We are so excited to be participating in the We Hunt the Flame blog tour! We are dying to get our hands on this book but in the meantime, we have an exclusive excerpt for you to check out to tide you over until the release. Check out what this book is all about first!We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) on May 14th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
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.
Zafira’s house was the last in the village and closest to the Arz, making it easy for her to switch between herself and the Hunter. Still, she breathed a relieved sigh when she
snapped the latch of her front door into place.
A fire crackled in the hearth, and Lana was sprawled across the cushions of their majlis, asleep. The village news scroll lay in her lap, along with the latest edition of al- Habib. The periodical was worn and tattered from the many hands that had perused it before hers. It was full of gossip, short stories, and the latest happenings from around the kingdom. The faltering caliphates and lack of magic meant the editions were few and far between, but that only made them more cherished.
Al- Habib was aniconic and abstract, rife with calligraphic art. Zafira never had the patience for them, but she had always wished for depictions giving faces to the names, if only so she had an image of the caliph and the sultan in her head to hate. The crown prince to fear. The immortal safin to understand.
Light freckles dusted Lana’s glowing skin, and the orange of the flames danced in her dark hair. If life were simpler, Zafira might have envied her sister’s beauty.
She slipped out of her boots and crossed the foyer, digging her heels into the little bumps so she could feel the stone. Hanging her cloak on the polished knob by the hall, she went to remove her satchel and froze. A square was tucked between the folds. Parchment.
Silver as a crescent moon, crimson as fresh blood.
She threw a quick glance at Lana and pulled it out with careful fingers. The silver winked in the frail firelight. It hummed. Beckoned like the Arz. Her breath escaped haltingly.
Open me, the parchment seemed to whisper. The dangerous curve of the silver- cloaked woman’s smile flashed in her mind, and she turned it over slowly. Angled creases and an unbroken seal— a letter, reminding her of a woman who did not exist.
The words bint Iskandar were wrought upon the silver. Daughter of Iskandar.
A hammering started in her chest, yet she held deathly still when Lana shifted on the cushions, murmuring something about Deen in her sleep. Zafira pursed her lips and broke the seal, brushing her thumb over the geometric emblem, the slender curve of a crescent moon in its center. Arawiyan script scrawled across the page.
Peace unto you, esteemed one.
You have been invited upon a journey of a lifetime. To an isle where nature has no limits and darkness holds all secrets.
Why should you desire to venture to such a place, you ask? Oh, dear one. For the retrieval of magic in the form of an ancient book known as the lost Jawarat.
Glory and splendor. The past once more.
Your quest begins two dawns hence, at the mouth of the Arz.
Zafira read it again and again, finding it harder to breathe with each pass. The words coiled in her, strangled her heart.
Magic. A journey to Sharr, for there was no other island in existence. To retrieve magic. To restore Arawiya to its former glory and do away with the Arz. With this lost Jawarat. She racked her brain for the meaning in the ancient tongue. Lost Jewel.
She dropped the letter back in her bag with trembling fingers.
Was this why the caliph was in the House of Selah, a quarter- day’s r ide from h ere? The western villages were small, the poorest in Demenhur, especially when compared to the majestic capital of Thalj, four days from the outskirts where Zafira lived.
Sweet snow below. Two days from now. Sharr and magic and—
Her thoughts screeched to a halt: the silver- cloaked woman was real. She had left this in Zafira’s satchel. There had been no one else in crimson and silver. But how real was this invitation, this quest? The existence of magic?
As much as the woman spooked her, Zafira would endure another meeting just so she could make sense of everything.
She pulled the letter from her satchel again. She needed to hold it. Feel it. Read the words again and again, drunk on something unseen. The shuffle of a blanket broke the silence, and she deftly slipped the silver parchment away again as Lana sat up.
What do you think? Tell us your thoughts in the comments. Hopefully you have this one on your TBR already and if not, go add it now!