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WE HUNT THE FLAME by Hafsah Faisal

People lived because she killed. People died because he lived.

Nobody knows that Zafira is the Hunter. Forced to disguise herself as a man, she braves the cursed forest to feed her people. If she is exposed as a girl, all of her achievements will be rejected.

Nasir is the infamous Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If he refuses he will be punished in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya – but neither wants to be. And when Zafira embarks on a quest to restore magic to her suffering world, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve magic 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, Hafsah Faizal’s We Hunt the Flame – first in the Sands of Arawiya duology – is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

Title : We Hunt The Flame
Author : Hafsah Faisal
Series : Sands of Arawiya #1
Format : eARC
Page Count : 480
Genre : YA Fantasy
Publisher : Macmillan Children’s Books
Release Date : August 8, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★

“We hunt the flame, the light in the darkness, the good this world deserves.”

This debut was crafted with skill, complexity and a writing maturity that speaks of more experience than a first book. I bought into this story from the first few pages and it was the kind of tale that built and pulled you in more as you read.

WE HUNT THE FLAME is a fantasy needing quite a bit of world building but this was cleverly accomplished in the background and not with lengthy explanation or description. As the story played out, I understood and grasped increasing details about Arawiya, Sharr and the cultures of the different races within this land.

“We are all flesh and blood, soul and heart. Capable of malevolence, just as much as benevolence. One wrong does not make evil.”

There are two protagonists in this tale, Zafira, the huntress masquerading as a hunter and Nasir, the Prince of Darkness, an assassin. Both these characters were deep, complex and Nasir in particular, was not particularly likeable until you began to know more about him. The whole story was leading to their journey together as a reluctant gang on a mission. There were great characters in this gang and Altair was a particular favourite. This is a story of good and evil on a grand scale but also the inner battle for good and evil on a personal level.

The story was steadily paced at first, but from about a quarter of the way in, the tempo increased and it was fast-paced all the way to the end. There was the feeling of quest and adventure, sliced with danger and a sinister power. All was not what it seemed and there were two fantastic plot twists towards the end, followed by an explosive ending.

I simply cannot wait to read more from this world. I feel attached to the characters, I truly enjoyed the creation of Arawiya and Hafsah Faisal’s writing was a joy. This author has such potential and I hope to read much more from her in the future.

Thank you to Macmillan for the early review copy.

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