The Candle the Flame is a story that is lush, imaginative, swoonworthy, and tender. It’s a story that celebrates agency, the power within our hearts, and features a group of characters which will find their way into your heart.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
The Candle and the Flame has been on one of my most anticipated list for months now. I am overjoyed I was given the chance to read this gorgeous debut before release. It’s a book that celebrates female friendships, family, and the ability to change – our minds, our behaviors, our fate. Fatima has to be one of my favorite main characters – rejecting the classics, fiercely independent, and brave – Fatima’s growth in The Candle and the Flame embraces change and free choice.
Tender characters and a fabulous story
While you can easily fall in love with the characters, and you have many to choose from, I became bewitched by the story. The perspectives of multiple characters not only allows you to see how the issues and challenges Fatima is facing has effects which ripple outward, but it allows us to see other character’s individual journeys. One of my favorite side characters was Bhavya who is trapped by her family’s strict expectations of her role as a woman and in the family.
Each of these characters show you a different side of Noor – the privileged elite, those who grow up with an abundance of family, and those who have yet to be challenged. All of these characters dance across the pages as we are woven into a story full of romance, manipulation, and power in The Candle and the Flame. It is a story which challenges our (mis)conceptions, our fears and desire for revenge.
Whether it be the spicy descriptions of food, or the way the story will sweep you off your feet, The Candle and the Flame celebrates our freedom to embrace our future, to choose our own actions, and to fight for what is important. It is a story of desires, longing, celebrating those who support us, and the courage to make our dreams into reality. Even if our lives are shaped by loss, we can still find happiness.