Book Review

Book Review: We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya #2) by Hafsah Faizal

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 592 pages
Author: Hafsah Faizal
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Release Date: January 19th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


The battle on Sharr is over. The dark forest has fallen. Altair may be captive, but Zafira, Nasir, and Kifah are bound for Sultan’s Keep, determined to finish the plan he set in motion: restoring the hearts of the Sisters of Old to the minarets of each caliphate, and finally returning magic to all of Arawiya. But they are low on resources and allies alike, and the kingdom teems with fear of the Lion of the Night’s return.

As the zumra plots to overthrow the kingdom’s darkest threat, Nasir fights to command the magic in his blood. He must learn to hone his power into a weapon, to wield not only against the Lion but against his father, trapped under the Lion’s control. Zafira battles a very different darkness festering in her through her bond with the Jawarat—a darkness that hums with voices, pushing her to the brink of her sanity and to the edge of a chaos she dare not unleash. In spite of the darkness enclosing ever faster, Nasir and Zafira find themselves falling into a love they can’t stand to lose…but time is running out to achieve their ends, and if order is to be restored, drastic sacrifices will have to be made.

Lush and striking, hopeful and devastating, We Free the Stars is the masterful conclusion to the Sands of Arawiya duology by New York Times–bestselling author Hafsah Faizal. 


Some dulogies really hit with that second book. This is without a doubt the case here. LOVED IT. Everything I needed. Especially since I gave the first book 3.5 stars and wasn’t convinced to pick this up for awhile. It took the audio coming to my library (which by the way, is AMAZING. Highly recommend the audio) for me to read it and I’m so happy I did!!

I LOVE THESE CHARACTERS. I probably will forget to name them all, but the main characters and supporting cast are well thought out and flow into the story perfectly. I loved Zafira and her fiery, determined nature. Nasir who is clearly the biggest cinnamon roll alive. Altair who I just want to be best friends with and Kifah who rounds out this crew with her loyalty and sharp wit. There’s many more I could mention. I loved the balance between plot and character drive.

The rooooomance. Oh it picked up beautifully. Anytime Zafira and Nasir were in the same location I got all of the giddy heart flutters waiting for them to connect. The impassioned kisses and utterly tender words whispered. MY HEART. And I’m pretty sure that ending added years to my life.

My only tiny complaint was that it took me a minute to get into and understand how the magic system was connecting with the larger plot. Since the WHtF was a travelling story I felt like I didn’t get a lot of explanations. Grateful that WFtS spread that out without info dumping. The world building and magic system are intricate and well plotted.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy + Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses / heated make-outs
  • Violence: battle scenes, weapons violence, magical and physical altercations

Instagram || Goodreads

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