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.
That made it worse, this passing of a barbed baton between women who, no matter how clever, how powerful, would always be known by the men to whom they were attached.
The Empire of Gold was everything I wanted it to be, and more. The emotional catharsis after three epic novels of buildup was incredible. I’ve left some time between finishing the book and reviewing it because so much happened within these pages and I’m still trying to reconcile myself with this series being over.
From the first chapter, this book is off and running. There’s no slow build here, something is always happening right from the beginning. Plans are made and roadblocks appear and new plans are made. Then something else pops up requiring a detour which leads to more problems. So many times it felt like they were facing insurmountable problems and then a risky solution appears, only to lead to something even worse. It’s good these characters had two novels to develop grit and an ability to overcome obstacles because they needed every bit of strength to get through this one.
The ambitious nature of this series is awe-inspiring. With the character development, the worldbuilding, the creation of myth and legend and magic and an entire history of warring magical species, I can’t even imagine the number of notes and research and planning that went into writing this trilogy. And for it to end so seamlessly, in absolute perfection, seems impossible.
I’m doing everything I can to write this without giving anything away because I don’t want to spoil the magic and fantasy found within The Empire of Gold. All I can do is highly recommend this series, and if you’ve made it through to this book, definitely do not stop now.
I do not believe ambitious men who say the only route to peace and prosperity lies in giving them more power - particularly when they do it with lands and people who are not theirs.