Review: THE CANDLE AND THE FLAME by Nafiza Azad
Updated: Aug 14, 2019
I honestly don't know what to say? It was just?? So good???
I loved becoming immersed in Noor City and Azad did a fantastic job of grabbing me and tossing me straight into the thriving community of humans and Ifrit. Every description was lush and beautiful and it really made me feel everything. It was such an amazing experience.
I will admit that, at first, I was thrown off by the words, clothing, and food that I was not accustomed to. But I will also admit that I quickly realized that that was the point. I'm so used to reading stories that are about people like me, and it was a real eye-opener about how people of minorities might feel. Now, I'm not saying that this is a bad thing. Far from it. We need more diverse stories and voices to help people like me and other people in the majority understand more of the life and culture of people we don't understand. This story doesn't just humanize people of other cultures, it brings them to life and reminds us that there are other stories to be told. This is especially important in this day and age.
Azad weaves a gorgeous story about Fatima and how she becomes and slowly embraces becoming Fatima Ghazala. There was family drama, love drama, royal drama, and djinni drama! All packed into one incredible book.
I highly recommend this book and the only reason why it lost a star was because it was told in present tense (which isn't usually my cup of tea) and, partly because of the present tense, there was some repetition going on in some places. But PLEASE don't let that deter you - this book is an absolute gem.
As a side note, I would recommend getting the audio-book and listening in while you read along. Not only will you dive into the story, but it will help you learn how to pronounce the words you don't know correctly. I was even saying Fatima's name wrong before I listened in!