The River of Silver

Cover image for The River of Silver by S.A. Chakraborty

by S. A. Chakraborty

ISBN 9780063093737 

Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of this title from the publisher.  

“This place, this palace, it eats people up from the inside. It takes everything that is kind and gentle in your heart and it turns it to stone.” 

S.A. Chakraborty returns to her popular series, with a collection of short stories from the world of the Daevabad Trilogy. The River of Silver is less a collection of stand-alone tales and more deleted or expanded scenes, alternative epilogues, and other such material that gets left on the cutting room floor of a large series. In that sense, it is a book for established fans of the series and would not make a good entry point for new readers. Chakraborty has arranged the material chronologically, and each story includes a brief introduction that contextualizes its place in the series, and notes which of the books it contains spoilers for.  

What I was hoping most for from this expanded peek into this world was an expansion on Jamshid and Muntadhir’s relationship, which was significant to the series, but took a bit of a backseat to Ali and Nahri’s (and of course all the many political machinations). Chakraborty did not disappoint, with four additional chapters about Jamshid and Muntadhir and their cross-caste romance. Muntadhir not only belongs to the ruling caste, but he is also a somewhat reluctant heir to his father’s crown. While Jamshid is the son of the king’s chief advisor, he is also a daeva, and the fire worshippers are the lowest class of djinn since they lost the throne. These additions allow us a peek at their first meeting, the development of their relationship, and an expanded look at how they are coping with the fallout of the invasion of Daevabad. 

If the Nahids are your favourite part of the series, never fear! The very first story offers the opportunity to gain insight into the decision that proved to be a critical turning point in Manizeh’s life and set the series itself into motion. However, I particularly enjoyed getting a deeper look at her brother Rustam, who had none of her hunger for power and is a bit of a shadow in the main trilogy, albeit one with outsize significance. For Nahri herself, we get to see some events from the long gap between The City of Brass and The Kingdom of Copper, as well as a hopeful look to her future.  

While most of the scenes take place before or during the series, the collection also includes an alternative epilogue to The Empire of Gold that provides a glimpse into Zaynab and Aqisa’s adventures together after they leave Daevabad at the end. This was simultaneously satisfying and tantalizing; their journey feels like it could be a story of its own in much the same way I could imagine a version of the Daevabad trilogy that had Jamshid and Muntadhir as its central characters. This story, more than any other, left me hungry for more.  

If you missed these characters and wish this series weren’t over, The River of Silver allows fans to immerse themselves back in the world of Daevabad. The collection was released earlier this year in audio only, but for those of you have been waiting for print, your time has come!  

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