Fabulous Fiction Firsts #315

From Detroit native Saladin Ahmed, a finalist for the Nebula and Campbell Awards, comes one of this year's most anticipated debuts:Throne of the Crescent Moon * * *, "a fantasy adventure with all the magic of The Arabian Nights".

The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, home to jinns and ghouls, holy warriors and heretics, are in the grip of a power struggle between the iron-fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. At the same time, a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes fear in the hearts of the citizens of the great city of Dhamsawaat. It is up to a handful of heroes to learn the truth behind these killings.

Chief among them, Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, an aged and weary ghoul (ghul) hunter drawn out of retirement by the murders. Raseed bas Raseed, Adoulla's young assistant, a holy warrior whose prowess is matched only by his piety, that is until he crosses paths with the lion-shaped tribeswoman Zamia Badawi who lives to avenge her father's death.

As these warriors race against time to save the life of a vicious despot, they discover a far more sinister plot that would spell doom and threatens to turn Dhamsawaat and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.

~ "Ahmed's debut masterfully paints a world both bright and terrible... Arab-influenced setting is full of vibrant description, characters, and religious expressions that will delight readers weary of pseudo-European epics."

~ "An arresting, sumptuous and thoroughly satisfying debut (of a projected trilogy)."

* * * = Starred reviews