We Hunt the Flame
Sands of Arawiya, book 1
by Hafsah Faizal
Zafira is the Hunter, tasked with finding an ancient artifact to restore magic and save her people. Nasir is the assassin tasked with finding that same artifact and killing the Hunter.
Before I talk about the book as a whole, I have some problems with the logistics of Zafira being the Hunter. First, why does Zafira need to pretend to be a man? She could just leave the meat anonymously if she doesn’t want anyone to know it’s her. Also, I get that there’s prejudice against women, but if your only source of food comes from a woman, I can’t see that many people being mad about it. Second, how is she hunting enough to feed her entire people without anyone noticing she leaves so often? Did I miss something?
The world is fascinating and magical and I really wish we got to know more about it. It’s definitely explored as our main characters travel, but the focus is much more on the characters than the world they exist in. There are lots of twists and turns as the story unfolds, but the slow pacing kept me from really being captivated by this Arabia-inspired tale that I was initially excited about.
I really like that the small group of characters were all working together as a means of working against one another. They all needed each other to succeed in their own goals, but for one of them to succeed meant the others must fail. It made for an interesting dynamic of forced cooperation and a delicate truce between characters who would much rather have nothing to do with one another.
I would recommend this if you’re looking for a slow-paced, character focused, Arabia-inspired, magical adventure.