Book Review: The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

Summary:

tkoc-cover

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 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.

Goodreads

Thoughts:

Wooooooooooow. From start to finish this book was A-MAZING. Honestly, this may be one of the best reading experiences I’ve ever had. If you thought that the end of the first book was a roller coaster–well buckle up kiddos, you’re in for a wild ride with The Kingdom of Copper.

If you follow me on twitter at all you probably saw me live-tweeting my reactions to this as I was listening to it. I assure you I was not being dramatic (ok, maybe a tiny bit, but I wouldn’t me me if I weren’t dramatic).

 

 

After the first book’s ending left on several major cliffhangers and last minute revelations, this one starts off a few years later and at first feels rather mellow catching up with our characters. (The mellow-ness doesn’t last long.) Prince Ali has been exiled and Nahri has had to make alliances where she can in order to survive. I don’t want to give too much away for those still waiting to read this, but suffice to say that I did not expect things to actually end up where they did, even though that was the plan all along.

My biggest complaint about the first book was Prince Ali’s story line and his wavering back and forth between loyalties. Here, Ali has made clear choices and continues to make clear choices even when he wishes things were different with his family. He was my least favorite character of the first book, and I just fell in love with him here. I’m not sure how but I think he might be my favorite character now.

Once Ali manages to meet up with Nahri again, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the relationship between the two of them redevelop. It’s certainly tense at first due to events of the previous book, but the way that they eventually become friends again is so wonderfully written. In fact, all the characters go through some growth and I’m just in awe of the character development. Some of my most loved characters I now despise and some of my most hated characters I now love. One of my favorite things is a good character arc and it takes real talent to make you change your mind about a character without fundamentally changing who they are. Nahri is much more independent now that she’s gotten a feel for the way things work in Daevabad, for example. We also get to see and know a lot more of the side characters in this one. I didn’t realize Muntadhir would make me feel so many feelings.

This is probably one of the best paced books I’ve ever read. I want to call it relentless except that there is a lot of downtime between action (until the end when it truly does become relentless). But, even in the ‘downtime’ there’s a great amount of tension as various factions are trying to vie for control of things within the city. Like the first one, there’s a ton of politicking in this book, but now we see the consequences of long standing policies. Overall, the stakes feel much higher. I loved that there were tough decisions all around. At first it’s really hard to say ‘well, obviously things have to be done that way because it’s the right way’ when there’s a good argument as to why that would be detrimental. But, by the end, we do get a much clearer picture of the corruption that’s taken hold in Daevabad.

There are converging story lines leading up to the climax of the novel as all the various things in play come to a head in a major way. Like the first book, it’s one gut punch after another as the action unfolds and revelations come to light. The end was so exciting I was literally on the edge of my seat.

Long story short, this book slayed me. I am surprised I could go on with life and read anything directly after it. It’s possible this may have ruined me for most other books. (Is it coincidence that I’ve read a lot of books below 4 stars since having read this one? Probably, but only time will tell….) 5/5 stars plus a bonus star for being fucking brilliant, everyone should read this series, the end.

 

 

16 thoughts on “Book Review: The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

  1. @lynnsbooks says:

    I’ve not read this review yet – I will return. I’ve just picked this up and I know you won’t have any spoilers but I want to stay completely unaware of everything so i will come back to read once I’ve completed. 5/5 is very encouraging though.
    Lynn 😀

  2. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Great this was so amazing!! It’s good that Ali made decisions in this book (I also had a problem with his wavering loyalties in book 1). It’s really good that it sounds like the characters evolved so much as well. And that’s fantastic about the pacing and the stakes. Wonderful review!

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