Hunters and Hate-to-Love: My We Hunt the Flame Review

In case you’ve been living under a rock, We Hunt the Flame is an Arab-inspired YA fantasy about five adventurers from rival provinces who have to team up to navigate an island full of illusions and dark magic so they can find a book that will bring magic back to the land! It's been super hyped up by a lot of my friends on bookstagram, so when I got the opportunity to join a readalong for it, I jumped at the chance.

So does it live up to the hype? Read on to find out!

Book Title: We Hunt the Flame
Author: Hafsah Faizal
Publisher/Year: FSG, 2019
Genre: Fantasy
Number of Pages (According to Goodreads): 472
My Rating: 5 out of 5

Book description (from Goodreads):

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 sultan. 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 Zafira and Nasir 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 sultan 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.

Somebody Tattoo These Quotes on My Body

First off, the writing in this book is some of the BEST I’ve ever read in YA! Every part of it is so lyrical without being purple prose-y or dense, and I think Hafsah Faizal is going to become one of my favorite writers because of it.

There were a few Arabic words sprinkled throughout, but it was pretty easy to tell what they meant from the context. There’s also a glossary on the book’s website and in the back of some editions just in case!

Can I Be Part of the Zumra, Please?

I adored the cast of characters, especially the zumra (the core gang of five characters). Zafira and Nasir are enemies-to-lovers, blades-pressed-to-throats EXCELLENCE! It was also a delight to read about the enigmatic and hilarious Altair, the fierce and wise Kifah, and the mom friend Benyamin.

The plot started off a little slow as the characters and the world were introduced, but I didn’t mind because it was super interesting. But when it got going, it got GOING!! The last few chapters were twist after twist, and left me desperate to read the sequel ASAP!

Trigger and Content Warnings for We Hunt the Flame

This book may not be for you if you're sensitive to discussions/depictions of death/murder, violence, torture, animal death, misogyny, child abuse, war themes, and mentions of suicide.

Final Thoughts

After being enchanted by the world of Arawiya, I'm super excited to read We Free the Stars, so it's a good thing there's a readalong of that starting next week! Reading We Hunt the Flame also made me even more excited for Hafsah Faizal's next book, A Tempest of Tea, which I was already dying to read (it involves HEISTS and VAMPIRES) before I discovered just how much I love her writing.

We Hunt the Flame is available everywhere, so check out the links below if you want to snag your own copy:

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