The City of Brass

S.A. Chakraborty enters the fantasy genre with a captivating series opener set in a magical realm peopled by djinn, marids and other creatures from Middle Eastern mythology.

On the streets of 18th-century Cairo, Nahri lives by her wits, reading palms and performing exorcisms for the gullible and desperate. Though drawn to healing, Nahri has no access to training and cannot read, so she peddles magic she doesn't even believe exists. Called upon to exorcise a demon from a young girl, Nahri's nonsense ritual produces astonishing results when she accidentally summons the ferocious and drop-dead gorgeous djinn warrior Dara, who protects her from the ifrit possessing the child. An ancient creature with his own tangled past, Dara believes Nahri is a shafit, a hybrid born of human and djinn parents, and resolves to take her to Daevabad, the enchanted city of brass.

Because of her power to summon Dara and her gift for healing, Nahri must be related to the Nahid, a prestigious family of djinn healers. They are supposed to have been wiped out, however, by the family that now rules Daevabad. The city awaits Dara and Nahri with a labyrinthine mess of political subtleties neither are prepared to navigate.

A complex tapestry of fiery personalities, capricious creatures and grudges that span millennia, Chakraborty's debut dazzles. First in a proposed trilogy, The City of Brass takes readers on an emotional roller coaster, leaving them with an open ending that will have them desperate for the follow-up. Majestic and magical. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

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