In the first book of a visionary fantasy trilogy with its roots in the mythology of Africa and Arabia that “sings of rebellion, love, and the courage it takes to stand up to tyranny” (Samantha Shannon, author of The Priory of the Orange Tree), three women band together against a cruel empire that divides people by blood.
“The Final Strife is the real deal: epic fantasy turned on its head in the most compelling way imaginable.”—Kalynn Bayron, bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead and This Poison Heart
ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Book Riot
Red is the blood of the elite, of magic, of control.
Blue is the blood of the poor, of workers, of the resistance.
Clear is the blood of the slaves, of the crushed, of the invisible.
Sylah dreams of days growing up in the resistance, being told she would spark a revolution that would free the empire from the red-blooded ruling classes’ tyranny. That spark was extinguished the day she watched her family murdered before her eyes.
Anoor has been told she’s nothing, no one, a disappointment, by the only person who matters: her mother, the most powerful ruler in the empire. But when Sylah and Anoor meet, a fire burns between them that could consume the kingdom—and their hearts.
Hassa moves through the world unseen by upper classes, so she knows what it means to be invisible. But invisibility has its uses: It can hide the most dangerous of secrets, secrets that can reignite a revolution. And when she joins forces with Sylah and Anoor, together these grains of sand will become a storm.
As the empire begins a set of trials of combat and skill designed to find its new leaders, the stage is set for blood to flow, power to shift, and cities to burn.
Book One of The Ending Fire Trilogy
About the Author
Saara El-Arifi's heritage is intrinsically linked to the themes she explores in her writing. She was raised in the Middle East until her formative years, when her family swapped the Abu Dhabi desert for the English Peak District hills. This change of climate taught her what it means to be Black in a white world. The Final Strife is Saara El-Arifi's debut novel, the first part of a trilogy inspired by Ghanaian folklore and Arabian myths.
“Saara El-Arifi deftly facets every layer of her debut. Epic in scope, its world building as intricate as filigree, The Final Strife sings of rebellion, love, and the courage it takes to stand up to tyranny, following three women whose journeys will keep you gripped to the last.”—Samantha Shannon, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Priory of the Orange Tree
“With a heroine with bite, a supporting cast of flawed but deeply human characters, and world building that is raw, unforgiving, and richly textured, The Final Strife is the real deal: epic fantasy turned on its head in the most compelling way imaginable.”—Kalynn Bayron, bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead and This Poison Heart
“El-Arifi tells a tale as fierce as its characters, plunging you into a sandy, stratified world until you can feel the grit between your teeth. Heart-wrenching and heart-pounding, The Final Strife is an unmissable debut.”—Andrea Stewart, author of The Bone Shard Daughter
“El-Arifi is a game-changing new voice in epic fantasy, and The Final Strife is a triumph of a book, full of rage, charm, and a cast of misfits you can’t help but root for. There are no Chosen Ones here—only bad choices and blood.”—Tasha Suri, author of The Jasmine Throne
“The Final Strife is everything you could ever hope to experience in fantasy—magnificent worldbuilding, unpredictable plotting, entertaining twists and turns, gorgeous slow-burn romance, and characters you’re rooting for from the start.”—London Shah, author of the Light the Abyss series
“The Final Strife has a rich world with a complicated story about what happens when the hero—or their heroic actions—may not be who or what you thought they would be. The interweaving of the three women's stories kept me turning the pages.”—C. L. Clark, author of The Unbroken
“Epic, gripping, and searing, The Final Strife weaves a fascinating tale of destiny, magic, and love set in a richly imagined yet brutally divided world. Its unexpected, gritty heroine is one you cannot help but root for, and the story will stay with you long after the last page.”—Sue Lynn Tan, author of Daughter of the Moon Goddess
“An expertly layered world that is equal parts beautifully rendered and brutal in its depiction; a protagonist who is as likely to save the day as she is to ruin it; delicious tension—I loved every page.”—Ciannon Smart, author of Witches Steeped in Gold
“The undercurrents of friendship, betrayal, and sapphic love, and the twists and turns of the competitive trials and political intrigue, come together to kick off a magnetic and appealing new series.”—Booklist
“El-Arifi debuts and launches the Ending Fire series with a fast-paced epic fantasy inspired by Ghanian and Arabian folklore. El-Arifi keeps the pages flying even while building an intricate secondary world, allowing readers to learn its rules through action rather than exposition.”—Publishers Weekly