E-ARC, 480 Pages
By: Hafsah Faizal
“ People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.”
Disclaimer: ARCs provided by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review!
🌟 I have been waiting patiently for this book since it was in the writing stages and was recommended to me! I mean a fantasy with Arabian Settinng written by a Muslim Author? I couldn’t ask for more!
🌟 Now the book had a solid start, the first two chapters have the above quote, each line is for a chapter. I felt like I am going to love it. I mean, I like when authors have beautiful prose and there is a subtle kind of comparison and similarities in lines.
🌟 I feel like this is going to be a negative review and you can stop here if you will feel offended. I can’t give a book 2 ratings without going into details so here goes nothing.
🌟 I am going to give a very quick summary and tell me if it rings any bells: There is lost magic in this fantasy world. There is Zafira, our protagonist who disguises herself as a guy and embarks on a journey to restore magic. There is a dark king (wearing a necklace) who is ruthless to his son the prince, Nasir. Nasir wants to prove himself to his father and embarks on the same journey.
I was so sure I read this somewhere before and then DING DING: Throne of Glass!!!! I felt like this book did not offer something new, I felt like it is a collection of stories I read before but in an ancient Arabia settings.
🌟 The second thing is the characters which I did not have a connection to, I felt like they had good moments but they sometimes fell flat. I only liked Altair because of his banter but the other characters did not spark much joy!
🌟 Now the writing was the thing that irked me most, the mix between Arabic and English was a big NO from me! I will give some examples: The King name is Ghameq which means Dark, OK I can tolerate that. Then we have the continuous use of the word (Kharra) which by the way should be written as (Khara) for the correct pronunciation, this word literally means shit. The author used it as an equivalent of shit when something bad happens which we don’t use in Arabic. Imagine a bad situation and the characters go like “Feces, Feces, feces, we must run”. That’s how this sounded to me and it was repeated a gazillion time!
I should mention that the whole mix sounded weird, because when there is a quote, that means I have to imagine the characters said that, why is it mixed languages then, are you translating to us what they said or are you quoting them as exact. The two situations did not work for me! I think this will not be a problem for non-Arabic speaker but for someone whose first language is Arabic and is multilingual, I couldn’t but notice this.
🌟 I should mention that the representation itself was not bad, and I really really appreciate how the author kept the religion out of it!
🌟 Summary: I still think WHTF will get a good success and that makes me happy! I was not happy because many things could have been done better specially that the lights are given to a Muslim author which is not a common thing. The book could be enjoyed for those who won’t be so critical as me. But I think a summary won’t sufice here, so read the whole review or the whole book and decide!