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

Why Ali and Nahri From the Daevabad Trilogy Mean So Much To Me

I think it’s a well established fact that I adore The Daevabad Trilogy and I could truly talk about all the different things I love about it. I do, in fact, have a whole section on my blog dedicated to the trilogy, which you can find here. Today I want to talk about specifically why I love Ali and Nahri and why their relationship means so much to me.

As a reader I have of course many ships like all of us do, characters who’s relationships we love because of the way they develop and the angst and the romance so much more. But Ali and Nahri came along and completely took my breath away at just how real and relatable they were to me. I haven’t read another book with a couple quite like there’s and how much of myself and my husband and out relationship I saw in them. I have said it before but one of the reasons why I fell so completely in love with Ali is because he reminds me of my husband in so many ways.

Nahri is someone I saw myself in a lot. She has lived a life where trusting people is difficult, she can only truly rely on herself to get through and I felt that. So opening up and trusting someone is incredibly difficult for her and when she finally does, he breaks her trust so spectacularly that she completely closes herself up to prevent the hurt and betrayal she felt happening again. That hurt and betrayal was so real to me, it takes a long time to overcome and does it ever truly go away? How do you overcome a lifetime of not being able to trust anyone and being hurt again and again.

I also find it hard to trust people and truly I related to Nahri so much in this especially, how she was so hesitant to build anything between her and Ali because she had been hurt so many times. Keeping him at a distance was safer for her heart, she can’t be hurt again if she doesn’t build an attachment to him beyond him. But he was something so wholly unexpected that despite herself she ended up becoming attached anyways. He was the one real friend who accepted her completely and entirely for who she was, human appearance and all. So much so that despite not being able to see him for 5 years her feelings had not diminished in the slightest.

Nahri is a pragmatic person so to have suddenly developed these feelings for someone who could hurt her in so many ways would have been terrifying. Admitting these feelings even more so. When I finally admitted I maybe had some feelings for my now husband I shook so hard and trembled for ages after. I can see why Nahri took so long even admitting these feelings to herself let alone anyone else, especially to Ali. Ali who could hurt and betray her because of who his family is. Ali, who’s family don’t like Nahri for the most part and who’s father uses her for political gain. Admitting to someone like that, that you have feelings for them is no small thing.

Alizayd al Qahtani is a character who I truly thought had leaped out of the pages in the form of my husband. Like Ali he is oblivious when it comes to speaking to women, social skills aren’t his greatest asset and he has no filter when he speaks. He also is someone who tries to follow and practice Islam to the best of his ability while also sometimes having tunnel vision and not always seeing that things aren’t as black and white as he assumes. Younger husband was exactly like Ali when it came to being uncompromising in his beliefs, he has now realised there is more to Islam than just a list of yes and no answers.

When I met my husband my immediate thought was that he is very tall and bless his heart for the sort of almost there beard that he is clearly desperately trying to grow. And then almost 10 years later reading Nahri’s first impression of Ali to be so similar to mine?!

It was however his complete inability to speak to girls that first endeared him to me. How excitedly he would talk about things he loved and how completely flustered he became when a girl did try to flirt with him. It has actually been over 6 years since we’ve been married and he still gets flustered when I, his wife, flirts with him. I love that about him though because when he does say something, I know he isn’t sugar coating or before we were married just trying to sound good. That was just him being him saying exactly what he felt. Can you see how he is so like Ali in so many ways? And why Ali would mean so much to me? He is my husband with pointy ears and water magic!

Oh lets not forget how just like Ali my husband has no clue how to dress up, he is most happy in his thobe and dressing up nice requires outside assistance from his wife. But when he does well lets just say I feel Nahri when she thinks about how well formed Ali is. Ali may not be the best with his words when it comes to expressing how he feels but he does show it through the things he does for Nahri. From getting her favourite Egyptian food made to building her office to look like Cairo and just supporting her in what she does and truly, completely accepting her for who she is. My husband may not know how to express himself but he does it through bringing me tea in bed at the weekends and holding me up so I can walk to the bathroom when my pain is at its worst to the forehead kisses. When we got married the day after the walima I was in tears because I missed my family and he drove me home to see them because he literally cannot see me upset. He is still like this now too.

Their tentative friendship which became something more and that neither of them saw that coming was something so completely relatable. When I met my husband I was not at all in any way interested in meeting a guy, I wanted to get my degree and work on my career as a Physiotherapist and yet Allah had other plans when He sent my husband into the same class as mine and had me sit in front of him in that Monday morning lecture.

We were friends for a while before we realised that maybe there was something more (also friends telling us that we did in fact like each other which we vehemently denied). I was the one who decided to take the risk and say something and we also had to deal with our families who did not like each other when they met and were against us marrying (it took 5 years for us to actually get married after we told our families) and now we have been married for 6 and a half years and have our own little shedu called Sherlock. Seeing Ali and Nahri and reading their journey and how their relationship progressed through the years and how so insanely similar it was to ours probably made me love them even more than I do for any other characters.

I will forever be thankful to Shannon for bringing these characters to life in a way that I made me completely fall in love with them individually and together. Reading about their relationship and the way it grew slowly and hesitantly into something more was so deeply relatable and I saw me and my husband in them in a way that showed me things about us that I hadn’t even realised. From why it was so terrifying to putting my trust in him and more.

And if you haven’t read this trilogy I highly recommend reading it. You can also find more posts about the Daevabad trilogy on my blog here.

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!

Monthly Wrap Up

November 2020 Monthly Wrap Up

My weird book slump is persisting and I am finding it almost impossible to read physical books and I am tired of it, I just want to read my books! However ebooks and audiobooks have been live savers and honestly I would not have read most of these if it wasn’t for audiobooks.

So here’s what I read this month:

The Shadow Glass by Rin Chupeco – The conclusion to this amazing trilogy and I am completely in love with the story and characters.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Aladdin: Far From Agrabah by Aisha Saeed – I loved this book and that we get to see so much more of Aladdin and Jasmine’s relationship develop. My review is here

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller – I really enjoyed this book! It was fun and the audiobook was great to listen to!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty – A reread and I loved it even more this time. My review is here

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Thousand Questions by Saadia Faruqi – I loved this middle grade story of two young girls finding friendship in the most unlikely of places. My review is here

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Brambles by Intisar Khanani – A short story set before the events of Thorn that gave us a lot of insight into why the main character is the way she is.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali – One of my all time favourite books and I buddy reread it with some friends! My review is here

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco – I reread this so I could read the sequel and I loved it even more this time. Highly recommend the audiobook. My review is here

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Curse of Gold by Annie Sullivan – I enjoyed the sequel but not as much as the first book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A Thief Among the Trees by Sabaa Tahir – I liked this graphic novel giving us a glimpse into a young Elias and Helene.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller – This sequel was fun and I liked seeing Alosa and Riden’s relationship develop.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann – A powerful story written in verse discussing topics that are difficult to discuss but really need to be talked about.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ever Cursed by Corey Ann Haydu – The concept was really interesting but the actual story felt a bit flat for me.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

I also shared these blog posts so check them out if you missed them!

Books that deserve more love

My favourite quotes from The Empire of Gold

Non-fiction book recommendations

Audiobooks I loved

Why Alizayd Means so much to me

Sex Matters

Inspiring Muslim Women – Rufaida al Aslamia

I shared my reviews for these books this month:

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong ARC review

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang ARC review

So that’s everything for this wrap up! Share your favourite reads in November with me!

Favourite Book Quotes, Muslim Shelf Space, The Daevabad Trilogy

My Favourite Quotes from The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty

The Empire of Gold readalong is over and I hope everyone who took part enjoyed it! Today I will be sharing my favourite quotes from this book and let me tell you, there was A LOT.

I have also shared my favourite quotes from The City of Brass and The Kingdom of Copper

I loved this book and honestly it has some incredible quotes and scenes and here are some of my favourite:

1 Kan wa ma kan…It was and it wasn’t – This is such a beautiful way to describe the fantasy worlds and even this trilogy.

2 Nahri was a survivor and it was time to get to work. – This is Nahri in a sentence.

3 I do not believe ambitious men who say the only route to peace and prosperity lies in giving them more power – particularly when they do it with lands and people who are not theirs. – Yaqub just stating facts in this book.

4 “Birthmark,” Ali managed, his voice pitched. “Completely natural. Since birth.” – Every single interaction between Ali and Yaqub was pure gold and I wish we had gotten more of it.

5 All Ali wanted to do right now was pray, to cry out to God and beg Him to make this right. – I love how Ali always turns to Allah and asks for His guidance and help.

6 Ali…I thought I made very clear to you I never intended to let you out of my debt. – This was a whole theme in this trilogy and I am here for it. I love them two so much.

7 Not wanting to be destroyed by despair doesn’t make you a coward, Ali. It makes you a survivor. – I think this is something we should all remember especially this year.

8 People are often afraid of what they don’t understand. – This line is very apt considering what is happening all over the world right now.

9 Don’t you sound like quite the revolutionary? People would call me a fanatic of I said that. – My heart felt for Ali who was constantly made out to be an extremist by those wanting to discredit him because they did not want to relinquish power.

10 I think it a mistake to judge the Creator by the misdeeds of mortals – Shannon really voicing all the things I feel in this book about my faith

11 There’s no one else here, my friend. You don’t need to keep up this front. – The fact that Ali and Nahri can only feel truly comfortable and vulnerable with each other and show their true selves is one of my favourite things about their relationship.

12 We die and we bleed and it’s a debt the powerful never repay. – The people always pay for the crimes of the powerful. This book is full of parallels with the real world and it hit me hard.

13 That made it worse, this passing of barbed baton between women who, no matter how clever, how powerful, would always be known y the men to whom they were attached. – This is such a poignant quote and honestly so relatable.

14 I would rather make a mistake than have my choices stripped away – I related to this so much.

15 “Our faith prioritises justice,” Ali argued. 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 witness.” – I was so incredibly proud of Ali here and how no matter what he has gone through he has never compromised on his belief and this is what has pushed him throughout the trilogy.

16 It is not blasphemous to say this world is vast, that much of its history remains shrouded. There are things God set beyond our understanding. – This is something we should all remind ourselves because there is so much we don’t know.

17 It’s me Emir joon just me, no tricks – This scene had me so emotional

18 “May I confess something?” Ali gazed at her in open sorrow. “I never really wanted to be out of your debt” – Not me crying, nope.

There are so many more quotes I highlighted throughout the story but here are some of my favourites. Do share yours!