The Battle Drum by Saara El-Arifi

The Battle Drum is the second instalment within the mesmerising fantasy series, The Ending Fire, inspired by the rich tapestry of Saara El-Arifi's Ghanaian and Sudanese heritage.

The Battle Drum by Saara El-Arifi

Anoor, the first blue-blooded ruler of the Wardens Empire, faces upheaval when falsely accused of murder, plunging her reign into chaos. Unassisted by her beloved girlfriend Sylah, she undertakes the task of unravelling the mystery and reclaiming her innocence. Sylah embarks on a daring journey across uncharted realms to confront a looming hurricane threatening her homeland. Amid her quest for a solution, she is forced to surrender her former life to wield her sword anew. Hassa, Anoor’s servant and trusted friend of Sylah, becomes enmeshed in a complex web of secrets as she investigates a string of city crimes, unearthing the empire's grim past and present atrocities. Balancing the protection of her emotions and her realm becomes paramount. In the end, Hassa, Anoor, and Sylah unravel answers, albeit not the ones they sought.

This sequel masterfully broadened the scope of its already captivating world-building, unveiling the majestic expanse of its universe rooted in Ghanian and Arabian mythology. Here, citizens of the empire are divided by the colour of their blood, with red being the colour of the elite, and blue being the colour of the poor.The narrative mosaic seamlessly converged, revealing a meticulous attention to detail that transported readers to a realm pulsating with both intrigue and grim realities. Moreover, within this instalment, the characters—most notably Anoor, Sylah, and Hassa—underwent profound metamorphoses, evolving into even more intricately layered personas. Their individual journeys were expertly crafted, delving to great depths. Just as in the first book, these characters remain distinctively flawed, yet brimming with a richness that compels unwavering support, transcending their imperfections. Notable was the inclusion of their distinct narrative perspectives, each lending a unique dimension to the storytelling.

The Battle Drum emerges as a whirlwind adventure, skillfully intertwining the tapestry of lore and history into the plot’s fabric of the plot, propelling the story forward with seamless synergy. The author’s impressive world-building prowess shines through in the intricate web of cultures, religions, customs, bloodlines, climates, and infrastructures showcased within the book. This crafting unveils the vastness and diversity of its world in a compelling revelation. In a symphony of gripping plots, intricate world-building, and captivating character evolution, The Battle Drum stands as a fantastic addition to The Ending Fire series. 


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