by Rob Cameron
The book follows the continued adventures of our main characters Nari, the lost heir to Daevabad, the ancient Jinn seat of power, and Ali, the second son of the usurper emperor. It also follows a third character whose identity I will not divulge. Read it yourself for the explosive revelation.
When the story begins, Nari has made a devil's bargain for the power to protect her people from reprisal, and Ali is on the run from his father's assassins. So already, you are hooked.
I will give nothing else of the plot away. But it is one of those books that you pick up, and when you finally put it down, your eyes are twitching from muscle strain. It is dense with drama, the kind of book that demands at least 5 seasons on Netflix. You couldn't possibly fit all of it into a single movie, or even a trilogy and do it justice, which says a great deal about the power of the written word and S.A. Chakraborty's skill at world building and intuition for character.
One would expect that a cast of characters as large as hers in a "foreign land" would be difficult to track. And yet they are not, because she makes every moment of page time count. Every character matters and there are no throwaway lines.
This is a story that a reader will enjoy and a writer should study. Just as every character matters, every detail binds you with its significance. Take this paragraph from an early chapter:
"(Nari) stared at the bottle now. It looked delicate. It would be easy to break it, easier still to conceal a glass shard under the pillows of the large bed she was trying not to look at and end this evening in a far more permanent way.
And then you will die. Ghassan would put a thousand of her tribesmen to the sword, make Nari watch each one, and then throw her to his karkadann."
If you are looking for a D&Desque experience, where the rules are clear and formulated independent of the characters, this story will break your expectations. The magic in the Daevabad trilogy serves as an active, weaponized metaphor for some of the central themes: the politics of heritage, obligation, and ethnic boundaries verses personal power. But if that's what you came for, The Kingdom of Copper sets the bar quite high.
In short, dear readers, hurry up and inhale the first two books. The final chapter of the Daevabad trilogy comes out June, 2020.