Blog Tours/Street Teams, The Daevabad Trilogy

Parallels Between Ali & Nahri in The City of Brass (Guest Post)

Today for the World of Daevabad Blog Tour I have a guest post by Jade! She is going to be discussing the parallels between Ali and Nahri in The City of Brass. Enjoy!

Nahri Fanart by Jade

During my rereads of the Daevabad Trilogy, I’ve noticed something curious about the two main protagonists, Nahri and Prince Alizayd. While they are definitely their own characters with their own arcs, they also share a surprising amount of similarities and parallels, even down to the language used. 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. However because of the length, I am splitting this into two posts, to cover each book. I’ve further 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! 



  1. Believing Daeva (& Nahid) shafit were probably killed as babies. CoB (Ali, ch. 6 pg. 128: “They probably smother them in their cradles.” and Nahri, ch. 7 pg. 143: “I probably would have been killed before my first birthday!”)
  2. Didn’t want to walk to the garden together when they first met. CoB (Nahri, ch. 16 pg. 284: “‘That isn’t necessary,’ she protested. She wasn’t the only one. Alizayd pointed in Dara’s direction, a flurry of Geziriyya coming from his mouth.”) 
  3. Secretly observing the other, but Ali got caught. CoB (Nahri, ch. 16 pg. 285: “He glanced over, probably in the hope of studying her in a similar fashion, but their eyes caught, and he quickly looked away.”) 
  4. Considering the other person odd. CoB (Nahri, ch. 18 pg. 333: “What an odd person.” and Ali, ch. 25 pg. 443: “She was odd, to be sure.”)
  5. Becoming friends as part of an agenda, and then falling for it. CoB (Ali, ch. 26 pg. 468: “I was their primary benefactor. My father found out and ordered me to befriend you and convince you to marry my brother as penance.” and Nahri, ch. 18 pg. 336: “And Nahri wanted to know what was in his books, especially if the information was damaging to Dara. If making this awkward boy her tutor was the best way to protect herself and her Afshin, then by all means. Besides . . . she did want to learn how to read.”) 
  6. Taking note of the other’s laugh, use of the word warm. CoB (Nahri, ch. 20 pg. 355: “Ali laughed, a warm sound she rarely heard that always took her a bit by surprise.” and Ali, ch. 23 pg. 405: “Nahri laughed. It was the first time he’d heard her laugh in days, and the sound warmed his heart.”) 
  7. Liking the other’s intelligence and curiousity. CoB (Ali, ch. 23 pg. 407: “He was enjoying his time with Nahri, he couldn’t help it. She was as intellectually curious as he was, and her life in the human world made for fascinating conversation.”) and KoC (Nahri, ch. 10 pg. 182: “She’d liked spending time with someone who shared her intellect and her curiosity, with someone who didn’t make her feel self-conscious about her ignorance of the magical world or her human skin.”)
  8. Viewing their time together as a light. CoB (Nahri, ch. 20 pg. 358: “…and strangely enough, she was beginning to enjoy their afternoons together, the one bright spot in her monotonous, frustrating days.” and Ali, ch. 26 pg. 468: “It’s been a dark few months. My time with you . . . it was a light.”) 
  9. Comparing Dara to a statue. CoB (Ali, ch. 19 pg. 345: “The power behind the Afshin’s blows made it feel like sparring with a statue.” and Nahri, ch. 26 pg. 462: “She grabbed Dara’s arm and tried to wrest him off, but it was like fighting a statue.”) 
  10. Stepping in front of the other when faced with a threat. CoB (Nahri, ch. 26 pg. 465: “The Afshin swore and turned around. Nahri swiftly stepped between them. ‘Leave him alone.'” and Ali, ch. 26 pg. 472: “Ali immediately stepped in front of her. ‘She’s as innocent as I am, Dhiru.’”) They also do this with Rashid (CoB) and Manizheh (KoC). 

Life Circumstances

  1. At risk of being killed as a baby because of who they were. CoB (Nahri, ch. 7 pg. 143: “‘Nahri, you didn’t grow up in my world. You can’t understand.’ ‘Thank God I didn’t! I probably would have been killed before my first birthday!’ Dara said nothing, his silence more revealing than any denial.” and Ali, ch. 29 pg. 501: [Ghassan:] “A second son with a powerful mother from a wealthy tribe. […] Within a day of your birth, I had two assassins from Am Gezira present themselves at court. Skilled men, the best at what they did, offering discreet ways to end my dilemma.”) 
  2. Their main friend before meeting each other was an old man. CoB (Nahri, ch. 1 pg. 13: [with Yaqub] “She didn’t need to scare off her only friend simply because she had a few strange skills.” and Ali, ch. 6 pg. 130: [after Sheikh Anas’ execution] “He’d just witnessed the brutal death of his closest friend.”) 
  3. Having people close to them decry their friendship for tribal reasons. CoB (Nahri, ch. 20 pg. 361: [Dara:] “Alizayd al Qahtani? Really Nahri? Could you not find an ifrit to befriend?” and [Nisreen, ch. 24 pg. 426:] “you spend all your free time with that Qahtani zealot… Nahri, our tribe doesn’t think lightly of disloyalty; we’ve suffered too much at the hands of our enemies.” and Ali, ch. 21 pg. 381: [Rashid:] “You don’t take friends from among the fire worshippers, Alizayd. That’s how they trick you.”)
  4. They both survived something tearing into their throat before their world was irrevocably changed. CoB (Nahri, ch. 2 pg. 38: “Something popped in her elbow, but the pain barely registered. Because at the same time, it tore into her throat.” and Ali, ch. 26 pg. 476: “The young prince hit the wet deck hard and slid to the boat’s edge. He scrambled to his feet. ‘Munta–’ Dara shot him through the throat.”) 
  5. Connection to the marid. CoB (Nahri, ch. 11 pg. 203: [Sakhr:] “’Astonishing really, I give the marid their due. At first glance, you’re completely human, but look past that and . . .’ He stepped closer to study her face. ‘There’s the daeva.’” and Ali, ch. 28 pg. 495: “A marid. He stared at his dripping hands as nausea swept over him. I gave my name and let some water demon use my body like a shiny new blade to murder the Afshin.”) 
  6. They were saved by a monster. KoC (Nahri, ch. 10 pg. 188: [Muntadhir:] “And because for all her supposed cleverness, she couldn’t see that the dashing hero who saved her was actually its monster.” and Ali, ch. 11 pg. 209 : “The marid were a terror in Ta Ntry, monsters to be feared. Monsters who had saved him.”


  1. Knows how to open a locked door. CoB (Nahri, ch. 2 pg 35: “‘It’s locked,’ she said. ‘Give me one of your daggers, I’ll pick it.’” and Ali, ch. 4 pg. 75: “Fortunately, Ali was Citadel trained– and the Daevas were troublemakers enough that breaking through the enchantments they used to guard their homes and businesses was a skill taught to the youngest cadets. He closed his eyes, murmuring the first incantation that came to mind. The door swung open.”) 
  2. They both enjoy being in the water. CoB (Nahri, ch. 2 pg. 48: “The press of the cool water was like the touch of a friend.” and Ali, ch. 25 pg. 442: “He liked it, even if most djinn –especially his father’s people– looked upon swimming with utter revulsion.”) 
  3. An interest in reading, economics, Egypt. CoB  Reading: (Nahri, ch. 18 pg. 334: “She ran a hand along the multihued spines, overtaken by a sense of longing. ‘Do you like to read?’ Alizayd asked. Nahri hesitated, embarrassed to admit her illiteracy to a man with such a large personal library. ‘I suppose you could say I like the idea of reading.’”) Economics: (Nahri, ch. 18 pg. 335: “’I would like to know how people run businesses in Daevabad, how they make money, negotiate with each other, that sort of thing.’ […] Something seemed to perk up in his face. ‘Economics, then . . .’ He sounded strangely excited.”) and Egypt: (Ali, ch. 18 pg. 336: “I must admit an obsession with the human world. […] Particularly your corner of it. I’ve never met anyone from Egypt. I’d love to learn more about it, hear your stories, and perhaps even improve my own Arabic.”) 

Next time: Kingdom of Copper! 

Make sure to go follow Jade on her social media! (She has created some excellent fanart of the books too)

Twitter: @leafyjade

Instagram: @leafyjade

Tumblr: Musogato

Book Reviews, Books by Muslim Authors, Diverse Books, Middle Grade Books, Muslim Shelf Space

The Hour of the Oryx by Farah Zaman – ARC Review

Thank you to the author for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

The title of this book sounded really intriguing and I loved seeing young Muslim characters in a mystery type book.


Rating: 4/5


It all began with a mysterious book. One day it was found and by night it was gone. Who stole it and why? A trail of blood is the only clue left behind.
Adam Horani, his sister Layla and their friends Zaid and Zahra, are frequent visitors at the Dar-as-Sakinah Orphanage. When they set out to investigate a shocking murder, the teenagers soon realize there’s more to the mystery than meets the eye. From the disturbing sketch of a mute boy to the chilling discovery in the underground vaults, they’re stunned at the villainy coming to light.
Determined to see that justice is served, the teenagers leave no stone unturned in their search for the truth. As the forces of evil cooks up a macabre plot, a deadly clash looms on the horizon. Will the young sleuths emerge victorious? Or are they on a collision course with disaster?
The Hour of the Oryx is the exciting third book in The Moon of Masarrah Series.

This is the third book in a series called The Moon of Masarrah however each book can be read as a standalone too. I hadn’t read the first two books when I started this and everything still made sense to me.

One of the first things I thought when I started this book was that it reminded me of the Famous Five and Secret Seven books by Enid Blyton and they were some of my favourite childhood books so I knew I would love this book too! Of course this is set in the present and is much more diverse with the main characters all being young Muslim teens.

I loved how Farah wrote the Muslim characters and wove their faith into the story and it was just…normal…the main focus of the story is the mystery they are solving but the references to Islam were wonderful to see. The teens would say lets meet up after praying, for example, just casual as if it’s the norm and my heart felt it would burst with joy! Imagine I had been able to see that in the famous five type books I loved as a kid?!

The mystery that the teens were solving was really interesting. It involved black magic and jinns and folklore which also meant it was quite dark at times too. In fact the story starts with a murder, which is what the group of friends end up deciding to solve. They meet some really great characters who help them solve the mystery. I really loved seeing how different each of the characters were yet they were all accepted and no one judged them for their weaknesses.

I loved seeing young characters who were comfortable in their faith and there was no tension of being judgemental towards each other. They were kind and compassionate and wanted to help the friends they made at the orphanage. They stood up to bullies and they even helped with the daily activities without protest from cleaning to cooking and generally helping out at the orphanage.

Each of the people they suspected was also in a position of power so it was interesting how they had to navigate around all of that and also that they couldn’t trust any of the adults. They each had their own secrets and to solve the murder they had to find out each of their secrets.

The setting was also really interesting as it was set in orphanage where children from war torn countries were living so we also get a glimpse into what it is like for those children who are often forgotten. We see how their trauma affects them and that they each react and deal with it differently. One of the young boys they meet hasn’t spoken since he was sent to the orphanage and he communicates with hand gestures and his art. A lot of important discussions around refugees and the trauma of these children was included in the book but it was never too heavy yet still heart breaking to read.

If you like mysteries and want to read something more diverse than things like famous five or Nancy Drew then I highly recommend this series. It’s fun and spooky and it will keep you hooked until the very end!

Book Recommendations, Muslim Shelf Space, The Daevabad Trilogy

Why You Should All Read The Daevabad Trilogy By S.A. Chakraborty

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.

I highly recommend reading these books and if you want to read my reviews you can The City of Brass one here and The Kingdom of Copper one here.

Let me know if you read the books and why you love them

Booksish Discussions

World Mental Health Day – Self Care Tips

Today is World Mental Health Day and although speaking about mental health should be done regularly I am glad that we can use this day to highlight how important mental health is.

On this post I want to discuss some tips for self-care. It’s something I am incredibly bad at but I am working on that and so I thought that I would share some things that I will try my best to do and hopefully encourage all of you too!

But first, what is self-care? I know it’s taken me a long time to figure out what self-care actually is but what I’ve worked it out to be is the acts of caring for yourself both inside and out. I also think that creating boundaries so that you are not exerting yourself to the point of you burning out. And that self-care can be different for each person depending on what works for them. It can also vary depending on any other health conditions you have, I suffer from chronic pain due to 3 prolapsed discs and it has a big impact on my mental health.

So here are some things that I do and some that I’ve been recommended to try

1 Daily maintenance – brushing your hair, washing your face and getting changed out of your pyjamas may seem like something small but I find it really helps.

2 Go for a walk – especially when the weather is good I like to go out even for a short while. Fresh air and just getting out of the house can be really helpful

3 Exercise – I have a love hate relationship with exercise. I grew up playing netball but I just can’t cope with that level of sport anymore but I still do stretches and exercise at home. Exercise releases serotonin and helps keep my pain in control which helps improve my mental health

4 For me reading is my ultimate way to take a step back from the world. Making a cup of tea, lighting a candle and grabbing my blanket as I curl up on the sofa is one of my favourite ways to help me relax

5 Aside from reading there’s lots of other ways in which you can relax from colouring, drawing, painting, journaling any hobby that helps you relax

6 Meditation or relaxation exercises – there’s lots of different relaxation exercises you can try to find one that works for you or doing some deep breathing exercises which I find very effective in helping me stop a panic attack before it fully starts.

7 Mindfulness – this is something I first heard about last year during my counselling sessions and there’s lots of ways to practice mindfulness which I find really helpful

8 Spending time with my cat, Sherlock, who just knows when I need to be comforted and will come and lie down with me. Petting and cuddling is just so therapeutic! My panic attacks have gotten significantly less since adopting him

9 A relaxing bath or shower – when my depression is bad convincing myself to shower is incredibly hard but once I do I feel so much better. I know some people find baths very relaxing, add a bath bomb and light some candles and you can sit and read or listen to something

10 Take a step back from social media – although it’s a great way to connect with each other, it’s also something that can cause a lot of stress. I find not going on my social media so much or limiting my time on there helps to improve my mental health

So here my top tips! There’s lots more ways to practice self-care but I didn’t want the post to get overwhelming. If there’s anything you do to practice self-care then do let me know in the comments!

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday – Back to School/Learning Freebie

Hey booknerds! I’m taking part in another week of Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. You can find more information here

This weeks topic is back to school/learning freebie

So I decided to share my favourite non-fiction books. I love reading a wide range of non-fiction books and I don’t share it as much so I thought this would be a great opportunity to do that.

So here is my list:

1 Wonder women by Sam Maggs – I love reading about all the amazing women throughout history!

2 We should all be feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – she is amazing and I love her books! Definitely worth reading.

3 It’s all in your head by Rae Earl – this book is about mental health and especially written for teens/young adults and I found it so helpful

4 I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai – I haven’t had the chance to read this one yet but anyone who stands up for the right to be able to get an education is worth reading

5 When the moon split by Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri – my absolute fave biography of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as it is easy to read and understand.

6 This book will help you change the world by Sue Turton – another book high up on my TBR but just by that title I have high hopes for it!

7 The self care project by Jayne Hardy – I’ve read parts of this book and I loved what I read! Self-care is so important but something we often neglect

8 Notes on a nervous planet by Matt Haig – I loved Matt Haig’s other book so I am really looking forward to reading this one

9 The productive Muslim by Muhammad Faris – this book is specially written for Muslims as it also covers an aspect that is not found in other books to help with productivity – spirituality

10 Reclaim your heart by Yasmin Mogahed – one of my all time favourite books which has gotten me through many difficult times and I highly recommend reading it

So these are my recommendations for non-fiction books!

Have you read any of these? What non-fiction books would you recommend?