Sands of Arawiya: We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

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“If I told you my name, would you bow?” His voice was soft. A melancholy caress. He lifted his chin when understanding dawned on her face. “Or would you flee?” Nasir – Page 211

Publication: May 14th 2019

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 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/Thoughts: After reading the Rebel of the Sands trilogy last year I needed to find more books with that type of setting and magic to them, and this book did not disappoint me in the least. The beginning was a little slow-ish for my liking, but I got to understand the world and it’s laws. I assure you though, it picked up right quick. The hunt, the twists and turns, magic and mystery brimmed from one page to the next. It held my attention rather well, even while it was still yet slow-ish. The plot is so intriguing and compelling. Besides seeing how it all ended, everything that happened along the way drove me to keep reading. I got lost and immersed within this world. I’m glad I found the author’s Glossary & Pronunciation Guide too. (Here’s the guide.) I loved that each of the names, while beautiful in their own way, have a meaning to them. It added so much to the story once I learned about them.

Naris definitely became my favorite almost from the moment we were introduced to him. He’s Prince and Heir to the Arawiyan throne, and the Assassin dishing out death at the Sultan’s, his father’s, command. Doing such earns him the name ‘Prince of Death’ by the people. My poor boy though! He is so broken and scared, both figuratively and literally. He didn’t deserve any of the things that happened to him. I’d like to know who gave the OK for that. I lived for the scenes Nasir was in. There is so much to his character that I was engrossed when it was his turn to take the page. I never wanted it to end.

Zafira is so cool! She’s a strong female lead who speaks her mind. You go girl! She dares to do what women aren’t allowed to do in her Caliphate. She’s brave enough to go on this quest. All for her family, friends and for the people of Demenhur. One thing I adored about her, was her quips and conversations she had with Altair. Her tongue is as sharp as any blade. She’s not my favorite protagonist from this book, as previously stated Nasir took that position, but she’s a good one nonetheless and like Nasir, there is so much to her. She’s brimming with just as much life as Nasir is. 

The rest of the Zumra is just as interesting, as the story is. Altair had a certain charm to him and as such, the conversations held between him and the other characters was worth reading about. As far as the more side characters go, Kifah is quite the warrior! I like the fact that Benyamin admired trust, but I also felt like he was quite the complex character and there’s still stuff we don’t know about him yet.

This book managed to climb it’s way right up there with all my other favorites. The characters are enchanting and brimming with life. Their world is vast and breathtaking. There’s still so much to it that we haven’t explored. The author breathed so much life and time into this story. I could re-read this and fall in love with it all over again

~Till the next Chapter~

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