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The Empire of Gold: 3 (Daevabad Trilogy)

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I mean, there are legitimate reasons, but it never really felt like there was a weight really baring down on them. Nahri has played several roles in her life: Cairo street thief, companion of Darayavahoush, revered Nahid, wife of an emir, a healer, a survivor.

As he progresses into the complicated story of his own true identify and grows closer to Nahri, he begins to see the overarching complications of love, interaction, and history. The Daevabad trilogy certainly stands out for me as something different, and I have loved every minute that I have spent in Daevabad and beyond through its words, and the Empire of Gold was overall everything I wanted.

Though it does take a while to get going, there are some really great action scenes later on in the book, the whole final battle against Manizheh is incredibly intense, and there are plenty of twists and turns especially towards the end of the book. But making such an attempt, particularly knowing that it would entail having to face one of the greatest single warriors in history, and lacking magic, could be a suicidal mission. Sure to get himself in trouble, Ali is both wonderful and flawed: willing and able to see the cultural horrors perpetuated against the Shafit (half human/half djinn inhabitants of Daevebad), yet unable to see his own prejudices against the Deava (an oppressed djinn race who has their own complicated past plus a tie to the murderous Nahids). I picked up this series when both City of Brass and Kingdom of Copper had been released, and devoured them in quick succession and I had been counting down the days for book 3 and it didn’t disappoint!

The body count in Daevabad is considerable, helped along by Manizeh’s incapacity for politics, and a mega death-dealing field commander in Dara, who would like nothing more than to follow his own conscience, but is his will truly and fully his own? Dara isn’t innocent, but what he goes through is cruel, and you can tell that his viewpoints change, but nothing can be done. Among other awards and nominations which will be added here soon, the Daevabad Trilogy was nominated for a Hugo Award, a 2021 Best Series finalist.

And the ending is full of hope for Daevabad and its people, hope that the wars of the past can be reconciled, that the cycle of vengeance can be ended. His chapters were heavy and kind of dark while he came to terms with what he’s done, what he did, the conflicting emotions between what he’s trained to do, and what he feels is morally right. The series is a multi-generational saga that covers a twenty-year span from 1990 to 2010, and follows one chaebol family as it arises out of the ruins of the 1990s IMF financial crisis that wreaked havoc on the Korean economy, becoming one of the top conglomerates in the nation. This is the romance Nahri always deserved, with a man who loves and respects her, who is her friend not just her lover, and who can treat her like an equal.

Throughout the novel, we see the ways in which the past, both recent and distant, is something of a prison for the characters. It picks up right where The Kingdom of Copper leaves off, and Nahri and Ali aren’t wasting any time.Another piece of this is Chakraborty’s fondnesss for libraries, which meshes well with the urge to learn. In all, I’m tired of falling madly for male characters who have gone through Hell and back and don’t end up with their loves. Ali’s tale has been one of slowly loosening up, of learning that the world isn’t black or white but mostly gray. Reading the ending of this book got me doing something I have not done in an age: staying up past 2AM alternating between crying my eyes out and smiling with glee. Like the rest of the Daevabad books, this is a slow burner until it reaches its climax, when everything moves at fever pitch.

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