“Behind the battlements of the palace that had always been hers, Banu Manizheh e-Nahid gazed at her family’s city.”First line in The Empire of Gold by S. A. Chakraborty
Author: S. A. Chakraborty
Published: June 11th, 2020
Series: The Daevabad Trilogy #3
This review includes spoilers for the entire Daevabad Trilogy, so here’s your SPOILER WARNING!
So The Empire of Gold was probably my least favorite book in the trilogy, but there was also a lot to live up to after The Kingdom of Copper. I missed the politics and the characters all being together instead of spread widely across the land. This book also taught me that I don’t have a favorite POV character because my favorite is whoever finds themselves in Daevabad. In the previous book, it was Ali and Nahri, but in this one, it was only Dara and it was very limited how much time we got to spend with him. But I’m in love with Daevabad apparently and I missed it a lot in this book.
I’ll also say that I spent the first 40-50% of the book wondering when it was going to start. It was a very chill beginning to the final book in a trilogy. It was very obvious that Nahri and Ali was going to Ta Ntry but it took them 350 pages to get there! Why?! This is the reason I hate traveling in books! I don’t feel those 350 pages did anything for the story other than develop a romantic relationship between Nahri and Ali. And now I’m just throwing this out there: They worked better as friends. I’m not a fan of their relationship, especially not because it took over so much of this book that I had hoped would spend the time on other things.
Like letting me know if Jamshid was okay.
So… Dara. I knew we were getting some redemption arc for him because he wasn’t actually evil, just stupid. Still not a fan of him though. We follow his thoughts so we’re aware of the fact that he knows that what he’s doing is wrong. But he continues to do it anyway, which is almost worse. So when Manizheh takes control of him, I know I’m supposed to feel bad for him and I also did to a small degree. However, he had had multiple opportunities to stand up to her when he was the more powerful one and he didn’t. He’s all “oh I need to protect my people”. YOU’RE NOT PROTECTING THEM BY KILLING THEM AND DESTROYING THEIR CITY, YOU IDIOT!!
Still, I don’t mind the ending that he got, although I think I would have preferred him dead.
And now I would like to file a complaint because I had to wait THAT long for Jamshid to appear! That’s just not okay. And he was mostly definitely not okay. Him seeing Nahri and Ali, thinking that it could mean that Muntadhir was alive as well. That tiny spark of hope and they crushed it immediately 😭 I was in pain. Especially because I knew there was no reason for them to be sad, so I just wanted to jump into the book and tell them everything was fine. Okay, maybe not totally fine but Muntadhir was alive and that’s the bar we’re setting.
Jumping a bit further ahead in the story to the point where I wanted to murder Nahri. I’m of course talking about the moment where she poisoned Jamshid in a way that robbed him of the use of his legs 😡 That was beyond cruel!! How could she possibly even consider doing something like that to him?? I was begging for someone to kill her at that point. And I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t come around to her even when it was revealed that she regretted it and stayed with him. She still did that horrible thing, Jamshid still had to experience it.
On top of all that, I really didn’t care for how much they hid from the reader about how they were going to defeat Manizheh. Like, gathering an army and plotting how to take back Daevabad? That was what I thought this book was going to be about and we got to see none of it? It all happened “off screen” and as a surprise to the reader. Personally, I also wanted to see Nahri beg for Jamshid’s forgiveness and him being reluctant to give it, but that’s probably just me. But yeah, generally I don’t like this thing of hiding stuff from the reader when we’re so much in the characters’ heads. It appears convenient.
Do I need to talk about Ali as well? I guess since he was the only one of the POV characters to not do anything unforgivable. Overall though, I probably wasn’t that interested in that marid storyline of his, especially not here in the final book. It was weird and I’m still not sure I get it. Why him and not everyone else in his family? Still, I got the confused-Ali that I wanted when he learned about Muntadhir and Jamshid, and the way he handled it was really sweet.
I think I’m going to stop this messy rambling now. I really enjoyed this trilogy despite this last book, first of all because I now know about Jamshid and I’m very sad I can’t read about him again. All of the politics and the world-building was also amazing of course, and I’m definitely going to be on the look-out for more books by this author.