Title: We Hunt the Flame
Author: Hafsah Faizal
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Macmillan)
Date published: May 14, 2019
A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.
People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.
Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.
Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.
War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.
Hafsah Faizal’s debut was one of my most-anticipated YA fantasy releases of the year! And it didn’t disappoint. I was happily transported to another world—a place of snow, and sand, and legend, and magic. I loved how Arawiya was portrayed, and I also loved the characters living in it. Generally, I don’t highly enjoy when a larger group becomes the main focus of a YA fantasy novel. I’m not sure why that is, but may just have to do with some of the more useless dialogue that I’ve come across in other books as well as the use of nicknames just for the sake of using nicknames. I had absolutely no issues with the group that developed in We Hunt the Flame though! In fact, I came to (in varying degrees) adore each and every one of them.
If I absolutely had to choose, I would say that the two main main characters, Zafira and Nasir, are my absolute favourites. But the others in the group come at a close second! I won’t say anything more about them though, because there were a lot of twists in this book, and I wouldn’t want to give anything away by accident. Back to Zafira and Nasir though—I really liked them as individual characters and each of their background stories. What I found to be a bonus though, was that they also have incredible chemistry. I was actually fanning myself at times! I really enjoyed this book as a whole, and especially appreciated the last third, since by that point I was fully committed to the main cast and things overall became more intense. This was a great debut and I can’t wait to read Hafsah Faizal’s next book once it’s out in the world!
Hafsah Faizal is an American Muslim and brand designer. She’s the founder of IceyDesigns, where she creates websites for authors and beauteous goodies for everyone else. When she’s not writing, she can be found dreaming up her next design, deciding between Assassin’s Creed and Skyrim, or traversing the world. Born in Florida and raised in California, she now resides in Texas with her family and a library of books waiting to be devoured. WE HUNT THE FLAME is her first novel.
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