Question of the day: how many times does April need to check out We Hunt the Flame from the library before she finally starts reading it???
7. Plus 3 more to finish it. I know people normally say 3rd time’s the charm, but this time, 10 times was the charm. And charming it was.
When considering this whole reading ~experience~ We Hunt the Flame had a lot of things stacked against it. Mainly the fact that April was head deep into a contemporary mood and getting through the first act was like being dragged through the desert by the ankles. (Seriously, can you imagine the sand-burn???)
But still, the joy that We Hunt the Flame preserved. A gem of a book, complete with lush world building and characters you can’t help root for. And of course, Altair and his god tier humor.
Book: We Hunt the Flame
Author: Hafsah Faizal
Published May 14th 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Misogyny, Physical abuse, Emotional abuse, Verbal abuse, Blood, Physical injuries, Murder, Torture, Imprisonment and captivity
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 sultan. 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 Zafira and Nasir 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 sultan 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. (from Goodreads)
We Hunt the Flame has a lot going for it. First off, the slow burn romance? My eyes were blessed to read something so amazing. Seriously. Faizal INVENTED romantic tension, my god. There were moments that even I was unsure about the romance, with similar concerns to those of Zafira, but over time I was one over. Because the chemistry was undeniable. Wowza.
One component that made the romance so magical is probably the banter. I mean, it’s not all the banter. But it is definitely a key ingredient in the glorious soup recipe that is slow burn romance (anddddd we are going to ignore the absolute tragedy that was that metaphor).
POINT IS. Banter is on point. And not just between Nasir and Zafira. Between everyone on the little quest squad. Fully guaranteed to make you short. Or chortle. Or whatever it is you do to express amusement by humor.
Oh! Let’s take a hot sec to talk about the aforementioned quest squad. Yeah. There is also found family! Isn’t that fun?? If you didn’t want to read this one before, I know the words “found family” did it.
But in case I haven’t sealed your reading fate, I’m going to toss a few more words into the ring to see if they catch your attention. Ready? Knife. To. Throat. Scene.
The ony major gripe I have with We Hunt the Flame is the pacing. The first act was so unbelievably slow it made me want to scream into the abyss just to pass time. It moved at a snail’s pace. But in x3 slow motion. It drags on and on, lacking action.
I will admit, the slow start caused me to temporarily dnf the book twice before finally picking it up this third and final time. It really is slow. But if you are able to make it through (whether that be with audiobooks, self-bribery, or pure grit), it will be worth it.
Ok. Two more things before we go.
- I could have used some more tension or stakes during some of the fight scenes. I wanted to feel the woah! woah! woah! energy throughout. Instead I felt like I was just chilling there watching. Idk…
- The ending. WHAT????????? HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN???? But also kind of epic. The end of We Hunt the Flame perfectly set up the next book and I cannot wait time to dive back into this wonderful world again.
Overall, I’m giving this a solid yess on the hype-o-meter. Despite a rocky start, this is one that I really enjoyed. I think others will also enjoy it as long as they stick with it through the first act. And if your motivation ever starts waivering, there is official character art (with no spoilers!) on Hafsah Faizal’s website.
But wait! There’s more! You are not too late to catch the second half of this epic showdown! Will We Hunt the Flame emerg victorious in yet another battle against the notorious hype-o-meter? Head over to Rachel’s half of the post to find out!
Have you read We Hunt the Flame? What did you think of it? Who were your favorite characters?