Book Review: The Empire of Gold

Most avid readers know the feeling of waiting for the final book in a series to be released. That is exactly what I have been doing with S. A. Chakraborty’s latest novel The Empire of Gold.

After jumping into the lake, Nahri and Ali find themselves in Cairo, Egypt. Their magic is not working and Ali is near death after fighting against Nahri’s mother in the last book. Nahri finds her old mentor and friend and stays there while recovering. She is finally back in Egypt, her first home and isn’t sure whether to ho back to Daevabad.

As Nahri and Ali are recovering, Nahri’s mother Banu Manizheh is trying to assert her control over Daevebad. It is not going as planned and she resorts to violence to make her enemies bow to her. Dara once again has to kill people for the “greater good” and is caught once again in the cycle of following his leader’s orders no matter how cruel they seem.

It is up to Nahri and Ali to return to Daevabad and restore magic to all the djinns. If that wasn’t daunting enough, Nahri also has to stop her mother from destroying her second home and killing her people. She is not alone however and with Ali’s help, she must restore peace and finally end the vicious cycle of war and violence and and for all.

The conclusion to the Daevabad Trilogy was enjoyable. It was however very violent. It seemed like once Banu Manizheh finally was on throne, she didn’t have much of a plan. Which was odd considering she has been planning this since forever. She was a great villain until she lost her motivation.

Besides the villain problem, there were some other issues for me. The book had a lot going on and while it was interesting reading it all, it seemed the wrong time. Either there should have been a prequel where some of the revelations should have been made. Or the second book to be honest. Ali should have faced some of the topics in the book in the second book instead of making the third book go in many directions at once.

There is an all-out war for Daevabad and Ali has to go on a mission about his heritage. Not the best time. Chakraborty set it up so Ali had no choice but it felt out of place.

Lastly, the revelations near the end and at the end were kind of poorly timed. There was too much revelations and they were all clogged together. As a reader, we want them to feel organic and well-paced. It felt like Chakraborty was saying the book is over and threw all the revelations at us because we reached the end.

I still enjoyed the book and I will admit, while I was disappointed with the slow start of the book, it picked up. it’s hard to worry about peaceful Egypt when there is a war happening that has been paused. The pacing was off here and there. I would still recommend it and liked the book and would say it was a decent ending for the trilogy.

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