Throne of the Crescent Moon

( 24 )

Overview

From Saladin Ahmed, finalist for the Nebula and Campbell Awards, comes one of the year's most anticipated fantasy debuts: THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, a fantasy adventure with all the magic of The Arabian Nights.

The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, home to djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, are at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron- fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. In the midst of this brewing rebellion a series of ...

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Overview

From Saladin Ahmed, finalist for the Nebula and Campbell Awards, comes one of the year's most anticipated fantasy debuts: THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, a fantasy adventure with all the magic of The Arabian Nights.

The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, home to djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, are at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron- fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. In the midst of this brewing rebellion a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. It is up to a handful of heroes to learn the truth behind these killings.

Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, "the last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat," just wants a quiet cup of tea. Three score and more years old, he has grown weary of hunting monsters and saving lives, and is more than ready to retire from his dangerous and demanding vocation. But when an old flame's family is murdered, Adoulla is drawn back to the hunter's path.

Raseed bas Raseed, Adoulla's young assistant, is a hidebound holy warrior whose prowess is matched only by his piety. But even as Raseed's sword is tested by ghuls and manjackals, his soul is tested when he and Adoulla cross paths with the tribeswoman Zamia.

Zamia Badawi, Protector of the Band, has been gifted with the near- mythical power of the lion-shape, but shunned by her people for daring to take up a man's title. She lives only to avenge her father's death. Until she learns that Adoulla and his allies also hunt her father's killer. Until she meets Raseed.

When they learn that the murders and the Falcon Prince's brewing revolution are connected, the companions must race against time-and struggle against their own misgivings-to save the life of a vicious despot. In so doing they discover a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn Dhamsawaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ahmed’s debut masterfully paints a world both bright and terrible. Doctor Adoulla Makhslood is a professional destroyer of ghuls, clawed creatures whose hissing sounds like “a thousand serpents rasping with a man’s hatred.” He’s almost ready to retire when an unheard-of number of the monsters all but wipe out an entire clan of the Badawi people. Hunting the sorcerer who raised the ghuls, Adoulla and his religiously uptight swordsman apprentice, Raseed, are aided by the lone Badawi survivor, a girl named Zamia who can transform into a lion. They soon discover that the mysterious figure plans to cast an ancient sacrificial spell powerful enough to wreck the world. Unobtrusive hints of backstory contribute to the sense that this novel is part of a larger ongoing tale, and the Arab-influenced setting is full of vibrant description, characters, and religious expressions that will delight readers weary of pseudo-European epics. Agent: Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Feb.)
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
Throne of the Crescent Moon is a delight in every imaginable way.”
Library Journal
When the niece of a woman once dear to him is murdered by a demon, Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, the last of the true ghul (ghoul) hunters, leaves his precious retirement to track down the killers. Enlisting the help of old adventuring friends—the mage Dawoud and his alchemist wife Litaz, as well as his assistant, the passionately fanatic young dervish Raseed bas Raseed—Adoulla scours the great city of Dhamsawaat for clues to the identity of the infamous Orshado, the ghul of ghuls, who threatens to destroy the world. Also joining the hunt is Zamia, a young tribeswoman gifted with the ability to take the form of a lioness, who seeks revenge for the massacre of her entire tribe. VERDICT Set in a quasi-Middle Eastern city and populated with the supernatural creatures of Arab folklore, this long-awaited debut by a finalist for the Nebula and Campbell awards brings The Arabian Nights to sensuous life. The maturity and wisdom of Ahmed's older protagonists are a delightful contrast to the brave impulsiveness of their younger companions. This trilogy launch will delight fantasy lovers who enjoy flawed but honorable protagonists and a touch of the exotic.
Kirkus Reviews
Distinctive Middle Eastern fantasy from newcomer Ahmed. In Dhamsawaat, chief city of the Crescent Moon Kingdoms, Doctor Adoulla Makhslood has devoted his life to hunting and destroying ghuls, constructs brewed from bones, sand and bugs and animated by the vile blood-magic of evil sorcerers. Now fat, old and weary, Adoulla endeavors to ignore the power struggle developing between the cruel, despotic, aloof Khalif and the elusive, magic-powered Robin Hood-style thief who calls himself the Falcon Prince. But when the family of his old flame-turned-brothel keeper Miri is slaughtered by ghuls, Adoulla sets aside his teacup, summons his young assistant, Raseed, a deadly but naive warrior dervish steeped in the religion of his sect, and by the will of God steels himself for another battle. Tracking the ghuls into the desert, Adoulla and Raseed come upon a young girl, Zamia, whose entire family have also been slaughtered by the ghuls. Zamia, a shapeshifter who can take the form of a huge golden lioness with silver claws, proves more than adept at killing ghuls, but her femininity and forwardness deeply trouble the pious and traditional Raseed. Equally disturbing to Adoulla is the sheer sorcerous power necessary to create such terrible ghuls, and indications that the Falcon Prince is somehow involved. Adoulla, while no fan of the vicious Khalif, refuses to endorse a disastrous civil war. As you might expect, the Arabian Nights theme dominates, and in language, style and approach, Ahmed carries it off with only minor slips into American vernacular. Equally impressive are characters who struggle not only against their opponents but against their own misgivings and desires, and accept that victory may be achieved only at great personal cost. An arresting, sumptuous and thoroughly satisfying debut.
io9.com
"Throne of the Crescent Moon is the best fantasy swashbuckler of the year so far.... If you love smart escapism, don't miss out on this book."
A Dribble of Ink
"There's a wonderful soul to Throne of the Crescent Moon and, with all the skill and eloquence he showed in his short fiction, Ahmed has brought to life a wonderful cast of characters and introduced readers to a thrilling and interesting new world to explore."
Walter Jon Williams
"Readers yearning for the adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser will delight in the arrival of Adoulla and Raseed. In addition to these two marvelous characters, Saladin Ahmed has given us the wonderful, colorful city of Dhamsawaat, ghuls and demons and manjackals, and the ferocious tribeswoman Zamia, who gives new meaning to the words 'wild girl.'"
Kevin J. Anderson
"Throne of the Crescent Moon is colorful, magical, exciting, and moving. Saladin Ahmed delivers a beautiful story of a demon hunter in an Arabian Nights setting. An excellent first novel!"
Elizabeth Bear
"This promising debut offers a glimpse of a dusty and wonderful fantasy city through the eyes of three engaging, unconventional protagonists."
N. K. Jemisin
"Ahmed is a master storyteller in the grand epic tradition. Swashbuckling adventure, awesome mystery, a bit of horror, and all of it written beautifully. A real treat!"
Scott Lynch
"A genuinely brisk, bold, and colorful diversion.... Flashing swords, leaping bandits, holy magic, bloodthirsty monsters, and sumptuous cuisine... what more do you want me to do, draw you a map? Read this thing."
B&N Explorations
"Bottom line: If you’re a fantasy fan – and it doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of paranormal fantasy, epic fantasy, dark fantasy, etc. – chances are very good that you’ll find Throne of the Crescent Moon to be one of the best novels you read this year."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756407117
  • Publisher: DAW Hardcover
  • Publication date: 2/7/2012
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 607,234
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Saladin Ahmed lives in Detroit, Michigan.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    4++ stars. The greatest strength of this book is the depth of it

    4++ stars. The greatest strength of this book is the depth of its characters. Saladin Ahmed created characters with crystal clear points of view. Each characters' history, motivation and words have a ring of consistency and logic. This 274-page hardcover is shorter than many of its kind but the tale is nonetheless complete and no less satisfying. The writing is fluid and the pace deliberate. Saladin Ahmed makes revelations purposefully and leaves the reader always one step behind the mystery and eagerly reading on. Within its pages, it contains humor, philosophy, faith, politics, love and more. Obviously, I very much enjoyed this book and look forward to the next installment.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2013

    This was recommended to me by an author friend and it looked int

    This was recommended to me by an author friend and it looked interesting enough to put on my wish list for Christmas. I'm extremely glad I did because this is a wonderful book and not to be missed!

    Mr. Ahmed has created a world that draws on the mythology of the Middle East, but he takes it a step beyond and populates his world with lovable characters, grotesque monsters, and a plot that is like being caught in a swift river and pushed inexorably to the rousing conclusion. The people are completely believable and the story develops organically from the culture it portrays. Adoulla (the hero) and his friends are endearing and you want to see them succeed - you are cheering them on at every turn and when something bad happens you really feel their pain and frustration. The world of the Crescent Moon Kingdoms is completely believable and a fantasy setting worth revisiting! Mr. Ahmed's does for a fantasy version of the Middle East what Ernst Bramah's Kai Lung stories did for a fantasy version of the Far East and his writing is as evocative as Bramah's (although a bit less embellished).

    Throne of the Crescent Moon is a quick, exciting read: do yourself a favor and get this as soon as you can! And although it is completely self-contained, it is billed as the first in a series and I can hardly wait for the next book. (Plus I'm buying as much as I can find by Mr. Ahmed: he has a unique creative voice!)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2012

    This was great!

    The characters were rich, the story was exciting, the setting was not what I'm used to and intriguing. Well written, well paced, loved it. Looking forward to the next book by this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2012

    This strong debut by the Nebula- and Campbell-nominated author b

    This strong debut by the Nebula- and Campbell-nominated author breathes fresh air into the Sword & Sorcery genre.

    Ahmed weaves an enchanting web of worldbuilding around headstrong, stubborn characters that bloody their nose struggling against their assumptions and trying to do the right thing, deciding where to cross their own lines and for whom. Throne of the Crescent Moon hearkens back to Fritz Leiber, Robert E. Howard, but also Scheherezade's tales in the 1001 Nights. The world is lived-in, well-realized, and deliciously distinct.

    When my main complaint upon finishing a story is 'I want more!', I know I've had a great ride. I hope you will, too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2012

    Great Debut Novel of a Promising New Fantasy Series...

    Saladin Ahmed's first book, Throne of the Crescent Moon, was quite a fun romp in a Middle Eastern Fantasy locale. I enjoyed it quite a bit and found myself enjoying the unique location and cultural trappings it provided. This book was a good start for a promising series with book two schedule for some time in 2013.

    I did find the first third of the book to be a bit loose. Not sure this is the best word for it, but I felt dropped in the middle of a situation with characters I was finding hard to connect with. This was corrected by the time I reached the middle of the book where a small band of old, and some young, ragtag heroes licked their wounds, preparing for the finale. This section is where Ahmed does a nice jab of developing his characters and making you care about them. This dynamic helped provide some punch for a rousing endgame that turned what would have been a three star review into a four star review.

    I think Ahmed is a promising young author and I'm looking forward to reading more of his books in the future.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2012

    I really enjoyed the grit and sand of the world and the flaws an

    I really enjoyed the grit and sand of the world and the flaws and frustrations of the characters. Shape-shifting, sword fighting, and sorcery were highly entertaining elements. The tea house has a warm little spot in my heart too. A really great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    Nice!

    I'm not really a review-writer, but thought enough of this book to change that. I feel like the fantasy genre has stagnated lately, with the truly good books coming only from a select few writers. A friend of mine recommended this book, and I nearly passed it up, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that this isn't your typical fantasy book. The setting is unique, the characters personable and memorable, and, while it is a Sword and Sorcery book, the plot isn't predictable. All in all, a very good read. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new fantasy author to follow.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Fantasy Story Filled with Friendship, Love, and Humor!

    This story was what I expected, what I wanted, and more. While I was a bit thrown off by the cover for the book…I thought it was meant for children, my boyfriend looked at it and said for an older crowd cause kids don’t want fat dudes in their books. So, I guess it was just me – but I went into it thinking that it was meant for a younger crowd and thus was surprised with the few curse words thrown around here and there. That said most times cursing was used it was perfectly placed and these “fat dudes” were freaking awesome.

    The more I rehash what happened in the book and the characters that were part of it the more I realize how much I enjoyed this story. For something that could have simply been a dark and devious tale with ghuls, death, and destruction, it was so much more. Love was a part of the story, even if it wasn’t in your face the entire time. Friendship was one of the biggest parts and the friendship these characters had was simply divine – especially that between the main character Adoulla and his two friends that help him on his quest to save the world. The humor was probably one of my favorite things that I didn’t expect in the story. It was sprinkled throughout the story in bits and pieces and lightened the story from the despair that was the central focus. I want to reread this one again as I am sure there were plenty of things that I didn’t absorb or let sink in enough to appreciate them.

    Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 5, 2012

    Highly recommended for fans of sword and sorcery, fantasy and general readers alike!

    An amazing debut with fun, well drawn characters, strong plotting and well written action sequences, good use of culture and invention. A delightful read, but not one of those fantasies that's so long or involved anyone would hesitate to make the investment.

    The story of a ghul hunter, his dervish apprentice and their friends taking on a gruesome magical threat to the Crescent Moon kingdoms, this is tightly, concisely written with a good flow and very enjoyable as a gateway to a new writer or into sword and sorcery or Arabic fantasy for anyone new to it.

    The magical elements and themes fit well within the Arabic cultural fantasy world, Ahmed weaves together seemlessly with a blend of fact and fiction. His switches POV characters flawlessly as well for such a short novel and therefore develops all of his major characters more richly and deeply than many other novelists might even for such a short book.

    His transitions between chapters and characters are seamless and they often provide just the right insight to keep the story moving forward in both pace, plot and character arc.

    Recommended highly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2014

    A decent twist on traditional fantasy

    This book is a fast paced adventure story set in an Arabian Nights -style setting. I enjoyed the setting and the characters had a little depth. Aside from painting a vivid picture of this unusual world instead of yet another variation on The Hobbit or Twilight or Harry Potter, the story was predictable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2013

    Hint!

    -34-5 -34+-5= -39

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2013

    Liked the world created and the story line but...

    I found that I did not connect to the characters as much as I could have. I kind of felt that they were too one flat. I did not have the emotional connection to them as with other stories. Also..they defeated the bad guy..but I feel like his motivations or who he was not fully explained or fleshed out...so defeating him had no satisfaction or suspense. So overall...it just did not pull me in

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2012

    I found this novel refreshingly different

    I wouldn't say that I have a large amount of experience with fantasy works. But even I found this novel refreshingly different. It feels like a good episode of genre television. Instead of some long grand quest to do something important to save the whole world, our heroes are concerned with preventing this week's horrible event from destroying their city.

    It's not perfect. When scenes get replayed with the focus on a different of our leading characters, it feels a little like an attempt to pad things out. It's also a little heavy on the filling and emptying of stomachs. Actually, with the frequency with which characters seem to lose their lunch, I'm willing to accept the need to include meals to show they've reloaded, so to speak.

    I am definitely looking forward to the next episode

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2012

    Interesting

    An intriguing combination of religion--of some sort--and magic. It's not quite what I was expecting from this book, and I'm not convinced that's a bad thing. Sure, one expects to see certain things going into a fantasy novel... and one expects not to see certain things, too. I think Ahmed does a fine job of upending those expectations without getting pretentious and in-your-face about it. The story remains fun, and even if it's not outright exciting page after page, it is thoroughly solidly plotted and keeps your interest with a nice range of well-realized characters--including some excellent and capable ladies!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    Excellent

    Unique and rivetting. Historically genuine sword and sorcery.

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  • Posted February 14, 2012

    I only wish there was more to read

    I'm not going to lie: I was REALLY excited about this book before I read it. And it totally lived up to its hype! It's refreshing to read a Fantasy book and not automatically think of Middle Earth, or Medieval England. The world building was done very well with little need for exposition, the characters were drawn fully enough that you could both identify with them and still be in awe of what they could do, and the plot (though it felt a bit rushed) was gripping enough to keep you guessing. The prose of the book is poetic and flowing, the magic is easily accessible, but still mysterious to the extent that you weren't surprised by the odd "leaping", "wafting", or "sword" magic that, if otherwise not vague enough, might have seemed just thrown in. I highly recommend it, especially if you love not-so-standard world settings, creepy supernatural baddies, and some really good character and story development. My only complaints: I could have done with a fewer "Damned-by-God"'s as it came off a bit too much like "Frak" (you know what I mean). Also, I wasn't too keen on how quickly the romance sub-plot between two of the characters progressed: it seemed a bit too quick at first, but, in the end, actually slowed down as these characters (or at least one of them) had to step back and question their motives (I liked that part). And I would have liked to have seen more of the bad guys in the story. I heard that there are supposed to be other books in this series, but it seems like it might be hard to follow some of the same characters as they sort of split in the end (don't worry, not much of a spoiler). A fast-paced story expertly written, and a very quick read. Good, old-fashioned Sword & Sorcery with an epic scope. Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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