The Daevebad Trilogy was the best fantasy series I have read in ages. I devoured this. I loved everything from the characters, the setting, the ancient Arabian mythology. The Djinn are rather like Elves in many ways, and I wondered about how the cultures of the Norse Germanic peoples and the people of the Middle East interacted. I know at one point the Middle Easterners sent a representative north and he found the Norse to be incredibly savage … and the Romans had the same impression, but it seems like there was more interaction. It would be nice if the similarities are based on early trading and not the extensive slave trade of the people of the Barbary Coast and the Turks who hunted for “goods” as far away as Iceland, and terrorized the coasts of continental Europe and the British Isles for a long time. The trade was only finally ended in the 1800s. 😛
On that cheerful note … yes, I really liked these books. The books start in Cairo, where our protagonist, orphan Nahri scrapes out a living making divinations and picking pockets. Her divinations have a disturbing accuracy that gets her customers and trouble of the human kind. When she inadvertently summons trouble of the supernatural kind, the story really kicks off. It seems she is the half-human descendent of a lost tribe of djinn … and there are forces that want the tribe to stay “lost.” However, there are also djinn that want her found, and one of them Dara, comes to her rescue.
The world building is magnificent, multi-layered, and complex, so I’m not really going to describe it here. I can’t do it justice. But let’s just say, Nahri winds herself plucked from the frying pan right into the fire. Highly recommended. Definitely start with the first book, The City of Brass. This series must be read in order.