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The Empire of Gold: 3 (Daevabad Trilogy)

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As an end to a series, the conclusion was satisfying, though it took a lot longer than it probably needed to get there! The book annotations include character and plot insights, historical and cultural references, and other notes. I truly enjoyed seeing Dara and Manizheh struggle with ruling with what they had conquered, and that it didn’t just fall into place and the spiralling effects that came from that. Of course, doing so also means that they have to confront their own pasts, and as readers we also bear witness to the shocking revelations that take place throughout the novel, including the reveal that Nahri is Manizheh’s niece rather than her daughter and that Ali is himself descended from the Nile marid Sobek.

I have never done that before in the history of my reading experience after finishing a book - well maybe only one other time - but certainly not since The Empire of Gold, that’s for sure. As he progresses into the complicated story of his own true identify and grows closer to Nahri, he begins to see the overarching complications of love, interaction, and history. Ali’s tale has been one of slowly loosening up, of learning that the world isn’t black or white but mostly gray. Robert Jackson Bennett’s excellent Divine Cities trilogy all had titles like this, as did the first two books in Chakraborty’s Daevabad trilogy before Empire. Like the rest of the Daevabad books, this is a slow burner until it reaches its climax, when everything moves at fever pitch.I finished The Empire of Gold, the 3rd and final book, in The Daevabad Trilogy… and I might be broken. So much of what happens to him in this book, either makes you want to shake some sense into him, because how can he be blind to Manizheh’s actual goals, or your heart just breaks. If there are is any criticism to be made, it’s that some of the rules of the world feel a little contrived to fit the plot beats. I’d left off at a very emotionally stressful moment towards the end of the book, and I was terrified to find out what was going to happen next.

It’s the best kind of slow burn; their friendship is so strong, and Ali’s conservative reservations so great as Nahri slowly overcomes them. So much anticipation to see how the series turns out, and it was no different with The Empire of Gold, last book of the Daevabad trilogy. People were not considered truly educated until they had done significant traveling, seen a bit of the world.Jang Tae-joo comes from nothing, and his ambition is fuelled after witnessing the misfortunes of his poor hardworking father. That being said, when they are apart, they are growing and learning about themselves so it’s probably good. This book also taught me that I don’t have a favorite POV character because my favorite is whoever finds themselves in Daevabad. Ali offers a look at how a devout person (reflecting Chakraborty’s Islamic faith) might contend with systemic injustice. The final volume presents characters you already love mixed with a bunch of exciting fresh faces, sustains a wicked pace of action throughout, and gives you plenty of reasons to stay up very late reading.

So, they decide to head back to Daevabad but along the way they encounter a very powerful and ancient Marid. By the end of the novel, Nahri and Ali are poised to embark on a romance (we hope), as Dara sets out to recapture the souls of those who have been kidnapped by one of the villainous and bloodthirsty ifrits. While Nahri finds peace in the old rhythms and familiar comforts of her human home, she is haunted by the knowledge that the loved ones she left behind and the people who considered her a savior are at the mercy of a new tyrant. This story, though, is really about Dara and Ali, two men who confront everything that they have grown to believe about themselves and their society and morph, choosing divergent roads into an uncertain future, both carrying much blood on their hands.

I said it in my review of The Kingdom of Copper, if I had to choose between Ghassan and Manizheh, I’d choose Ghassan. Opening line: Behind the battlements of the palace that had always been hers, Banu Manizheh e-Nahid gazed at her family’s city.

Nahri and Ali are recuperating from their battles and recent escape, reconnecting with some old friends and family, including some very unexpected family, and trying to figure out what to do with their lives. Most of the plot I loved, but there is a lot of time where my favourite characters are apart and I wanted more time with them together. When Nahri realizes what has happened to him, why he’s done some of the things he’s done to Daevabad…your heart shatters alongside hers. After their father dies, Tae-joo, along with his mother, raises his little sister Hee-joo on his own, and fights tooth and nail to rise to the top relying on his cunning wits.However, at times, it did feel as though it took the wind out of the sails after the chapters with Dara.

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