The two flee across the desert on a long trip. Along the way, Nahri finds out some history on Dava. He was a resident of Daevabad, one of three factions in the city. A war broke out between the groups and war crimes were committed. Dava's family was massacred and in return, he killed so many of the other side that he was named The Scrouge. He was enslaved and lived as a slave for many years. His body died but he is fourteen hundred years old. All of Nahri's family and the rest of her group were killed in the war and she is the only surviving healer. As such, Dava believes she will be honored and protected. The two encounter horrible beasts along the way but eventually arrive.
The emperor of the city welcomes Nahri and tolerates Dava as her companion. He has two sons. The elder will be the next emperor but spends his time drinking and partying. The younger, Ali, has been trained as a warrior since he was a toddler. There is instant antipathy between he and Dava and both are drawn to Nahri. Will war break out again with Dava leading the opposing forces?
This is the first of the Daevabad Trilogy. It was a finalist for both the British and World Best Fantasy Award. The world building is superb with magical creatures and intricate histories for the various factions. The rivalry between Dava and Ali is a major pivot point in this book and will be encountered in the others in the trilogy. The setting is believable and a location and mythology that is not commonly encountered in fantasy. This book is recommended for fantasy readers who are looking for something a bit different.