Published by Farrar Straus Giroux an imprint of Macmillan
Released May 14, 2019
Saturday night, I dragged myself to bed so tired I couldn’t even imagine finishing the hot, sweet cup of tea I’d just poured. Tucking my legs under the covers I held the book trying to decide if my eyes could even focus on the words. Determined to enjoy at least a few sips of tea, I decided to read a couple of pages. The day had begun shortly after 4:00 AM to drive to nErDcampNJ and had been full to the brim. But now I was near collapse. As the tea dropped below half a mug I realized my mistake. I was in the final quarter of the book. The pace had quickened and every page revealed a conflict more intense than the page before. These were not chapters where I could just stop and rest. The story demanded I finish. Hours later, tea cold, heart racing, I turned the final page. Midnight loomed.
“People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.”
Debut author Hafsah Faizal’s world building will immerse readers into a desolate land struggling on in the shadow of history. We find our footing in the shifting sands the way Zafira does when first she steps beyond her snowbound land. We crave the sun when it is gone, and bless the moon that brings momentary anonymity and relief from the blazing heat of day just as Nasir does.
Faizal manages to make this epic tale of a quest both immeasurably personal and also of world shattering importance. We Hunt the Flame will draw readers in, captivating them in moments of intense danger. It will also let them glimpse the thoughts of both the Prince of Darkness and the Denementhune Hunter in their complicated dance to claim the magic that has long been missing from their world. The interplay of darkness and light weaves throughout this story. We, all of us, are more complicated than our surface belies. We are not irredeemably bad, nor wholly pure. Ultimately, the title is one of hope–that is, we hunt the flame as a moth seeks out the light in the darkness. We are drawn inexorably toward it.
The glimmer of hope through the darkness of Arawiya served as a much needed glimmer of hope through the haze of current events this week. Go ahead. Indulge in this delectable YA tale. Escape into the shadow of someone else’s history and bear witness as they strive to ensure its future.