We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal
Genre: Young adult, Fantasy
Publish date: May 14th, 2019 by
Rating: 5/5 FLAMING STARS!!!
What do you do when you finally read a book that gives you 1: life, 2: a dire need to marry an assassin (which is not very safe but you gave up that lifestyle long ago), 3: an epic adventure that satiates the insatiable need for hate-to-love tropes, 4: laugh out loud one-liners that help you laugh through the pain, and 5: just overall so perfect that you can’t put it down for 5 SECONDS???? Yeah, I have no idea. Probably just stare at a blank word doc trying to put words to how real the afterglow of reading this book is. But here is my attempt at translating all of the scribbles and notes that happened throughout the journey that was We Hunt The Flame.
“Be as victorious as the name I have given you, and bring the desert to its knees.”
The story follows Zafira Iskandar, resident badass of the caliphate of Demenhur and otherwise known as the notorious “Hunter” that everyone reveres and fears at the same time. Disguising herself as a man, Zafira braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people while running the risk of being exposed as a girl and her achievements being rejected. Nasir Ghameq identifies more as the Prince of Death than his born title of Prince of Sarasin. He assassinates those who defy his father, the king, and if his non-assassin-like compassion stands in the way of his duty, he awaits a much darker punishment from his father. “Both are legends in the kingdoms of Arawiya–but neither wants to be.”
“We hunt the flame, the light in the darkness, the good this world deserves.”
In the once magic-filled world of Arawiya, magic has disappeared, leaving the world as an empty husk in its wake. As days go on, war is brewing faster and the Arz is growing quicker, swallowing the land in darkness. Zafira is tasked to find an artifact that can bring magic back and defeat this darkness. Nasir has the same quest, in addition to killing the Hunter. They both believe they know what trials lay ahead of them, but little do they know that something much darker and more ancient awaits them.
“Sunlight was always faint in the caliphate of Demenhur, because the sun didn’t know what to do with the snow that should be sand.”
The first thing I fell in love with about this book is the writing. Hafsah’s writing style is so lyrical, so intriguing, that you can’t help but get sucked into the story. Filled with beautiful descriptions, heart-racing adventure, heart-pounding intensity, and sprinkles of the perfect amount of comedic relief, We Hunt The Flame was truly such a treasure to read. I found myself not being able to put the book down for too long at times because of how invested I was in the story and didn’t want to leave the intensity and excitement. Also, often times comedy can be added haphazardly and tastelessly to a story, which lends itself to distracting from the experience as a whole, especially with a story of this caliber and grandeur but that was not the case with this particular tale. If anything, it makes you fall in love with the story as a whole and with the characters even more.
“…you’re officially a murderer. Welcome to the club.”
Speaking of characters, the zumra (squad) were truly what brought the story to life. They all had qualities that were unique to each of them (Zafira’s tenacity, Nasir’s compassion, Altair’s mischief, Kifa’s bravery, Benyamin’s wisdom), yet they all balanced each other out by providing the strengths for the others’ weaknesses. They prove that it doesn’t matter who you are or what circumstances you are coming from, it’s your actions and what you have to offer that truly matters. They are literally the definition of having the ability to face and overcome your adversities becoming one of your greatest strengths.
We Hunt The Flame has definitely been my favorite read of 2019 thus far and I think it’s also safe to say that my all-time faves bookshelf has made room for another addition. I wholeheartedly believe that this story will enthrall readers with its charm, mystique, wonder, and plot twists to sate anyone’s need for the surprise element. Oh, and did I mention a villain that you will instantly love to hate? I truly hope that you will pick up We Hunt The Flame after its release on May 14th! Also please feel free to reach out when you read the book to share any thoughts and/or feelings. And if you’ve already read it, feel free to leave a comment below to up the hype (but also keep it spoiler free ;))!