We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal | Book Review


Image result for we hunt the flameTitle: We Hunt the Flame
Series: Sands of Arawiya, #1
Author: Hafsah Faizal
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre: YA fantasy
Pages: 472
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Goodreads page

This review has no spoilers.



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.

[ This synopsis is from Goodreads. ]



Let’s get straight to the point. I really liked the story and its plot. Did I love it and completely obsess over it? No. Is it a good story? Yes.

When I first picked up this book, I didn’t expect so many characters to die. In fact, I expected no one to die. Sure, I assumed some people would get injured, but boy was I wrong. I’m not going to go into it in detail since that would spoil some massive plot points, but just know that it’s there.

Speaking of death, I really appreciated how the author reflected the grief after a character’s death. In a lot of the YA fantasy novels that I read, when a character dies, the protagonist grieves over them for a brief second and then moves on like nothing happened. Sometimes, they don’t even grieve at all. I understand that the plot needs to keep moving, but death is never an easy thing. I like how Hafsah didn’t overlook that detail just because her characters are badasses. Sure, they’re tough, but they’re still human.

While we’re on the topic of humanity, I liked how Zafira made a lot of mistakes throughout the story. She’s on a quest in an unknown magical terrain, and she’s human. Of course she’s going to make mistakes. One small literary pet peeve of mine is when the protagonist is all-powerful and never screws up. People can be tough and brave while also messing up. I’m glad that the author did not follow the trope of a powerful protagonist not allowing themselves to mess up and never giving into their emotions.

Another thing I loved about this book is that Faizal’s writing is rich with imagery. The way she describes the weather and the scene unfolding invokes all five senses. I could tell she’s all about the details because I could perfectly imagine what she was describing, from the food the characters ate to the clothes they wore to even the looming danger of the Arz.

One thing I’m not sure about is the romantic relationship that forms between a certain two characters. I knew it was going to happen the moment I picked up a book, because I don’t know any young adult fantasy novel where the protagonist doesn’t have a love interest. However, I don’t understand how these two people could find the other attractive given their circumstances. It just doesn’t make sense to me. I’m not against it, but I’m not for it either.

The plot twists were unexpected but lackluster. Maybe it’s because I read this book late at night when I was tired that made me more critical of this novel, but the twists were okay. I’m not mad at them. In fact, I’d go as far as saying I was indifferent to most of the plot twists. They were just there.

On a more positive note, a shining moment in We Hunt the Flame is Zafira’s character development. Seeing her grow and shift throughout the novel was really rewarding. She still has quite a ways to go to become the person she and the world wants her to be, but she’s making progress. That scene when she put down her hood (those who have read this book know what I’m talking about) was a powerful moment. There was pride, confidence, but a little bit of insecurity: all things that come with change.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. Was it mind-blowing? No. Do I still recommend it because it was an enriching read? Absolutely.



Zafira a.k.a. the Hunter a.k.a. the Huntress


Nasir a.k.a. the Prince of Death

Uhhh… this boy needs a hug. Stat.


Thank goodness for Altair. Without him as the comedic relief, the book would be quite dull.


Old wise powerful man is old and powerful.


I hope we get to see more of her in the next book.

the Silver Witch

I don’t trust her as far as I can throw her.



I give We Hunt the Flame 4 out of 5 unicorn horns. It would be well worth your time to read it.



Until next time….


7 thoughts on “We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal | Book Review

  1. rayasreads 01/12/2020 / 9:19 am

    The plot sounds interesting. It’s a pity that you weren’t wowed by it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 01/12/2020 / 12:00 pm

      It’s still an amazing novel! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I hope you do too if you decide to read it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jordann @thebookbloglife 01/12/2020 / 4:58 pm

    I really wanted to loved this book, but I thought everything was a little rushed and all over the place! Glad you liked it though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 01/17/2020 / 8:36 pm

      I can see how you felt that the story was a little intense. The battles were hectic, but honestly I like chaos when it comes to fantasy novels. Sorry to hear that the book didn’t meet your expectations, especially since you really wanted to like it. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marta @ the book mermaid 01/28/2020 / 3:52 pm

    It has to be one of my next reads!! I was really excited about it a few months ago, then the hype kinda stopped, but it’s nice to know that it’s good. Thanks for letting me know about the deaths, I’ll try my best not to get attached to them! ): And wonderful review, btw 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 01/28/2020 / 6:10 pm

      Thank you! ❤ I'm so happy this book is on your TBR! It's honestly pretty good and I hope it lives up to your expectations! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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