A Book I Really Wanted To Love: We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Thursday, June 20, 2019


by Hafsah Faizal
Series: Sands of Arawiya #1
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Date: May 14th 2019
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★
Kiss Factor:

We Hunt the Flame has been everywhere ever since the book deal was announced. Even though I do not read a lot of YA fantasy books anymore, my interest was piqued by this book. It sounded like it would be an epic story with an even more sweeping setting. I went in ready to love We Hunt the Flame, and it felt like I would in the first few chapters, but it ended up disappointing me. I read this book with my friend, Wendy, and both of us dragged through the book, but we just kept waiting for it to end.

The biggest problem with this book was the pacing. It's a thick book, so you would think that lots goes on, but a whole lot of nothing occurs. We Hunt the Flame is incredibly slow, which I usually don't mind with fantasy novels because it gives me the time to absorb the world building, but it can frustrating if nothing major happens by the 50% mark. The basic gist of the plot revolves around the heroine, Zafira, going on a treasure hunt for a book that could restore magic in the lands of Arawiya. I'm a fan of all things treasure hunts, but it wasn't particularly exciting here. When things did happen, I felt very disconnected from the story - I simply did not care. There were deaths and I was intrigued enough by the world building. It was supposed to be this rich Arabian setting, but it did not stand out to me, unfortunately.

The characters were also not particularly memorable, in my opinion. They had potential, and in the beginning I saw all the promise in them. Zafira was an interesting enough character and I can see her becoming even more fleshed out in the future. However, in this book, she was a hard nut to crack and her emotions did not particularly click with me. The character development just was not there for me. I felt similarly about the male lead, Nasir. He was this gruff assassin who seemed to have a lot of layers surrounding his personality, but we did not get to know him as much as I would have liked. The one character that I did like was Altair, but not enough for me to enjoy the book as is. As a result of the characters being rather flimsy and surface-level, the romance and relationships in this book fell flat for me.

I'm sad that We Hunt the Flame did not click with me. I had such high hopes for it. I don't think I will personally be continuing on with the Sands of Arawiya series. Even though the book did not appeal to me, if you're curious enough about it, I would give it a try.

Have you had any major disappointments this year?
Let me know in the comments below!

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