The Candle and the Flame by: Nafiza Azad

Background Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

” 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. “
Photo by Sharad Bhat from Pexels

Trigger & Content Warnings:

Sexual harassment

Grief depiction

Death of a brother recounted

Death of a father recounted

Disappearance of a sibling

Murder & attempted murder

Massacre and genocide recounted

Knife violence & stabbing



War themes

Poverty themes
Photo by Aviv Perets from Pexels

Happy New Year! Who’s excited for my first review of the year?! Haha, I know I am! Back in May, a Booktok friend was celebrating his birthday month by randomly buying books off of his friends’ wishlists…I was one such lucky friend. Sadly, for myself and the book, I let this book sit unread on my shelf for entirely too long. After finishing this book, I was so embarrassed to not have read it sooner. To put it simply…I loved it!

This story is a stand-alone that you desperately wish had more volumes. The author did mention, on her Goodreads, that there is potential for a spin-off though she isn’t sure if she’ll make one. Fingers crossed she decides a spinoff is something she wants to do!

Loss is a big part of each character’s journey as they find their strength. In the very first chapter, a character thinks back on the loss of their child and how devastated they still are. If loss is something that’s hard for you to read about you may want to reconsider picking this book up. Granted none of the losses are graphically detailed it’s still brought up a lot as each of the characters we follow has suffered, in some way, from the loss of someone close to them.

From beginning to end this story is full of found family, finding your own inner strength, magic, difficult choices, and love (both familial and romantic). This book, mostly, centers on characters who are late teens and early twenties. As there really aren’t any graphic depictions of violence or romance I would say this book would be good for anyone who reads YA and up.

There are a lot of phrases, throughout the book, that may be unfamiliar but fear not there is a great glossary in the back. Personally, I really enjoyed reading through the book and, based on the situation, figuring out what the phrases (that I was unfamiliar with) meant without jumping to the glossary. When I finished reading and went through the glossary I was excited to see that I was thinking of the different terms correctly, or fairly closely.

The descriptions and world-building within this story will have you hungry for more stories…and delicious food. Honestly, some books should come with a warning to not read on an empty stomach. I loved how many cultures are represented within this story, as it’s set in a place where so many different cultures trade and live together.

If you’re looking for a phenomenal fantasy world with Djinn-related magic, found family, finding your inner strength, and making hard decisions for the good of all…look no further!

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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