DNF: The Candle and the Flame

by Nafiza Azad
First sentence: “The desert sings of loss, always loss, and if you stand quiet with your eyes closed, it will grieve you too.”
Content: There was some flirting and talk of marriage in the parts that I finished. It’d probably be in the YA (grades 6-8)section of the bookstore if we had it in.

On paper, this should hit all my “really like” buttons: an orphan that survived a massacre and is trying to make ends meet, a city ruled by djinn, magic, fierce girls, sweeping desert vistas, a diverse city on the edge of destruction.

But in actuality? It kind of fell flat. There was WAY too much telling, not nearly enough showing. So much exposition and it was just moving along at a plodding pace (the opener was really good, though). I wanted to like it, but more than 100 pages into it, I realized that I don’t have enough time in my day to spend on a book that I”m not enjoying. Even if it is for a class.

Oh, well. Maybe there’s a djinn book with a fierce girl as the main character out there that is better than this one.

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