Hi everyone, so I read the Sand of Arawiya duology a few months ago and I loved it so much!! I realised I never actually wrote a review for We Free the Stars so I decided to write one. So let’s get on with the review.
We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal
Genre: YA fantasy, romance
Tropes: Enemies to lovers, found family
[TW: blood, child abuse, gore, grief, emotional abuse (mentioned), murder, physical abuse (mentioned), violence, war]
Synopsis (from publisher):
The battle on Sharr is over. The dark forest has fallen. Altair may be captive, but Zafira, Nasir, and Kifah are bound for Sultan’s Keep, determined to finish the plan he set in motion: restoring the hearts of the Sisters of Old to the minarets of each caliphate, and finally returning magic to all of Arawiya. But they are low on resources and allies alike, and the kingdom teems with fear of the Lion of the Night’s return.
As the zumra plots to overthrow the kingdom’s darkest threat, Nasir fights to command the magic in his blood. He must learn to hone his power into a weapon, to wield not only against the Lion but against his father, trapped under the Lion’s control. Zafira battles a very different darkness festering in her through her bond with the Jawarat—a darkness that hums with voices, pushing her to the brink of her sanity and to the edge of a chaos she dare not unleash. In spite of the darkness enclosing ever faster, Nasir and Zafira find themselves falling into a love they can’t stand to lose…but time is running out to achieve their ends, and if order is to be restored, drastic sacrifices will have to be made.
Lush and striking, hopeful and devastating, We Free the Stars is the masterful conclusion to the Sands of Arawiya duology by New York Times–bestselling author Hafsah Faizal.
I finished We Free the Stars a few months ago and this book was *INHALES* absolutely breathtaking.
We Free the Stars gave the Sands of Arawiya duology a well deserved conclusion and it did not miss the mark anywhere. The plot, the characters, the side characters (Altair please be my friend *cries*), the romance between Nasir and Zafira. All of it was written with such perfection that I finished the book in one sitting.
We definitely see a lot more of Zafira and Nasir’s characters in this novel. One of my favourite Zafira x Nasir moment definitely has to be this [might be a spoiler so proceed accordingly]:
“Your turn. What color do you like most?” His eyes flared before he could mask his surprise. Did he not think she’d ask him in return? It was always a game, capturing the small displays of Nasir Ghameq’s emotions. A game she liked, she realized. One she could play forever and never tire of. “You,” he said, so softly it was only sound. The intensity of his gaze stole the air from her lungs. She shook her head. “That—” “Every color that makes you.”
The developments in their relationship were raw and beautiful and it wasn’t instant love or enemies to lovers without a reason.
Many argue that Nasir’s character was toxic (read that somewhere I don’t even remember) , but in my opinion I can guarantee that this is what a morally grey character is called, not characters (villains) such as The Darkling from the Grishaverse. We do get to see a lot of developments in both Zafira and Nasir’s lives and how they overcome a lot of hurdles which was great to read about. We also get more about Altair which was awesome for me because I love Altair and want to be his friend but I fear he will kill me 🥲-
The conclusion was one of the best I’ve read and it made me cry because BOOKS DO THAT PEOPLE. Don’t worry it wasn’t sad or something like that but it just made me unhappy that the duology ended. I do hope I get more of Zafira and Nasir my beloveds, in Hafsah’s upcoming books 😭✋
In conclusion I recommend this book to EVERYONE because who can resist and enemies to lovers, slow burn romance portrayed in an Arabic setting with a quest to complete in order to save the land of Arawiya.
Thank you for reading this review and I hoped you liked it!!
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Sending incoherent screams about Zafira being the definition of absolutely extraordinary,