My Rating ~ Five stars
Release date: 18 September 2018
Publisher: Wolf Publishing
Source: Received as an E-ARC for review from the author
A race across the desert.
An unimaginable prize.
It occurs once every thousand years: the Demon Race. A test of will and strength, it is a race across the Saraj, a fight for the prize of a lifetime. And it is the key to Namali Hafshar’s freedom.
When shy, seventeen-year-old Namali learns of her arranged marriage, she flees home and enters the Demon Race for the chance to change her fate. But to compete, she must cross the Saraj on a daeva, a shadow demon that desires its own reward: to infect her soul with darkness.
Namali soon learns the desert holds more dangers than meets the eye. The only person she can trust is Sameen, a kind competitor seeking his own destiny. As her affection for him grows, however, so too does the darkness in her heart.
In this race of men and demons, only one can win. But the price of winning might be more than Namali is willing to pay.
Many thanks to to the author for providing me with an E-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
When Namali realises her father will not budge, no matter how much she protests her arranged marriage, she decides to enter a race. A race that comes once every thousand years and boasts a prize that could free her forever – the winner will be granted a wish.
Although she knows the long race across the desert will be dangerous, with sandstorms, dehydration and other competitors to deal with, she doesn’t realise the biggest danger could be holding on to herself, as the demon she must ride tries to overrun her mind and soul with darkness. Meeting up with a competitor seems like a pretty terrible idea, especially such a kind competitor, but as the race goes on, and she is hunted by more than just the desert dangers, Namali starts to realise just how difficult teeming up might be. There is only one wish after all.
I received this book some time ago from the author and it released just a few days ago. I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner. I absolutely LOVED it. Honestly, it’s just moved up to one of my top reads of 2018 so far! Firstly, The Demon Race was DARK. It was horrifying, it was beautiful, it was gripping and devastating. The themes of self discovery, oppression and the ways we struggle to see other peoples’ troubles were thought provoking in a way that extends beyond the end of the book. I usually struggle with lots of different place names and belief systems, just because if I’m not familiar with them, I find it hard to keep it all straight in my mind as I’m reading, but Alexandria wove the story so skilfully that I was completely immersed in this books’ world. The world is Middle Eastern based, but with it’s own deities, beliefs and magical creatures.
I loved both Namali and Sameen as characters. They were both complex and grew as characters throughout the book. Sameen was a disabled character and Namali represented the struggles faced by women in the Middle East, while trying to balance her love for her family and retaining her beliefs in what she thought was right. The author did not hold back on the gut wrenching, horrifying danger in the book. I’ll be seeing the daeva’s in my dreams for nights to come. It was exciting, fast paced and the writing was beautiful!