Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"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.'"
-Walter Jon Williams, Nebula award-winning author of DEEP STATE
"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!"
-Kevin J. Anderson, international bestselling coauthor of HELLHOLE
"This promising debut offers a glimpse of a dusty and wonderful fantasy city through the eyes of three engaging, unconventional protagonists."
-Elizabeth Bear, Hugo award-winning author of GRAIL
"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!"
-N. K. Jemisin, Locus award-winning author of THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS
"Saladin Ahmed is not your typical fantasy writer, and this is no ordinary debut novel. With deft plotting, painstaking characterization, and fluid prose, Ahmed brings us a riveting adventure, complete with stunning magics and compelling intrigue. A thoroughly enjoyable read from one of the genre's rising stars."
-David B. Coe, Crawford award-winning author of THE DARK-EYES' WAR
"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.'" Walter Jon Williams, Nebula award-winning author of Deep State
"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!" Kevin J. Anderson, international bestselling coauthor of Hellhole
"This promising debut offers a glimpse of a dusty and wonderful fantasy city through the eyes of three engaging, unconventional protagonists." Elizabeth Bear, Hugo award-winning author of Grail
"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!" N. K. Jemisin, Locus award-winning author of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
"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." Scott Lynch, Sydney J. Bounds award-winning author of The Lies of Locke Lamora
“Throne of the Crescent Moon is a delight in every imaginable way.” The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
"Ahmed’s debut masterfully paints a world both bright and terrible." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"This trilogy launch will delight fantasy lovers who enjoy flawed but honorable protagonists and a touch of the exotic." Library Journal (starred review)
"An arresting, sumptuous and thoroughly satisfying debut." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"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." io9.com
"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."
"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." A Dribble of Ink
The Crescent Moon Kingdoms are populated by Djenn and Ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, Khalifs and killers, opulent wealth and grinding poverty. The city of Dhamsawaat has reached the boiling point of a power struggle between the ironfisted Khalif and a mysterious Robin Hood figure known as the Falcon Prince. In this world, three heroes are drawn together by a series of brutal supernatural massacres. The companions soon learn that the magical murders and political upheaval are connected, and they race against time to unravel a sorcerous plot that threatens to turn the city — and the world itself — into a flaming, bloody ruin.
About the Author
Saladin Ahmed has been a finalist for the Nebula, Campbell, and Harper's Pen awards. His short fiction has appeared in magazines and podcasts including Strange Horizons, Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex Magazine, StarShipSofa and PodCastle, and has been translated into Portuguese, Czech, Dutch, and Romanian. His poetry has earned fellowships from several universities, and has appeared in over a dozen journals and anthologies.