Book Reviews

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty – Book Review

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty – Book Cover

Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty– Book Details

TITLE – The Kingdom of Copper

SERIES – The Daevabad Trilogy, book #2

AUTHOR – S.A. Chakraborty

GENREfantasy, low fantasy, young adult, adult



MY RATING – 4.5 of 5


What It Is About

It is time we get some vengeance for what they have done.

In the aftermath of the battle that has awoken the worst in some people, Nahri is forced to accept the gilded cage of a royal court as her new home, while prince Alizayd has been exiled. Everyone does whatever they have to to survive. No one is happy, but they are learning to live with their grudges.

But, as the Nevasatem is approaching, fate seems to be determined to intertwine these people’s destinies once again. The cause that brings them together might be noble, but it will lead them on a path full of danger, betrayal, rootless decisions and unforeseen consequences.

In the meantime, a force they don’t even dream about is gathering against them up in the north, ready to strike at just the right moment.

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty – My Review

I’m sick and tired of acting like the only way to save our people is to cut down all who might oppose us, as if our enemies won’t return the favor the instant power shifts.

I read The City of Brass a few months ago and I couldn’t stop thinking about it ever since. It ended up high on my list of 2021 favorites, and I couldn’t wait to see how the story continues.

This weekend, I finally got to the book #2 in The Daevabad series – The Kingdom of Copper. And oh man, it felt so good to be back in that magical world with some of my favorite characters, on the edge of my seat waiting to see where all the intrigues, politics and royal affairs are going to take them next.

My brother would die for his causes. But he’s a prince of Daevabad, so he’s not the one who pays that price. Other people do.

I loved book #2 almost as much as I loved the first one. Though it did have a little of the infamous second-book syndrome, it was interesting, immersive, intense and just a joy to spend time with. In fact, many things I said in my review of The City of Brass can also be said for The Kingdom of Copper.

First, for such a complex plot, the story is incredibly easy to follow. I read it faster than I usually read books of this size, and as soon as it was done, I wished it had been at least twice as long.

The time skip at the beginning was a bit of a surprise. The Kingdom of Copper picks up right where The City of Brass left off, then jumps ahead 5 years. Not sure how necessary that was, but at least it didn’t take me long to adjust.

Ali, I don’t spin my wild stories just to annoy you. I do it so people don’t spread other stories about you.

I love S.A. Chakraborty’s writing. It is simple enough not to be distracting, but more than able to make you feel for the characters. And her dialogs are just – chef’s kisses.

The setting was also phenomenal. She created quite a magical world out there – lush and vivid and colorful, mesmerizing and full of surprises. The culture and lore were so rich and well thought out, you can almost forget you are reading a fiction book.

Though technically a low fantasy (set in our world), once you get to Daevabad, everything starts to feel way more like high fantasy. This world is hidden from humans, full of magical creatures and has its own history, rules, politics and agendas.

But of course, just like in book #1, the characters were what really kept me glued to the pages. Nahri, Ali, Dara, Muntadhir, Ghassan, Jamshid and many others. Some old, some new. All relatable (in different measures), all incredibly well developed, and we also got a few strong character growth arcs.

And that’s just it, Nahri. He does care… recklessly so. Passionately so. […] He cares so much he’s willing to risk himself and everyone around him, unwilling to accept a shade of gray or a lesser evil in service to a greater good.

As we discovered in The City of Brass, the family dynamic of the royal family (and a few people close enough to be heavily affected) was so incredibly delicate and easy to both under and overestimate.

They obviously loved each other honestly and very much. But, ultimately, when the stakes were high enough, that love clearly wasn’t unconditional. In fact, it had firmly set boundaries.

Well, family expectations and demands continue to be maddening, to say the least. Chakraborty is an expert at setting questions that simply don’t have a right answer. They were all doomed, no matter what they did. No matter how pure and honest their intentions were, they had to pay for them, and the price was often brutal.

I forgot how frustrating this story was. How angry and powerless it could make me feel. How it could make me see the need for an objective, ‘reasonable’, heavy solution, while all I wanted was to scream like a child ‘It’s not fair!’

Ah, Darayavahoush, there are always people to save. And always cunning men and women around who find a way to take advantage of that duty and harness it into power.

So yep – the relationships (all of them – family, romantic, friendships, servant to master, master to servant…) continue to be complicated, to say the least.

This story explores many important issues we all deal with on a regular basis, but the magic and the unique position of the characters make everything seem even more urgent. We explore privilege, prejudices, strength, weakness, diplomacy, impossible decisions, embracing your heritage, and people harassing power (magical and otherwise) without fully understanding the consequences.

Loyalty is still a centerpiece of many conflicts. Specifically, what happens when you’ve sworn your loyalty to someone who, simply put, cannot be trusted? Who is so obviously not – good?

The forbidden romance also got a significant space in this installment. And although it was, obviously, forbidden, it was also very sweet and kind of innocent and just adorable.

Affection is a weakness for people like us, a thing to be concealed from those who would harm us. A threat to a loved one is a more effective method of control than weeks of torture.

I gave this book 4 stars. The beginning was just such a joy to be back with these characters that I quickly grew to love. But then, a good chunk of the middle was dragging a bit.

Not that it was bad. But we did spend a lot of time dealing with things that were semi interesting and kind of necessary and just ok. And that took a lot of space from the juicy, heart melting things I really wanted to read more about.

There were still many spell bounding scenes that made it impossible for me to put the book down. It’s just that – the middle of the book felt a bit meh, especially compared to the last 100 – 200 pages.

There’s one more thing that slightly bothered me about this book, and that’s overpromising. Sometimes a character would say or think something that really made me think – ok, we’re in for a treat. But they would never actually go through with it. So I’d end up disappointed, and the thing is – there was no need for it because the book was exciting enough without the fake teases.

I think you’re more like Abba than you want to admit. But where Abba wants stability, you want justice. Your version of justice – even if you have to drag us there kicking and screaming.

Well, the ending set everything back right.

Just like in the first book, it was intense, action-packed and full of promises for the following installment. As in – I need to know now how this story ends! And also – I’m a bit scared to go there.

And I am not going to talk much here about certain directions the plot has taken, but the stakes were up higher than ever. Though I do have my guesses, I honestly have no idea how this trilogy is going to end.

I just hate that choosing to do the right thing in Daevabad always seems to come with a steep price.

Anyways. I hope to get to the third installment in The Daevabad series, The Empire of Gold, as soon as possible. I have high hopes for it, I’m sure it will be as intense and immersive and surprising as one can only wish for.

I’m still pretty sure this is going to be one of my favorite fantasy series ever. So, if you are still contemplating whether you should give this story a try, just go and grab that first book, and let’s obsess together over all the joy and thrill and misfortune Nahri and Alizayd and Dara and everyone else is yet to go through.

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