We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1) – Hafsah Faizal (Advanced Reader Copy)

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Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis:

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, Hafsah Faizal’s We Hunt the Flame–first in the Sands of Arawiya series–is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

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 sultan. 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 Zafira and Nasir 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 sultan 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.

Review:

I was super fortunate to receive an advanced reader copy of We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal from Fierce Reads at C2E2! HUGE thank you to Fierce Reads for this amazing arc!

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First I have to mention the absolutely gorgeous arc cover of We Hunt the Flame. I love the official release cover, but look at how stunning the arc edition is! I love it so much!

Much like the cover, We Hunt the Flame is a gorgeous masterpiece! We Hunt the Flame is an incredible debut from Hafsah Faizal. I loved everything about this story and I can’t wait to read more from her.

We Hunt the Flame is an epic fantasy adventure full of political intrigue, mystery, a slow-burn romance, and bad ass feminism. It is set in a beautifully created world and narrated by two main characters, Zafira “The Huntress” and Nasir “The Prince of Death.” Both leads are written so well — they each have a history and backstory that shows the reader how they have become the Huntress and the Prince of Death. Faizal was able to do this without information dumping! Zafira and Nasir both experience huge growth and development throughout their journey. They both must confront their emotions, past traumas, and inner demons. The journey changes both for the better which brings them closer. I liked that the change wasn’t immediate or easy. Zafira and Nasir truly had to go on a journey – both physically and emotionally. Side note – the cast of side characters was also so good! Each character was very well done and added to the story.

The story takes place in the world of Arawiya. There is a ton of history and culture in this world, but as I said earlier, it felt natural and not like information dumping. Arawiya is a nation made up of five caliphates (or states). Magic has disappeared from Arawiya and left a curse throughout the land, including the forest of darkness known as the Arz and the island of Sharr. Although it is a place, Sharr was a character on its own. It was all encompassing and had its own personality and desires. I haven’t read a lot of books where the setting/world is an actual character. It really elevated the story and showed how talented Faizal’s writing is.

I can’t get over the writing of We Hunt the Flame. Hafsah Faizal is able to create lyrical, poetic, and enchanting words that flow perfectly together to craft a wholly original story. Faizal’s beautiful writing is incredibly lush and descriptive. This world and setting is super detailed and intricate, but still completely captivating. The intense detail didn’t seem overwhelming and actually added to the beautiful setting. I truly saw the world that Faizal created. I was on the journey with Zafira and Nasir.

My ONLY complaint/suggestion is that a glossary would be nice. I did need to pause to look up some of the Arabic words in order to better understand some scenes.

I can’t say enough good things about We Hunt the Flame. I feel like a lot of YA fantasy blends together lately, but not Hafsah Faizal’s masterpiece. We Hunt the Flame starts off a bit slower, but kept me pulled in the entire time. The ending is full of reveals, twists, and cliffhangers. I cannot wait for the rest of the series!

We Hunt the Flame will be released on May 14th. Fun fact – that’s my birthday! You should all preorder We Hunt the Flame as a birthday present to me 🥳😝


PS: Did you submit your preorder receipt for We Hunt the Flame?! You can receive 5 gorgeous limited edition character cards if you submit your receipt. Here’s the link if you are interested: https://www.wehunttheflame.com/

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