Published: June 30, 2020
Series: The Daevabad Trilogy #3
Pages: 766 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.5/5.0
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
“No series since George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire has quite captured both palace intrigue and the way that tribal infighting and war hurt the vulnerable the most.” —Paste Magazine
The final chapter in the bestselling, critically acclaimed Daevabad Trilogy, in which a con-woman and an idealistic djinn prince join forces to save a magical kingdom from a devastating civil war.
Daevabad has fallen.
After a brutal conquest stripped the city of its magic, Nahid leader Banu Manizheh and her resurrected commander, Dara, must try to repair their fraying alliance and stabilize a fractious, warring people.
But the bloodletting and loss of his beloved Nahri have unleashed the worst demons of Dara’s dark past. To vanquish them, he must face some ugly truths about his history and put himself at the mercy of those he once considered enemies.
Having narrowly escaped their murderous families and Daevabad’s deadly politics, Nahri and Ali, now safe in Cairo, face difficult choices of their own. 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. Ali, too, cannot help but look back, and is determined to return to rescue his city and the family that remains. Seeking support in his mother’s homeland, he discovers that his connection to the marid goes far deeper than expected and threatens not only his relationship with Nahri, but his very faith.
As peace grows more elusive and old players return, Nahri, Ali, and Dara come to understand that in order to remake the world, they may need to fight those they once loved . . . and take a stand for those they once hurt.
At last! The conclusion! I’ve been greatly looking forward to Empire of Gold since the previous book ended on such a wild cliff hanger. I mean, really – Daevabad’s fate was looking pretty bad, Nahri and Ali had just jumped into the cursed lake, and there were a few other important characters whose fates were questionable. Finally, my fears were laid to rest (or horribly, awfully confirmed).
The longer I sit here and think about what to write about this, the less I feel like I need to go into great detail because I’ve mentioned so many of the same things I want to say about this in my reviews for the first two books. Obviously I love the characters. It’s been wonderful to follow the growth and detailing of each character. Not all the growth, or perhaps I should say change, was for the better. Dara spiraled out of control and went from a character you sort of loved to one I pitied. His is nothing but a tale of tragedy.
One of my favorite parts about this book was that we get to see even more of the broader Daeva world. Like Ali’s banishment in the previous book, certain events take us to new lands, where we meet new characters and have the most divine scenery described. For all you folks that think pretty scenery is just alright, there’s plenty of action too! This book is all about defeating Manizheh and retaking Daevabad from her clutches and obviously that’s going to take some force. Plenty of battle scenes for all you action-hungry readers!
Overall, this was a fantastic ending to a trilogy that quickly became a favorite from the first few pages. I do think there was a lot of dithering around in this installment and the pace definitely slowed down in some parts. I found myself wishing they would just hurry up and get to Daevabad and start swinging some swords or magic or something, but I liked how things played out and realize that sometimes I’m just impatient. Slow can be good. It can mean time to digest events and well, enjoy some of the new scenery.