Lush fantasy with amazing characters and world-building
I really loved We Hunt the Flame. It is a well-written fantasy inspired by Middle Eastern culture. The world building is skillful, the magic system fascinating, and the characters complex. The land of Arawiya once vibrant and flourishing, has lost its good magic, has become cursed and suffers under a cruel Sultan. Zafira is the legendary Demenhune Hunter who masquerades as a man to brave a dark, treacherous forest called the Arz so that she can feed her people. The Arz is invading Arawiya, threatening to destroy it. Zafira is offered the chance to venture to a mysterious island in a quest for an artifact that will restore good magic to her land and defeat the Arz. Nasir, the Sultan’s son, an assassin who does his bidding, is tasked with using Zafira to find the artifact and then kill her. They are joined on the island by other characters, with their own, at first, mysterious agendas. I liked all the characters and watching how their relationships grew and changed. I loved Altair and Kifah. There were some quite unexpected twists. Lush descriptions of the setting, people, clothes and food abound. The romance was slowly developed and did not dominate the story. I am grateful to have read this right as the sequel is published so I don't have to wait. Highly recommended.