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Literature / We Hunt The Flame

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Ages ago, the land of Arawiya was peaceful, bountiful, and filled with magic. The land was protected by the Six Sisters of Old, who used their magic to maintain peace and prosperity. Then one day, they vanished, and seemingly took magic with them. At the same time, a nigh-lifeless desert almost none are able to safely traverse emerged and began slowly overtaking the land.

In the sisters' absence, the Caliphates over the land grow unstable. The people suffer and starve, men fight for power, and a few Caliphs have used the disappearance and seeming failure of the sisters to justify laws repressing the rights of women.

Amidst this chaos, there is Zafira, a huntress able to traverse the Arz and hunt in its sands. Her people lived because she killed, but she pretends to be a man in order to avoid earning the ire of the Caliph. Because she can traverse the Arz she is recruited to lead journey into its center and find a magic artifact that may be able to restore magic to the land. Meanwhile, Prince Nasir is better known as the Prince of Death, made to assassinate his cruel father's enemies. His father has given Nasir a new assignment: Follow the Hunter into the Arz, kill him once he's found the artifact, and bring it to the Sultan.


We Hunt the Flame is a YA fantasy novel, the first in the Sands of Arawiya series, released in 2019, written by Hafsa Faizal. The book takes heavy inspiration from Arabian culture and folklore and was published to rave reviews, with even acclaimed fantasy author Brandon Sanderson going out of his way to follow Faizal on twitter. The sequel, We Free the Stars is due to come out in January 2021.

This work contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Nasir's father.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The Arz grows in size.
  • Action Girl: Zafira is a competent fighter. They run into Kifah later, who is also a competent fighter.
  • Big Bad: Nasir's father, a tyrant who seeks the treasure hidden in the Arz for the sake of increasing his sphere of influence.
  • Bigger Bad: The Lion of the Night, a powerful and evil Djinn who orchestrated the Sisters' failure.
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  • Disguised in Drag: Zafira pretends to be a man so the rumors of a hunter who can navigate and hunt the Arz safely.
  • Distressed Damsel: The Lion manages to kidnap Zafira near the end of the book.
  • Freudian Excuse: The Sultan's appears to be the death of his wife, whom he genuinely loved. It later turns out to mostly be manipulation on the Lion's part.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Nasir's mother wasn't human, but a Safin, a magical race of people who have extremely long lifespans, pointed ears, and are very beautiful.
  • Killed Off for Real: A few main characters die by the end of this book: Deen and Benyamin, specifically.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Altair's dad is the Lion.
  • I Have Your Wife: The way Nasir's father keeps him in line is by holding a servant girl he fell in love with hostage. To show that he's serious he cut out her tongue.
  • The Load: Downplayed, but Zafira comes to view herself this way once the main party forms because as a fighter she's the weakest member of the group.
  • The Magic Comes Back: The main goal of the characters. While things don't go as planned and things aren't the way they were before, they seemingly succeed at the end of the book.
  • We Can Rule Together: The Lion spends a long time trying to convince Zafira to work with him in finding the scroll that will grant him control over magic.

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