Review: The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

candleFlame pic

Prettiest cover! ❤

Pub. Date: May 14th 2019 I Scholastic I Pages: 416 I Fantasy


“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.” (GR)


The Candle and the Flame is an urban, Muslim YA fantasy by debut author Nafiza Azad. The world-building was amazing: I loved the city of Noor so much, with its many voices and religions and cultures and foods. Having just returned to a state of peace after terrible violence, Noor appears once again on the precipice of disaster, when an important Ifrit dies and the human Fatima inherits his fire and binding powers.

This is not a book with a racing, twisty plot, but an atmospheric novel that will get you with richly detailed descriptions of the bustling city, looming intrigue, colorful dresses and mouthwatering foods. Seriously, there’s so much food porn in this book, don’t read on an empty stomach!

And then there are the many, different female characters. It was so wonderful to see such a range of expressions, instead of the three same old types that women characters get reduced to. And they change and grow throughout the course of the story and they are allowed to misbehave. I also loved their relationships, especially the friendship and sisterhood of Fatima and her adoptive sister Sunaina. Then there’s the romance with the Ifrit leader Zulfikar. Romance is so rarely my thing, but from what I read I think YA readers will love it.

This is a book that is as beautiful as its cover promises. I can’t wait to see what Nafiza comes up with next!

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

3 thoughts on “Review: The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

Add yours

  1. Oh my God this sounds SO GOOD, and I am dead from how gorgeous that cover is. I have been thinking this weekend how happy I am that there are so many more YA books, esp fantasy, by authors of color than there were when I was a kid. Adding this to my list!


  2. I loved this book so much! I’ve read it twice and Nafiza is also just one of the most brilliant and kindest people around. Can’t wait for her next novel.


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