“Alizayd al Qahtani didn’t make it a month with his caravan.”First line in The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty
Author: S. A. Chakraborty
Published: January 22nd, 2019
Series: The Daevabad Trilogy #2
This review is all spoiler-filled because it’s the second book in a trilogy. If you want to know my thoughts on the first book, check out my review.
My main thought: uwgbkjfngiuejngoiejbahdngojhnkdmgnenjdboajdnkbk
…What? You want more? Fine then.
The book starts off with a very long prologue where we kind of check in with our trio to see where they are right after the end of the first book. Initially, I thought it a bit strange until it’s revealed why. Did I suspect we would get a five-year time jump? No, no I did not. Not only did it make the prologue highly efficient and justified, it also completely changed what I thought this book was going to be. It was the kind of attention-grabber that pulls you in because you suddenly desperately want to know what happened during the years you missed and how the characters have developed. And ultimately I think it was a very clever way of giving the characters some development that would have been boring to follow too closely. The development was needed to continue to make the characters seem real. Another thing I appreciated about the prologue was that it revealed Manizheh to be alive. It was hinted at so strongly in the first book, so I’m glad it was confirmed quickly rather than it being a “shocking” revelation later on.
If you read my review for the first book, you might expect me to be all eager to talk about Jamshid, and I will get to him, but I want to talk about Ali’s journey first. The end of the first book let us to believe that he wasn’t going to live very long or at least he would have a very tough life, but after five years, he was probably the one doing the best out of all of the characters. Still, his return to Daevabad provided so many interesting conversations. I loved how his meetings with everyone managed to further both plot and characters. They were so well-written, and truly showed the purpose of his character. I still like his character after this book, although I still feel clueless about where the hell his abilities come from or why they seem to be evolving. In the final book I’m also very intrigued to see how he reacts when he inevitably finds out that Muntadhir and Jamshid aren’t just friends. I feel there’s something interesting there, especially because we also saw his reaction to the two women at the hospital whose “friendship” he deeply admired. I had to laugh at that because it reminds me of this:
I really don’t think Ali is going to react badly, but I think Chakraborty wants me to think that he will. I think he’s just the most clueless person in all of Daevabad.
I also quickly want to touch on Muntadhir because my feelings about him were all over the place during this book. I had really hoped he had come around to Ali when he returned, but oh no, he hadn’t. Not at all. I just really liked his and Ali’s relationship in book one, so I was eager for that to make a comeback. Instead he starts acting… not so great, but I really appreciate the way he was written. He isn’t a POV character, so we don’t get any insights on him. Still, he pops up in a few scenes here and there, and it is just obvious to the reader that he’s spiraling. Generally, I think this book does a fantastic of job developing the non-POV characters and that’s not easy to do.
I understood Muntadhir’s struggles and liked it when he showed up on the page, but I also didn’t like him for being so mean to Nahri and Ali. You see my problem. Still, when he sacrificed himself to save Ali… I actually got a little teary-eyed. I was not ready to see him go, apparently. And his goodbyes to them were so emotional! We’ve been told again and again that there’s no coming back from a wound like that, so I had already accepted his death… when he suddenly healed! WHAT?? Still not sure I understand why the removal of magic would heal his wound completely, but I’ll take it.
So! Jamshid. He’s still my favorite character, just if you were wondering, so it was very painful for me to see him struggle so much in this book. Also, huge plot twist that he hadn’t healed completely since he was revealed as a nahid in book one. I didn’t feel we got an answer as to why Nahri couldn’t heal him and I missed that. Can nahids not heal other nahids or did it have something to do with that blocking thing Manizheh put on him?
One of my favorite things about Jamshid in this book is his relationship with Nahri! Him agreeing to be her apprentice and even standing up to his father to support her were just lovely things to see and I hope and think that their now revealed sibling-relationship is going to be an important factor in the final book. If we ever find out where he is, that is. Why must these books end with Jamshid being in a horrible situation? I’m starting to take it personally.
One of the theories I’ve had since the middle of book one was that either Jamshid or Muntadhir wasn’t going to make it through the entire trilogy. Non-POV characters are notoriously easy to kill and I don’t believe people are allowed to be happy in these books so you can see my concern. However, now that both characters have had experiences where I as a reader had declared them dead in my mind, I actually think they’re gonna make it. I think it would be hard for Chakraborty to put them in such situations again and make it believable. Yes, this is just my desperate hope but please let me have it.
Moving on to a character I had very few opinions about in the first book: Dara. Whom I now hate with a burning passion! It is mainly because of what he did to Muntadhir which, yes, was an accident but he also showed no remorse and was perfectly fine watching Muntadhir die. Then you also have the fact that he followed Manizheh’s horrible orders despite his reservations. That was such a strong contrast to Nahri who is faced with the amazing prospect of her mother returning but decides to fight her because of her horrifying methods. Which I’m so glad she did, by the way. Nahri is such a strong character and it wouldn’t have made sense for her to give up her principles for motherly love despite how much she craves it. But Dara? He can take a hike. I sincerely hope any romantic feelings Nahri had for him are gone now, but I also know there’s probably going to be something in book three that at least tries to redeem his character, which I already know I’m going to hate.
Finally, we also get some shocking reveals at the end. One, Nahri is shafit, proving that hypocrisy is real. Do we know who her father is? I’m only going to be happy about this reveal if it turns out to be Yacub (I think that was his name). Also, Dara can’t possible know about this, right? He seems very set in his “any non-daeva is evil”-ways. The other reveal about Nahri came so offhandedly and is that she was taken by the marid as a child. WHAT? HOW? WHY? Does it have something to do with Ali’s powers?
Generally, I have so many questions after this book, but I still need the first scene in The Empire of Gold to be Jamshid just chilling and being completely fine. I really don’t think that’s too much to ask. But I’m going to stop talking now because this review suddenly got way longer than I expected. If I missed your favorite moment, please bring it up in the comments. Other than that, I’m looking forward to having all my theories proven wrong in the final book.