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Dhul-Hijjah 1440 / August 2019's Book Club First Pick — The City of Brass by S.A.Chakraborty

Assalamu aleikum waramatulahi wabarakatuhu everyone!

It's book club time! Alhamdullilah!!! Joining us today are Blogger Maryam.J, Reader Maria.K and perhaps one more avid YA Reader later this week insha'Allah. As usual, I'm Author Papatia Feauxzar — your host and moderator.

The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A.Chakraborty is a series with the perfect mix of great storytelling and writing skills.

In Book 1, The City of Brass, Chakraborty allures the reader with intrigue and sharp storytelling skills that pack a punch making it hard for the reader to break off the trance that Ali, Nahri and Dara cast upon them. Alizayd (aka Ali) is awkward, eccentric, self-righteous but lovable. Nahri-the thief who is oblivious to her magical skills is dragged into an adventure like no other, literally thrashing and kicking until something warm and sweet blooms between her and Dara; the djinn warrior who can't seem to get eternal peace with power hungry folks enslaving him again and again.

In Book 2, The Kingdom of Copper, Alizayd makes a stand against his politician family and gets closer to Nahri. Intrigued yet? You should be! Grab your copies today because hands down, these are five stars books.

Book 3, The Empire of Gold comes out in 2020 and fans out there like us are eager to read it already!!! Today, we will only be discussing Book 1. So, here we go.

Fofky's rating : 5/5 .

⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐

1. What did you like the most? Are you Team AliZayd?

MJ : What I liked most in The City of Brass was the fact that Islam was embedded within the story. For example, Ali was very religious and made it known so. I'm used to coming across Muslim characters who have no mention of Islam through their daily life at all, something which always strikes me as weird.

MK : I love the speed that the plot went with. It is rather fast paced, and the author keeps you wondering what’s going to happen next. The characters are intriguing, especially Dara and AliZayd. I love the way that I could immerse myself in the narratives, imagining the flying carpet, the desert, the city square and its different gates, the palace, the temple, etc.

And, oh yes, I AM Team AliZayd. I was horrified with the battle at the end of the book….

PF : I also really liked that the plot was decidedly Muslim without ignoring other faiths. It often irks me when a Muslim character appears secular or faith's component is erased when the book is supposed to be mainly for a Muslim audience. I enjoyed the cryptic prose and the vivid imaginary so well penned, too. Above all, I'm definitely Team AliZayd!!!

2. What gave you pause? 

MK : What pause? Well, not much of that, really. Just here and there it made me a little embarrassed that I have not properly read the story of Prophet Suleiman in the Quran and could not tell between belief and myth.

MJ : Even though I immensely enjoyed the story, I was really uncomfortable with the term "Suleiman's Curse."

PF : Suleiman's Curse gave me pause but I thought to myself if I was on a receiving end of a something that limits my powers, I would definitely not be calling such a thing a blessing. Other than that, I really liked the book to an infinite amount.

3. What didn’t you like?

MJ : I honestly do not have anything about The Daevabad Trilogy that stands out as needing improving upon .

PF : Not applicable.

MK : I don’t like Nahri being whiny and impatient, despite the fact that she has always lived a difficult life all her life. She was at times too obstinate. She did not even try to learn the art of healing when given the chance, even when that was what she has always wanted to do.

4. What are your other thoughts?

MK : I do not have other thoughts at the moment.

MJ : Not applicable.

PF : I want to read more on Zayneb. She is an interesting character; a bit of a mean-girl but strong-headed and nice when she wants to be.

5. Was the story original?

MJ : Yes, the story was original and different. I loved it.

PF : The book is so original to me that it has been at the top of my book charts for this genre. In addition, it tackled so many issues which were missing in Fantasy Muslim YA.

MK : I would say, yes. Although it is based on a background history, legends and beliefs, the narrative itself is original.

6. If you could talk to the author right now, what questions would you ask (For instance, something that you needed closure on which didn’t happen?)

MK : Why must AliZayd be sacrificed in this story, at the end? (I have not read Kingdom of Copper so maybe there’s hope…?)

MJ : How long did it take you to write such a detailed world?

PF : I have a comment/request instead...You have been posting a lot on Twitter about killing off characters... Please don't kill off AliZayd :P. *Pretty Please* haha!

Thank you everyone for your lovely and honest answers! Let's keep in touch. Allahumma barik!

Dear readers, have you read some of the books on our roster? If so...

1. What did you like most?

2. What gave you pause?

3. What didn't you like?

4. What are your other thoughts?

5. What question (s) do you have for the author?

We look forward to hearing from you.



Books, Teas & Coffees

Until next time, subhanaka Allahumma wa-bihamdika ash-hadu anla ilaha illa anta as-taghfiruka wa atoobu ilayka. Aaamen.


The Fofky's Book Club

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