Locus Award for Best First Novel winner
Hugo Award for Best Novel finalist
Nebula Award for Best Novel finalist
David Gemmell Morningstar Award finalist
"Ahmed is a master storyteller in the grand epic tradition." —N. K. Jemisin
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Raymond Chandler meets 1001 Nights
A fun and engaging book -- imagine the film noir detective stories of the 1930's set in a 1001 Nights fantasy world, arabesque but not historically Arab, populated with jinns, monsters, magicians, sultans, Sufi warriors and nomads. I loved it from beginning to end!
Throne of the Crescent Moon
While my husband is a huge fantasy / sci fi geek and will consume even the most mediocre work, I'm pretty picky. This was a great read - depth & complexity of character without heavy handed or cliched phrasing, and the author took clear care to make the story a great beginning of a trilogy without making it an insufferable cliffhanger. You care about where this is going to go, but you know where you were left. Can't wait for the next book.