December Countdown, Day 27 : Christmas Crackers

December book meme (details here).  Christmas Crackers – Ended with a bang :

Empire of gold

The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty

EmpireMy Five Word TL:DR Review : Will it all work out?

You’ll just have to read it and find out!

Okay, first things first.  Empire of Gold is the third and final instalment in the Daevabad Trilogy.  Let me be absolutely clear, this is not a series where you want to jump in mid series and for sure you cannot read The Empire of Gold without having read the first two instalments.  This series has plenty of lush worldbuilding, lots of history and plenty of well drawn characters.  The inspiration and motivation is palpable and you will miss out on a veritable wealth of goodness if you try to jump on board at this point – well, at best you’ll miss out – at worst you’ll be in a positive world of hurt with absolutely no idea what’s going on.  Don’t say you weren’t warned.

So, this isn’t an easy review to write being the final in the series.  I seriously don’t want to give away any spoilers so I’m just going to chuck a few random thoughts and feelings around and let them land where they may.

At the end of book 2 I was quite literally gobsmacked.  You could have knocked me over with a feather with that ending.  I had no idea how this was going to go, in fact I just couldn’t see how the author was going to get out of the hole this one found itself in.  But, I think I can safely say this ending managed to blow me away.

Still in Daevaba Nahid leader Banu Manizheh and Dara are trying to recover from the outcome of No.2.  They’re trying to rally, magic has vanished although certain parties still have power.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (aka Cairo) Ali and Nairi are also trying to regroup.  Both of them are struggling but they mind to find help in an old ally and in fact there is almost a rosy future for them should they choose to take that path.  The choices.  Stay in Cairo, learn how to make a living as an apothecary, enjoy life, become a couple, live happily ever after, or return to Daevabad and live under the tyrant who is now in control and who has made such despicable choices.  Now, let me think?  Peace, happiness and love or death and destruction.  Well, obviously this would be a much shorter book if they took the easy route wouldn’t it?

Characters.  Well, everyone is back in force and then some and I’m pleased to say that the character growth is great.  These are such great characters because they’re not simply good or bad.  Who is after all?  They’ve made mistakes – some of them are very big, huge, bloopers.  But, some of them are trying to work through these and make reparations of sorts.  Some are bitter.  Some are guilty.  You get the picture I’m sure.

World building.  I loved this world.  I love the juxtaposition between the everyday world sitting alongside the magical and mythical Daevabad.  The thing is, both have their pluses, both have their minuses and it gives a new meaning ‘to the grass always being greener’ – because maybe it isn’t.  You cross over from one to the other and still life goes on.  People live, people die, people fight and people love. But, I do love the way this author manages to conjure a sense of place whether you’re in the mundane or the magical.

In terms of criticisms.  I don’t really have anything, I think this maybe could have been a bit drawn out in places, but I can’t say that made me hesitant to continue reading and I love the way that one of these storylines could lead to something quite different if the author chose to go in that direction.

Overall, this was a very satisfying ending.  If pushed I would say that the middle book was probably my favourite (what middle book syndrome?) but this is an ending that I simply couldn’t foresee.

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

My rating 4 out of 5 stars

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