Mini Reviews

Title: We Hunt the Flame

Publisher: Hafsah Faizal

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Release Date: 14th May 2019

Number of Pages: 472

Genre: YA, Fantasy


Goodreads Synopsis

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 king. 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 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 king 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.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

YA fantasy has been a bit of a hit or miss with me lately but I am so glad to say that this was definitely a hit and I can’t believe that it took me so long to pick it up.

I feel in love with everything in this novel. Hafsah does such an amazing job at bring this world to life. The world is so detailed and intricate and I loved learning about it and it’s history. I also enjoyed learning more about Arabic culture through this.

I absolutely adored the characters in this. First we have our two POV characters Zafira and Nasir who are your typical YA angsty teenagers with traumatic backstories but despite this they were both still their own characters and I really liked the chemistry between them. We also have a host of great side characters that all have their own distinct personalities and I never got confused with who was who. My favourite of these being Altair.

The plot does start off a little slow but this wasn’t often putting the way it can be at times and it doesn’t take too long for things to pick up and for you to become swept up in the story.

Overall, I fell in love with this world and these characters and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel. I gave this 5 out of 5 stars.

Trigger warning for: parental abuse, torture, violence and death of a loved one. 



Title: Stain

Author: A.G. Howard

Publisher: Abrams/Amulet Books

Release Date: 19th January 2019

Number of Pages: 512

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling


Goodreads Synopsis

“Once upon a nightmare, her fairy tale begins…

This high-fantasy gothic fairytale, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea, takes place in an alternative medieval world split apart by magic. To win back her kingdom of perpetual day, save her night prince, and reunite the sun with the moon, a princess incapable of speech or sound must prove herself everything a traditional princess is not: tough enough to sleep on a bed of nails, and loud enough to be heard without a voice.”

This is another novel that I can’t believe I didn’t pick up sooner as it is such a magical read.

I fall more in love with A.G. Howard’s writing with every book I read of hers. It is so beautiful and whimsical and she does such an amazing job of bring her stories to life. It also reads so much like the faerie tales I use to read when I was younger. The world she creates in this novel is so beautiful and magical and I love the dark and gothic undertones throughout. If I were to describe my aesthetic to anyone it would be this book.

The plot is such an interesting take on the original Princess and the Pea story. The plot can be slow at times especially at the beginning which works really well for this novel as it us time to be introduced to the world, the characters and the magic. And despite this slower pace the book will still have you captivated from the beginning.

The characters in this are also amazing and I love that you get moany POVs as this really helps you to understand the reasons behind their actions and their intentions. They also teach us that our that our choices are our own and that we much be prepared to accept the consequences of them

The overall all message of this is of hope, found family and that we are so much more than our scars.

Overall, I was swept away by this story and gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

Trigger warnings for: violence, abuse


Have you read either of these? What did you think of them?


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