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Why You Need to Listen to (and to Read Later On): “The River of Silver”

The River of Silver: Tales from the Daevabad Trilogy

By: S.A. Chakraborty                                                                         Audiobook: 9 hours 45 minutes

Published: March 1, 2022 (audiobook)/October 11, 2022 (print)

Genre: Fantasy                                                                                    Narrated by: Soneela Nankani

            She had been to Daevabad once as a girl and still remembered the awe of sailing through the veil that hid the island. Its brass walls had gleamed in the bright sunshine. The verdant mountains a backdrop to the stunning cityscape of a thousand towers and temples. Back then Daevabad had seemed the very definition of magic. Now, Daevabad was so shrouded with fog that Hatset could see nothing of the city and only a bare hint of its walls, (Hatset). 

            Memorable narratives tend to have memorable characters. When a narrative reaches its resolution—in a standalone or in a series—the audience wonders what could have happened before, during and after the events in the narrative. Some answers are given in prologues, in epilogues, and in interludes (either as short stories or as novellas). S.A. Chakraborty wrote several additional chapters for her series—The Daevabad Trilogy—many of which were posted on her website. Now, fans of the series can listen to (and eventually, read), The River of Silver: Tales from the Daevabad Trilogy.

            The audience is reunited with the series protagonists: Nahri, Prince Alizayd, and Darayavahoush e-Afshin; and, some of the other main characters: Jamshid, Prince Muntadhir, Princess Zaynab, and many more. The audience is able to gain more understanding of the culture and the politics of Daevabad from the perspectives of all of these characters. In fact, the characters who offer the most essential perspectives are the ones whose actions occur BEFORE the events of the main trilogy. In addition, there are 2 characters who does NOT have a chapter in this collection of short stories, but the character’s interactions with the other ones enhances what we already know about them. Believe it or not, all of the protagonists and the main characters continue to develop thanks to these short stories. For the protagonists, we learn how they strive throughout their obstacles; and, we learn a lot of the traits and the behaviors of the main characters, which provides an explanation for the choices they made throughout the main series. The audience will be happy to know their favorite characters have not changed one bit. 

            The plot is not one but several; each chapter is about an event which plays a crucial role—both major and minor—in the main series. A few of the chapters are prologues for the entire series, while other ones are interludes that provide an explanation for a conflict amongst the characters. In addition, 2 of the chapters are alternatives to the ones that remained in the main series. However, this does not mean these chapters are without critical moments and essential information for the series; instead, they answer the question: What was happening to these characters when this event occurred in the series? These plots enhance the overall narrative surrounding the timeline of the main events in this series. Not to mention, the characters’ actions continue to make sense, and the audience understands them a bit more.

            The narrative in this book is presented in the present tense from the points-of-view of each character whose chapter is being told in 3rd person limited. Another thing to know is while the narrative is in the present tense, the book is in chronological order. This means the first few chapters take place BEFORE the events in The City of Brass, which means they are SPOILER chapters for those who have not read the ENTIRE TRILOGY! It is important to know these chapters follow the stream-of-consciousness of each P.O.V. character in each chapter. These chapters are presented in the present tense and not in the past tense, which adds to the unforeseen circumstances of the characters’ actions within this series. This narrative can be followed by the audience easily. 

            The style S.A. Chakraborty uses for The River of Silver is a continuation of The Daevabad Trilogy and a combination of influences from both One Thousand and One Arabian Nights and Middle Eastern culture. Each chapter is a standalone about a character from the main series. The audience learns more about the setting and the events of the main series from these characters and the elements of world-building. Each character becomes the protagonist as the audience emphasizes with them as they make the best decisions for themselves regardless of their current predicament(s). The mood for this book overall is entertaining because this book is for the fans of the main series, and they will find it enjoyable. The tone for this book this book varies by each chapter and the moment in the series’ timeline the chapter falls in. A few chapters are ominous, a few chapters are fillers (especially those with events occurring before and after The Kingdom of Copper), and the rest are entertaining. 

            So far, the appeal for this book have been positive. Fans of The Daevabad Trilogy should consider listening to and/or reading this book. This brings me to a necessary explanation: this book was supposed to be an audiobook exclusive only. However, the publisher decided to release printed editions of this short story collection, which will be available in later this year. I am planning on purchasing both the print and the ebook editions of this book. That being said, I preordered the audiobook first and I did NOT cancel it because I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait longer than necessary to read the printed edition of this book. Those of you who do listen to audiobooks should know Soneela Nankani does an excellent job narrating these stories. Regardless of your preferred format, fans of Chakraborty’s main series should get this book. Not only do we learn more about the characters we love (and we love to hate), but also the author provides us with an answer to the question we’ve been thinking about since the end of The Empire of Gold.

            The River of Silver is an excellent addition to The Daevabad Trilogy. Fans of the trilogy are in for a real treat because they get to reacquaint themselves with EVERYONE from the series, and enjoy more of their exploits. Please remember: read the trilogy BEFORE you dive into this collection; you do not want to spoil anything for yourself. If audiobooks are not your preferred format, then you have plenty of time to read or to re-read the trilogy before the print edition of this book is released. Get ready to return to Daevabad!

My Rating: MUST LISTEN (AND READ) IT NOW (5 out of 5)!!!

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