First Lines Friday ★ 3

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page. Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first.
Finally… reveal the book! 

The desert sings of loss, always loss, and if you stand quiet with your eyes closed, it will grieve you too.
Perhaps it is the comfort that the shared sense of sorrow brings that draws her to the desert. Perhaps it is the silence unbroken but for the wind sifting through the grains of sand on the dunes. Or maybe it is the wide desert sky, the blue of which peers into her soul and finds things there better left to the darkness.
Ghazala doesn't know which of these things attracts her the most, but since the day she lost everything, the desert has been a balm to all her hurts. This place with its emptiness and the promise of heat glimmering underneath the sand lies in Qurat, a country divided almost perfectly between the desert and the forest. Every chance she gets, Ghazala slips away from the fiery landscape of her home, from Al-Naar, to soothe herself with the unchanging panorama of the desert. The humans call this place the Desert of Sadness; they believe that the land grieves for the forests that once stood on it.

How does it sound? Are you intrigued?

This is The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad. I'm a fan of Nafiza Azad and I'm pretty much in love with this cover, y'all.

About the Book
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.

My anxiety and depression combined forces and grabbed hold of me this week, so I took the whole week off. I just turned everything off and I've been powering through as best as I could. So, yeah, that's why this week has been postless.
That's it for this post. As always, have a happily ever after! 

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