Title: The Candle and the Flame
Author: Nafiza Azad
I try not to be too predictable, but if a book’s synopsis features the word djinn there is a 100% chance I will be reading it. I went into The Candle and the Flame without knowing too much about the plot, but I thoroughly enjoyed this immersive, beautiful story.
The Candle and the Flame is a slow-paced novel. Books without a whole lot of action are really hit or miss with me, and while I struggled at first with the pacing, the story really hits its stride by the middle. The third person omniscient narration was an adjustment as well, and although I would have preferred first person, I think the third person was excellently done and fit the tone of the book perfectly.
The writing was absolutely gorgeous. I loved how diversely rich in culture and history the book was; the author’s descriptions paint a vivid picture for the reader. There were a lot of words and terms that were unfamiliar to me, but a wonderful glossary is included in the back of the book (which I didn’t realized until I had finished). However, if you’re naturally inquisitive like me, it was simple enough to Google the words to learn more about them.
Nafiza Azad has mentioned that this is a book about women being women, and I couldn’t agree more. There were numerous female characters, each with distinct personalities and likes/dislikes, which made them unique in their own fantastic way. I really loved all the different characters, relationships, romances, and the political intrigue featured in the story. I honestly wish the book had been a bit longer because I would love to have seen what happens next!
The Candle and the Flame was an excellent, beautifully written debut. I had been waiting for its release for months and it was definitely worth the wait! I look forward to reading more from Nafiza Azad in the future.