Cover Image: The Battle Drum

The Battle Drum

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I so rarely enjoy second books in triologies (usually they DRAG ON), but The Battle Drum was an incredible sequel to the Final Strife. This book expanded the world of the first book in a massive way, and the lore along with it. The conflict that is set up in this book so interesting, and I cannot believe I have to wait for so long until the next book comes out. 

The addition of new POV characters really added to the story. I thought I was going to hate Jond’s POV, since I found him insufferable in the first book, but he really grew on me. Hassa’s increased presence in the story I thought was also a great add. So as not to give too many spoilers, I will only say that the character’s POV chapters I found the most intriguing were Nayeli. She really brought this story to a new depth. 

My only complaint is I’m still not super convinced by some of the emotional elements of the story. Character’s love/fear/anger are not portrayed as well as they could be sometimes, which leads to me reading but not believing their emotions. I will say, it was vastly improved from The Final Strife, and Hassa in particular was the character where I saw the most growth. 

Overall, super fast paced and super engaging story! I cannot wait for the final book and if you are not reading this trilogy yet, you should!!!
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The Battle Drum is a sequel that never lets up. Not only does El-Arifi separate our faves Anoor and Sylah, but they really go through the wringer here. Beginning with an amazing book one recap - please do this more in book series - The Battle Drum picks up the steam from The Final Strife and keeps running. Anoor is faced with politics and diplomacy, but also not knowing who she can trust. Betrayal, retribution, and secrets plague Anoor. It forces her to figure out who she really can trust, but also what kind of person, and friend, she is.

For Sylah, The Battle Drum begins with her haunted by Jond's betrayal and she has to discover what that means for who she is. We never want to assume we have been lied to, that we would fall for manipulation, but when we find out sometimes it can destabilize us entirely. But in The Battle Drum all of our characters, including one of my favorite Hassa, will be tested in ways they might not survive.
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Middle book syndrome WHO? This was INCREDIBLE! The Battle Drum takes what The Final Strife gave us and perfectly expands the world and characters. I cannot wait until the next book comes out omg!!
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Rating: Loved It, 4.5 stars, Rounded to 5

Before I get into my review, please be aware that this is a pretty dark series and there are some significant content warnings that I would associate with this book, so please check those out if you need them. A huge one is a violent pregnancy loss that is described on page. 

The Battle Drum is the second book in the Ending Fire Trilogy, and the follow up to El-Arifi's debut last year, The Final Strife. The Final Strife was one of my absolute favorite books of last year, and The Battle Drum one of my most anticipated of this year. Unfortunately, I don't think that this book quite lived up to my hopes, BUT that being said, my hopes were outrageously high, and it was still excellent and one that I had a great time with. 

The Battle Drum picks up within a few weeks of the ending of The Final Strife. The Final Strife ends with some really huge revelations that introduce huge questions about the world and what we know of it, so I was glad to jump in without too much time passing. We continue to follow Hassa, Sylah, and Anoor, and we get a brand new perspective and spend a lot more time with a perspective that was only fleetingly in The Final Strife. There will be spoilers for the first book after this point. 

As far as the characters go, Hassa really shines in this. We get to see her interacting a lot more with others. Previously we really only got to see her interactions with Sylah and a handful of other Ghostings. However, Kwame, Gorn, and Anoor all begin to learn the Ghosting language in this, and I feel like as a result we got to see a lot more of Hassa's personality. I really enjoyed spending time with her and sitting with her as she navigated what her role is now that the Ghostings she guided to safety for so long have pretty much all evacuated the city. She has a beautiful relationship develop with another character and I just loved them together. 

Sylah remains Sylah. She is brash, prickly, and somewhat pigheaded. I love her very much still. However, she did get on my nerves a bit with how much she seemed to moon over Anoor. I felt like some of the time she really is her own worst enemy, which is honestly not at all out of character for her, but it did become slightly more frustrating to read. 

Jond was a surprise. I really came to like Jond and root for him. I want him to find happiness and fulfillment, and I am hopeful that he will in the role that he came to find in this novel. I feel like he was fleshed out much more as a character, and I hope we get to see more of him and Rascal in book 3. 

Anoor was probably my biggest disappointment. I had such love for her in the first book, but in this installment, I finally came to understand people's complaints about her in the first book. I felt like she was pretty naive in The Final Strife, but she grew so much, and so much of everyone's hopes were pinned on her, that I was so excited to see where she would go in this. And she utterly face-planted in my opinion. She was making such truly abysmal choices that it felt like none of that character growth had happened. She did have to deal with a lot in this one, but honestly I was very disappointed in her. It was interesting though because I feel like that may have been the author's intent. There was an observation made by Hassa towards the end about how Anoor seemed to have lost her way after she and Sylah parted ways, but her old spirit came back towards the end. So I am cautiously optimistic about where her character development will go in the next book. 

The last perspective we get is one from outside of the Warden's Empire and it was super interesting. I don't know entirely what I think of them, but it certainly introduced a whole new element to this book. This is where the content warning that I mentioned at the beginning occurs. While it was extremely horrifying, I still feel like it was handled with as much care as is possible with that type of scene, even if a part of me feels that it was something that could have been glossed over a smidge more in terms of description. 

The plot in this one sort of centered around a mystery. Anoor must solve a murder to cement her position as disciple, Hassa ends up investigating bodies that start cropping up that were not killed by the tidewind, and Sylah and Jond are trying to figure out more of the history of the Warden's Empire as well as start to better understand the Tenio Queendom. Some of these were much more satisfying than the others, with Anoor's chapters being my least favorite in terms of plot as well.

I feel like the plot felt a bit meandering at times without the Aktibar to drive it and the timeline along. Also there were weird jumps in perspective and time that really threw me, trying to piece together WHEN all the different POVs were taking place. But all that being said, I still had a great time. I really loved seeing more of the Tenio Queendom and learning more about the history and the magic of this world. Things really opened up and I am very excited to see where they go. 

The ending of this was just as action-packed and explosive as that of the first book, and I am already anxiously awaiting news of book 3. I very much hope that we will have Hassa on the cover of that one! So overall, if you liked The Final Strife, I do think that this is a good continuation in the series, and I cannot wait to see how it all wraps up. 

Thank you to NetGalley and DelRey Books for an eARC for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The Battle Drum by Saara El-Arifi releases on May 23, 2023.
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What's it about (in a nutshell):
The Battle Drum by Sara El-Arifi is the second book of an epic fantasy trilogy that began with The Final Strife last year. This story features a complex, immersive, compelling world full of beauty and danger. A world where people are divided by the color of their blood which can be clear, blue, or red, and in some rare cases, yellow. In this second installment, the world becomes much more extensive as Sylah sets off on her adventure far from her home shores while Anoor and Hassa fight their battles at home.

Bullet Point Review:

The first thing I loved is how the book began with an epic poem that summarizes what happened in the first book. If only all authors would provide something similar. Doing it in poetic form felt so fitting since the language of the book is often lyrical and full of vivid imagery.

I also enjoyed that the action never stops in this book, and even though it's a pretty hefty 600 pages, it is still hard to put down.

There is a murder mystery to solve and a beast to defeat, and that is just the beginning of it all. It switches so often that sometimes it's hard to keep track of the different stories and where I was in each, but I think I got the gist of what was happening in the end.

The world-building is incredible. The descriptions cover all the sensory information I needed to immerse and fully understand this complex world.

Of course, there are parallels to our world which are intriguing to ponder and discuss. Slavery and a caste system are just the tips of the iceberg regarding topics relevant to our society.

Anoor remains somewhat naïve in this book, even though she is accused of murder and must find the murderer herself. You would think that traumatic experience would clear away some of her naivety, but it doesn't. Still, this attribute tends to make her a bit endearing. I like that she ends up paired with Hassa, who is incredibly wise and all-knowing – all the things Anoor lacks yet needs in her life.

Sylah is still a strong heroine type though morally gray to the core, which I enjoy, though she seems to be growing out of that moral grayness as the stakes grow higher. I look forward to seeing which way she falls in the last book. 
The pacing is a solid medium. I think the sheer scope of the story alone makes it that way though the thrilling action scenes do speed it up at points.

The Battle Drum is a solid second book in the trilogy. It does not suffer even a little from the typical second-book issues you often see in a fantasy series, where the second book is just clearly a transition to take you to a thrilling conclusion. It's thrilling on its own from start to finish. 

Read, if you like
* Epic fantasy
* Immersive world-building with strong characters 
* Plenty of plot twists
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“The Battle Drum” picks up right where “The Final Strife” left off - Sylah is traveling to a new land to try to bring a stop to the tide winds that are destroying her home, but what she finds makes her question her future. Anoor, newly crowned Disciple of Strength, is accused of a murder she didn’t commit and must go into hiding where she finds answers she didn’t know she was searching for. And Hassa begins uncovering more and more terrible secrets of the empire’s past and present. 

I was absolutely blown away by the first book in this series and “The Battle Drum” exceeded my expectations for the sequel! I seriously wish I could give this book more than 5 stars. 

Saara El-Arifi’s world building is beyond measure. She broadened the world immensely in this book and yet every single piece of it was so beautifully crafted! I seriously never want to leave this world! 

I was so excited to dive even deeper into these fantastically complex characters and learn so much more about the past of this world. There were new secrets around every turn and I couldn’t put it down. Every chapter had me dying to know what was going to happen next. 

You might think this is just another dystopian fantasy series, but you would be so wrong! El-Arifi was able to take tropes that have been incredibly overused, but twist them in a way that made them seem fresh and exciting. This story is like nothing I have ever read! 

The only thing I will say that I didn’t love is how deep we would get into one character’s story line and then suddenly switch to another’s - and that’s really only because I wanted to know more! Which again, I think speaks to the brilliance of the writing!

I mentioned this in my review of the first book in the series, but I’m going to say it again here because I think it’s super important: The inclusivity in this book is so marvelous. So many different types of people were represented and done in such a wonderful way.

If you enjoyed "The Broken Earth" series by N.K. Jemisin, "The Marked" series by March McCarron, the "Empirium" series by Claire Legrand, or "The Shadow and Bone" trilogy by Leigh Bardugo you will love this book!

This series is very quickly becoming one of my favorite series and I can’t wait to read the 3rd book! If you haven’t read the first one yet - go do it now! And then pick “The Battle Drum” up! I promise you will not be disappointed!

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and statements are my own.
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This book really impressed me. There were times that I thought it would fall to the second book syndrome or just get too big for its own good. But it always came back around and tied everything together, no matter how far flung. We follow Sylah, Anoor, and Hassa as they try to make a world a better place, even as nearly everything is pushing against them. What I really appreciate about this series is the characters and their growth. None are all “good” or “bad,” everyone has shades of grey. And the way they interact is really a joy to read. But for me, it’s really the world building that pulls it all together. I can’t wait to see how this series continues. 
C/O Netgalley
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Many thanks to Random House Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with this digital advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own, honest thoughts about this book.

The Battle Drum by Saara El-Arifi is an exceptional continuation of the Ending Fire Trilogy, expanding on the captivating world-building and delivering a larger exploration of the main characters' and the world they inhabit. This book had me fully immersed in its pages, even causing me to tear up a few times, and the revelations and ending have me absolutely dying in anticipation to read the final installment. 

The story picks up where the previous book left off, thrusting us back into the intricacies of the Wardens' Empire. Anoor, the first blue-blooded disciple, is being acused of a murder she did not commit, plunging her short-lived political career into chaos. Meanwhile, Sylah embarks on a daring quest through new lands to find a solution to the destructive tidewind that threatens her home. Additionally, Hassa's web of secrets deepens as she becomes entangled in a trail of crimes within the city. As the three women seek answers, they are confronted with unexpected truths that challenge their beliefs and reshape their destinies. The drumbeat of change echoes throughout the world, creating an atmosphere of tension and anticipation.

What I loved most about The Battle Drum is how it expanded upon the world-building established in the previous book. El-Arifi's writing effortlessly transports you into a richly imagined universe, vividly describing the new lands Sylah ventures into and painting a captivating backdrop for the events unfolding. The author's attention to detail and ability to evoke emotions through her prose is truly commendable.

Furthermore, The Battle Drum shines in its development of the supporting characters who played minor roles in the first book. Their growth and the deepening of their storylines added a layer of complexity to the narrative. I actually found myself becoming more invested in their stories than I was with the main protagonists, which speaks to El-Arifi's skill in crafting well-rounded and relatable characters.

The emotional impact of this book cannot be overstated. The moments that had me tearing up were heart breaking, evoking a genuine sense of empathy for the characters. El-Arifi skillfully weaves together themes of sacrifice, redemption, and the weight of responsibility, making the emotional journey of the story that much more impactful. 

In conclusion, The Battle Drum is a worthy addition to the Ending Fire Trilogy. With its expanded world-building, supporting character development, and heart-wrenching moments, it solidifies El-Arifi's position as a talented storyteller. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to fans of the series who crave a continuation that surpasses expectations and leaves a lasting impression.
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I really enjoyed this book... but it suffered from second book syndrome until the last section. This is a solid 4 star and is absolutely worth the read.

There were some draggy sections, especially in the beginning. Some of this was a bit clunky. Certain parts need some tightening up - I remember a few instances of lines such as "X wondered what time it is. She voiced the thought." Which just don't flow well. I'm hopeful the editing process will clean those bits up, so I'm not knocking any points off of my rating for that. 

Certain POVs felt like they didn't have much going on for chunks of the book. I found myself irritated with the characters (especially Anoor, who I ADORED in book one) and their choices. Some of their internal thoughts felt a forced and like they didn't quite fit. Toward the end some of these pieces began to make sense, but that doesn't detract from my annoyance during the middle section of this book. I may feel differently upon reread, and I will definitely be rereading.

Things in the worldbuilding don't feel entirely consistent. I can't get too deep into this without spoilers, but I feel like some of the things introduced here don't match up with some of what we have seen from the first book. Maybe I'm missing something - when I go back to annotate I'll figure things out better.

So much was introduced in this book and I'm eager to see how the trilogy concludes. The worldbuilding introduced in this was really interesting. I liked seeing the different takes on religion, magic, politics, and community. The new characters introduced are so interesting! I really really loved the addition of Nayeli and her storyline. 

I loved how different POVs found the same information but used it differently. I really loved how some POVs would give you information that's relevant to other POVs (but that those other characters didn't know yet) because it allowed the reader to figure things out before the characters!

The ending was, by far, the strongest part of this. The last 15-20% was phenomenal and had I rated this right after finishing I would have given this a 5 star in the heat of the moment. The ending has given me so many theories and has me absolutely dying for the last book. I've already got a hard copy preordered and am excited for it to come in because the cover is gorgeous.
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This was even better than The Final Strife!  I just adored this book, we see an expansion on POVs to include those of Jond, Hassa, and even a new character altogether.  The world building was so through and well done, I loved learning about the world beyond the empire.  I will be singing the praises of this forever and ever, I need book 3 nooow.
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Legal stuff: Thank you NetGalley and Del Rey Books for this eARC. All opinions are my own.

Summary: In this sequel to The Final Strife, and second installment of this trilogy, we follow Sylah, Anoor, and Hassa in their journeys to find out what lies beyond the Marion Sea, how they can save their country from the ravages of the tidewind, and how to bring justice and equality to the oppressed and restore what is rightfully theirs. As the women seek answers, they uncover difficult, unfathomable, and even some quirky truths that help shape new realities for each of them, but with every new answer come even more questions.

Review: OH. MY. F*CKING. GOODNESS. This book broke me. Just completely and utterly broke me. The entire book was a series of WTFs in every emotion possible. I don't even know where to start! I kept thinking I had a grasp of what was going on and at every turn there was something new added to the mix that made question what was actually going or how it all fit together. I was engrossed throughout the entire book and absolutely loved the rollercoaster of it all. There were so many ups and down but it honestly never felt tiresome.

Like book 1 (The Final Strife), this book continues the multiple POVs, even within the same chapters, which I absolutely love, and it brings in new characters' POVs as well. The way Saara El-Arifi wove everything together is just *chef's kiss* and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us in book 3, which I need, like, yesterday! I thought this book was better than the first book, which amazes me because usually with a series, it's the first book that's always best, but The Battle Drum takes the cake (for now...). I can't wait for everyone to read this.
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"The Battle Drum," the second book in Saara El-Arifi's Ending Fire trilogy, continues to impress with its rich world-building and intricate storytelling. A series inspired by Arabian and Ghanaian mythology, this installment weaves together the lives of the compelling protagonists, Sylah, Hassa, and Anoor, as they embark on individual journeys filled with adventure and self-discovery. While at times the pacing does feel a little slow, the patient exploration of the narrative and the carefully crafted reveals make for a satisfying and intriguing conclusion. With attention to detail, thoughtful representation, and an unpredictable plot, "The Battle Drum" is a captivating addition to the series, leaving readers eagerly anticipating the epic finale.
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Thanks to Del Rey Books and Netgalley for the ARC.

Holy ending fire......what just happened???  WOW!!! that was an ending!! 
Saara El-Arifi just tears your heart out a bit and then stuns you with some reveals that just drop your jaw. Needless to say, I so thoroughly enjoyed this follow up to The Final Strife.

The story starts off right where The Final Strife ended, but then the world expands and so many questions get answered!! All our main characters are thrown into desperate situations, we meet new characters, there are new alliances, betrayals and it makes for terrific reading. I felt this story flowed so well and the pacing was perfect. Each POV was integral to the development of the story and I came to care for Haasa, Jond, Kwame and the others even more. As each new tidbit of information is presented it just drives you to want more and I am so pumped for the conclusion, it's gonna be epic!!
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in this sequel to the final strife, anoor, sylah, and hassa are each on their own journeys to seek the truth of the empire’s past. 

in my reviews for second books in series, i often mention whether i feel the book experienced “second book syndrome.” however, it doesn’t even feel worth mentioning because this book skipped over it entirely. i could only wish half of the second books i read are executed as well as this one. every moment of this was so incredibly enthralling and i really didn’t want to put it down. i can’t wait to see what our protagonists get up to in the next book!
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It’s been A LONG time since I was left completely speechless by a book. . . . But holy s**t that ending!! 🤯

I had to sit on my thoughts of this book for a night before writing a review, but god what can I say without spoiling it? Sylah’s journey into a new land was incredible if not somber to read. Hassa’s story made me not only root for her, but share in her devastation at the end of the book. How could you do her so dirty, Saara?! 😭

And Anoor. . . Oh this poor girl. I wanted to wrap her up in a lot of cotton blankets at times while also wanting to see her burn it all to the ground. That’s all I’ll say because my god I couldn’t get to her POV quick enough at times. 😫

This book was INCREDIBLE as the second installment of the trilogy. The plot twists, the side plots that all merged into one, and the heartbreak. . . I NEED that ending now!!! As the American version of Michael Scott from “The Office” says: “This is the worst.” 🥲

Thank you to @saaraelarifi @netgalley and @randomhouse for sending me this eARC of this incredible book!! I look forward to being emotionally damaged again in the future.❤️🥁
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This book had me hooked from the beginning. It’s an excellent second installment in The Ending Fire Trilogy. One big point that I loved was that there was a recap of the first book, and it was told in a spoken word, poetic form. This book follows three main storylines with multiple points of view in each. I can honestly say that I was interested in each one. It made it difficult because I would be excited to get back to one storyline, yet I was still enjoying another! The world building continues from The Final Strife, and there were so many revelations and intriguing plot points added in The Battle Drum. It really is such a unique story, world, and magic system, and I’m more invested the more I read about it. 

I’ve really been enjoying audiobooks recently, and I did listen to The Final Strife. While the narrator for the audiobook is truly outstanding, I’m glad that I read the ebook of The Battle Drum. I can’t really explain why, but I suggest reading a physical copy or an ebook of this series if you have the inclination/opportunity. Any way that you can get your hands or ears on it, I highly recommend this trilogy so far and can’t wait for the third book!

Thank you to Del Rey Books and NetGalley for the ARC!
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“I am the cause and the catalyst, the kindling and the spark.”

Plot: 5/5
There is so much happening in this book. There’s a murder investigation, a submarine trip to an acid forest, a giant mushroom fortress, and human sacrifice to become a prophet. Like what? Incredible. Seriously though, all three of the major plot lines arc at a good pace and the sun plots woven through tie everything together so well. 
There are also huge editions to the world building. Arifi spaces out the information so perfectly in a way that you start to think you *might* know what the truth is. But it’s still such a gut punch when you find out. (That last twist though, I did NOT expect and holy shit)

Characters: 5/5
Anoor and Sylah are still main characters but we get a ton of development from Hassa, Jond, and a new character, Nayeli. I loved the added perspectives and how they rounded out the story. 
Sylah and Anoor make such fantastic main characters because of how flawed they both are. They’re stubborn in different ways and fiercely loyal to each other despite the distance between them. Their individual paths in this book add so much to their characters. 
There is a cat named Rascal who I would die for, best character added in this book hands down. 

The Ending Fire series has such incredible representation. Not only is it a Ghanaian and Sudanese inspire fantasy, there are trans characters at all points of transitioning, non-binary characters, and disabled characters. There is a who community of people who‘s tongues and hands are removed and they have an intricate sign language that is very prevalent in the book. 

Writing: 5/5
Arifi’s use of perspectives and suspense are impeccable. She cuts chapters at the perfect points, she never leaves a POV hanging for too long. The amount of different plots going on in this book is incredibl, idk how she kept track of it all. 

A note— I deeply appreciate that there was a type of recap at the beginning. I think more series should do that. 

Overall: 5/5
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The Battle Drum- 2.75⭐️ 1🌶️

Anoor is the first blue-blooded ruler of the Wardens' Empire. But when she is accused of a murder she didn't commit, her reign is thrown into turmoil. She must solve the mystery and clear her name without the support of her beloved, Sylah.
Hassa's web of secrets grows ever thicker as she finds herself on a trail of crimes in the city. Her searching uncovers the extent of the atrocities of the empire's past and present. Now, she must guard both her heart and her land.

Sylah braves new lands to find a solution for the hurricane that threatens to destroy her home. But in finding answers, she must make a decision, does she sacrifice her old life in order to raise up her sword once more?
The three women find their answers, but they're not the answers they wanted. The drumbeat of change thrums throughout the world.

Ready we will be, when the Ending Fire comes, 
Ready we will be, for war will come.
And it sings a song of war.

✨My Opinion✨
The story being retold at the beginning was very helpful for diving back into the story. I wish that more authors did this!

This book was not for me. I felt like it suffered from the second book issue and I didn’t love the first enough. I will not be continuing the series.

Finishing this book was like pulling teeth. I just lost interest in how unfocused it was. It took forever to get to the underlying connections of the plot. One minute they are solving a murder mystery, the next we are on the ocean or in an earthquake/acid rain/monsoon rain situation. It seemed like pointless wandering in the plot. The mini cliffhangers at the end of POV’s didn’t drive the story forward for me, but annoyed me because I couldn’t really tell the difference between plot cliffhangers and POV cliffhangers. So when big plot reveals happened, they felt insignificant.

I was reminded time and time again why I didn’t like the MC’s in the first book. They didn’t improve in a tangible enough way for me to start liking them.


Domestic abuse
Religious bigotry

Thank you Random House Publishing and Del Ray for an advanced reader copy of The Battle Drum in exchange for an honest review.
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This book slapped me in the face, kicked me while I was down, and then told me to run for my life. And I loved every minute of it. Excellent follow up to The Final Strife. I honestly did not see so many of the twists coming, and some of them left me literally gasping. I cannot wait for the final book in this trilogy!
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4.5 stars
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own. 
The Battle Drum is another excellent installment in Saara El-Arifi’s debut Ending Fire trilogy. I loved seeing more of the cultural influences from Ghana and Arabia come through in the world building, especially as the narrative takes us to new places on the world map. The prose is vivid and transformative, immersing the reader in the world of the story. I continue to be impressed with the caste system and blood color system, and how it draws parallels to the real world while still feeling original. 
The central characters remain interesting, and I was once again won over by their developing dynamics. Anoor remains somewhat naive, in spite of what she’s been through, but I like that she continues to be balanced by the more emotionally mature Hassa. These two play off each other well, and while there are some things that present cause for concern for their fates going into the final book, I still feel pretty satisfied with where they ended up at the end of this book. 
Sylah was also great in this one, especially as she’s the one whose journeys give the reader more access to different parts of the world. The exploration of her complexities, especially her struggle with addiction, are also well-rendered. 
This book is on the longer side, but that just means it has a lot to offer. There’s a lot of politics and freedom-fighting, and even a bit of murder-mystery. While there were some moments when I did feel the length, it was more or less a read where every word earned its place in the narrative. 
This is a stunning sequel, and I am eager for what’s to come in the final book. I recommend the series thus far to anyone looking for African/Middle Eastern inspired fantasy.
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