Title: The Kingdom of Copper
Author: S.A. Chakraborty
Pub. Date: January 22, 2019
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 be a spoiler free review. I listened to the Audible Audiobook, and I highly recommend it. Soneela Nankani is an incredible narrator and does this book justice. I promise you won’t be disappointed with the quality of the audiobook!
Where do I begin?
Well, I didn’t expect a 5-year time jump.
In the scheme of everything that happens in this book, it’s basically inconsequential, but it did surprise me.
I guess inconsequential isn’t the right word, because 5 years is a long time, and Nahri has been alone for all of it. She might be surrounded by people, in a cordial relationship to humor Ghassan and try to ease tensions between feuding tribes, but she’s alone. She’s had to learn to navigate the politics of court, while embracing her power as a Nahid and her heritage. She’s no freer than she was in Cairo, still trapped, though this cage is gilded, it’s no less a cage.
It’s not shocking when resentment and anger start festering inside her.
The Kingdom of Copper follows Nahri, Ali and Dara – so we get 3 POVs, which I really enjoyed. I love seeing the story from multiple POVs, it adds so much.
Ali’s exile weighs on him, as do his marid powers. That’s not a spoiler, since it’s in the synopsis, but if you haven’t read The City of Brass yet, you won’t know how he came by them. Ali struggles a lot with what he feels is morally right, but also what his religion tells him is right. He carries so much weight on his shoulders, but in his new life in Bir Nabat he finds a little bit of peace. He can be useful in ways he never felt back in Daevabad. Turns out working with your hands and doing some manual labor is good for the soul.
Then we have Dara’s POV – right, I bet you didn’t see that coming…or maybe you did. To be honest, I was kind of surprised. He’s back, and he’s different than before, and he’s not thrilled. Manizheh a Nahid, thought to be long dead, brought him back. Unable to get back to Nahri, he gets wrapped up in Manizheh’s plans to take back Daevabad and it’s as if history is repeating itself. He’s forced back into the role of warrior and has to face his past all while trying to figure out what his future may look like.
Then you have Manizheh and Ghassan, two sides of the battle to come, both not good people. But here’s the thing, their actions are made in the mindset that they think they’re right to do what they do. That being said, I hate Manizheh. Like, she viscerally makes me so angry. Part of my anger stems from actions in The Empire of Gold, so maybe that’s unfair, but I can’t separate my feelings. Like, Ghassan is not a good person, but shit, I’m pretty sure I’d take him over Manizheh. I know, that sounds insane. He’s terrible, but when you have to pick the worse of two evils, and “no evil” isn’t an option, I’ll freaking choose Ghassan.
As far as a character goes, Manizheh is brilliantly crafted. I can only hope to write an antagonist as good as her. You believe in her cause, you think it’s just, and warranted and no tactic is too harsh. She is painted as the savior of Daevabad to Ghassan’s utter failure and inability to rule.
I found myself wanting her to win, to come out on top, to take Ghassan down, and take back Daevabad.
I’m going to move on, because I’m just going to make myself angry. Lol.
Manizheh legit enrages me.
This book was amazing, and the character arcs even more so. We get to see so much more of Nahri, Ali and Dara and how they view and navigate the world, when all familiar landscapes are gone. Once they start trickling back to each other, it’s incredible to see how they’ve changed, the impact they have on one another. Muntadhir is a fantastic example of this. I won’t go into detail, because spoilers, but his almost, devolving character arc that starts in this book, and continues into the next (before he gets his head out of his ass) is phenomenal. It had me so worried, because despite his faults, I like Muntadhir. There were moments that I honestly thought he was going to do something he absolutely couldn’t take back.
As for the world, for Daevabad, the tensions that were simmering beneath the surface in The City of Brass explode in this book. The various tribes within the city just erupt and chaos ensues. It just becomes so much and the fuse is light, and the bomb goes off. It creates this really tense and chaotic atmosphere that now everyone has to navigate and figure out which side of the line they’re going to fall on. Whether it be on the side of scheming royals, or the disenfranchised occupants of Daevabad.
All in all, it’s a wild ride from start to finish, and the end.
Even though you know it’s coming, you know what Manizheh and Dara have planned, you’re still surprised. I mean, omfg. So much happens. So much.
You’ll just have to read it to find out.
I’m pretty sure I stopped what I was doing, and gasped. It was so visual in my mind, that I couldn’t help but imagine it as a movie scene. Can we have this whole series adapted on Netflix as either some long ass movies, or a tv show? Please, because that scene with Nahri and Ali, I need to see it on a screen.
The Kingdom of Copper doesn’t disappoint in the slightest. For a massively long book, it keeps you entertained and interested. It keeps you turning the page, or in my case, listening to the book outside of work, every chance you get. I’ve already started and almost finished The Empire of Gold as the time I’m writing this review, so I know most of what happens next. I’m still kicking myself for waiting to start this series, but I’m also so happy I can just binge them. Though, that might not have been my brightest idea, because I’m obsessed and it’s also a lot to binge and then be without LOL.
I definitely recommend this book, this series, and if you’re like me, and you don’t know why you waited so long, then fix it. The whole trilogy is out! You can read it! Binge it! It doesn’t disappoint and you fall more in love with the characters, even when they’re doing things that they shouldn’t.