Review | We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizel

“Be as victorious as the name I have given you, and bring the desert to its knees.” 

Hafsah Faizal, We Hunt The Flame

Synopsis

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.

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.


Review

When starting We Hunt The Flame I pointedly avoided all tweets, Instagram posts, Goodreads, reviews, and all other forms of social media talking about the novel. You might be asking, “Why?”

That’s because when I purchased We Hunt The Flame, I’d bought it simply because it was suggested to me on Amazon and I’d somehow managed to never see anyone’s take on it and something about reading the book with zero bias was very appealing to me.

Here’s what I knew going in:

  1. A prince was an assassin.
  2. A girl hunted for her village.
  3. Somehow their paths would cross.

That’s it! That’s all I knew, and guess what?! That was the best decision I ever made. I’m sure I would have loved the book even if I’d seen people ranting and raving about how good it was, but I just totally enjoyed the lack of expectation for We Hunt The Flame.

With that said, there was one issue I had. I struggled to get into the book immediately. That’s not an actual issue with the book itself though. I believe I struggled to really invest myself into the book because Faizel had to build the world in order for us to understand the purpose our main characters would serve. I’m all about character development and investment, so it took a little bit to find myself fully invested when I was learning so much about this new world. After about 100 pages, though, I found myself struggling to put the book down to go to bed, which inevitably left me very tired for days after.

Something that I adored about Faizel’s story is the fact that her characters each have individual voices. So often I feel like there are so many characters in novels that seem to all be the same person with a minor tweak to their overall personality. However, Faizel seems to deeply understand her characters and what they fear, love, and cherish and how that has affected them on their journey. The stark differences between Nasir and Deen and the way they loved and showed their love was an important aspect to their characters and the way that Zafira interacted with them.

More so, I believe that by creating characters like Nasir and Deen, Faizel was able to capture Zafira in two different ways. Through Deen’s eyes its a young girl hungering to see the world. Through Nasir’s eyes, Zafira is a fire that the world should fear.

These two characters alone completely effected my perception of Zafira and what I would expect from her throughout the book.

But, in addition to the characters, Faizel’s novel follows a comfortable flow and pacing that keeps the reader hooked. She does a brilliant job painting the Sharr and the dangers that lurk there, while creating a beautiful, almost whimsical feel to the atmosphere at times.

This book had everything. Slow burn romance, enemies to friends, enemies to lovers, badass warrior ladies, and even beautiful effeminate men.

Honestly, Faizel’s writing style reads very similar to Tahereh Mafi’s at times, and I mean that as the highest compliment.

Overall I gave We Hunt The Flame 5/5 stars.


Have you read We Hunt The Flame? What did you think? Do you think you’ll read it?

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4 thoughts on “Review | We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizel

  1. Wow! I’d heard about this one through the bookstore I worked at but hadn’t had much interest in pursuing it because I don’t really read YA anymore.

    But I know EXACTLY what you mean about going into a book without any expectations. That’s why I don’t usually read reviews and if I’m checking out a book from the library, I don’t even bother reading the summary. Cover looks good? Quick flip through. Prose seems interesting enough. And home with me it goes. I’ve discovered some of my favorite books that way. Highly recommend as a method.

    Great review! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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