Book Review We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1)

Title: We Hunt the Flame

Author: Hafsah Faizal

Pub. Date: May 14, 2019

Pages: 472

Pub: Farrar, Staus and Grioux

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 4.5

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 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

This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible. Sammy over at We Write At Dawn has been yelling at me for forever to read this book. But you know when you’re terrified to read a book because you don’t not want to love it?

Yeah? Well, that’s why I put it off for so long. The hype was so high surrounding this book that I was scared – what if I don’t like it? For every amazing review I saw, I saw other ones that we’re as raving – so then I got in my head and I just kept putting it off.

I was a dumbass.

100% a fool.

While I do think that it might be a *tad* overhyped, I do understand why people love this book.

Hell, I loved it – and I’m really surprised I never stumbled upon any kind of spoiler. Besides Sammy’s insistence that I read this book, I saw a couple of fanarts that kind of sealed the deal and I knew I needed to finally read it.

cr: Gabriella Bujdoso

I was in love with Zafira and Nasir from, like, their first appearances. I’m an absolute sucker for heroines who don’t believe in love, who have walled off their hearts, and dark and broody heroes who hate their lives and desperately seek affection.

I was shipping them before they even met and told Sammy that I was going to riot if they didn’t end up together. Actually, I might’ve told her that I would DNF lol.

I’m so glad I finally dove into this book, and I’m so glad that the second one is already out. Though, Sammy isn’t letting me read it until next month so we can buddy read it. It’s torture waiting. I need to know what happens next, because omfg the ending. I’m not okay, I need to know if a certain character is okay.

This book sucks you in right from the begging. Hafsah created such an interesting and vivid world – I had no problems envisioning it. It played like a whole movie in my mind and now I desperately wish it were a movie, or a tv-show. I loved the characters, Altair might be my favorite, his personality is just so perfect and great fun. Lowkey he kind of reminds me of Baldair from Elise Kova’s Air Awakens Series.

cr: Sally Pham | SALLTEAS

There were so many good moments and moments that had me actually “wtf-ing” – but like, in the best “I didn’t see that coming” way possible. With that reveal towards the end, with Nasir and a certain other character, I legit said “WHAT” out loud while at work and my coworkers were confused and maybe a bit concerned lol. I definitely didn’t see that little reveal coming, and omfg, the repercussions that little info bomb will have are going to be so good. I need to know what happens next.

Zafira is an amazing character. She’s so strong and caring, but like, doesn’t let people in. Her emotional journey in this book is so satisfying. Watching her learn and start to come into her own, figure out what she wants and who she wants to be…I loved it. I loved the sass and temper that often erupted from her. Watching her animosity turn into reluctance and then into friendship is so good and so amazing to read. Her character growth is So Good and I loved it.

Nasir…oh that poor boy. He’s been through so much. His wants and needs are so simple, but he’s been forged into something else, something deadly and it’s breaking him. In his emotional vulnerable moments, he’s no more than a small child who just needs a hug and omfg if that’s not my shit. Like I said, dark and broody and broken is my favorite kind of fictional male protagonist and Nasir doesn’t disappoint. His emotional arc in this book is so much, and like Zafira, he starts to figure out who he is and what he wants, and it’s wonderful.

cr: Elithien

Other than thinking that the book might be a *tad* overhyped – I don’t think it could have ever lived up to the grandiose expectations other people had instilled in me – I really don’t have any complaints. I loved it and found it to be so enjoyable, lush and so imaginative. I loved the whole magic system and the strengths that we find within and from those we surround us with. I loved that the antagonist is charming as hell, but incredibly deadly. All the characters are so well crafted and, on some level,, you care about them all. They all have depth, reasons they act the way they do. I’m so curious to see what happens next, and I 100% get the hype for We Free the Stars. Now having read We Hunt the Flame I’m excited for book 2 and to see what kind of trouble they get into next. I can’t wait to see their journey to change the world and save the ones they love. It’s going to be so good, and I hope my heart doesn’t end up ripped out of my chest and stomped on.

This is coming from someone who was terrified she wasn’t going to love this book as other people – go pick this book up right now and read it. You want to fall in love with Zafira and Nasir, I promise.

4 thoughts on “Book Review We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1)

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