Booksish Discussions, Muslim Shelf Space, The Daevabad Trilogy

Daevabad Characters as Cats

Here is my regular reminder to read The Daevabad trilogy S.A. Chakraborty! It is a trilogy that has become my favourite books of all time and I just cannot get enough of these books and characters.

This post is basically full of cute cat photos which I thought reminded me of each character in the first two books as I don’t want to spoil anyone for the last book.

So here are Daevabad characters as cats!

Nahri: This is the look of a girl who has just conned an arrogant man.

Ali: A little startled but trying his best to look presentable

Muntadhir: Always looking his best

Zaynab: A smart incredible woman who looks amazing no matter what she does

Jamshid: His most defining feature is of course his moustache (couldn’t resist using Sherlock with a moustache for this)

Dara: Looking like his intimidating self here

Lubayd: Just look at his cute self complete in a turban

Aqisa: Looking fierce as always!

Hatset: Looking beautiful and regal complete with a crown

Ghassan: No one mess with him, he will hurt you!

Manizheh: Looking fierce and intimidating as usual

So there we have it, some of the Daevabad characters as cats! I had so much fun looking through all the cat photos to find these! I hope you enjoy the post!

PS. I have lots more Daevabad content which you can find all over on my Daevabad trilogy section

Book Recommendations, Booksish Discussions, Muslim Shelf Space, The Daevabad Trilogy

Book Recommendations Based on Daevabad Characters

What? Another Daevabad themed post? Yup. It’s basically my brand now. Today I am going to be sharing book recommendations based on the characters in the Daevabad trilogy. So if you have a fave character you can find your next read that will be reminiscent of them!

Also lets just ignore the fact that several of the characters can’t read, maybe they listen to the audiobook instead.

Alizayd – Love From A To Z by S.K Ali

This soft nerd would love this halal romance and be a sobbing mess and Shannon actually said that Ali would love this book too.

Nahri – The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

Nahri would love Esta who not only was a thief but one who travelled through time to do it.

Darayavahoush – An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

A brutal and ruthless world where Dara would relate to Helene a lot.

Muntadhir – Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Muntadhir is someone who sometimes will do the wrong thing for the right reason and I feel he would enjoy this book.

Jamshid – We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

A forbidden romance where they fight an oppressive government sounds like something Jamshid would enjoy.

Zaynab – The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

A feminist fantasy with a Muslim MC and basically full of women who feel trapped in their roles and yet overcome this to become the leaders they are would definitely be something that Zaynab would definitely love.

Ghassan – Vicious by V.E Schwab

A book full of morally grey characters who think that what they are doing is right and justified. Sounds exactly like a Ghassan type book.

Subha – The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Subha would appreciate how they band together and how Laila looks out for the others especially Zofia.

Aqisa – The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala

Aqisa would love Esha and what a badass fighter she is.

Lubayd – Yes, I’m Hot in This by Huda Fahmy

Look, Lubayd is all about having a good time and he would love reading all the hilarious books.

Manizheh – The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

A book about the MC who slowly goes from wanting to be a good soldier to wanting power and going to any means to do it. Sounds like a book Manizheh would enjoy.

Kaveh – Renegades by Marissa Meyer

One of the MC joins the Renegades to destroy them…sound familiar kaveh?

Hatset – Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Powerful women getting stuff done. What more is there is to say.

Nisreen – Mirage by Somaiya Daud

A book with secrets and ulterior motives would definitely intrigue Nisreen who has her fair share of secrets.

Fiza – Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes

A found family who go on space adventures sounds exactly like a book my pirate queen Fiza would love.

Khyzur – More To The Story by Hena Khan

Khyzur is powerful but doesn’t abuse his power and tries to do good with it. A book where the MC is a journalist and can use her power in that position to do good.

Sobek – Viper by Bex Hogan

A violent ruthless world set on the seas sounds right up his river.

So that’s all my book recommendations! I hope you find something you will love! And if you haven’t read the Daevabad trilogy then please do go read it!

Blog Tours/Street Teams, Booksish Discussions, Muslim Shelf Space, The Daevabad Trilogy

Muslim Representation in the Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty

Today is the last day of the World of Daevabad blog tour! I hope you enjoyed reading all the posts! Today I am going to be discussing the Muslim rep in the books.

One of the many reasons that I completely fell in love with the Daevabad trilogy is because of the wonderful Muslim representation in these books. Shannon created such wonderfully diverse and nuanced Muslim characters and especially having an unapologetically Muslim character as one of her main characters.

While there are many Muslims in Daevabad, we don’t meet many practicing Muslims there. Especially in the palace and those amongst the rich and powerful where people do what benefits them and their tribe over what is actually right and just.

Alizayd is one who always fights for what is just and right and that means breaking the status quo which makes him disliked amongst the people in power. They make him out to be a fanatic and someone who will kill indiscriminately to get what he believes to be right but time and time again we are shown that isn’t the case. They call him slurs from sandfly to crocodile. It actually reminded me of how Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was treated when he refused to stop teaching Islam and it was an interesting parallel to see in a fantasy book and honestly just made me love Ali even more.

While, 18 year old Ali in City of Brass, is quite rigid in his beliefs and sees everything in black and white we still see instances when he still won’t cross that line. From not punishing the daeva boy for shooting an arrow at him. He has incredible growth throughout the trilogy too and realises that there are better ways to create change and that it will take time. It was honestly incredible to see how he never stopped practicing his faith but he grew wiser as he got older and learnt to see how to use what his faith teaches in a way that won’t alienate anyone.

At the end of The Kingdom of his decision to stop the killing of innocent shafit made me so proud of him but I was especially proud when he said that the innocent daevas are also to be kept safe and that he would execute the people who hurt them himself. Finally someone in Daevabad who cared about everyone in Daevabad and not just those who are their own or that they will benefit from if they cared for those people. Throughout Kingdom of Copper we see time and time again that he cares for all of the people in Daevabad. Social justice is a huge part of Islam and to see a main character embody that was incredible to see.

One of my favourite things throughout the books was how Islam was such an intricate part of the books and it was just there as if it’s completely normal. From the first page with the fajr adhaan and Nahri wearing a black abaya to Ali’s first chapter where he goes to the masjid to pray in congregation. In fact we see Ali turn to his faith time and time again. When Ali is distressed or worried he turns to Allah, when there is a moment of joy, he thanks Allah. It was incredible and so heartwarming to see that in the books.

We also see small things like, Ali and Zaynab not drinking alcohol because it’s forbidden, we see that Ali does not want to have a relationship with anyone outside of marriage and that he even says to Nahri that they can’t be alone because the devil is the third person (who will tempt them to do something that isn’t allowed in Islam). This last one especially was amazing to see, this is a teaching of our Prophet (pbuh) and yet it isn’t considered societal norm for most in the west especially so to see that plainly, unapologetically in a fantasy book, it blew my mind. Ali even gets made fun of by Muslims and non Muslims alike for these beliefs and yet he stays firm. For a teenage boy, a young man to fight this type of peer pressure it is incredibly hard and a lived experience of many Muslim youths and just seeing it in a book. Honestly I cannot begin to describe how much I loved seeing these little things. I wish we had gotten to see more of what it was like for Zaynab too as that would have been so interesting to see.

There are so many instances in the book where people say that Ali is a fanatic and I found it really interesting reading it because according to these people, a fanatic is someone who stands firm in their faith. Ali definitely is one who stands firm in his beliefs but the discussion on what makes a person a fanatic was really interesting and subtly woven into the story. He always questions what happens and learns and grows but his core belief of social justice stays firm. That does not make him a fanatic. Blindly following and being completely devoted to someone despite them doing something morally and ethically wrong is a more accurate definition of what a fanatic is. That isn’t Ali, yet he is always the one who is accused of it but as readers we can see that isn’t the case and I am so glad that Shannon included this discussion in the books.

We also see many instances of people manipulating Islamic beliefs for their own benefit from Ghassan in City of Brass “reminding” Ali that in Islam, parents have a high station and we should listen to them unless it goes against Islam. To the tanzeem who use Ali’s faith to manipulate him into supporting them and then gaslight him when he questions them. To people telling Ali that he is far too strict in his beliefs and that he should just calm down and that people would like him more this way. People would like him essentially if he compromised on his beliefs. He also has to battle through all of this and it was so relatable.

I can truly talk about the wonderful Muslim representation in these books, it gave me the rep that I had been craving and I will forever be thankful for Shannon for this rep.

The Empire of Gold is out in the US today and is already out in the UK and many other places so make sure you pick up a copy because it is phenomenal.

Favourite Book Quotes, Muslim Shelf Space, The Daevabad Trilogy

My Favourite Quotes from The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

Another post for the World of Daevabad Blog Tour today! Today I am sharing my favourite quotes from the second book in the trilogy!

So a while ago I shared my favourite quotes from The City of Brass on my blog so here is some of my favourite quotes from The Kingdom of Copper!

I loved this book even more than The City of Brass but this book caused me even more pain than the first book but omg this book is phenomenal and you should all go read it!

You can read my post of my favourite quotes from The City of Brass here

So here are some of my favourite quotes:

Alizayd al-Qahtani didn’t last a month with his caravan. – Excuse me but how can this be the first line of the book?! I was stressed and all I read was one line.

I need to put some men in their place. – This one of my favourite Nahri scenes! The way she stood up to Ghassan, I loved her!

You don’t stop fighting a war just because you’re losing battles. You change tactics. – Hatset giving the good advice! Thankfully we have one great adult in this book.

Because a lost little girl from Cairo thought she was living in some sort of fairy tale. And because for all her supposed cleverness, she couldn’t see that the dashing hero who saved her was its monster. – Muntadhir sometimes says what everyone else is thinking, even though he tells Ali not to do that exact same thing.

Go steal some happiness for yourself, my friend – Nahri telling Ali to be happy, this scene omg I love these two so much.

If I do not point it out often enough, your gender can be remarkably stupid. – Aqisa quickly became one of my favourite side characters especially how she fights first and asks questions later.

I’ve had enough of men hurting me because they were upset. – This line was so relatable and I think so many of us know exactly how Nahri feels here.

Is this liquor? Because I want to be completely intoxicated when Abba gets wind that his children are plotting a coup in a fucking closet. That’s weapons polish, Ali said quickly. – This scene with all the Qahtani siblings is one of my favourites in the whole trilogy!

I just hate that choosing to do the right thing in Daevabad always seems to come with a steep price.  – I hate how real this quote is

The only time you’re not wearing something stark and streaked with dirt, it’s because someone else has dressed you. – Nahri pointing out that Ali has zero fashion sense is my favourite thing!

We keep the peace, understand. – This whole scene omg it made me so afraid for everyone’s lives. But also gave me hope.

So there is some of my favourite quotes from The Kingdom of Copper! What are some of your favourite quotes?

Blog Tours/Street Teams, The Daevabad Trilogy

Parallels Between Ali & Nahri in The Kingdom of Copper (Guest Post)

Another guest post today which is the second part of Jade’s parallels post!

A continuation of the Nahri and Ali parallels in The City of Brass, this post takes a look at their actions and situations in The Kingdom of Copper. 

Photo by Jade

During my rereads of the Daevabad Trilogy, I’ve noticed a number of parallels between the two main protagonists, Nahri and Prince Alizayd. From their echoed actions and thoughts to certain life circumstances, Nahri and Ali are like two corner pieces that eventually meet in the middle.

Featuring major spoilers for The City of Brass and The Kingdom of Copper, I’ve compiled a list with 39 examples. I’ve divided these into three categories: actions/thoughts, life circumstances, and skills/interests, with quotes and page numbers (from the US hardback copies) for context. Let’s dive in! 

THE KINGDOM OF COPPER (with callbacks to The City of Brass) (20)

Actions/Thoughts 

  1. Reprimanding their unadventurous companions. KoC (Nahri, ch. 1 pg. 42: “You know, for a magical being, you have a terrible sense of adventure.” and Ali, ch. 2 pg. 53: “And you are all sadly lacking a spirit of enterprise.”) 
  2. Fear of the future, don’t feel like they can be happy. KoC (Ali, ch. 2 pg. 61: “Dread crept over him. Yes, it seemed to answer, swallowing the simple fantasies running through his mind’s eye. For in Ali’s experience, dreaming of a better future had only ever led to destruction.” and Nahri, ch. 26 pg. 424: “When I try to imagine my future here, Nisreen, I see nothing. I feel like the very act of envisioning the things that make me happy will destroy them.”) 
  3. Denying their temperament and what might fix it. KoC (Ali, ch. 2 pg. 58-59: [Lubayd:] “You should start building a life here. I suspect marriage would vastly improve your temperament.” […] “an irritable prince exiled to the land of his forefathers . . .” Ali’s temper finally snapped as he reached for the tent flap. “I am not irritable.” and Nahri, ch. 6 pg. 111: [Muntadhir:] “And you clearly need to relax. Consider it a professional duty.” His hands slipped underneath her tunic. “Surely your patients will be better served by having a Banu Nahida who’s not in such a snappish mood.” Nahri sighed, pressing closer to him despite herself. […] “I am not snappish . . .”) 
  4. Marriage being used as an excuse to get rest. KoC (Nahri, ch. 6 pg. 111: “She had been under a great deal of stress lately, and she often got more sleep the nights she spent in Muntadhir’s room;” and Ali, ch. 22 pg. 355: [Hatset:] “it wouldn’t be the worst idea for you to burn a marriage mask with a nice shafit girl. Maybe then you’d actually visit your bed instead of working yourself to death.”) 
  5. Thinks the other looks good in their feast outfit. KoC (Ali, ch. 12 pg. 214: “Ali looked equally taken aback by the sight of Nahri, his shocked gaze traveling from her uncovered head down her bare arms. She heard him take a sharp breath.” and Nahri, ch. 12 pg. 215: “Nahri hated to admit such a thing, but he looked striking in his new clothes, the beautifully dyed robe highlighting his haughty features and luminous dark skin.”
  6. “It was the wrong thing to say.” KoC (Nahri, ch. 23 pg. 381: “Ghassan gave her an annoyed look. ‘Stand down, Banu Nahri,’ he said condescendingly. ‘I do not have the patience for one of your self-important speeches right now. Let your husband punish you as he sees fit.’ It was exactly the wrong thing to say.” and Ali, ch. 29 pg. 461: “Muntadhir drew nearer, his grin fading. ‘Or maybe you’ve been intruding upon my world for so long—insinuating yourself with my wife, embarrassing me before Abba—that you’ve forgotten your place.’ He said the final words in Geziriyya, his voice low. ‘Maybe you need a reminder.’ It was the wrong thing to say.”)
  7. Terrified of the other standing up to Ghassan, fear they’ll be killed for it. KoC (Ali, ch. 25 pg. 406: “He could still remember her—small in comparison to his father, exhausted and covered in ash, but thoroughly defiant, heat rippling through the air when she spoke, the stone street shivering with magic. It was one of the bravest acts he’d ever witnessed. And it petrified him, for Ali knew all too well how his father handled threats.” and Nahri, ch. 28 pg. 450: “‘And how many more people will die while we wait for that day?’ Their gazes locked. There was nothing but conviction in the warm gray of his eyes. No cunning, no deception. It terrified her. Because whatever history was between them, Nahri did not think she had it in her to watch the kind man who’d built her this office, this quiet homage to the home she still loved—the man who’d taught her to read and helped her summon flames for the first time—be executed in the arena.”) 
  8. Moving slowly with exhaustion in every line of their body. KoC (Ali, ch. 28, pg. 443: “Ali sat up. His movements were slow, bone-weary exhaustion written into every line of his body.” and Nahri, ch. 31 pg. 486: “He watched her set aside the forceps and touch the little boy’s face before pushing slowly to her feet, exhaustion in every line of her body.”)
  9. Asking God for help before attempting something scary. KoC (Nahri, ch. 30 pg. 481: “A sandstorm. Nahri caught her breath. Creator, please, she prayed. Help me save my city.” and Ali, ch. 31 pg. 492: “God forgive me. God guide me. ‘I’m very sorry, Abu Nuwas,’ he said quietly. Ali’s hand dropped to his khanjar. ‘But I’m not going back to the palace.'”) 
  10. Horrified at the thought of ghouls entering their city and devouring innocents. Interestingly, both situations had ghouls unleashed by Vizaresh with Dara present. CoB (Nahri, ch. 2 pg. 34: “‘You mean there’s a chance these things might get out and start feasting on everyone in Cairo?’ He looked thoughtful. ‘That would provide a distraction…’ Perhaps noticing her horror, he quickly changed the subject.”) and KoC (Ali, ch. 36 pg. 536: “And then his heart stopped. A ragged hole had been punched into the wall facing the street. […] ‘Are those things in our city?’”)
  11. Pulled the ceiling down on someone they love. CoB (Ali, ch. 28 pg. 497: “The rain drummed against the glass above him, the water achingly close. […] Ali took a deep breath, trying to quell the emotions churning inside him. Something metallic groaned above their heads. A small leak sprang. […] The roof gave out.”) and KoC (Nahri, ch. 38 pg. 565-566: “Nahri inhaled, suddenly aware of every brick and stone and mote of dust in the building around her. […] In an explosion of plaster and stone, Nahri brought the ceiling down on him.”) 
  12. Admitting in a daze that the other is their friend. CoB (Ali, ch. 24 pg. 436: “‘You’re not terrible,’ he declared. ‘You’re my friend.’”) and KoC (Nahri, ch. 40 pg. 592: “‘He… He’s my friend.’ It was a ridiculous answer and yet it was the first that came to her.”)

Life Circumstances

  1. Bad reputation with a tribe they haven’t actually hurt. CoB (Ali, ch. 8 pg. 157: [regarding Kaveh:] “‘He wants you away from Abba, ideally away from Daevabad and back in Am Gezira, where you can’t do anything to hurt his people.’ Ali threw up his hands. ‘I haven’t done anything to his people!'”) and KoC (Nahri, ch. 8 pg. 125: “She bristled. ‘Why should they hate me? I was raised in the human world!’ ‘And then you came back here at the side of a man famous for using a scourge to determine the color of someone’s blood,’ Muntadhir pointed out. ‘You have a reputation with them, Nahri, like it or not.'”) 
  2. Understands the feeling of their appearance not matching the expectation of their role. KoC (Ali, Nahri, ch. 21 pg. 350: “‘No,’ he replied tonelessly. ‘I suppose of the two of us, Muntadhir looks more like what people expect of a Qahtani prince.’ She realized too late the double meaning of her words. ‘Oh, no, Ali. That’s not what I meant. Not at all.’ Every time Nahri pinned her chador over her human-round ears, she had the same feelings about her appearance not matching expectations, and it made her sick to think she might have implied the same to someone else.”) 
  3. Attacked by a massive marid-controlled water beast. CoB (Nahri, ch. 11 pg. 211: “A serpent the size of a small mountain and made entirely of rushing black water.”) and KoC (Ali, ch. 33 pg. 507-508: “The water was rising. […] It rose higher and higher, blocking the stars and mountains to tower over the city. The rough outline of a reptilian head formed, it’s mouth opening to reveal glistening fangs.”)
  4. Attacked by a swarm of ghouls, with one biting into their shoulder. CoB (Nahri, ch. 2 pg. 37: “Managing to wrench an elbow free, she shoved at it hard. The ghoul fell away but took a good piece of her shoulder with it.”) and KoC (Ali, ch. 36 pg. 545: “There was a blur of bone, the scent of rot and blood overwhelming as they tore into him. Ali screamed as one bit deeply into his already wounded shoulder.”) 
  5. They both have their father’s eyes. CoB (Ali, ch. 4 pg. 64: “All he’d inherited from his father was his dark steel eyes.”) and KoC (Nahri, ch. 40 pg. 592: [Manizheh:] “Marid curse be damned– you still have his eyes.”)
  6. Both have a monsterous family member that will kill innocents to reach their goals. KoC (Nahri, ch. 19 pg. 320: [Dara:] ‘These are innocents. Children. Travelers coming to celebrate Navasatem…’ […] ‘Then we will be monsters.’ Manizheh declared. ‘I will pay that price to end this war.’” and Ali, ch. 25 pg. 410: “He knew his father had done some awful things, but sinking a ship full of fleeing child refugees was pure evil. It didn’t matter who Ghassan had been hunting.”)

Skills/interests

  1. Talks a lot about the things that interest them. CoB (Ali, ch. 20 pg. 358: “He’d answer, she knew; he answered all her questions. By God, sometimes he talked so much it could be difficult to get him to stop.”) and KoC (Nahri, ch. 6 pg. 109: [Muntadhir:] “You, who barely stops talking about your work in the infirmary, discovered your ancestors’ old hospital and a group of freed ifrit slaves, and your only comment is ‘It was interesting’?”) 
  2. Strongly deny facts they don’t want to face. KoC (Nahri, ch. 9 pg. 178: [regarding Dara] “He wouldn’t have started a war. I wouldn’t have let him.” and Ali, ch. 9 pg. 179: [Nahri:] “’They changed you, didn’t they? The marid?’ Ali went cold. ‘No,’ he insisted, to himself as much as to her. ‘They did nothing.’”) 

That’s all for now! Can’t wait to see what new parallels and callbacks exist in The Empire of Gold.

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