We Free The Stars Review

Hi! I finished this book a while ago, and have since then reread it 8 times (im on my ninth) because this book is the ultimate book hangover inducer.

I gave We Free The Stars 5 stars, although if I could I would have given it 10. It made me laugh and cry and smile and I might have thrown my phone while reading it.

⚠️ Please note that there will be a lot of spoilers including character deaths from book one, for We Hunt The Flame in this review, since this is book 2. I have a review of WHTF on my blog too, if you want to check that out first. I won’t be spoiling anything from WFTS in this review, so if you’ve read WHTF, feel free to keep reading. You have been warned.

I will also put a section where I talk about some of the stuff that happened in the book that are spoilers, but I’ll mark that.

The zumra guys. I love them so much. Zafira bint Iskandar is still the greatest queen of them all, and the character development is divine. Her and the Jawarat change together, she grows into herself so much more, and she shifts along with the book. Nasir Ghameq is still the sad, grumpy, deadly prince, and he is still, and in fact more so in this book, in need of a hug. Kifah never ceases to be a warrior, and Altair is cause for much smiling, yelling and welping, as well as throwing my phone across the room.

Ok, so where does everyone stand? Altair, at the beginning is with the Lion, who we find out is his father, and when I tell you he stressed me out. I did however love that there were three POVs in this book, Zafira, Nasir and now Altair too. There aren’t quite as many chapters for Altair, but the ones we do get are so good, it made me love Altair all the more.

Nasir and Zafira’s relationship was to die for! They’re still sort of tentative enemies at the beginning, however they do finally become lovers at the end of the book. Also Chapter 11 and 12 killed me. If you know, you know, but Nasir saying “I can be lots of fun” and grinning at her stops my heart for a quick second everytime.

Oh, and Altair and Kifah? Eek they’re amazing! I can’t say much, because it would ruin the book, but I love them, their banter completes this book.

Ok, the Lion. Is it bad that I liked him? He really did all that to Nasir, he was the reason Nasir cried (on page 383 of whtf might I add, yes I remember), and he was the cause of Benyamin’s death, as well as ******’s, he was just an all around villain, but I really liked him 😭 Chapter 54 made me love him all the more too, even after all he did.

Woah the plot of the book. After they leave Sharr they are determined to get magic back to Arawiya, despite it being the cause of all Nasir’s misery, but now there’s the teeny tiny huge hindrance of the Lion, who wants the Jawarat and their lives. They meet Seif and Aya, who are both, I guess friends of Benyamin’s, who help them out. And they have to try get Nasir’s brother back from the Lion too. There’s very little I can say without ruining the book for you, so I will keep my mouth shut for now.

What is there for my to say on this front? The writing is beyond belief. I have to mention the way she adds in bits in Arabic, which made me unexplainably excited, things like Bait al Ahlaam, and Amir al Maut.

I have never, in all the years I’ve been reading, read a more beautifully written book, this one even more than We Hunt The Flame. The descriptions, the speech, every last iota broke my heart and set it on fire, and now because there is nothing I can say on this front, here are some of my favourite quotes:

She was his moon and his sun. She stole his breath even when he had none to spare.

We’re a zumra. We hunted the flame together, found the light in the darkness, but we are far from done, laa? Now we unleash it. We free the stars, shatter the darkness holding us captive, and return the world to the splendor it once was.

You’ve a heart of gold, she had once said. Is that why it weighs so heavily, he had replied.

Hope was the beast that could never be slain, the light that blazed in every harrowing dark.

She was the bladed compass, honed by the Lion and wielded by the Jawarat.

She was ruin, she was havoc, and she reveled in it.

Do you understand, brother? You’ll have me. No matter how thick the night, I will always be there to light your way.

People with dreams as insane as his own, driven by factors others would have laughed at.

Absolutely perfect. Theres nothing more to say beyond that it was completely and utterly perfect. I flew through this book, and I loved every second of it.

Is there need to ask that? How could I not? It was everything I could have asked for and more, and I cannot express my gratitude to the author for writing a book like this. It did exactly what her note at the beginning of book 1 said she hoped to do, she made a world that welcomes rather than serves as a reminder to difference, and that was exactly what this book felt like to me.

I also quickly want to mention the setting, because I think its really important. Even though it is set in the fictional land of Arawiya, it is heavily based on Ancient Arabia, and representation of Arabia is just so amazing. It doesn’t consistently mention how destructive Arabia is, or how it’s a land of terrorism, as most other books stereotypically do, but it builds it up so beautifully, in the way Arabia really is, a land teeming in history, a group of people who are powerful and clever, a place with people who value knowledge. I really like that Hafsah Faizal put Arabia out there the way it is, not a place of violence but a place people have call to be proud of, and I think that’s so beautiful.

Now, because so much happened that I have to blather about, here’s my two pence on some of the spoilers. If you haven’t read this book, and want to do so in the future, skip over this bit:

  • Zafira. She freaking died for a bit, and took my heart with her. Why would she do this? And all the time Nasir was in so much pain, even though she was actually alive. He was quite literally giving up life, and it broke every last bit of my heart. I may have cried. I did cry.
  • Aya. How dare she? She betrayed them, she joined the Lion, who Benyamin died trying to stop. What in the name of heaven?
  • Altair is Sultan? That’s so cute, and it actually makes sense. Nasir’s speech to the Arawiyans was amazing! It was a little sad, but I mean he’s Caliph of Sarasin so it’s fine.
  • Ghameq dying was not it. I recently went back over my review of We Hunt The Flame, and I was calling for his death, and yet now he actually died I was so sad. Oh and when he said to Nasir that he’s proud of him 😭
  • Kifah and Altair! It’s so perfect! I actually ship them, they were so great.
  • The last few chapters omg. Zafira and Nasir running to each other is the cause of every last heartbreak of mine.
  • All of a sudden I like the one bed trope. She was literally shaking and he held her until she stopped. She did eventually stop (along with my heart) and when she woke up, I’ve never been so excited.

Hafsah Faizal has broken my heart, and also chucked me into the longest hangover I have ever had, and I was not ready for it. However I loved it so so so much, and I beg you all to read it, particularly if you’re looking for good Arab representation.

5 thoughts on “We Free The Stars Review

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