We Hunt the Flame is a beautiful high fantasy novel by Hafsah Faizal. I love unique fantasies, and this book was very different from most novels I’ve read in this genre.
Most popular fantasy novels are based on European folklore, but We Hunt the Flame is set in a world based on Arabic mythology. The representation was refreshing, and I’m hoping to see more fantasy books built around the Middle East.
We Hunt the Flame follows Zafira, a girl who receives a quest from the sultan to retrieve a mysterious book from the ruins of the Sharr island. With the power from this book and from the island, magic will be able to return to her kingdom. There’s an issue, though: the crown prince, Nasir, also known as the Prince of Death. The sultan sends him to kill Zafira after she retrieves the book, but what happens when the two cross paths and decide to team up?
This book was incredible: Every element was done well, and reading it was my favorite part of the day.
To start off, the worldbuilding was decent. There was a map at the start of the book, which was really helpful for visualizing and understanding the different settings. Most of the worldbuilding explored the history of the land rather than the present culture. I liked this, but really hope the author showcases the cultures of the different kingdoms in the sequel.
With worldbuilding came magic, which was cool, but certainly not the best magic system I’ve ever read about. Even the characters who knew a lot about it failed to explain it well, and I was confused about it for a while. Luckily, it’s fairly simple to catch on by the last several chapters.
As usual, my favorite element was the characters. Although there were several main characters, the author was able to develop all of them and make them complex. They connect really well together, and their interactions added much to the story and to their character development.
I was impressed with the romantic subplot between the two main characters, Zafira and Nasir. As I started reading with the knowledge that it was enemies-to-lovers, I wasn’t expecting much. But I was pleasantly shocked by how well it was written: the characters genuinely cared about each other. They interacted in really healthy ways and helped each other grow as people. This relationship was far from the usual fanservice romance that this trope usually provides.
The storyline in itself was notably interesting. The pacing was great, and Hafsah Faizal used foreshadowing and plot twists masterfully.
A lot of YA books nowadays don’t have a lot of deep messaging or life advice implied through the plot, but We Hunt The Flame does. It’s a beautiful story about the correlation between love and strength, and the different ways that people view these topics.
This book is powerful and heartfelt, and I’m thrilled to read future installments.
Hi! My name is Kayleigh and I am a staff writer for The Mycenaean. Two fun facts about me are that I want to be a bestselling author and frogs are my favorite animal!