So it’s no secret that I adore The Daevabad trilogy. If you follow me on my social media I scream about it ALL THE TIME. But guys, I have very good reasons to scream about it! The books are phenomenal, they really are!
I have not been so wholly obsessed with a book series since my teenage years of Harry Potter and making my dad take me to the midnight launches and devouring the books in a day. My only wish now is that there is midnight launches for The Empire of Gold because you best believe I would be there so excited that it would look like that I just poured a whole bottle of coffee down my throat.
So back to why I love these books, well there’s lots of reasons and I’m going to share some of them in this post and hopefully it will make you want to read it too!
1 Shannon has written some absolutely amazing Muslim rep. The nuanced and complex ways in which she writes the Muslim characters are so beautifully done. I love that Alizayd’s religious belief’s push him to try bring social justice for all in Daevabad. Social justice is a huge part of Islam and one that we hardly ever see in media. I also loved that she made her male main character deeply devout yet still a great person, too often young men are shown as radicals and terrorists and it was refreshing to see something different and much closer to the reality of a lot of Muslim men.
Shannon also shows how Muslims are so vast and varying in their levels of practice yet it is possible for them to get along but she also shows the tension between those people. Muslim’s are human after all and no one is perfect. I also loved how praying and the azaan and Nahri wearing an abaya was completely normal throughout the books. And using Arabic terminology that is common amongst all Muslims, for example, Assalamualaikum which is how Muslims greet each other.
2 The world building is extraordinary and so incredibly intricate and detailed. You can become fully immersed in the world as if you’re right there with the characters. The sights, the smells, the tastes, you can practically experience it yourself. The world itself is so detailed and so fast with jinns living all over the world and coming from varying cultures and traditions yet it is so easy to distinguish between them all.
3 I love how she shows that each and every female character is different and unique yet they all show strength in their own way. They are all badasses and I love them all. From our main character, Nahri, who is smart and calculating to Zainab who is witty, patient and wise beyond her years and Hatset who is a literal queen and cares so much for her family.
They all hold their own when faced with men who hold all the power and are often the voice of reason when some of the male characters are about to do something crazy. And despite them not always being on the same page they do support each other when it’s required, rather than using the opportunity to tear the other down.
4 Shannon has created a villain who is complex and we see so many different sides of him that I go from rooting for him to wanting him dead and it honestly gave me whiplash. He is clearly the villain but he also loves his son’s and wants what’s best for his people but the ways he goes about it, is totally not okay and we see him slowly become more and more afraid of losing his power and that makes him commit worse and worse atrocities. Yet we know he wasn’t always like this. I love how layered and complex he is.
5 This book is an adult fantasy so it isn’t as fast paced as a YA book yet it never feels like there is a dull moment. Shannon’s writing is so incredible that you are completely hooked from the beginning and you enjoy every single second of being in the world. And Shannon does not include anything irrelevant, trust me, every single thing is important. The way she drops in things that you don’t think much of but later when you read the plot twist, it blows your mind! You think you what is happening but you don’t, trust me!
Also just to warn you that if you’re looking for a happy book then this is not for you. This book will make you suffer, it will rip your heart to shreds then run it over but…you will love every second of it.
6 Every single character is so complex and layered and have great character arcs throughout the books. But what I loved was that while they learn and grown the change isn’t a sudden shift we often see in books, the way they deal with events that happen, their emotional wellbeing is portrayed so realistically that you can completely relate to them. Which makes you feel for every character even more, even if you don’t particularly like the character you still feel for them. You want to root for them all. She has written wonderfully diverse characters!
7 One of my favourite things in the book is the friendship between the two main characters, Nahri and Alizayd. They are both nerds and geek out over things while other people roll their eyes. One of my favourite scenes in The City of Brass is the scene where they are literally geeking out in the library. They teach other so much, Nahri teaching about the human world and Alizayd teaching her how to control her powers better. Despite them having secrets that they must hide from each other their friendship grows to be so strong and I just loved it so much!
8 Lastly, a reason why I love the book is that you can literally read it again and again and still love it as much, if not even more, than you did the first time. I’ve read both books multiple times and I fall in love a little more with each reread. Especially as you pick up more details that you may have missed the first time.
So basically I adore these books and I am incredibly excited and afraid to read The Empire of Gold because I need to know what will happen next but also it will be the last new material we get in this story and I am so incredibly sad about that.
Let me know if you read the books and why you love them