If you enjoy fantasy novels but are getting tired of Lord of the Rings clones and stories about pretty vampires or fallen angels set in the present day, check out S. A. Chakraborty’s debut novel, The City of Brass.
Opening in 18th century Cairo, Chakraborty tells the tale of Nahri, a con artist whose gift for languages and talent for healing have inspired unfulfilled dreams of earning enough to go legit and learn to be a bonafide healer. While she doesn’t believe in a magical world, the people of her time do — and that offers opportunities for profit.
When Nahri decides to improvise during an exorcism ceremony, she accidentally calls a djinn warrior named Dara to her side. She also attracts the attention of ifrit that want to kill her, and gets caught up in a conflict that goes back to the time of Suleiman (or Solomon, as most Western readers would know him.)
The City of Brass is the first book in a planned trilogy, and it has the standard romantic triangle and plot elements that are staples of modern fantasy… but it’s still an entertaining tale well told. Where the story shines is in the love Chakraborty has for the magical world of Islamic lore and mythology that is at the heart of The City of Brass.
Go check it out so you can join me in eagerly awaiting the next part of the story.