We Hunt the Flame – Sunday Funday Review

Synopsis – 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 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.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

This review might seem a bit confusing. But bear with me there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I promise.

The Great: I’m starting to realize that I am a fan of good friend or frenemies main characters. And of course relatable characters! We Hunt the Flame threw us into Zarifa’s life from the start of the book and she is constantly surrounded by people. Whether its her sister and her mother, her best friend, and her brother, or the unlikely team that must band together if they’re to survive; Nasir, Altair, Benyamin, and Kifah, Faizal does a great job of giving each character, personality and a well-balanced group dynamic.

For a majority of the story, we [the reader] are following them as they set out on an impossible mission for their own separate reasons. Their dynamic was the best part of the story. It was interesting to see from both main characters, Nasir and Zafira’s POV. Plus Altair and Benyamin flare for the dramatics and comedy, lifted the tension that was ever present when Nasir and Zafira were around.

The Good: Setting descriptions were well done. Apart from a few scenes, it was easy for me to picture where I was in the story. 

The Not-so Good: Unfortunately there are a few things I didn’t love about the book. The pace of the story was all over the place. As with most fantasy reads, the beginning is usually slow as the author’s setting the tone and building the world. However, towards the end of the book I felt the author unexpectedly moved way too fast and it lessened my enjoyment. Also, a good number of the major reveals were pretty predictable. I will say there were a few I didn’t expect and gave me whiplash. But for the most part it was underwhelming and took away from the story. Finally, the ending was drawn out and could’ve maybe finished within two chapters of the climactic scene. Especially since this is a series.

Overall though, I enjoyed the book and found a majority of it entertaining. 

I definitely recommend it to YA Fantasy lovers who love a good Chosen One trope mixed with a band of frenemy misfits.