Adult Book Review: The Final Strife #1 The Final Strife by Saara El-Arif

Posted August 24, 2022 by jrsbookr in Fantasy / 0 Comments

Adult Book Review:  The Final Strife #1 The Final Strife by Saara El-Arif

by Saara El-Arifi
Adult Book Review:  The Final Strife #1 The Final Strife by Saara El-ArifThe Final Strife Series: The Final Strife #1
Published by Random House Worlds on June 21, 2022
Genres: Fiction / African American & Black / General, Fiction / Coming of Age, Fiction / Fantasy / Epic
Pages: 608
Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Bookhype, Amazon, Instagram

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


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


Final Strife is an Adult Debut fantasy trilogy, African and Arabian inspired, that holds on and keeps you reading to the very last page.
Three women, three blood colors, and an empire set to burn is the teaser banner on Amazon. It is an adult fantasy novel with trials to find new leaders, an underground sect trying to displace those in power, and a sapphic romance that starts slow and burns into a tense longing.
We have three types of blood in this world, blue, red, and clear, and names for each one. Dusters, embers, ghosts, and of course, are treated based on the blood that runs through their veins. The cruelty for the ghosts is extreme and harsh, where dusters are in the middle of the economic Strife, and embers with their red blood are at the top of the food chain. Then, add in the wind called a tide wind that can rip you to shreds and leave nothing behind.
I think this was best as an audiobook, but I went between my ebook copy and the audio one, as it is a monster 600-page story that just enraptured me.
Suppose you’re looking for a fantasy filled with political conspiracy, class struggle, competitions, longing, and a bisexual love triangle; this will be perfect. A unique tale that I can not wait to continue the adventure.


About Saara El-Arifi

With a DNA profile that lights up like a satellite photograph of earth, 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 had a significant impact on her growth—not physically, she’s nearly 6ft—and she learned what it was to be Black in a white world.

Saara knew she was a storyteller from the moment she told her first lie. Though her stories have developed beyond the trite ramblings of a child, she still appreciates the thrill of a well-told tale.

THE FINAL STRIFE is Saara El-Arifi’s debut novel, the first part of a trilogy inspired by Ghanaian folklore and Arabian myths. (less)