Friday, May 17, 2019

Review: The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza AzadThe Candle and the Flame
by Nafiza Azad
May 14, 2019
416 pages

Goodreads      Indigo

Goodreads Summary:
Azad's debut YA fantasy is set in a city along the Silk Road that is a refuge for those of all faiths, where a young woman is threatened by the war between two clans of powerful djinn.

Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population -- except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar.

But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.

Nafiza Azad weaves an immersive tale of magic and the importance of names; fiercely independent women; and, perhaps most importantly, the work for harmony within a city of a thousand cultures and cadences.


The Candle and the Flame has been one of my most highly anticipated 2019 title ever since I first heard about it. Nafiza is actually a local author/book blogger to me so I was doubly excited~ Allow me to say that her book is breathtaking and empowering.

The world in The Candle and the Flame is complicated but just so that we understand it as it is introduced to us bit by bit. The writing was engaging and the story was well-crafted and full of magic and mystery. What really stood out though were the characters. Aside from Fatima, we got to see through many other POVs. Each one showed considerable growth and was vital to the progression of the story.

Fatima is undeniably a stubborn girl but I loved her all the more for it. She's resilient and selfless in the most noble of ways. Sunaina's words captured Fatima perfectly: "...someone who is more than the sum of her experiences. Her sister is a universe, one of those ephemeral moments; she is both a choice and the consequence of a choice." (p. 271). Fatima is her own person.

I really enjoyed how Nafiza developed Fatima's different relationships and the changes that came with her metamorphosis. While she was slowly estranging from her adopted sister, she maintained great rapport with the Alif Sisters. Through her thoughts and emotions, we get a better picture of who Fatima Ghazala is. I love the way she fearlessly stood up to the djinns and others who'd belittle her. Even Zulfikar got a taste of her strength. Their romance was subtle and sweet and just enough.

Nafiza does a splendid job introducing us to the culture. I felt fully immersed while I was reading. The descriptions of the delicacies made my mouth water and the fashion had me wanting to see the fineries with my own eyes. The emphasis placed on one's name was my favourite part. So important and so meaningful.

The Candle and the Flame is a gorgeous story with a lush world and powerful themes. Add it to your TBR now! Nafiza Azad is a debut author you definitely want to check out!
5 Cats
*I received an Advance Reading Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and not affected in any way.  Quote included in my review was taken from the physical copy I purchased.


  1. So glad you liked this so much. I really want to read it and have it on reserve.

    1. I hope you get it soon! It's such a power and feminist read!

  2. This was a WoW pick for me a while back and I finally got a hardcover copy. Can't wait to read it!

    1. Hooray!!! I look forward to seeing your thoughts :D


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