Trigger warnings: murder, abusive father, mind control, violence, death of loved ones, torture
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.
Faizal’s world-building was just exquisite for me, with lush details and a brilliant magic system. The setting felt so incredibly vibrant and I could vividly picture it through the beautiful descriptions and eloquent writing. Seriously, I kept discovering quotes that I just wanted to measure and you can feel the care with which each word was carefully selected.
The way that Faizal incorporated Arabic culture was brilliant to read, as so many fantasies are Western-inspired and can occasionally blur together. So, to see Arabic words woven into the narrative was such a refreshing change, especially as it allows people to see their underrepresented culture in a genre that unfortunately typically isolates or vilifies them.
I am such a character-driven reader and in WHTF, all of the characters were so distinct and well-rounded, particularly our protagonists Nasir and Zafira. They are complex, brave and deeply flawed, so watching them grow through their meticulously plotted character arcs just made me love this book so much. Also, the dialogue between characters was whip-smart and an absolute joy to read.
That being said, once the action kicked off, it really kicked off. It was heart-pounding and completely gripping, making it nearly impossible for me to put the book down.
I really liked how the story felt like the beginning of an epic tale with the careful character development, beautiful world-building and dangerous intrigue. Truly, it feels like Faizal was laying the foundation for a legendary story, which I cannot wait to continue.
Thank you again to My Kinda Book, Amber Ivatt and Pan Macmillan for gifting me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.