August 8, 2022

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya Duology Book 1) by Hafsah Faizal

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya Duology Book 1) by Hafsah Faizal
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Format: eBook + Audiobook (library)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

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We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal is a beautiful fantasy debut perfect for fans of books with intricate worldbuilding and fast-paced action. 

The story is told through Zafira and Nasir’s points of view. Zafira is almost single-handedly keeping her people alive with her multiple trips into the perilous cursed forest known as the Arz. For her own safety and that of her people, she disguises herself as "The Hunter". If her identity were to be discovered, they would likely dismiss her and all that she has achieved simply on account of her gender. Our other narrator, Nasir, is an assassin, often sent out to eliminate the enemies of his father the Sultan. Zafira and Nasir’s paths end up crossing when they are both sent to find a mythical treasure that will change the fate of Arawiya forever. 

Despite the two main characters being set on conflicting sides from the start of the book, you can’t help but want them to meet and interact. Once they do, the banter and interactions are *chefs kiss* amazing. Fiona Hardingham and Steve West did an amazing job with the audiobook narration and their individual performances. If you have a chance, I would recommend listening. There are a couple of minor issues here and there with the editing, but nothing too distracting.  

The worldbuilding is elaborate, and I was happily immersed in the world of Arawiya. After reading so many books, fantasy worlds can occasionally blend together and get lost in the mix of memories. That wasn't the case for We Hunt the Flame.  I never had an issue envisioning the pictures that Ms. Faizal was painting for her readers. I also want to note how the influences from ancient Arabia that the author mentions in the description of the book are evident. 

It was so refreshing to see the fast pace in We Hunt the Flame. I’m always on the hunt for books that kick off the action very early in the story, and this book undoubtedly delivers in that area. The initial chapters were dedicated to setting up the world and revealing more about “the conflict”. Once the foundation was set, the story went from zero to sixty very quickly. I appreciated how bits and pieces about the world were revealed to readers as you went along; there was no information dump at the beginning of the book. The gradual flow of information about the world and the way it was interwoven with the plot allowed for some twists and turns to be thrown in, which were super fun. 

If a book that’s imaginative, filled with plot twists, immersive imagery, and relatable characters sounds like an entertaining read to you - pick up We Hunt the Flame today! I’m eager to read the sequel, We Free the Stars, and learn how the story will end (as well as read anything Ms. Faizal may release in the future).

About the Author

Hafsah Faizal is the New York Times bestselling author of WE HUNT THE FLAME and WE FREE THE STARS. 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 a library of books waiting to be devoured.

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