REVIEW: Kingdom of Copper by S.A Chakraborty
The sequel to the city of brass picks up with Ali being picked up by the Geziri desert people. In order to thank them for helping him, he is able to conjure water is the desert, something that they have been lacking for quite a long time. Nahri has married Muntadhir but he hasn’t forced her to consummate the marriage but remains loyal to his father and Dara has been freed from Suleiman’s curse by Nahri’s mother, Manizheh.
The Djinn people are arriving into Daevabad from all over the country for the big festival of Navasatem. Zaynab and Nahri, whilst preparing themselves and Daevabad for the festival, sneak off and find an old Nahid Hospital and find three ex slaves living there called Issa, Eshaia and Razu. She decides that she wants to rebuild the hospital to help her people and allow her to tend to more injuries. Ali, now living in the desert but surrounding himself with water is called by a distant cousin of his, Musa asking for his help to cross the desert into Daevabad but he refuses. Musa sabotages the well that is helping his community out and Ali now must take Musa’s salt tax to the city in place of him.
Dara under Manizheh’s orders captures Geziri soldiers and Kaveh is there when he returns with them and Dara apologises about what he did to Jamshid. Kaveh, Manizheh and Dara argue about Nahri and about their plans, whether or not she should be kept in the dark about them. Whilst this is happening though, Nahri sneaks out and finds Muntadhir and Jamshid kissing but Jamshid reminds Muntadhir that he has a wife and that he cannot do that to her. Trying not to spook the two of them, she pretends that she did not see anything and tells Muntadhir that she wants to reopen the Nahid hospital, he disagrees and shuts it down immediately because his father will never go for the idea. Nahri feeling more down than ever decides she will take it into her own hands.
Dara’s and Manizheh’s plan starts to come together when Dara is reminded that the Marid owe him a blood debt for killing him and so that will be their way in to the sacred land of Daevabad. It is revealed that they will attack on the second night of Navasatem and that she plans to kill the Geziris and place herself in charge of getting her throne back. In this revelation, we also learn that Jamshid is her son.
Ali, himself is returning to Daevabad also after being banished from it and once he arrives finds a Geziri man selling Shafits (people of mixed race) and decides that he will buy them all and set them free by doing this, he reveals his identity as the prince. Once Muntadhir hears of this news he is extremely pissed but his father tells him to leave so that he can talk to Ali about this. He tells Ali to stay for seven months until Navasatem is over as he missed his son despite the circumstances behind the banishment. Ali goes to visit Nahri but she is still pissed at him for leaving and so does not want to talk to him so instead he goes to see his mother and sister, Hatset and Zaynab who reveal that they were the ones who arranged for him to come home by plotting. Ali tells his mother about what happened at the lake and she vows to help him.
A feast is held in the royal household so that they could try different foods for the feast at Navasatem. Unfortunately for them, Ali is poisoned and is nearly killed but is saved by Nahri. Nahri decides that Ali owes him and so makes him join her on her mission to fix up the hospital. Ali and Nahri pitch the idea to Ghassan, who decides it is a great idea to get the tribes to work together. Nahri ropes in Jamshid to help and Muntadhir is pissed. Because Muhtadhir is pissed at Ali, he requires retribution from him for his cousin, Tariq, the one who owned the slaves. Ali refuses and Muntahdir drinks himself into oblivion. The next morning he is meant to visit the Daeva temple but is unable to because he is still drunk so Ali and Zaynab take his place, which is essentially saving Muntadhir’s arse. Whilst at the temple, Kaveh comes in with a young woman who is crying about how her husband was attacked outside of the hospital and is now dead. Ali recognises the woman as one of Kaveh’s employees but Muntadhir tells him to basically go away. Ali rides straight over to the hospital to see if Nahri is okay and what really happened but finds the place covered in blood with mainly Shafit dying. Nahri, having enough of the scene decides to break one of her family’s most important codes of honour and heals the Shafit. Kaveh is angry at Nahri for healing them but she defends herself by saying that clearly her magic is still working and that it was the right thing to do. Ghassan is fuming that this has happened and blames both Ali and Nahri for all of it because of the hospital. They are forbidden from seeing one another and so Ali spends his time at the hospital whereas Nahri must remain in the palace, they are to communicate through messenger only.
Navasatem arrives and despite the setback the hospital opens. Whilst at the hospital, Nahri comes across a sleeping Ali who has been having nightmares. He tells her of the nightmares and that he dreams of the marid coming back for him. They comfort each other in this moment. Ali calls Muntadhir a coward for not stick up for himself when he talks to their father. Deciding that he is wrong, Muntadhir humiliates Ali in an archery tournament where Muntadhir tears him a new one. When they leave, they fight in a broom closet and Zaynab has to break them up. Ali decides that he wants to overthrow his father and rule the kingdom, he wants his siblings support. Muhtadhir being a daddy’s boy is upset with this but tells his siblings that the only way for them to over throw their father is to get Suleiman’s ring which is in Ghassan’s heart. This means that they’ll have to cut into their father’s heart to retrieve the ring.
Navasatem has finally arrived but the festival is attacked by three Shafit men in retaliation for what happened at the hospital. They attack the festival with guns and bottles of Rumid fire, which cannot be controlled. Jamshid, in all of the chaos is hit with one of these bottles and his back is badly burnt. Nahri and Jamshid flee the chaos in order to start helping people at the infirmary but they meet Kaveh tells them there is something wrong with Muntadhir who is in the temple. They head to the temple but find that they are intercepted by Wajed, the King’s quaid and he takes Jamshid away and puts Nahri and Kaveh in chains.
Ali meanwhile, heads to the citadel and finds out whether the guard are loyal to him, it turns out they are and sends a letter to his father about his coup and his demands. Turns out that Ghassan wants Nahri to tell him to stop or he will kill Jamshid who he has sent away as he has always known he was a Nahid. Kaveh and Ghassan argue about Jamshid and Nahri finally realises that Jamshid is her brother. Nahri refuses and Kaveh gets so upset with her that he breaks his ring and releases a deadly poison into the room that kills Ghassan. Muntadhir breaks into the room and sees his dead father but Nahri has to rush him away otherwise the poison will get to him. She tells him to take out his relic and the mist passes them by. They try to warn as many people as possible on the way to the Harem to warn Zaynab.
A water beast brings down the guard tower and along with it, many of the soldiers now under Ali’s lead. Dara and his soldiers are there patiently waiting to kill each one of them and pick them off. Ali fights many people whilst trying to get used to his new water powers. Having warned Zaynab about the mist, Muntadhir and Nahri head back to the palace and to Ghassan’s body to retrieve Suleiman’s ring so that Muntadhir can wear it before Dara and her mother get to it first. Nahri and Muntadhir arrive just before Ali has a slave ring put on his fingers. Dara and Nahri are shocked to see each other but Ali and Dara fight but Muntadhir gets in the middle and is hit with a Zulfiqar. Nahri brings the ceiling down on Dara and Muntadhir is left behind so that he can distract Dara by shooting arrows at him. Nahri and Ali reach Ghassan and cut his heart out. They are intercepted by Manizheh who reveals that she is Nahri’s mother and that she was taken from her by the marid as a baby. She tells Nahri that she can’t handle the ring as she is Shafit, a mix of Daeva and human. Nahri distracts Manizheh by throwing a decoy ring at her and puts the real ring on Ali’s finger instead and flings them both off the balcony into the water below. Dara reaches Manizheh who now knows that she has to cut out the heart of the person wearing Suleiman’s ring and that she is disgusted that her daughter betrayed her when suddenly magic is starting to disappear from Daevabad and Daevas can’t conjure fire anymore. They conclude that magic has left Daevabad. Nahri and Ali wake up in Egypt and in the water.
This sequel by S.A Chakraborty was highly entertaining and was filled with twists and turns near the end of the book as this is where the story really takes place. The pace in the beginning of the book is slow but throughout the book starts to pick up as we get nearer and closer to the conclusion to the book. Chakraborty’s writing is enticing and captures the mind fairly quickly and easily. This story is impossible to put down as you become enthralled by its pages and even though it is a 600-page book, you really don’t want to in the first place. This stunning world that she has created is breath taking and I can’t wait to read what Chakraborty does next in the trilogy.
4 out of 5 stars.