Book 1

The Final Strife

by Saara El-Arifi

Published 21 June 2022

'Epic in scope, its worldbuilding as intricate as filigree. The Final Strife sings of rebellion, love, and the courage it takes to stand up to tyranny, following three women whose journeys will keep you gripped to the last' —Samantha Shannon, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Priory of the Orange Tree

The Empire rules by blood

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 servants, of the crushed, of the invisible.

The Aktibar – a set of trials held every ten years to find the next Ember rulers of the Empire – is about to begin.

All can join but not just anyone can win; it requires great skill and ingenuity to become the future wardens of Strength, Knowledge, Truth and Duty.

Sylah was destined to win the trials and be crowned Warden of Strength. Stolen by blue-blooded rebels she was raised with a Duster’s heart; forged as a weapon to bring down from within the red-blooded Embers’ regime of cruelty. But when her adopted family were brutally murdered those dreams of a better future turned to dust.

However, the flame of hope may yet be rekindled because Sylah wasn’t made to sparkle, she was born to burn.

And it’s up to her whether she rules the empire or destroys it.


Book 2

The Battle Drum

by Saara El-Arifi

Published 23 May 2023

The SUNDAY TIMES bestselling series continues…

Murder. Secrets. Sacrifice.

Three women seek the truth of the empire's past in the sequel to The Final Strife, the continuation of a visionary fantasy trilogy inspired by Africa and Arabia. The truth they find has the power to ignite a war.

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.

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?

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.

The three women find their answers, but they're not the answers they wanted. The drumbeat of change thrums throughout the world.

And it sings a song of war.