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Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops Series

John Brown John, translator of the Zamonia Novels

Jim C. Hines author of Libriomancer

Nick Harkaway author of Angelmaker (review here)

Martha Wells author of The Cloud Roads

David Tallerman author of Giant Thief

Mazarkis Williams author of The Emperor's Knife

Rob Ziegler author of Seed

Steven Gould author of 7th Sigma

Douglas Hulick author of Among Thieves (review here)

Mark Charan Newton author of Nights of Villjamur (review here)

Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

Anthony Huso author of The Last Page (review here)

Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

Lou Anders Editor of Pyr Books

Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

Sam Sykes author of Tome of the Undergates (review here)

Benjamin Parzybok author of Couch (review here)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch author of Diving Into the Wreck (review here)

Ken Scholes author of Lamentation

Cherie Priest author of Boneshaker (review here)

Lev Grossman author of The Magicians (review here)

Character Interviews

Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Eva Forge from Tim Akers's The Horns of Ruin

Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Hounded


The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Year Zero by Rob Reid

Alif: The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Control Point by Myke Cole

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
My BlogCatalog BlogRank Wikio - Top Blogs - Literature

MINI REVIEW | Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed

The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, land of djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, Khalifs and killers, is 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.

Throne of the Crescent Moon is Nebula and Campbell nominee Saladin Ahmed's debut novel, which is placed in the world first created in his short story work. Sometimes a book comes along and you feel like it was written to hit all your own personal sweet spots. Throne of the Crescent Moon is one of those books for me.

Throne of the Crescent Moon evokes an old school Arabian setting with a touch of Egyptian while building a fresh world and history all its own filled with ghuls (zombies), lion shapeshifters, and a ghul hunter who has been there and done that so much I kept waiting for him to belt out the immortal Danny Glover line "I'm getting too old for this shit."

Doctor Adoulla has been battling ghuls for decades and we encounter him near the end of his tenure as the greatest ghul hunter in the Crescent Moon Kingdoms at a point where his role has been marginalized. He isn't sad about being forgotten--to a degree--in fact he would love to finally retire and pass on the mantle. Yet a threat has surfaced that tests his abilities and that of his young dervish protege. It is Adoulla's lifetime of experience that sets him apart from so many warriors in their prime and magicians seeking to make a name for themselves that seem to proliferate Fantasy. He's the uncle with all the best stories.

Striking the right balance with the pacing and fun action of a Sword & Sorcery story while still bringing in the coarse and realistic tone found in modern Fantasy, Throne of the Crescent Moon is superbly executed. Everything has consequence in the story. The Doctor and his cohorts don't just bounce up after a fight, but need to mend their many scars, both on the outside and inside.  Ahmed doesn't let any of his characters off easy giving each things to regret and deal with in a realistic manner even while battling crazy sand monsters.

One thing that seemed off was the very rushed and somewhat chaotic climax, which I had to re-read in order to fully grok. Also, the story does seem like a preamble to a much larger tale despite standing on its own well as things are just set in motion for something more epic. None of this dampened the experience much, if at all, as Ahmed is a writer just coming into his own. His prose and characterization are already there and if he gets over a few niggling issues like these he could become one of the most popular wordsmiths of his generation.

It is hard to discuss Throne without at least Jones' The Desert of Souls (review here) coming to mind. Though both share many commonalities Ahmed's work is of a much richer and higher octane variety than Jones more classic style. There is room for both on your shelves by my estimation.

I'm loving this new wave of Sword & Sorcery and Ahmed just firmly put himself as the leader of the pack. I give Throne of the Crescent Moon 4 out of 5 hats. This is a debut not to be missed if you enjoy action oriented stories and memorable characters. The Crescent Throne Kingdom series will be at least three books long with the next out sometime in 2013.

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REVIEW | Swords & Dark Magic edited by Jonathan Strahan & Lou Anders