The Candle and the Flame
The Candle and the Flame

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Annotation: Fatima lives in the magically protected city of Noor, on the Silk Road. When one of the protective djinn dies to save her, Fatima gains frightening magical abilities and is drawn into the very real dangers of a magical battlefield.
Catalog Number: #208909
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 391 pages
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-338-30604-9 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7334-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-338-30604-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7334-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018041274
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
The city of Noor offers a lush blend of culture, faith, and language, as citizens originating from various points along the Silk Road rebuild it into a teeming trade stop following a recent massacre. Fatima, one of only three survivors of the Shayateen djinn attack eight years ago, lives a simple life with her adoptive sister, until a catastrophic encounter with a powerful Ifrit djinni reveals the fire within her and changes her life forever. When the threat of the Shayateen looms again and political unrest pushes the country toward civil war, Fatima must overcome her grief and fear and tap into her newfound abilities to protect her family, friends, and beloved city. Azad's splendid debut is an ode to cultural harmony that features exciting magic, an emotionally complex cast, and a touching romance. While the plot lags at times, readers will find respite in moments of humor and the immersive writing. The promising level of craft employed here insists that readers and book buyers keep Azad on their radars.
Kirkus Reviews
Noor is a fantastical, multicultural city in South Asia, home to a tremendous variety of languages, religions, and cultures.Eight years ago, however, Noor was attacked by a tribe of chaotic djinn called the Shayateen, resulting in many deaths. Only three humans survived the massacre, and Fatima was one of them. The ruler at the time, Maharajah Arjun, asked the djinn of order and reason, the Ifrit, for help safeguarding the city, and now, his son, Maharajah Aarush, peacefully rules over Noor alongside Zulfikar, the leader of the Ifrit. When one of the most important and powerful Ifrit dies, however, Fatima undergoes a radical transformation—one she doesn't immediately comprehend—and wakes to discover that she now has the fire of the djinn within her. Now, she must find a way to protect her family and friends from a seemingly inevitable civil war while figuring out her new identity. Based on Islamic mythology and Arabic folklore, debut author Azad's descriptive storytelling and complex characters give the novel a certain richness and texture missing from solely plot-based narratives; readers can vicariously taste foods from different cultures and partake of the sights, smells, and sounds of the city of Noor where Hindus and Muslims live side by side in peace and harmony. The novel also sensitively deals with the delicate issues of grief and trauma.A must-read for lovers of fantasy. (dramatis personae, glossary) (Fantasy. 14-18)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up Fatima is human but carries the fire of the djinn within her. She lives in Noor, a vibrant, multicultural city along the Silk Road that has risen from the ashes of destruction by the Shayateen but faces threats to its existence. Azad seamlessly blends Islamic concepts and Middle Eastern mythology with a cornucopia of other traditions to create a magical musing on identity, community, friendship, love, and loss.
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Noor is a fantastical, multicultural city in South Asia, home to a tremendous variety of languages, religions, and cultures.Eight years ago, however, Noor was attacked by a tribe of chaotic djinn called the Shayateen, resulting in many deaths. Only three humans survived the massacre, and Fatima was one of them. The ruler at the time, Maharajah Arjun, asked the djinn of order and reason, the Ifrit, for help safeguarding the city, and now, his son, Maharajah Aarush, peacefully rules over Noor alongside Zulfikar, the leader of the Ifrit. When one of the most important and powerful Ifrit dies, however, Fatima undergoes a radical transformation—one she doesn't immediately comprehend—and wakes to discover that she now has the fire of the djinn within her. Now, she must find a way to protect her family and friends from a seemingly inevitable civil war while figuring out her new identity. Based on Islamic mythology and Arabic folklore, debut author Azad's descriptive storytelling and complex characters give the novel a certain richness and texture missing from solely plot-based narratives; readers can vicariously taste foods from different cultures and partake of the sights, smells, and sounds of the city of Noor where Hindus and Muslims live side by side in peace and harmony. The novel also sensitively deals with the delicate issues of grief and trauma.A must-read for lovers of fantasy. (dramatis personae, glossary) (Fantasy. 14-18)
Word Count: 114,767
Reading Level: 5.8
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.8 / points: 18.0 / quiz: 503803 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.4 / points:26.0 / quiz:Q77046
Lexile: 820L
Fatima remembers the package. She removes it from her messenger bag and holds it out to Firdaus. "The merchant delivered this today. Itâe(tm)s a book."

Firdaus eagerly takes the package. "I've been waiting for a volume of poetry written by an obscure Kmemu poet."

Firdaus rips open the brown paper wrapped around the book and makes a sound of pleasure when he discovers that the book is indeed the volume he was seeking. He flips open the book, running his fingers through the text. Fatima watches him, consoled by the pleasure he takes in the written word. He suddenly, unexpectedly, goes still, and the old Ifritâe(tm)s face empties of expression.

"What is it, baba?" Fatima moves closer to Firdaus. Firdaus lowers the book, and Fatima sees a smudge of black on the edge of the paper. She watches that viscous blackness slither from the paper onto Firdausâe(tm)s hand before being absorbed through his skin.

Firdaus's gold eyes flash black, and Fatima staggers back a step.

"The taint," Firdaus says through clenched teeth. Black veins appear on his skin and spread like the vines of a grape plant. Fatima watches helplessly.

"What do I do, baba? Who do I call?"

Firdaus's skin is sallow, and he is sweating profusely. He grips the edge of his desk tightly, keeping himself upright. The book has fallen unnoticed to the floor. "Listen, ya binti, listen." Fatima nods frantically.

"You are a child of flesh and blood, and I am a being of fire and bone. Were I merciful, I would bid you run and end this tale here. But I am Ifrit and my stories are eternal even though I am not." Firdaus extends his trembling right hand to Fatima. "In return for the kindness I have shown you, will you become the ink that writes my tale?"

There never was a choice.

Fatima reaches out and grabs his right hand with both of hers.

Excerpted from The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Azad's debut YA fantasy is set in a city along the Silk Road that is a refuge for those of all faiths, where a young woman is threatened by the war between two clans of powerful djinn.

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.


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