The “Sands of Arawiya” duology — “We Hunt The Flame” and “We Free The Stars” — is written by Hafsah Faizal.
Although the books are for everyone, the Arab community can especially relate to it as the descriptive narrative emulates Arab culture and traditions.
The story starts with a kingdom divided into lands led by different caliphs under a single sultan and revolves around the main characters Zafirah and Nasir.
Zafirah is a huntress who dresses up like a man and refuses to reveal her gender to her town while she travels to a dark and dangerous forest to hunt for her people. Nasir is a trained assassin prince who kills for his father and sultan as he tries to gain the affection of his father and earn his place as the prince.
The two travel to the cursed island of Sharr on separate routes but decide to unite to retrieve an ancient item to bring magic back to the land.
A personal favorite character was Altair who, from the beginning, seems shady but his nonchalant behavior and witty humor make him someone who makes the reader laugh every time he appears on the page.
Arab readers will find themselves completely immersed in the story with its mentions of gahwa, dates, kunafah, and so much more.
Perhaps the most brilliant thing about the books is that, even though they are based on Arab culture, they can be enjoyed by anyone.
In terms of genre, the books are a healthy mix of romance, fantasy, adventure, found family trope, and an enemies-to-lovers trope in the duology, making sure everyone has a good time.
The characters, their emotions, and their journey are described so intricately that they feel like real people. Each character brings their personal touch that makes the story so much better. An interesting read, the books are available on Amazon in all formats.