As far as epic fantasy goes, The Kingdom of Copper checks all the boxes. It presents readers with a world so vivid that it doesn’t require the suspension of disbelief. Nahri and Ali’s world simply is, and we as readers just happen to be lucky enough to get a brief glimpse into it. Chakraborty creates characters who are complex and who have motivations and allegiances that require them to make bad (and sometimes even contradictory) decisions. And that’s okay. They’re characters we want to root for even when they aren’t always wise or likeable ... More than anything, the second novel in S.A. Chakraborty’s Daevabad Trilogy is a great epic fantasy because it’s just that. It’s epic, and that’s what makes it so much fun. If you’re looking for a compelling, heart-rending drama that just happens to also be one of the most thought-provoking epic fantasies to come out in a long time, look no further.
At once familiar and deep ... Little time is spent rehashing prior events and instead the book focuses immediately on the three POV characters: Dara, Ali, and Nahri. The detailing also remains lush without becoming purple, and it is easy to see, smell, and taste the world of Daevabad in just a few pages ... Chakraborty manages what many epic fantasy writers have never achieved: a world where everyone can see themselves not only mirrored, but powerful ... will appeal to fans of epic fantasy across the board, from those beholden to monarchy tropes to those who seek the worldbuilding as its own character. Even for those new to epic fantasy, there is something to find, whether through the evolution of Ali’s magic, Nahri’s love quadrangle, or the brutal palace politics that drive everyone, and everything, to ruin.
With a richly immersive setting and featuring complex familial, religious, and racial ties and divides, Chakraborty's second book in the trilogy wraps readers in a lush and magical story that takes over all the senses.
The story spirals into a Game of Thrones–like tale of political intrigue and war, with many shrewd factions vying for power. Chakraborty’s deeply thought-out system of race relations and clashing classes mirrors real-world conflicts, making it all the more captivating—and frustrating—as the dream of peace grows more futile. The action scenes—vivid, entrancing, terrifying—will keep readers riveted, especially as enemies shift to allies, allies to friends, friends to enemies. With gorgeous world building, compelling characters, and clashing schemes, the second in Chakraborty’s Daevabad trilogy will thrill her many fans.
No series since George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire has quite captured both palace intrigue and the way that tribal infighting and war hurt the vulnerable the most ... It’s not a simple tale of good versus evil, but a complex web of characters believing they’re making the best choices to serve their people. Religion, family dynamics, class politics, friendships and romance all play a part and are wrapped up in unique magical world that Chakraborty brilliantly brings to life.
Chakraborty is master of her world, unafraid to play with cultural and class conflicts. Intricately plotted ... Readers new to Chakraborty's work should begin with The City of Brass or, at a minimum, study the included glossary and maps. For returning readers, the expansion of this mythology-infused world and the emotional fireworks of character reunions should provide plenty of incentive to rejoin Nahri on her journey. Political maneuvers, attempted assassinations and violent skirmishes build to a cliffhanger ending that leaves little room for a happily ever after in the next installment, though with Chakraborty's magic touch, anything is possible.
Unlike the first book though, The Kingdom of Copper doesn’t read quite as smoothly ... Can you write deftly about a culture that you have adopted? Of course you can. Can you own it the way someone born into it can? I remain uncertain, and Chakraborty has not convinced me just yet, as much as she has indeed done all of the right things ... I can’t help but feel that this narrative just plays a little too much to the gallery, and into the cliché of an exotic Eastern fantasy, to make it palatable for an audience looking to diversify their fantasy reading repertoire ... if you’re coming from a place where classic djinns of flame and fury are a novel, unique, and exotic element in fantasy, The Kingdom of Copper is highly enjoyable. If you’re coming from a place where djinns are as common as the mundane mangoes and pomegranates and persimmons sold on a cart... you’re not going to be quite so entertained. This is a story for strangers in a strange land, but not every reader will find the land strange.
With all these players now arrayed on the gameboard, the scene is set for an eruption of massive, paradigm-overturning violence, and Chakraborty’s multiple fireworks and cataclysms don’t disappoint ... What continues as before is Charkaborty’s generous provision of sensual details in a sometimes Dunsanyian fashion...; imaginative backstory; multiple rival races of fantastical beings; sharp dialogue; and total immersive believability of this world ... And Chakraborty proves herself adept at staging big exciting battle scenes as well, not something really exhibited in the first book so much.
Stunningly rendered ... Against the city’s richly immersive backdrop of suppressed and often contentious racial, familial, magical, and religious alliances and divides—although Chakraborty tends to forget how bewildering these can be, even with the helpful glossary—the conflicts, ambitions, schemes, and treacheries build powerfully toward what’s rapidly becoming the author’s trademark: a truly shattering conclusion ... As good or better than its predecessor: promise impressively fulfilled.
Richly developed ... Chakraborty raises the tension and the stakes with emotional dilemmas that bring out the best and worst in these conflicted characters. This intriguing fantasy series appears to be well on its way to an exciting conclusion.