I'm currently behind on reviews, so don't be surprised if the recent reviews are a bit sparse.

The City of Brass

Cover of The City of Brass.

Set in Napoleonic Egypt, this is the story of Djinn, Daeva and related beings. Didn’t do much for me โ€“ the concept of a hidden city of supernatural beings with tons of infighting sounded intriguing, and the stagesetting very promising, but. The protagonist is kind of flat and predictably Chosen (doesn’t remember her childhood, knows magic language, has special powers, is very poor), and the dynamic between her and her semi-romantic sidekick fell extremely flat.

But yeah, basically: poor surprisingly magical orphan stumbles upon magical beings, turns out to be a half-blood of coveted origin and powers (sound familiar?). Arriving in the city, she has to Do Politics, dealing with the stereotypes of a suppressed class and an aristocratic elite. The prickly outsider among the ruling family has to get over himself blah blah. Some details in the worldbuilding were really cool: the setting in general, but also how the relationship between supernatural beings and humans was characterised.

Generally though, the book felt like it was busier checking boxes than creating a story, pushing its plot devices from one exposition block to the next, on an admittedly pretty cool stage.