The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

Author:S. A. Chakraborty
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 2017-11-14T05:00:00+00:00

“The fabric is too thick,” Nahri complained. She sat back, letting the curtain go with a frustrated sigh. “I can’t see anything.” As she spoke, the palanquin that had been brought for them lurched forward and back, settling at an awkward angle that nearly spilled her into Dara’s lap.

“We are ascending the hill that leads to the palace,” Dara said, his voice low. He rolled his dagger in his hands and stared at the iron blade, his eyes flashing.

“Will you put that thing away? There are dozens of armed soldiers about—what are you going to do with that?”

“I’m being delivered to my enemy in a floral box,” Dara replied and flicked the chintzy curtains with the dagger. “I might as well be armed.”

“Did you not say dealing with the djinn was preferable to being drowned by river demons?”

He threw her a dark look and continued to twirl the knife. “To see a Daeva man dressed like them . . . serving that usurper—”

“He’s not a usurper, Dara. And Jamshid saved your life.”

“He did not save me,” Dara replied, looking offended at the suggestion. “He prevented me from permanently silencing that wretched man.”

Nahri let out an exasperated noise. “And murdering one of the king’s subjects on our first day in Daevabad would help us how?” she asked. “We’re here to make peace with these people, and find safe haven from the ifrit, remember?”

Dara rolled his eyes. “Fine,” he sighed, toying with the dagger again. “But truthfully, I did not mean to do that with the shedu.”

“The what?”

“The shedu—the winged lions. I wanted them to simply block the gate, but . . .” He frowned, looking troubled. “Nahri, I’ve felt . . . strange since we entered the city. Almost like—” The carriage lurched to a stop, and Dara shut his mouth. The curtains were yanked open to reveal a still nervous-looking Jamshid e-Pramukh.

Nahri ducked out of the litter, awed by the sight before her. “Is that the palace?”

It had to be; she could scarcely imagine what other building could be so enormous. Sitting heavy on a stony hill above the city, Daevabad’s palace was a massive edifice of marble so big it blocked part of the sky. It wasn’t particularly pretty, its main building a simple six-level ziggurat that stretched into the sky. But she could see the outline of two delicate minarets and a gleaming golden dome tucked behind the marble wall, hinting at more grandeur beyond.

A pair of golden doors were set in the palace walls, lit up by blazing torches. No . . . not torches, two more of the winged lions—shedu, Dara called them—their brass mouths filled with fire. Their wings were poised stiffly over their shoulders, and Nahri suddenly recognized them. The tattooed wing on Dara’s cheek, crossed with the arrow. His Afshin symbol, the mark of service to the once royal Nahid family.

My family. Nahri shivered though the breeze was gentle.

As they passed the torches, Dara suddenly leaned close to whisper in her ear. “Nahri, it may be best if you remain .



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