Talk about some brilliant fantasy, you guys. Throne of the Crescent Moon kind of blew me away. It’s charming, sad, and exciting, all rolled into a fantastical ball of wonder. The description from the back of the book gives you the basics:
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. But these killings are only the earliest signs of a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn the great city of Dhamsawwaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.
Adoulla is a ghul-hunter, feeling his old age and ruminating on the choices he’s made in his life. He fights along side Raseed, a holy warrior, and together they hunt down and eliminate ghuls created by men of bad intentions. A series of especially gruesome murders crops up, and Adoulla knows that behind these killings is someone more powerful than he’s ever faced before.
A vivid cast of characters are created in this book – the mysterious, Robin Hood-like thief who calls himself the Falcon Prince; a fierce girl with an old, God-given power; a powerful couple who’ve dedicated their lives to assisting the poor; and the serious, efficient young warrior who accompanies Adoulla. I fell in love with these characters without even realizing it was happening. By the end I was biting my nails in worry, hoping that everyone came out of this alive. And the horrors that are happening in this book! A bit more disturbing than I was expecting, honestly, but just another thing to appreciate. I love that it took me by surprise.
Throne of the Crescent Moon is some of the best fantasy I’ve read in a long while – I don’t think I’ve been this excited since I discovered Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards series in 2013. It has just the right amounts of of swash-buckling, romantic, action-packed bits with characters that make you feel the feels. There will be sequels, and Saladin Ahmed says on his blog that he’s hoping for the second book to come out in early 2016. In the mean time, I’m going to go seek out all of the short stories he’s written.
Sarah Says: 4.5 stars