Throne of the Crescent Moon

Throne of the Crescent Moon

by Saladin Ahmed

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780756407780
Publisher: DAW
Publication date: 12/31/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 137,826
Product dimensions: 4.17(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.02(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Saladin Ahmed was born in Detroit and raised in a working-class, Arab American enclave in Dearborn, Michigan. His short stories have been nominated for the Nebula and Campbell awards, and have appeared in Year’s Best Fantasy and numerous magazines, anthologies, and podcasts, as well as being translated into five foreign languages. Throne of the Crescent Moon won a Locus Award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and David Gemmell Morningstar awards. Find him on Twitter at @saladinahmed.

What People are Saying About This

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!"

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!"

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.'"

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."

Elizabeth Bear

"This promising debut offers a glimpse of a dusty and wonderful fantasy city through the eyes of three engaging, unconventional protagonists."

Customer Reviews

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Throne of the Crescent Moon 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
tanuki2001 More than 1 year ago
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!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
MikeUnderwood More than 1 year ago
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.
AeroHudson More than 1 year ago
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.
nrlymrtl More than 1 year ago
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!
alt_key More than 1 year ago
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.
BLove43 More than 1 year ago
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!
BookSakeBlogspot More than 1 year ago
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.
BryanThomasS More than 1 year ago
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.
mpho3 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Throne of the Crescent Moon is rollicking good fun. Ahmed has a very visual style, and I could really see this as a movie. In fact, I envy the producer who jumps on this; if properly handled, it could be a box-office smash.) I should preface the rest of my comments with the admission that I am not an avid reader of this genre. However, I am familiar enough about speculative fiction to know that wooden characters and stilted dialogue are unfortunately all-too-common attributes of such types of tale-telling. I¿m happy to report that that is not the case here. Ahmed invests a lot in his characters, differentiating them and providing each unique protagonist with substantive motivation. If I find any fault with the work, it¿s that the plot stalls and then manages to feel rushed at the end.The book opens with an immediate hook: the hair-raising description some poor soul being tortured. We don't know who he is or why he's subjected to this treatment. We don't know who's behind it or what the ultimate motive is. Then we meet our protagonists who are dallying about when some heinous murders disrupt their lives. Since they¿re in the business of fighting evil, off they go to safe keep their city. They thus become acquainted with an evil beyond all evil ¿ the very creepy manjackal Mouw Awa. Mouw Awa is a makes-your-skin-crawl kind of evil, i.e. spooky good fun!But then, we¿re put on hold while Ahmed puts us in the minds and hearts of our heroes ¿ Adoulla the aging ghul hunter; his apprentice Raseed, the spiritually conflicted Dervish; his best friends, the homesick alkhemist Litaz and her increasingly weary husband Dawoud, a magus; and the shape-shifting tribeswoman Zamia, who seeks vengeance for her fallen people. I loved all these characters and their adventures around Dhamsawaat.But what of Mouw Awa and his `beloved friend,¿ i.e. the man they eventually discover is the cause of all these happenings? What about the tortured being from the beginning? I kept waiting for the villains' return and then got to a point where, with only 30 or 40 pages left, I knew the epic battle I was expecting either wasn¿t going to happen or would happen in a blur. In actuality, it was a little of both, with the sub-plot about the Falcon Prince and the Khalif¿s heir cock-blocking the rest of the story. **spoiler below**I wasn¿t satisfied with the explanation of who Orshado is or for his actions. I wasn¿t satisfied with how easily he and his creatures, including Mouw Awa, were dispatched. I wasn¿t satisfied with reveal of who the tortured man was and what he became.**end spoiler** It¿s a testament to Ahmed's writing that I cared about these things, even if I felt like I didn¿t get what I wanted. These things were not satisfying because they felt anti-climactic: there was a lot of buildup of the protagonists but not enough of the foes. Ahmed is a short-story writer who is turning out his first novels, and that¿s what¿s at play here. I think the middle and end of the story needed to be fleshed out more. Throne of the Crescent Moon is a long short story, not a short novel. Ahmed¿s got skills, no doubt, but I don¿t think he¿s a novelist quite yet. Look out when he is, because he¿s managed to very successfully infuse stale swashbuckling tropes with an Arabian flare that burns very bright indeed. 3.5 stars
kkisser on LibraryThing 8 months ago
A desert fantasy adventure with a band of misfits, Adoulla, the last ghul hunter, his apprentice, an orphaned Bedouin, and his older comrades need to figure out a mystery to save their city. A mix of religion, magic, and politics with an Islamic background and customs that is remiss in today¿s fantasy genre. The book is a quick paced adventure story filled with interesting characters and settings. The only draw back is that the story is over too quickly, I would have liked more of a build to the third act and felt the ending was a bit rushed. Even so, I will be waiting for the second book in this trilogy to see where the author leads these characters.
Fledgist on LibraryThing 8 months ago
So many fantasies riff on the Mabinogion or Norse myth that it has become tiresome. This, thank goodness, does not. It opens up a door into a very different mythology. It tells, furthermore, a fascinating story, with intriguing characters, interesting politics, and some nicely done complexities.
Queensowntalia on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Saladin Ahmed is a promising new author who's produced many excellent short stories. In his debut novel, he presents readers with a vibrant, colorful world with an 'Arabian Nights' feel that's as much exciting and in parts terrifying as it is moving and heartbreaking. 'Throne' tells the story of an aging monster-hunter who learns of a dire threat to his city and, with the aid of his apprentice (basically a paladin with Middle Eastern flavor), his friends and an unusual young girl, must do what he can to stop it ¿ even as the city contends with a shadowy Robin Hood sort who's threatening rebellion. Ahmed provides insight on all the major character's motivations - they all have their own burdens to carry, their internal conflicts, and it's interesting to watch each of them to see how they deal with their assorted problems. The monster-hunter himself yearns for his long-time love, who finally spurned him when he refused to marry her because of his job's demands. Seeing him cope with the loss is moving. There are thrilling fight sequences for the action-lovers, though perhaps not as many as one might think. In many ways this is a character-driven book rather than a battle-driven one. That's not a bad thing, it's just interesting to me because of the nature of the plot. Another thing that interested me is that here and there the storyline ventures into the horror genre. A couple of scenes inspired a sort of cold dread deep in my stomach, a very visceral reaction. I really felt that helped amplify the apparent peril of the situation, the truly sinister nature of the Bad Guy, and was well done.I kind of felt like the origins of the Bad Guy in question were glossed over a bit, but perhaps I just didn't read carefully enough. Either way, it didn't detract much from my enjoyment of the tale.Really enjoyable. I recommend it.
tilyas89 More than 1 year ago
This book hits all the right notes. The protagonist and his cast are endearing and you really sense the emotion behind his personal struggles. The threat they face is weighty and suitably malevolent, not a throw away villain. The book itself is easy to read with humor and great character development. What really makes this a cut above the rest is the aura of 1001 Nights in the background. The setting and imagery used really engross you in a fantasy world devoid of the Tolkien-esque tropes of Elves, Orcs, Dwarves, Euro-fantasy I've personally gotten bored of. It's a great change of pace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fun read in an interesting world that doesn't follow western European fantasy tropes. Plot somewhat predictable in places, but still engaging enough to carry through to the end. Worth reading, and would like to see a sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well worth the purchase. I've followed Saladin's twitter account for a while and I needed another story to read. I took the plunge. He's a young crafter. It shows. His talent shows too. I look forward to this trilogy's future. I want to read it. I want to see his craft sophisticate. I want to know more about the characters who really started to shine towards the latter half of the novel. I could feel the author becoming more at ease with the characters and more importantly with his telling of their arc's as he progressed. It's nominally a fantasy novel. But really it's a story of people in overwhelming circumstances just trying to be true to the people, places and principles they love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CaineFleurdumal More than 1 year ago
About every 10th word in this book is <em>God</em> . God this, God that, God whatever. The sheer volume of the word is off putting. After a bit, you get numb to it, to the point that the rare (short) paragraph without a god in it catches your attention. If the incidences of the word god had been cut at least in half, the author would have freed up considerable space to detail the world building a bit more, which would have been more appreciated than being beat over the brain by word repetition. All that said, the characters are richly drawn and engaging, the story is well paced and fun. I will look forward to more by this author, who I sincerely hope will lighten up on the word repetition.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Michael_Sw More than 1 year ago
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.