We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)by Published 14 May 2019
|We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1).pdf|
|Publisher||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
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.
Glossary and Pronunciation Guide
We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1) Reviews
I had the opportunity to read this debut as an advanced reader copy, and enjoyed it so much I gave it a blurb! Here's my official take: “A sparkling debut, full of mystery and magic, vivid characters and rich language.” Also, I cannot express how happy it makes me to see so much fabulous representation for women of color. I wish I had this when I was younger!
“Be as victorious as the name I have given you, and bring the desert to its knees.”
⭐️⭐️ angry stars.
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I know, I read this book a week ago and I'm only writing this review just now. I KNOW I SUCK. And now I don't remember 70% of the book because it's that forgettable and it's been a week.
Anyway, do I even need to present We Hunt The Flame? It's been all over booktwitter (and I'm not even on it) and everyone keeps talking about it. It hit the NYT Bestseller list already and the internet is buzzing with everyone's opinions about it. So let me add another opinion.
For those who live under a rock, We Hunt the Flame tells the story of this random Hunter who's apparently the best in all the land (but not when an attractive soft boi is in sight) and who has to retrieve some random book that will bring magic back to her world. A prince is sent to stop her, kill her and bring the book to the king who'll use the book for his own gain. But these two obviously fall in love yada yada, do I need to say more? Yes, it's the plot of Throne of Glass. My thoughts, exactly.
My main point of the review is this: We Hunt The Flame has nothing going for it once you dismiss the Arab rep.
Now, let's delve into the less sympathetic part of this review; the rant.
1. The brooding prince was boring. He was always being existential over nothing. He's so suddenly attracted to the MC only because of the 'she's not like other girls,' trope. EW. Just ew, honestly it's 2019 we're beyond that 'She's All That' crap. Basically, the characters were flat and didn't try to be more than the plastic archetypes than the writer started with. She obviously doesn't know who they are and is just shoving romance down our throat to make sure we don't question their individuality and are too busy shipping them instead.
2. Everyone gets a straight love interest, it wouldn't be a 00s style YA without that. I'm not sure I understand how hard it is to add a non-straight or non-cisgender character. The MC had some great potential but instead, she just 'disguises' herself as a man to have an easier life. I wish we could have seen her morph slowly into the persona she has created and maybe question her gender identity but that's a big no-no in a 00s inspired novel. So everyone's gonna be straight. Whatever bitch.
3. The plot lack of suspense and the tension doesn't build, it feels boring from beginning to end and unimaginative. The quest is a succession of flat events that left me from bored to straight up cold by the end of the book. I was frustrated and couldn't even bother to feign shock at the so-called plot-twists'. The plot is bare because the worldbuilding and magic system isn't developed at all and we're not supposed to ask questions.
In conclusion, We Hunt The Flame is as boring and banal as Wicked Saints was a couple of months ago, and I don't even know if I'm going keep reading new releases labelled under the YA fantasy genre anymore because honestly, they've all been a disappointment this year.
UPDATE: if you're in need of a glossary and pronunciation guide, look no further!
The first ever "review" for my book. The story of my heart. The characters who tormented me for four years until their plight reached the written page. I can't wait to share this story of a girl, a prince, a general, elves, and a world worth fighting for.
Thank you to every soul who adds this, reads this, and cherishes this. ♥
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription
“ People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.”
Disclaimer: ARCs provided by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review!
🌟 I have been waiting patiently for this book since it was in the writing stages and was recommended to me! I mean a fantasy with Arabian Settinng written by a Muslim Author? I couldn’t ask for more!
🌟 Now the book had a solid start, the first two chapters have the above quote, each line is for a chapter. I felt like I am going to love it. I mean, I like when authors have beautiful prose and there is a subtle kind of comparison and similarities in lines.
🌟 I feel like this is going to be a negative review and you can stop here if you will feel offended. I can’t give a book 2 ratings without going into details so here goes nothing.
🌟 I am going to give a very quick summary and tell me if it rings any bells: There is lost magic in this fantasy world. There is Zafira, our protagonist who disguises herself as a guy and embarks on a journey to restore magic. There is a dark king (wearing a necklace) who is ruthless to his son the prince, Nasir. Nasir wants to prove himself to his father and embarks on the same journey.
I was so sure I read this somewhere before and then DING DING: Throne of Glass!!!! I felt like this book did not offer something new, I felt like it is a collection of stories I read before but in an ancient Arabia settings.
🌟 The second thing is the characters which I did not have a connection to, I felt like they had good moments but they sometimes fell flat. I only liked Altair because of his banter but the other characters did not spark much joy!
🌟 Now the writing was the thing that irked me most, the mix between Arabic and English was a big NO from me! I will give some examples: The King name is Ghameq which means Dark, OK I can tolerate that. Then we have the continuous use of the word (Kharra) which by the way should be written as (Khara) for the correct pronunciation, this word literally means shit. The author used it as an equivalent of shit when something bad happens which we don’t use in Arabic. Imagine a bad situation and the characters go like “Feces, Feces, feces, we must run”. That’s how this sounded to me and it was repeated a gazillion time!
I should mention that the whole mix sounded weird, because when there is a quote, that means I have to imagine the characters said that, why is it mixed languages then, are you translating to us what they said or are you quoting them as exact. The two situations did not work for me! I think this will not be a problem for non-Arabic speaker but for someone whose first language is Arabic and is multilingual, I couldn’t but notice this.
🌟 I should mention that the representation itself was not bad, and I really really appreciate how the author kept the religion out of it!
🌟 Summary: I still think WHTF will get a good success and that makes me happy! I was not happy because many things could have been done better specially that the lights are given to a Muslim author which is not a common thing. The book could be enjoyed for those who won’t be so critical as me. But I think a summary won’t sufice here, so read the whole review or the whole book and decide!
full review posted
i cant even begin to explain how much this book means to me (but im going to try and fail with this review) i'm just so happy to see a middle eastern inspired fantasy get so much hype and recognition, I could weep
but we aint here to cry (yet) we’re here to scream until our voice gets hoarse (BC IT WAS SO BLOODY GOOD)
the arabian world that Hafsah built felt so vibrant and concrete to me. the descriptions, the imagery, the eloquence of the language used, absolutely brilliant.
you can definitely tell that she took the time to construct the culture and let the reader familiarize themselves with the world through very specific scenes (traveling through the azr, a side character’s wedding, the snow/sand parallel, the palace, etc. etc.)
I loved the different settings we got to visit and the drastic change in scenery and omg the descriptions of the FOOD (!!!!!)
”Surrounding the large platters were smaller ones: oily dolma stuffed with onions and roasted eggplants, round of baked kibbeh garnished with mint, the flattest of manakish laden with tangy zataar and olive oil.”
basically this was me when it came to ‘highlighting the important quotes’
the characters own my heart, they were written in such a deep, realistic, and complex way.
they all have motivations and fears that are respective to their situation. their backstories are realistic and revealed in such a timely manner, sprinkled throughout the book. I became so attached to them all so quickly, I want to cry just thinking about it
also theyre all hilarious, witty, little monsters that do nothing but snipe at each other and
"I'm no hashashin, but in my humble observations, it seems you can't take your eyes off her," Altair drawled in Nasir's ear.
"Jealous?" Nasir asked...
"I would be, if I didn't know you stare at me just as much."
AND THEYRE ALL SO FRAGILE AND PRECIOUS AND EMO. especially nasir, the love of my life, hes so broken 😭😭😭
“Good night, he wanted to whisper.
But he was the Prince of Death, Amir al-Maut, as his mother had once called him in the old tongue, and good night always felt like goodbye.”
MORE LIKE, GOODBYE TO MY HEART BC ITS RUINED
sister of her heart
- I adored the relationship zafira and yasmine shared, it was so honest and loving and even though we only got to see them interact for a short period of time, the core of their friendship was so strong and sweet
- “Come back, Zafira. No matter what. Victorious of not, come back.”
- and we stan female friendships
- the reason for my death: nasir and altair
- these two!! THESE TWO!!!! !!!THESE TWO!!!!
- you want to know which trope beats ‘enemies to lovers’?
- ENEMIES TO BESTIES
- Excuse me while I lie down
- “I hope you can climb,” Nasir said.
“Do I look like a monkey?” Altair asked.
“That would be a disgrace to the monkey,” Nasir answered.
- i just want my beautiful boys to be happy :( someone give altair a plate of kunafa and a cup of qahwa and get nasir a big warm blanket and hot chocolate
This romance slayed my entire existence. The chemistry between nasir and zafira was electric.
when we reached their scenes I was so engrossed, I lost track of time, my surroundings, and my dignity (bc I was SCREAMING at them to STOP being so stupidly sTUBBORN)
- “If you want me obedient, Prince, kill me and carry my corpse.”
- Our queen really SNAPPED with that iconic line
- i think the most exciting part of their relationship is how EVERYTHING is pitted against them
- nasir is the prince of the opposing land, sent out to kill her and she is the huntress that’s supposed to save her people. they hate each other from the start, they are both stubborn arrogant idiots who keep DENYING their feelings and causing fights for no reason AND YET
- Honestly I’m going to stop talking about them, bc if I start I will never end
- ”He stared back without a word, the gray of his eyes fractured. It she could catch a wish-granting jinn, all three of her wishes would be spent in mending his heart, for not even Umm would know how to treat such sorrow.”
- EVEN THE SIDE CHARACTERS (especially the zumra) CAUSED ME PAIN
- altair: altair would probably be offended to even be CONSIDERED a side character. he’s ridiculous and haughty and absolutely hilarious and i love how he always has some quick retort ready. hes also a tragic baby and I want to protect him :(
- deen: this soft boy, my optimistic son. he needs to be protected at all costs and deserves a metal for putting up with zafira and his sister tbh
- kifah: a queen amongst us peasants. she ain’t afraid to cut a bish and remains to be the most level headed member of this zumra of misfits
- benyamin: honestly, hes like the rest of us, exhausted. this boy has been through too much to still be speaking in riddles and yet here he stands
- one character that I WISHED we got to see more of was zafira’s sister, Lana. We get to see some of the relationship between the two sisters but it kind of felt shallow compared to the other relationships in the book
- i felt that the plot was structured relatively well. the beginning took some time to develop and the middle did stretchhhh along but once the action started, the book really picked up
- and MAN was there action
- the twists and turns that came towards the ending were so shocking and exciting and left off at SUCH a great place for the second book to pick up
- i honestly want to weep at the epilogue, I was caused Pain
- i can see the criticism some reviewers have mentioned about how the book felt very similar to most ya fantasy novels. it holds many familiar tropes and follows a foreseeable story arc that most readers are aware of
- but I also find that it stands apart from the others bc of the complexity of the characters and the developed fantasy world. the arab aspects of the book were so REFRESHING to read and I thought it added a lot of extra depth to the story
- so, I think the criticism is fair to point out, but it don’t think it will ruin your reading experience
- basically, im saying PICK IT UP AND CRY WITH ME BC I LOVE IT SO MUCH AND THE !!!!!EPILOGUE!!!!
and,,,,,,,if you care to hear more of my ramblings ft. quotes and badly made memes, i did a reaction thread
buddy read with lil may
i mean, i can't be sure, but i think this book is going to single-handedly save 2019
just putting it out there