Friday Face Off : ‘That which yields, is not always weak”

FFO

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme:

Exotic – ‘That which yields, is not always weak”– anything that represents something from distant lands.

A lot of the new themes are open to interpretation which might make choosing the covers and seeing other’s choices very interesting.  I can’t stress enough that this is all about your own interpretation and hopefully this new open feel to the meme will bring a larger selection of books and covers.  It’s not supposed to be hard work, there are no rules, just enjoy yourself.

I’m not sure what I had in mind for this week’s theme but sitting here and thinking about it ‘exotic’ means something from a far or distant land therefore, strictly speaking, where I come from, the North of the UK is exotic to somebody from the other side of the world (funny but you never think of your own place as being exotic)? And, therefore, given that I predominantly read fantasy books – all the locations are exotic!  But, that being said, and because I’m a northern lass, I tend to think of somewhere exotic as being somewhere warm – probably because I’d like a bit of that lovely sunshine.  So, this week I’ve gone for The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty and I’m highlighting two complete sets:

vs

At first I was convinced that the topset was my favourite.  I love the way the covers are framed by that, is it a door or a window?  I’m not sure, but I love the idea and the notion of it opening into a world that’s completely unique and one that I’m eager to explore.

But, seeing the second set all together like this, the colours are so vibrant – I would definitely be drawn to this set of covers.  The fantastic details and the consistency.

Basically, I’m torn, but having given it a lot of thought I’m going with the first set.  And this is based purely on the fact that the colours feel to me to be in the right order.  I know, that probably sounds really odd but it makes sense to me.  I feel like the middle cover of the second set should be green and I’m basing that on very little – other than copper usually becomes green with age – it’s a strange line of reasoning but there it is and I can’t get my head around it.

Which is your favourite?

I’ll be updating the list in order to include forthcoming events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share then let me know in the comments).  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment – or if you’d like to host a week then simply let me know 😀

Next week –  Brown

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ or one of your favourite covers) (I’ve added some new themes – some of these are slightly different, in order to avoid too much repetition I’m trying to make the themes more of a suggestion that everyone can interpret how they like.  

2019

20th March – Brown – a cover or covers that are brown

27th March – Freebie – choose one of your favourite covers

3rd April Fools – a trick of the eye – a cover that is more than meets the eye.

10th April – Moody – a cover that is atmospheric,

17th April – out of focus – double vision or all a blur

24th April – Armour – ‘“Pretty armour doesn’t make a warrior.”

1st May – Canine – “And then there were cats, thought Dog.:

8th May – graphic novel cover – “Love belongs to Desire, and Desire is always cruel”

15th May – pink – as pink as cotton candy – any cover that is pink

22nd May – Sorrow – a cover that makes you feel sad

29th May – Silhouette – an island, a person, anything you like

5th June – Flight – any type of flight – to flee, to fly

12th June – The bodice ripper – exactly as it seems

19th June – Time – time waits for no one

26th June – Windows – windows to the soul?

Can’t Wait Wednesday : The Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy #3) by S.A. Chakraborty

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : The Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy #3) by S.A. Chakraborty.

EmpireofThe final chapter in the bestselling, critically acclaimed Daevabad Trilogy, in which a con-woman and an idealistic djinn prince join forces to save a magical kingdom from a devastating civil war.

Daevabad has fallen.

After a brutal conquest stripped the city of its magic, Nahid leader Banu Manizheh and her resurrected commander, Dara, must try to repair their fraying alliance and stabilize a fractious, warring people.

But the bloodletting and loss of his beloved Nahri have unleashed the worst demons of Dara’s dark past. To vanquish them, he must face some ugly truths about his history and put himself at the mercy of those he once considered enemies.

Having narrowly escaped their murderous families and Daevabad’s deadly politics, Nahri and Ali, now safe in Cairo, face difficult choices of their own. While Nahri finds peace in the old rhythms and familiar comforts of her human home, she is haunted by the knowledge that the loved ones she left behind and the people who considered her a savior are at the mercy of a new tyrant. Ali, too, cannot help but look back, and is determined to return to rescue his city and the family that remains. Seeking support in his mother’s homeland, he discovers that his connection to the marid goes far deeper than expected and threatens not only his relationship with Nahri, but his very faith.

As peace grows more elusive and old players return, Nahri, Ali, and Dara come to understand that in order to remake the world, they may need to fight those they once loved . . . and take a stand for those they once hurt.

Expected publication: February 2020

The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy #2) by S.A. Chakraborty

The Kingdom of Copper is the second instalment in the Daevabad Trilogy and is a sequel that surpassed my expectations.  I enjoyed The City of Brass, it made a great start and definitely hooked me but Kingdom of Copper took any little issues I had, threw them out the window and really blasted me away.

If you haven’t yet started this series then please be aware that spoilers may be contained below.

The story picks up almost where City of Brass left off.  Ali has been exiled by his father, basically a death sentence, he will either die in the desert or at the hands of one of the many assassins who will try to take his life now he no longer enjoys the protection of his family.  Nahri has married Ali’s brother Muntadhir, it’s not a marriage made in heaven but it keeps her alive, even if her life is constantly under surveillance.

We then jump forward five years.  In a strange twist Ali, after being taken in by the people of Bir Nabat, where his new found talents in finding water make him an absolute ‘must’ in terms of desert living, finds himself torn between wanting to settle down and not wanting to bring trouble to the people who have given him a home.  At the same time moves are afoot to lure Ali back to Daevabad.   Nahri, meanwhile, has managed to find a tentative sort of happiness.  She occasionally escapes the confines of the palace and on one such occasion she discovers an old hospital, now fallen into disrepair.  She forms a plan to rebuild the space to provide healthcare to both the Shafit and the Daeva, she just needs the blessing of her priests and the go ahead from Ghassan in order to proceed.

At the same time a rebel movement is gathering momentum.  At it’s head is Manizheh, Nahri’s mother.  She’s managed to summon help to her cause and is putting in place a terrible plan to take back the City that once belonged to her people.

These threads will all eventually come together in a breathtaking fashion.

Whilst I don’t want to give away spoilers I will say that Dara, of course, returns to the story.  Also, somewhat against his will, he finds himself called once more to duty.  I won’t say more.

Once again we find ourselves reading from the pov of Nahri, Ali and Dara.  The three stories are all easy to read and the characters themselves have grown incredibly since the first instalment.  Ali, in particular has matured and I really enjoyed his chapters and the conflict he experiences with his brother when he returns to Daevabad.  Nahri is a likable character, she wants to do something good and longs to stop the injustices and mistreatment of the Shafit.  Dara, he’s a conflicted character indeed.  On one respect I really feel sorry for him.  He has very little peace and although he’s committed some terrible atrocities he is at the end of the day a servant, a warrior without a will really, used to whatever ends his masters deem fit.  I really do feel torn about Dara.  On the one hand I want him to find the peace he seems to desire and on the other I want to shake him, shout at him or just slap him as he once again finds himself being used to commit dreadful deeds – Deja Dara.

I loved the writing here, it’s once again lush with detail and incredibly evocative.  The brightness, the exotic descriptions of the palace and it’s grounds.  The contrast with the poorer districts and the harsh living experienced by the desert people.  This is without doubt a sumptuous book and whilst this might give the pace a slower feel in the first two thirds I enjoyed the time taken to really set the scene – not just the place itself but the political maneuverings, the tight control that Ghassan wields over Daevabad, stamping on any type of rebellion with utter ruthlessness.  The tension slowly gathers, like storm clouds, until the dramatic finale explodes onto the pages.  And that ending – oh my giddy aunt!  The payoff.  The drama.  The long wait to the next book!!!

I really didn’t see any of that coming at all and I’m not only a little gobsmacked and a tad in awe but also completely thrilled about what it all means for the final instalment.  Empire of Gold get in my life.  Please.

All told, I thought this was a fantastic second book in series.  I like a book that is mature enough to take it’s time.  It’s not going to rush around willy nilly just to give you a quick thrill, it’s going to take it’s time, setting it’s stall out, drawing you in, lulling you in to believing you know what’s about to happen before pulling an absolute blinder and knocking you for six.

I have no criticisms.  I think the pace may be an issue for some readers but it wasn’t for me.  Yes, this isn’t a read that you’re going to dash through but the build up and final payload are worth the wait.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publishers, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.