A review by sheepishlysarah
We Hunt the Flame, by Hafsah Faizal

4.0

I really enjoyed this. I've been in a bit of a reading slump and while this didn't fully break it, this was a good solid read. I felt like I savored this a bit because I read it over a much longer period of time than I usually do. I have the memory of a goldfish though and so I actually started to forget some plot points from the very beginning and had to go back and refer to a few things. I liked all the characters in this well enough. Zafira and Nasir are my favorites followed by Altair. Everyone else was not as developed and so I didn't get as attached to them. I loved Zafira's drive to complete the quest contrasted with her fear of losing her identity as "The Hunter" once she's saved Ariwaya. Nasir makes me so sad. His whole existence is just one giant black cloud and he had this absolutely amazing line about depression. "He was always sad, he knew. But there was a difference between a perpetual state of unhappiness and a sudden gust of it, leaving him cold and helpless. Floundering with no sight of an end." I just want to snuggle him. Here comes my one problem with him as a character. He constantly thinks of himself as a monster and other characters view him in the same way (it's brought up so often in the book otherwise I wouldn't remark on this) but we're never shown him doing anything truly horrible. Yes, he's a killer but he only kills when commanded and only kills those he's commanded to. The one instance of this we see as a scene is him killing a man who fully accepts and recognizes that he's going to die. The scene makes me feel sadder for Nasir than this random character. Maybe if he delighted in the killing I could see him as being monstrous and then changing along the journey. However, instead we only get more scenes that he was always good and never close to being a monster. Altair was a delight, I always love a character who attempts to break up the tension with a joke. I also liked when he had his serious scenes too. It made him so much more than just the comic relief character.

I also loved the setting of Arawiya. The way the landscape changed when magic disappeared was so interesting. I loved seeing how it twisted and affected each caliphate. Also the FOOD! There were so many amazing food descriptions in this book. You could read it simply for that reason alone! The ending of this novel was really gripping and once I hit a certain part I really struggled to put the book down. I can't wait to see how everything shakes out in the next installment.