Cover Image: Amira & Hamza: The Quest for the Ring of Power

Amira & Hamza: The Quest for the Ring of Power

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Member Reviews


It’s smart! This book is definitely middle grade, but it’s so well written. Amira and Hamza are 100% kids and 100% smarties who can and just might actually save the universe. The writing is tight and the story flows fast, so even reluctant readers will be engaged.
Amira & Hamza are hilarious. Their inner monologues and even when they talk to every other being in the world, is funny. They think like kids and they act like kids – which is so important in a book like this. These are kids that your kids and your neighbors kids can indentify with for sure.
It’s a great lesson in multi-cultural experiences. There is a lot of lore, mystery, and history wrapped up in this seemingly simple kids book. If you want to expose your kids to other cultures in a fun, excitng way, this is the book for you.
Amira & Hamza are true siblings. They love each other, but they fight. They want to protect each other, but they can be selfish. They’re committed to saving each other’s lives, but they annoy the snot out of each other. They are each other’s best friend, but they fight about their enemies and how to destroy them. They’re exactly what you think siblings should be.
There is real stuff hidden in the story. Check out the back of the book when you’re done and you’ll learn the real history and information about some of the fantastical things in the story. It’s a great addition to your bookshelf, and it provides more resources for kids that want to learn more.
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In book one of the series, Amira & Hamza discover that they are fated to save the world by defeating a monster named Ifrit. In the second book, Ifrit’s dad (Ahriman) attempts to enact revenge by finding the Ring of Power which will enable him to control a massive jinn army and allow him to rule the world. It’s up to Amira and Hamza to stop him.

I’m not much of a fantasy reader (of any age category), but I can definitely see why people enjoy these types of books. They’re full of creatures of lore and legend, and manage to be very educational, even for adults like me. The books include a glossary at the end which not only explains who each character is, but also which mythological beings/stories these characters are based off of. I would highly recommend using this glossary as you read if you’re not familiar with these stories because it might get a bit complicated and confusing otherwise.

As characters, both Amira and Hamza are extremely likable in their own ways. Amira is a nerd who loves science and technology. Hamza is a geek who is obsessed with comic books and super heroes. The two of them make the perfect duo for this type of story because their personalities compliment each other so well. I was very happy to discover that Samira Ahmed chose to make book two a dual POV because it really shows the reader how these siblings are very different but also very similar. Hamza’s chapters were definitely my favorite. They are chock full of bad puns and hilarious moments, including a healthy amount of jokes about pooping/peeing.

If you’re a fan of Percy Jackson or Amari, you are sure to enjoy the Amira & Hamza series as well.
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Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy. It’s been a while since I read the prequel, and sadly I didn’t remember as much as I thought I would. The reader really needs to read it beforehand and get a refresher since there are not many reminders in this book. I enjoyed the famous Muslim inventors featured as they came back in ghost form. The STEM discussions actually make sense to the educated reader. The cultural and modern remarks are funny and engaging. Themes of family, bravery, and girl power can all be discussed. Thank you for a happy ending and yet another clean novel I can add to my classroom shelf.
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I love duo books and this delivers! I enjoyed it and I hope this series continues in some form but I think it's a wonderful series.
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Amira and Hamza i think by far are my favorite sibling duo across all MG books. Not only did I feel like the younger version of myself would have been overwhelmed with seeing brown girl rep and desi culture that is so perfectly portrayed with magical realism and mythology that stems from our own sect of the world, but i also think Amira and Hamza, especially in this sequel, are more brother and sister than I've seen anywhere else. I've ended up recommending this series to so many brown kids and brown siblings. The love that went into all this is just... so breathtaking
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Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and finished copy from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Amira and Hazma: The Quest for the Ring of Power

Author: Samira Ahmed

Book Series: Amira & Hazma Book 2

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Desi American MC and characters and Desi characters

Recommended For...: middle grade readers, fantasy, mythology, Desi mythology, science fiction, Percy Jackson like, HP replacement

Publication Date: September 20, 2022

Genre: MG Fantasy

Age Relevance: 10+ (violence, kidnapping)

Explanation of Above: There are mentions of violence. There is some shown kidnapping.

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 400

Synopsis: All human and jinn kind shall bow down to me. Control the Ring, control the worlds.
Amira and Hamza have returned from Qaf, the magical Jinn world, as triumphant heroes—and life has been pleasantly quiet. Too quiet. Hamza is determined to have one last monumental, epic adventure before summer ends. But when sneaking off to explore an old, abandoned castle goes from life-changing adventure to potentially deadly, Amira and Hamza find themselves in the middle of another dangerous quest to save the worlds. One they didn’t bargain for.
The siblings are brought face to face with the evil dev, Ahriman, angry and out for revenge. And if Amira and Hamza thought Ifrit was bad, his dad Ahriman, the last in an ancient line of fire spirits, is far worse. Ahriman kidnaps Hamza and forces him to help locate the lost Ring of Power, an ancient and mysterious artifact that will allow him to rule the universe. Desperate to save her brother, Amira must outsmart perilous traps and confounding puzzles in a race against time to retrieve the artifact before Ahriman does or say goodbye to Hamza and their world forever.

Review: I loved this sequel so much! The action continues in this book, where sneaking off to a castle might prove to be life-changing for our protagonists. The book had a lot of the same Percy Jackson vibes and I would still recommend this series as a great HP replacement. The book still put science at the forefront, this time with it mostly being focused on astrology and astronomy. The book is still multi-POV and I loved that Hazma has more of a presence in this book.

The only issue I had with the book is the fast pacing in places again, but overall I loved it!

Verdict: I loved it! Highly recommend!
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I first heard of Amira & Hamza when I go the first book in the series Amira & Hamza The War to save the Worlds in an Owlcrate Jr Box and so I knew this series would  good.  Amira & Hamza The Quest for the Ring of Power  follows immediately after the first book ends so you really need to read the first book.

I am not going to go into full spoilery territory but I will say  this book if chock full of action, comedy mainly from Hamza, Maths, Science and Astronomy.   I honestly learnt a lot by reading this book.   You will also which I found very interesting were their thoughts on what it was like to have their colour of skin.

Lastly I had no idea that Samira also wrote Middle Grade as I only knew her YA work and oh man she can write in both age groups really well.

For all these reasons I am giving Amira & Hamza The Quest For The Ring 4 Stars
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This is the second book in the series and it's full of humor and adventure. Amira and Hamza are fun characters. They have the typical sibling rivalry going on but deep down they truly care for one another. I liked the types of magic and learning about the different magical creatures. It's a fun series so far with plenty of adventure and humor to keep the kids reading! Thank you TBR and Beyond Tours and Samira Ahmed for sharing this book with me!
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I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own. 

Amira & Hamza: The Quest for the Ring of Power is the second book in Samira Ahmed’s Amira & Hamza series. I have read the first, but didn’t publicly review it at the time. However, I do recommend reading that one first to get a good feel for what to expect going into this one. 

It has a somewhat similar feel to the Rick Riordan Presents template, despite not being part of that imprint. There’s a blend of Indian mythology and history with modern pop culture. The titular “Ring of Power” conjured a connection to Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings, and I love how the narrative discusses the possible historical and mythical inspirations for the Ring. 

While a lot of similar titles will focus on a single protagonist, sometimes with a supporting group of friends, Amira and Hamza are co-leads and both serve in the “Chosen One” role. I love how each of them contributes something cool to the narrative. Amira is smart and logical,  and is good at puzzle-solving. She also is a great sister, who always has her brother’s back. Hamza is often getting into trouble, which can lead to some comically perilous situations, especially as he can foresee some terrifying scenarios playing out before him, however, throughout the book, Amira’s logic begins to rub off as he navigates the obstacles he faces. 

This is a charming installment in a fun series centering the power of sibling love. It’s perfect for fans of middle grade fantasy in the vein of Percy Jackson.
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This second book in the sequel maintains the high energy, comical pop culture induced banter, and jinn fantasy that the first book established so well.  There was some concern with the first book because of how "religious" based parts felt and the arc not having those reference pages causing me to question if readers would take the book as based on religious truths or understand that it is simply taking religious concepts and developing them in a fictitious way.  This book toned down the desi culture, and removed most Islamic references.  Once again the arc had blank backmatter pages, so I'm not sure what is "sourced" and what is attributed to creativity from the author's perspective.  There are jinn, Suleiman the wise and his ring to control jinn, animals, and people, (no mention that he is a Prophet), characters saying "peace be upon you," mention of Zamzam water (not explained), and famous past Muslims introduced as ghosts (Ibn Sina, Abu Sa'id Ahmed ibn Muhammed ibn Abd al-Jalil al-Sijzi, and the Banu Musa brothers) making up the plot of the story. A major piece of the narrative is a statue named Lamassu, a Sumerian goddess that curses a character, so the framework from a literary perspective, is much less Islamic from the very foundation when compared to the first in the series.
Over 400 pages this middle grade novel focuses on the two siblings, the two chosen ones, trying to keep the ring of power from Ifrit's father, Ahriman.  Whereas in the first book the siblings were mostly together throughout the adventure, in this one they are separate and working to get reunited.  I enjoyed the story, it wasn't as problem solving focused as the first, but getting to know the characters and relishing in the comedy, pop culture and desi culture Easter eggs, kept the book entertaining and hard to put down.  The world building is more minimalized as it is set on earth, and the line between the seen and unseen was largely established in the first book.  

At face value, just reading the words on the pages of the story. I would recommend this cultural fantasy book as a fun, action packed, sibling love, female power, exciting read.  I will wait until my ordered copy arrives to see what references, author's notes, and sourcing is offered up as making the book more or less than what it is.  There are ghosts, talk of crushes, almost swearing, stealing (she feels awful about it), death, destruction, and re-imagining Islamic truths in a fictionalized way.
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Samira Ahmed always writes beautifully and is always a welcome voice on the classroom shelf. Although Ahmed’s work typically skews to an older audience, I am so glad to have read this book as an example that could appeal to upper elementary readers, middle grade readers, and beyond.
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