Book Recommendations, Friday Favourites

Friday Favourites – Bookish Siblings

So I haven’t really been posting regularly lately but I’m trying to get back into it so here’s a Friday Favourite post for you all!

This week, I’m sharing my favourite siblings!

The Qahtani Siblings from The City of Brass

The Kaul Siblings from Jade City

Nasir & Altair from We Hunt the Flame

The Kane Siblings from The Kane Chronicles

The Alif sisters from The Candle and the Flame

I love these siblings so much and their dynamics! I highly recommend reading all of these books! Tell me who your favourite siblings are!

The Daevabad Trilogy

My Daevabad Playlist Of Acapella Covers

I don’t know if anyone even wants this but you’re going to get it. This is a playlist of acapella covers that I love that give me Daevabad vibes. I will share each song and who it reminds me of. I hope you enjoy!

Roar

Zaynab’s song because we see her go from Princess to resistance leader and I loved that she was able to keep everything going when Muntadhir was imprisoned and Ali wasn’t in Daevabad.

You Belong With Me

My Jamshid to Muntadhir song. Watching Muntadhir with Khanzada but he knows they belong together.

Who Knew

Duriya and Rustam’s song. Suffer with me! Duriya raising Nahri by herself and thinking about Rustam and everything they could have had.

Show Yourself

Obviously Nahri’s Empire of Gold song.

What A Man Gotta Do

Ali to Nahri because he’s absolutely smitten

At the Beginning

My Nahli song because they are starting a new beginning together

I See the Light

My other Nahli song because well just listen to the lyrics okay

Poor Unfortunate Soul/I Put A Spell on You

Manizheh trying to convince everyone she’s the good guy and also her “relationship” with Dara

Part of Your World

I mean this is Ali’s anthem, all he wants is to geek out in the human world just like Ariel.

Go the Distance/Journey to the Past

This is Ali and Nahri in the City of Brass at the beginning of their respective journeys.

I’ll Make A Man Out of You

Okay but this Dara training his archers and hyping them up

Friend Like Me

This is Lubayd and Ali! I loved how much Lubayd protected and supported Ali.

I Won’t Say I’m In Love/Kiss the Girl

This is Ali and Nahri’s internal monologue throughout Empire of Gold.

Be Prepared

This is Manizheh planning her invasion of Daevabad.

Everybody Wants To Be A Cat

This is Mishmish’s anthem. Admit you know it is.

Let me know any songs you relate to specific characters or books!

Muslim Shelf Space, The Daevabad Trilogy

Why Alizayd al-Qahtani from The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty Means So Much To Me – Part 2

Do I need to tell any of you why Ali means so much to me? He has wormed his way into my heart and made himself at home. I have never loved a character as much as I love him and honestly I will never truly be able to express it properly no matter how many essays I write.

I know I have previously written an essay which you can read here but you know what here is another one because I have now read The Empire of Gold and the extra scenes Shannon included on her website and I now have a lot more to say.

Alizayd grows so much throughout the trilogy. From a young age he is motivated to help the poor and oppressed because one of the core beliefs in Islam is social justice. He may not always do it in the best way but that is what makes him fight against even his own family to do what is right. It’s one of the things I love most about him. Every time he fought for justice my heart swelled with love for him. In The City of Brass he is more idealistic but by the time we see him in The Empire of Gold, he has grown wiser and while still idealistic he is also more realistic in what he can achieve and what can be accomplished and it was incredible to see how he told Nahri that this may be something that they don’t even get to see the fruits of but they still need to build a city that is just to all.

One of my favourite scenes is his very first chapter where we see him wake up to find himself in the apothecary and realise all that he has lost and that he cannot help anyone at that moment. The despair he feels was so raw and it left me a mess. This was one of the lowest points for him and in his moment of need and despair he turned to Allah to ask Him for help and guidance. He sat in prayer all day in prostration to Allah turning to the only one who can help him with everything he is feeling. This is a scene that means so much to me. A scene where I truly related and saw myself and how I felt in some of my most difficult times in life. Shannon wrote it beautifully and it left me in tears to see this in a fantasy book. The type of rep I had been too scared to even hope to see in books.

When he is in Egypt we see him completely fall in love with being able to experience the human world like he’s always wanted to and that wonder and excitement was contagious. I really loved seeing him nerd out and completely lose it over toy chickens because when we see characters who are devout, they are often shown in their stereotypes of broody, strict and not really having a personality beyond being the haram police and so to see him be fully fleshed and complex and that he is your average guy even though he is doing his best to practice his religion. It humanised him and even though we shouldn’t have to bear the burden of that it was truly wonderful to see how much he loved seeing everything and his giddy excitement.

Another of my favourite scenes in The Empire of Gold is when he is in Ta Nytry and Hatset tells him to establish himself as king there instead of going to fight Manizheh. He tells them that this isn’t the answer. They need to help those trapped in Daevabad and that him being king isn’t right. There needs to be a democracy where everyone’s voice is heard. That Islam stands for justice and we need to stand up for what is right and be a witness to this. They cannot stand by and watch people being murdered and enslaved.

In this book we see him and Nahri also having to navigate their growing feelings for each other and I know that people have mixed feelings but I personally really loved seeing him try to navigate this as it felt real. Muslims aren’t perfect and so to see a “perfect” Muslim character wouldn’t really work in this trilogy. We see him battle his desires and his conviction to his faith and what we are all taught when it comes to relationships. That a relationship outside of marriage isn’t allowed. This was something that he tries his best to adhere to, we see him literally fight himself when he starts thinking about Nahri and reminding himself that he cannot do anything.

We see him kiss Nahri in a moment of utter despair and longing and neither of them knowing whether they will survive after this. And then he realises that he cannot do this and stops himself and it felt so realistic. We have feelings, we have emotions and you know what we will make mistakes, we will slip and I actually liked seeing that he slipped but that he stops himself and draws a line saying to Nahri that this cannot happen again. And we see that he doesn’t cross that line again. I feel like a lot people can relate to this moment and how easy it can be to give in to those feelings even for a moment.

He spends a lot of this book learning about his own family history and coming to terms with realising that those he looked up to may not be as incredible as he thought they were and that there is a lot in this world he still does not know and it made him a better person and leader. He doesn’t make as many rash decisions like he used to and thinks about the consequences and how it can affect others. I just loved seeing him grow into an incredible leader and pillar of the community.

Later in the book he also leads prayer and again finds solace and comfort in praying and turning to Allah for help. We see how he stays there talking to everyone and making sure everyone is heard and tries to help as many as he can while he is in Ta Nytry. It shows how much he has grown instead of doing what he thinks is the right way to help the people he listens to them and what they want.

The scene when he goes to meet Tiamat and the other marid and he realises he may die here but he won’t go down without a fight and will do whatever he can to protect all those he loves. I feel like this was such a pivotal moment for him. When he realises the price of being able to save his loved ones and Daevabad is to give up the thing that he loves, his jinn magic, his fire magic, and he will even lose the one connection he shared with his father, his grey eyes, I truly felt for him and it shows what a huge sacrifice it is for him to have to give this all up. But he does it, he does it because his love for Daevabad and his family and friends is more than how much he cherishes his magic. He knows that this may make him an outsider to his own people but he still does it. It made me love him even more.

It’s safe to say that I have never loved a character more than I love Alizayd and honestly I have no idea how to move on from these books because of him. His character arc was incredible and I loved seeing all the small details from him being a total nerd, completely hopeless when trying to talk to girls and how he hold on to his faith throughout everything. His activism in fighting for social justice and his strong moral character and just doing whatever it took to save his people even sacrificing his jinn magic made me fall in love with him again and again.

It also helps that he is…well formed and endearing. I will leave you with one of my favourite Alizayd quotes:

Our faith prioritises justice. It tells us to stand for justice no matter what. We are to be a community that calls for what is right, that stands as a witness.

Please everyone go read this incredible trilogy!

Book Recommendations, Booksish Discussions

Books with Healers

This weeks prompt for The Empire of Gold readalong and photo challenge is to share books with healers! So here are some of my favourite books with healers/doctors.

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – Of course we have to talk about Nahri and the family of healers she comes from. Magical abilities to not only heal themselves but also others serves Nahri really well on several occasions throughout the trilogy. My review is here

The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan – How could I not mention the Greek God Apollo, or as he is better known as, Lester. While his healing abilities are somewhat restricted in this series his kids are of course the Camps best healers, including Will.

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes – Pink who is one of Eva’s closest friends and the doctor on the ship. She ensures that everyone survives the dangerous missions they have to go on throughout the book.

Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavours by Sonali Dev – Trisha who is our Elizabeth in the story, is a genius neurosurgeon in this story. She takes great pride in her ability to help people.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – Laia is taught by her pops to heal wounds and be a midwife for women in labour. She is able to use these skills many times in the story.

What books have you read with healers?

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