Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jacket Blurb: 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, 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
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
This is a 2013 Hugo Novel Nominee.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story - set in an exotic land with magic, evil khalif, eastern Robin Hoods, djinns, and ghuls. The last demon-hunter is now an old man with a young, noble hearted - but slightly misguided - warrior as an apprentice. We meet a Badwai desert shape-changer, and feel the affection between a magic-worker and his apothecary wife. There's love, disappointment, and promises to be honored. We have the "great city of Dhamsawaat" that is seen from the eyes of the old and young, from the viewpoint of City dwellers and desert tribesman.
Throne of the Crescent Moon is as rich as any middle eastern tapestry - deftly woven, delightful colors, intricate in it's design. For some, it might be a bit...flat; others will delight in the nuances offered.
I've heard it touted as reminiscent of Arabian Nights, but I thought the only similarity was it's Far Eastern setting. And while not marketed as YA, it's definitely straddles that line.
Recommended if you don't mind YA.
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