Fearless hunters and feared assassins in mythical ancient Arabia.
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Why I love it
Hafsah Faizal’s We Hunt the Flame is a fierce #OwnVoices debut: a lushly detailed epic fantasy inspired by ancient Arabia with a vivid, well-rounded cast of characters and a plot that makes it hard to put down.
The story focuses on two main characters: Zafira, a young woman who disguises herself as a man to conceal her identity as she hunts to feed her community; and Nasir, a prince and an assassin who is trapped and controlled by his father's will. As their world is threatened, Zafira and Nasir are drawn together in a dangerous quest to restore magic to their people—first at odds, and then as part of a gang of characters who come together for their common goal.
I was excited to read this book because I love a good YA fantasy, but also because I deeply admire the work Hafsah Faizal does in the YA community at large. She’s a tireless advocate for meaningful representation throughout the genre, and I've learned a lot from both her book and her Twitter feed. This is a well-written fantasy that’s both sweeping and intimate, and I look forward to seeing what's next.
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.