Review – We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal

Title We Free the Stars
Author Hafsah Faizal
Release Date January 19, 2021
Date Finished January 18, 2021 **please note, this wasn’t an ARC read, my local bookstore had it for sale a few days early**


Darkness surged in his veins. Power bled from her bones.

The battle on Sharr is over. The Arz has fallen. Altair may be captive, but Zafira, Nasir, and Kifah are bound for Sultan’s Keep, determined to finish the plan Altair set in motion: restoring the hearts of the Sisters of Old to the minarets of each caliphate, finally bringing 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 Arawiya’s darkest threat, Nasir fights to command the magic in his blood. He must learn to hone his power, to wield it against not only the Lion but his father as well, trapped under the Lion’s control. Zafira battles a very different darkness festering in her through her bond with the Jawarat―it hums with voices, pushing her to the brink of sanity and to the edge of a chaos she dares not unleash. In spite of everything, Zafira and Nasir find themselves falling into a love they can’t stand to lose . . . But time is running out, and if order is to be restored, drastic sacrifices will have to be made.

Initial Thoughts

There’s nothing like reading 450+ books between the first and second book in a series to remind you how much you missed the world. I read We Hunt the Flame in May of 2019 and oh wow was I frustrated with the ending. I actually preorder my copy of this book in October of 2019 and here we are in 2021 just talking about it. Needless to say, I was excited to read this book.

Some Things I Liked

  • Stunning world building with lush descriptions. As mentioned above, I read a TON of books between books 1 and 2, but, all that did was mature my reading taste. While I might have rebuffed the poetic language in book 1, I craved it in book 2. Hafsah Faizal paints such rich pictures I felt like I could close my eyes and see what Zafira, Nasir, or any of my favorites were seeing at any given moment.
  • That romance. Never have I ever been so tortured by slow burn romance and loved it so much. I probably had a moment every other chapter where I wanted to either shake Zafira or Nasir and be like “JUST SAY IT!” The tension that Hafsah created was nothing short of phenomenal.
  • Altair. My heart hurt every moment he wasn’t with the zumra. He’s one of my favorite characters of all time. His wit, his smile in the face of danger, the way he mercilessly teases Nasir, I would read a million spin off stories about him.
  • The ending. The build to the end was everything I wanted it to be and more. It was just what I wanted to see.

Series Value

I would love to read more books set in this world. Prequels, sequels, side stories, you name it. I’m very excited to read Hafsah’s next series, which is supposed to be set in the same world but about new characters.

Final Thoughts

I devoured this book. I read it all in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down. This book was WELL worth the wait.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – if you want a book that will literally destroy you emotionally and make you feel all the feelings, try this completed seres.
  • A Tempest of Tea by Hafsah Faizal – if you want more of this amazing world but also a little bit of Vampires and Arthurian legend, look no further than Hafsah’s next series.

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