Azad's sumptuous 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.
In this William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist novel, 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.
Praise for The Candle and the Flame:
Finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award
Short-listed, Sunburst Award, Young Adult category, 2020
* "A must-read for lovers of fantasy." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Azad's splendid debut is an ode to cultural harmony that features exciting magic, an emotionally complex cast, and a touching romance." -- Booklist
"Fiery magic, sizzling romance, and a city so achingly hopeful and real that you can almost taste it on every page. I can't wait to return to Noor!" -- Rachel Hartman, New York Times bestselling author of the Seraphina books
"Ground breaking and immersive paranormal YA that evokes all the beauty, richness, and diversity of the ancient cultures, faiths, and languages of the Silk Road. There's an effortless beauty in the kaleidoscopic descriptions of food, fashion, practices, and faiths; Azad's language is so evocative, you can almost taste and smell the riches of the night bazaar. A fiercely feminist take on Islamic culture, it's an assured and outside-the-box debut that deals with larger themes -- such as tolerance and women's rights -- while functioning as a thrilling action adventure with touches of heart-stirring romance. Prepare to be swept up." -- Rebecca Lim, bestselling author of Mercy and The Astrologer's Daughter
"Sumptuous writing, vivid detail, and a gallery of deftly-drawn characters highlight this glorious debut." -- Kate Elliott, author of Court of Fives and Cold Magic
"No other book I've read this year has felt as much like home to me. Gorgeous, intricate and enthralling in its scope, The Candle and the Flame is a brilliant debut . . . a stunning standout in YA fantasy." -- Ausma Zehanat Khan, author of The Bloodprint