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.
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.