Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty
This the perfect end to an enchanting series. In this final installment to the Daevabad Trilogy, we alternate between Nahri, Ali, and Dara’s viewpoints as they each confront personal demons and work to save their beloved city and the lives of everyone they love. Nahri and Ali plot their return to save Daevabad from Manizheh’s rule, while Dara works with Manizheh to capture the city and gain the support of the people. Each character fervently believes they are fighting for what is right, but who will history remember as a savior, and who will be remembered as a monster?
Throughout the Daevabad trilogy, I have been so impressed with Chakraborty’s world building, and this final book went far beyond my expectations. We got to learn each character’s history, see a gorgeous and often ruthless underwater world, and travel to magical lands. This book is long, but there are no words wasted. Every single sentence poignantly builds the world and characters, which adds an extra layer of emotion to the conclusion.
I have seen criticisms from other readers about the pacing of these novels, and I feel Empire of Gold is faster-paced than the previous books. The stakes are high and you can feel the tension and fear as the book races towards the final confrontation. At the same time, I really appreciate the quiet, intimate moments in which we see the characters interacting or reflection on their journeys. These glimpses of the mundane really show how much the characters have endured while still keeping their humanity and hope.
I do feel that some of the plot points tied up a little too conveniently, but overall I am so happy with this conclusion. This novel is dramatic, lyrical, emotional, and entirely imaginative. I wish I could live in this world forever.
Thanks to HarperCollins and Net Galley for providing me an ARC of this title.