Series: Sands of Arawiya #1
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux (5.14.2019)
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: ARC, 480 pages
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.
Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.
I will show him what a woman can do.
In the beginning, I was enjoying it but I wasn’t engrossed. The writing was positively stunning, and I was intrigued by the world, but it wasn’t grabbing me for some reason (I blame this stupid reading slump that won’t go away). It wasn’t until Benyamin and Kifah showed up that I realized that was hopelessly hooked. Talk about squad goals!!! I freaking LOVED the banter and camaraderie that the gang – the zumra – had! It was tense and hostile at first, sure, but it was amazing to see them all slowly warm to one another and become a family. All the feels!! View Spoiler »I was legit sobbing when Benyamin died. I didn’t realize how attached I was to him until it was too late *cries* « Hide Spoiler Also ALTAIR MY BABY. He was my fave, I loved him so much! He had me cracking up!
“Be as victorious as the name I have given you, and bring the desert to its knees.”
Zafira was so badass!! She is such a fierce lead, but she still had her flaws, which made her feel very real and relatable. And I love how prickly and feisty she was, it cracked me up!
Um, THE ROMANCE. Everyone knows that Jessi is not a fan of romance. Unless it’s done right. And this one, my friends, was. done. right. Hoooboy!! It was so swoony I thought my face was going to melt off! It had that glorious slow burn that I love oh so much, and of course the enemies to lovers trope that is my absolute faaaave. Basically, it was perfect. The interactions between Zafira and Nasir gave me all the feels! I almost melted into a Jessi puddle several times, and they had me yelling JUST KISS ALREADY (which took FOREVER btw hahaha, and FREAKING ALTAIR kept interrupting, dammit Altair) and I kind of wanted to bash their heads together but I loved them anyway! So well done! It’s been a long time since kissy scenes made me want to swoon (or take a cold shower lmaooo) instead of gag.
“We’re so quick to dismiss the sentiment as weak, but hearts beat for love, don’t they? A life without purpose may be no life, but a life without love is nothing but an existence.”
Can we please just take a moment to talk about Hafsah’s dazzling prose? It’s almost an entity in itself and can rival the likes of Laini Taylor. She’s such a talented wordsmith! This book was so incredibly quotable, and the way things were described evokes feeling. I don’t know how else to describe it (clearly I am not a talented wordsmith like Hafsah lol).
The world is SO BEAUTIFUL! I had no problem picturing the stunning and magical Arabian-esque landscape of Sharr in my head. I wanted to crawl into the pages and live there! (And befriend the whole sassy zumra yesss.)
“Are you always this insufferable?” [Zafira] fumed, straightening her tunic.
“He’s twice as bad when hungry,” Altair offered.
“You are the compass in the storm, the guide in the dark. You will always find your way, Zafira bint Iskandar.”
“We may leave Sharr and never think of each other again. But in this moment, we are two souls marooned beneath the moon, hungry and alone, adrift in the current of what we do not understand. We hunt the flame, the light in the darkness, the good this world deserves.”
That was life, wasn’t it? A collection of moments, a menagerie of people. Everyone stranded everywhere, always.
“Knowledge without action is vanity, but action without knowledge is insanity.”
Writing style: 5/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5