YA Fantasy Review: We Hunt The Flame by Hafzah Faizal

We Hunt The Flame by Hafzah Faizal (Sands of Arawyia #1)

bought on Audible

Synopsis from Goodreads

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.

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It's definitely more of a miss than a hit with YA fiction for me these days, peeps. I fell for the hype around this book and the news about the upcoming movie? series? based on it.

I hold my hands up. While there were interesting moments in the beginning, this book quickly fell into a familiar pattern. Girl is supposed to accomplish a quest. Girl meets boy. Girl has moral quandaries about the boy. Girl falls for the boy inexplicably and almost instantly. Must be the emo, angsty image of a cold killer with tortured past. That bad boy vibe is hard to fight! 

  This is a successful formula for a reason, folks, but you still have to have an attraction to the characters to enjoy it. I totally admit that I zoned out through most of this book on audio, emerging here and there it was so unmemorable. I doubt I'd have finished it on kindle. 

I didn't have a clear picture of the characters, their motivation didn't make sense to me, and I sure as hell didn't have a good picture of the world-building. Maas writes very vivid characters, for example, and I can understand them. In the same way, Chacraborty's Middle Eastern YA fantasy was absolutely fabulous, and there are many more amazing YA authors whose writing is clear and spell-binding. We Hunt The Flame, unfortunately, didn't leave such an impression.

* * *

Ну, черти что, ребята, не часто мне попадается сейчас хороший подростковый фикшн, особенно в жанре фэнтези. Вот и с этой книгой я повелась на хайп, потому как её собираются скоро экранизировать.

Я вот поднимаю руки вверх. Вроде были интересные моменты в самом начале, но сюжет быстренько выложился в знакомый узор. Девочка собирается в квест, чтобы спаси мир. Девочка встречает мальчика. Девочку разбирают сомнения по поводу его морального облика, но она все-равно в него по уши влюбляется. Наверное, это образ энгстового эмо киллера с мучительным прошлым. Работает каждый раз!

Это конечно успешная формула по хорошей причине, но читателю все-равно необходимо полюбить характеров, чтобы она сработала, а этому автору это не удалось. Вот у Маас это выходит. Возьмите ту же Чакраборти с её волшебным средневосточным фэнтези о джиннах и ифритах. Работает. И я уже не говорю о таких сказочных именах как Наоми Новик или Кэтрин Арден. А здесь все вышло настолько незапоминающимся, что я всю книгу прослушала на автомате и практически ничего не запомнила. Мотивацию персонажей я не поняла, да и построение мира было смутным. Так что, разочарование сплошное. Не советую, ребята.


  1. It's a bit too bad that it wasn't more

  2. I have a really hard time liking YA fantasy

    1. I've read some good ones recently so it's not all bad 😁


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