First of all, I highly recommend reading the prequel to this novel: Whisper of Jasmine. It shows how Evie and Gabriel met, and gives good insight into the beginning of their relationship.
That being said, City of Jasmine takes place in 1920 Syria, and seeing as how I didn't know a whole lot of what was going on in that area then, I learned a lot. Evie and Gabriel were thrown into lots of adventures and came across a lot of suspicious characters, some dangerous, some just shady. The descriptions and seeing the area through the eyes of Evie totally brought the country to life. The descriptions were not overdone, but were the right amount.
While I miss the Lady Julia books, I'm just happy to have another book by Deanna Raybourn. Her style and feisty, independent heroines are still strong in books like City of Jasmine.
I couldn't put this down! Deanna Raybourn fans will not be disappointed.