I listen to a lot of audiobooks, read a lot of library books and e-books, still somehow never have enough room on my bookshelves.
The story picked up in the street markets of Napoleonic Cairo, which was such a fabulous setting that I was sad that all the characters packed off for the titular city (somewhere in the mountains of Iran) after only a few chapters, but then that was so interesting that I didn't mind too much (though I hope they get back to Cairo eventually).
Our story follows a (possibly) lost princess who grew up a street rat (with magic powers) and the prince of the Brass City of the Djinn, and the truly immense amount of factionalism and court politics that surround a lost princess of an opposing clan just showing up. There are something like 1,400 years of grudges on the go here, and some of the characters are about that old. By the end of the first book, all the intense plotting everyone is doing is shown to mostly be set up for even more intense plotting! I'm a fan, and looking forward to the next one.
Plotting aside, the Djinn city and culture and history were all really well drawn, even if the court got pretty gruesome at times. It's a good world to spend a nice long series in. It's a long book, and I just ripped through it because I had to know what happened next.
I will say that this wasn't five stars because the romance plot wasn't really my thing (I'd have preferred a platonic friendship between the immortal warrior protector and the princess), and there weren't a whole lot of major female characters besides the princess. However, the next book looks like it'll add a couple more women as major players. Two of the secondary characters were gay, and not dead by the end of the book.
(It's worth going to the authors site to check out the alternate epilogue she just posted. I know it made me clap like a seal in appreciation of the layer it added. MORE PLOTTING!)