eARC in exchange for my honest review!!

This review will contain some spoilers for The City of Brass and The Kingdom of Copper.

I freaked out when I got approved for this advanced readers copy on Netgalley! I have been dying to get my hands on The Empire of Gold since I read The Kingdom of Copper last year. The Daevabad Trilogy is one of my all time favorites. The story has kept me totally hooked from the very beginning. The Empire of Gold is an absolutely incredible conclusion to this breathtaking series.

The world and story that S. A. Chakraborty has created is absolutely incredible. There are only a few other authors that are able to write such all encompassing stories. Chakraborty has created an epic and stunning world with an entire culture in the Daevabad Trilogy. I genuinely don’t know how to describe how truly talented Chakraborty is. She is an author I consider to be a master storyteller.

The Kingdom of Copper ended on a huge cliffhanger! Actually multiple huge cliffhangers!! The Empire of Gold picks up right where The Kingdom of Copper left off with Dara in Daevabad and Nahri & Ali in Egypt. It hit the ground running and DID. NOT. STOP. The story is exciting, action packed, and full of adventure. There are so many twists and turns and I never knew what to expect next. I couldn’t put it down! One of my favorite parts is that the world of Daevabad is expanded upon beyond what we’ve already known. I absolutely love getting to explore more and more of this world. Especially Ta Ntry and the Marid!

Once again, the story is told through the multiple points of view of Nahri, Ali, and Dara. I can’t believe how much these characters have gone through. I’ve always loved Nahri and Ali, but I love them even more than I thought possible — even though they both took me through the ringer in this one! Dara’s chapters were difficult to read because it was really hard to have any sympathy for him. I ended KOC hating him and the feeling continued throughout EOG. That being said, he does have a great character arc. Dara’s character has taken me on quite the emotional rollercoaster throughout this series. Chakraborty really knows how to pull on my emotions.

Speaking of emotions . . . I went through the full spectrum while reading The Empire of Gold. Anger, fear, sadness, grief, happiness . . . you name it and I felt it! I truly felt like I was on this adventure and feeling everything Nahri, Ali, etc. felt. All of the characters in this world have experienced so much violence, trauma, and heartbreak. They all have made good and bad decisions. It’s one of the things that I like most about this series — no character is perfect. Each and every one has flaws. The character growth from the beginning of the series to now is truly amazing.

The Empire of Gold was an absolutely perfect ending to this amazing series. I honestly could not have asked for more. I totally loved every characters conclusions. The themes of love, family, acceptance, redemption, and willingness to change are so well done. I am seriously in awe of The Empire of Gold and I know that this series will stick with me forever.

The Empire of Gold will be released June 30th, 2020 by Harper Collins.

Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy, #2) – S. A. Chakraborty


Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 


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 Daevabad—and quickly discovered she would need all her grifter instincts to survive there.

Now, with Daevabad entrenched in the dark aftermath of a devastating battle, Nahri must forge a new path for herself. 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 family—and 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 marid—the unpredictable water spirits—have 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.


This will contain spoilers for The City of Brass

S. A. Chakraborty has done it again. Kingdom of Copper was an absolutely exceptional sequel to The City of Brass. It builds upon the already expansive world and tells a new, exciting story full of magic, political intrigue, drama, and twists. The imagery is once again vivid and vibrant. Chakraborty created a stunning sequel that I cannot recommend enough.

Kingdom of Copper picks up five years after the epilogue of The City of Brass. I was shocked that so much time had passed, but I actually ending up loving it. There is a prologue at the beginning which updates the reader on the events immediately post The City of Brass. The rest of the novel takes place five years later and over the course of almost a year.

Kingdom of Copper features three POVs – Nahri, Ali, and Dara. Dara has the least amount of POV chapters of the three. The story begins with Nahri in Daevabad, Ali in a small village in Am Geziri, and Dara with Manizheh. The three all eventually end up together in Daevabad. One thing I really liked about KOC was that Nahri and Dara were separated for the majority of the book. I loved seeing Nahri independent of Dara. She was already fierce and strong in COB but she has become so much more so in KOC. I loved watching her growth. I also think that Nahri (and I) romanticized Dara in COB. In KOC, Nahri and the reader get to see more of who Dara really is and how blindly faithful he is. He does have moments of questioning, but he never acts on it. I am so hopeful that Dara will grow and evolve in the next book and maybe even find peace.

One of the things I like so much about this series is that every character/tribe is problematic. It’s not a simple good guy vs bad guy. They all believe that they are correct and that the problems of the world are due to other tribes. Every single tribe has committed terrible acts against others. It’s hard to know who to root for because it is not simply black and white or good and evil. I really liked near the end (minor spoiler?) when Nahri thinks to herself, “Because no matter what this woman said, Nahri did not feel like they were on the same side. She had meant what she said to Muntadhir: she wasn’t on the side of anyone who’d arranged for the deaths of so many innocents.” It is definitely clear who to root for here.

I did not think that the world of Daevabad could possibly be more detailed and captivating, but damn was I wrong. Chakraborty is unbelievably talented and has such a gift for creating the most beautiful worlds. The world in Kingdom of Copper expands and becomes even more immersive. I loved that we got to see beyond just the city of Daevabad. We get to learn more about the world, its history, and the tribes. You can see how much time and thought went it to creating this extensive world. One of my favorite parts is that there is much more magic in KOC. There is the water affinity magic from Ali, Nahri’s Nahid magic and connection with the palace, and Dara’s new form. I found Nahri’s magic especially fascinating. I loved that we get to see so much of it.

The ending of KOC was absolutely epic! I audibly gasped several times! I have so many questions and I am dying to know what will happen next. I can’t believe we have to wait for another year for the next book!

Kingdom of Copper was beautifully captivating and entirely enchanting. I will say that it is very complex. As with The City of Brass, I took notes while reading KOC. It helped to keep all of the details straight. Shout out to Chakraborty for including a map, character list, glossary, and tribe list. It was definitely a slower read, but I liked that! I was able to truly savor the story and details. I cannot wait to see where the story goes next!

A few random points and thoughts to wrap this up . . .

  • I loved the hospital subplot – I was so cool to see all of the healing magic and Nahri working with a shafit physician!
  • The Marid are TERRIFYING!
  • Ali can be problematic at times, but damn he is adorable. For example, his attempt at conversation with Nahri . . .
    • “Er . . . are you reading anything interesting?”
  • Abu Sayf’s quote:
    • “I suppose I never really thought of Daevabad as a Daeva city. Feels like the center of the world should belong to us all.”
  • “I’ve had enough of men hurting me because they were upset.” YAS NAHRI! YOU TELL HIM!!!
  • As a nurse, I really loved and related to Subha’s quote about losing patients. . .
    • “The work is what matters. You fix what you can and  keep yourself whole enough to move on to the next  patient.”

The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1) – S.A. Chakraborty


RATING:⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️


Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of eighteenth-century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trades she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, and a mysterious gift for healing—are all tricks, both the means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles and a reliable way to survive.

But when Nahri accidentally summons Dara, an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior, to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to reconsider her beliefs. For Dara tells Nahri an extraordinary tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire and rivers where the mythical marid sleep, past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises and mountains where the circling birds of prey are more than what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass—a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In Daevabad, within gilded brass walls laced with enchantments and behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments run deep. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, her arrival threatens to ignite a war that has been simmering for centuries.

Spurning Dara’s warning of the treachery surrounding her, she embarks on a hesitant friendship with Alizayd, an idealistic prince who dreams of revolutionizing his father’s corrupt regime. All too soon, Nahri learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say to be careful what you wish for . . .

REVIEW (Spoiler Free:)

The City of Brass was one of my favorite reads of 2018! The story is original, the world-building is excellent and detailed, and the characters are well done and have good development. I was blown away by The City of Brass!

Many authors are able to build epic worlds, but not a lot are able to not only build the world, but also construct a whole culture…and do it phenomenally well. Chakraborty creates an entire culture, complete with tribes, history, and magic. I will say that there is A LOT of information and detail in The City of Brass. I had a hard time digesting all of the info and differentiating between a lot of the terms. I actually had to start taking notes while reading, which is something I normally don’t do. However, I did not mind it! I have a four page document on my computer that contains lists of terms, defining characteristics, history, characters, and tribes. This might sound overwhelming, but it wasn’t to me. It was helpful to have a reference while I was reading. There is also a glossary in the book which defines a lot of the terms Chakraborty uses. The City of Brass was definitely a slower read for me, but it didn’t bother me because I was able to savor the story more!

The imagery is vivid and the setting is vibrant and colorful. The city of Daevabad, otherwise known as the City of Brass, is the cultural hub of Chakraborty’s world. There are six sections of the city–each devoted to one of the six different tribes. I loved learning about each different tribe…the characteristics, specific cultures and traits, and values. It is extremely interesting because we learn that the tribes started out as one, united people. But because of a curse, the were separated into six different tribes. One of the biggest plot points is the rivalry between the tribes, especially against the Daeva. Another important plot point is the divide between the Djinn (pureblood, first class, privileged) and the Shafit (mixed blood, second class). The Shafit are seen as second-rate citizens and are treated horribly…they have no access to education, healthcare, or work. This connects to our “real-life” society and shows how we can not treat those who are different, especially minorities, as lesser. I think Chakraborty does a great job of blending this powerful message into the story. I love when authors create a high fantasy world and story, but also include powerful messages that relate to my world and help readers (including myself) learn something.

I hadn’t really read many books based in Middle Eastern culture so it was very interesting to learn a little about Middle Eastern mythology. I found the Djinn, Ifrit, and magic system fascinating. The setting was also gorgeous and so unique compared to a lot of other fantasy books I’ve read. It is also different from other fantasy books because the action isn’t as fight focused…it’s more political and society based action. There are plenty of epic fight scenes, just not as much as some other fantasy books. Despite this, I still found the story very exciting.

The story is told from two points of view: Nahri and Prince Alizayd. The two POVs start out separate, but the characters eventually meet and their stories converge. The two are dealing with their own conflicts. Nahri is on the run from Ghouls, but also learning about herself, her magical identity, and her role in the Daevabad society. Prince Alizayd is struggling to choose between loyalty to family and doing something about the unfair treatment of many of Daevabad’s people. I do actually wish that there was a third POV by Dara. He is also very conflicted in the story, but we don’t know the full extent. I think it would be really cool to see the world and events from his perspective. He also has a very complicated and somewhat troubling history. I really want to learn more about that as well.

One last point that I have is that it’s unclear which side is the “right” side to be on. This story isn’t black and white. Every party involved (the royal family, the Daeva, the Shafit, etc.) has a good reason for their actions. Every party does very bad things. It’s a little frustrating to not have a clear cut “good guy” and “bad guy”, but I actually like it because it makes me, as the reader, think more. It’s a good lesson to remember that life is not purely black and white, and to always look at all sides of a story or disagreement.


  • Excellent world building and culture building.
  • Huge amount of detail which can be overwhelming.
  • Powerful message about inequality and the treatment of minorities — able to relate to our society!
  • No clear cut good vs evil – every character is complex and makes both positive and negative choices.
  • Lots of twists and turns at the end of the story! I was shocked by one of the twists even though I totally should have seen it coming. The clues were all there, but for some reason I didn’t see it. I usually pick up on twists, but it was a pleasant surprise to not this time.
  • New and interesting setting which made for a unique and fresh read.
  • Get to learn a little about Middle Eastern mythology – especially the Djinn and Ifrit. The author did extensive research, but also put her own twist on it!
  • I have a lot of questions about the ending. It’s going to be a long wait to find out the answers!
  • Content warning – slavery, violence, war, and rape