Review | We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal

Title: We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal

Published: May 14, 2019 (US)

Read as: OwlCrate edition

My rating: 5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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. (from Goodreads)

“Sometimes, when you live a life of captivity, trapped for so long, freedom becomes a thing to fear.” 

It has been ages since I’ve written a review and writing this one makes me a little bit nervous. How can I find the words to portray to you how much this book carried me away to a new land and an epic adventure? How can I put into words how the characters found their way into my heart and ripped it apart?

I’m not sure that I can.

When I picked up this title I was months deep into a reading slump that I just couldn’t seem to shake. Something about this book reached out and called to me from my shelves, demanding that I give it a try. Who am I to deny a book? With my reading slump, I admit, it took me a few weeks to really get my teeth into this story. I’d read in fits and starts and was enjoying every word, I just couldn’t bring myself to settle down and read for long stretches at a time.

Once I finally did, I was absolutely transported away. Faizal’s writing picked me up and dropped me off right in the middle of the settings, surrounded by the characters that I would grow to love. Through the magic that is quality writing I could see what the fierce Huntress saw, I could imagine the heat of the desert she trekked through and the deep cold of her home. Every moment came alive. I could feel their fear and their hopes and that is certainly not something you can say about every book. Most often I feel like an observer to the story, it is rare that I am pulled in and made to feel a part of it.

As miraculous as a vivid setting is, Faizal also made the characters come to life with startling clarity. Each of our group had their strengths and weaknesses, their moments of fierce certainty and wavering doubt. They had things they loved, secrets to be kept, and broken pieces of themselves that they didn’t know if they could put back together again. I cannot begin to tell you how alive they felt, how their struggles and triumphs touched me.

One of the things that most impressed me with this book is the character development. Our two main characters, Zafira and Nasir, are sure of themselves at the beginning of this story. They know who they are and accept it. But along their journey they grow and change and often struggle with that change. They feel human and flawed.

We Hunt the Flame carried me away from the chaos and uncertainty that is day-to-day life in 2020 and sent me on an adventure. I don’t feel like I can ever do the story justice in this little review of mine, but I hope that you at least give this book a try. The characters worm their way into your heart, the story grips you and sucks you in, and you can feel the tension simmering with every page. I cannot wait for the next book in this series.

Find this book on

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Book Depository | Book Outlet

10 thoughts on “Review | We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal

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