The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad
English | 2019 | Young adult | ePUB | 650 Kb
The Candle and the Flame : 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.
Nafiza Azad weaves an immersive tale of magic and the importance of names; fiercely independent women; and, perhaps most importantly, the work for harmony within a city of a thousand cultures and cadences.
“This Qareen is grievously injured and fading quickly. Unlike the Ifrit and the Shayateen, the Qareen need no names to anchor them to earth; their bond with their humans takes care of that.
“I am Ifrit,” Ghazala says to the Qareen, her words meant as a statement of friendship. “Can I ease your way, brother?” She assumes the human he is bonded to is already dead.
“Will you get this child to safety?” the Qareen responds in a reedy voice.
Ghazala peers closer into the gloom underneath the rug and sees now what she failed to see before. A girl child, around four years of age, lies curled into herself.
“I tried to take the brunt of the attack, but I couldn’t stop them. They killed everyone else and wouldn’t hear of mercy even for a child,” the Qareen says in a voice choked with anguish. He twists his smoky body to face Ghazala and beseeches her. “Her name is Fatima. Save her, daughter of Ifrit, I beg you.”
Ghazala reaches into the shelter provided by the rug and gently picks up the child who whimpers at the contact. The Qareen, almost transparent now, follows. Ghazala’s heart lurches at the warm weight of a child in her arms. How many months has it been since she has felt this warmth? She thinks of her sweet Shuruq and holds the human child a bit closer. The child has dusky skin, curly black hair, and gold eyes wide with pain and fear. Ghazala lifts the child’s dress and sucks in a breath at the sight of the wound on her stomach. A slash from a sword has cut her deeply.”