🌟One of my faves!🌟It's been five years since the events of the last book. Unrest between the Daeva and shafit in the hidden djinn city of Daevabad is growing while Ghassan continues to rule with an iron fist, squashing anyone who opposes him into submission, including Nahri and his own children. But outside the city, dangerous plans are brewing as well, plans that could drastically change life in Daevabad.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This has not influenced my review.*
It is such a treat to find books that are this detailed and nuanced and feel so real. The writing, the characters, the story, the world building, it all came together so perfectly and was so well done that it felt like I was reading about real people. This was one of those books that legitimately made me forget I was reading. I was just there, fully immersed in the story.
Much like in the first book, the characters were so complex and believably flawed. I feel like I can’t talk about them individually without spoilers, but gosh, they were all so well-written, and I had such mixed feelings about some of them because I liked them and wanted them to be ok, yet it also felt wrong to just let slide some of the things they’ve done. I felt terrible for so many of them though. All the main characters were stuck between a rock and a hard place. Some of the supporting characters were in tough positions too. And as things got worse and worse, I felt terrible for everyone for other reasons as well. There was just so much betrayal and heartache and shock and guilt and grief and confusion among them.
That brings me to another thing I yet again loved: The author did such a great job of showing the complexity of conflict, and because I got to see POVs on multiple sides, I didn’t even know who to root for. All sides were right in some ways. All were wrong in some ways. I didn’t want to see any lives lost, but there was no easy fix, not when so many of players on the board wanted vengeance and power and were all too happy to resort to violence to get it or keep it.
But it wasn’t just the big conflict this author portrayed well. There was conflict among family, and the author really captured how complicated feelings for family members can be. There was also conflict within characters, when they had to make decisions with no easy answers.
Another thing this book did brilliantly was that it kept building the tension higher and higher and higher as it went on. Things kept getting more and more complicated and tangled and messed up in that way where you just know bad things are gonna happen, but you don’t yet know what. It was unpredictable and gripping. At times it was dark and full of violence and chaos. And when everything did start crashing, it was intense. This is a 600+ page book, but I wasn’t bored for even a single moment.
There’s also a surprising amount of humor in these books. I wouldn’t classify them as funny books because that’s not the main point, but there are little bits of humor sprinkled throughout, and I really love them.
Last but not least, I want to yet again mention how much I love this portrayal of djinn. They’re so detailed and interesting with their powers and their hidden city and their history and their society.
Overall, this was an amazing book with a gripping plot, complex characters and relationships, so much tension, and such a great portrayal of djinn, and it completely sucked me in!
Fans of Book 1 in S.A. Chakraborty's Daevabad Trilogy. Anyone who likes djinn, detailed worlds, complex characters, and royal court politics.