1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
nice, diverse flavour to the fantasy genre,
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This review is from: Throne of the Crescent Moon (Paperback)
Throne of the Crescent Moon dropped into my hands when I was too through with the fantasy world. After a while, reading about callow white youths on a journey, to either rescue a princess or gain renown with frothy euro fantasy gets pretty old. Throne of the Crescent Moon adds a fair bit of spice to the bland fare of high fantasy and it's worth a read.
Essentially, the story is about an old hunter called Doctor Adoulla Makhslood . He's old, and tired and just wants to retire. However, an old love has asked him to investigate the supernatural death of some family members, and because it's the first time she's spoken to him (and Makhslood lives in hope), he goes and takes his assistant in training, Raseed bas Raseed to the site of the slaughter, only to come upon Zamia Badavi- a shapechanger who is charged to avenge her people, and then our story begins. We meet Makhslood's friends Dawood and Litaz, and their magicks. As well as we find out that their part of the world is in the path of an ancient evil. Along with a swashbuckling Prince of Thieves, and actions most foul.
The world building is relatively complete with the novel. From the magics that sweeten the Princes' gardens (so that the found stench of the city doesn't intrude on his world), to the rituals of tea with salted pistachios, and the bumble, snarl and stink of the city, it's pretty much there.
The reason why the book only gets three stars, is the fact that Ahmed's short story background seems to come through. The narrative seems 'sealed' somewhat, and instead of giving characters at turns the space to 'show' off their craft, it's over narrated. In addition, it could have more more action, considering that the characters are all skilled in either sword-craft or magic. The book ends on an odd note, and that's when I belatedly realised that it was the first in a trilogy! D'oh, no-one writes one shots anymore.
Even with all its flaws, the book deserves to be read. The characters are real, tend to be mostly poc,and not described in terms of food (caramel, chocolate, etc), and when they use their powers and actions, the consequences are far reaching. I wish they'd had the cover with the characters on it over here (instead of just the Throne). But yeah, I enjoyed the book thoroughly and am looking to book too.