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The Bones of the Old Ones + The Desert of Souls + Throne of the Crescent Moon (Crescent Moon Kingdoms)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (December 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312646755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312646752
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,116,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Bones of the Old Ones

The Bones of the Old Ones is a damn good tale that not only pays homage to the masters, but sets its own print on the genre.” --SF Signal

“This rousing sequel to The Desert of Souls offers a mélange of ancient adventure myths populated by convincing, endearing characters… As intricately woven as the magic carpet of Greek sorceress Lydia, Jones’s tale incorporates real historical personages and settings like Mosul of “haggard beauty” from the early days of Islam, and fills the pages with gallantry and glamour to provide a thrilling spectacle.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

"By turns groundbreaking and classical, Howard Andrew Jones is a pure joy to read." - Nebula and Campbell Award finalist Saladin Ahmed

“A thumbs-up for series fans.” --Kirkus

"Jones is a resurrector of unfairly forgotten tales and an illuminator of a neglected milieu. His love for the setting of the Dabir and Asim stories is as obvious as his grasp of classic sword-and-sorcery forms. The result is something rich and brisk at the same time, just as it ought to be." –Scott Lynch, author of Red Seas Under Red Skies


The Bones of the Old Ones is one lovely fantastical adventure, blending mystery, romance and magic in such a way that I had to keep reading.  There were moments of laughter, passion, and edge-of-my-seat surprises.  A fabulous read!” --Elizabeth Vaughan, USA Today bestselling author of the Chronicles of the Warlands series


“In the midst of a sea of Tolkein clones, Howard A. Jones stands out with his Arabian Nights inspired detective stories. Rollicking, and magical. What more could you want?" --Mary Robinette Kowal, Hugo and Campbell Award Winner



Praise for Howard Andrew Jones


“Like the genie of the lamp, Howard Jones has granted this reader's wish for a fresh, exciting take on the venerable genre of sword-and-sorcery!” --Richard A. Knaak, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Legends of the Dragonrealm


"Howard Jones wields magic like a subtle blade and action like a mighty cleaver in his scimitars and sorcery tale, weaving together Arabian myth, history, and some honest-to-gosh surprises to create a unique story that you’ll not soon forget."  -- Monte Cook, author of The Dungeon Masters Guide, 3rd Edition


"A rousing tale of swords against sorcery. Howard Jones writes with wit and flair. His world is involving, authentic and skilfully evoked. The best fantasy novel I have read all year." -- William King, Author of the Space Wolf trilogy and creator of Gotrek and Felix


“Howard Jones proves himself a rare master of the storyteller’s art, a talent uncommon even amongst successful novelists.” –


“Smooth and effortless, with a definite middle-eastern flair, I fell in love with Jones’s style and his skill at weaving adventure, action, wit, religion, and realism into a cohesive story..” --


“His grand sense of storytelling [makes] Howard Andrew Jones a writer to be reckoned with for many years to come.” --


“Jones's writing style makes one feel as if they're listening to someone with incredible narrative talent telling a story... In Jones's hands, the characters come to vivid life… and it's easy to feel as if you've been transported back to early Baghdad as well.” –

About the Author

HOWARD ANDREW JONES is the acknowledged expert on fiction writer Harold Lamb. He is the Managing Editor of Black Gate magazine, and he blogs regularly at its website. 

More About the Author

Howard Jones's debut historical fantasy novel, The Desert of Souls, (Thomas Dunne Books 2011), was widely acclaimed by influential publications like Library Journal, Kirkus, and Publisher's Weekly, where it was labeled "a splendid flying-carpet ride." It made Kirkus' New and Notable list for 2011, and was on both Locus's Recommended Reading List and the Barnes and Noble Best Fantasy Releases list of 2011. Additionally, The Desert of Souls was a finalist for the prestigious Compton Crook Award, and a featured selection of The Science Fiction Book Club. Its sequel, The Bones of the Old Ones, will become available on December 11, 2012. He is hard at work on a third historical fantasy novel about Dabir and Asim as well as a sequel to his Pathfinder Tales novel, Plague of Shadows.

Howard was the driving force behind the rebirth of interest in Harold Lamb's historical fiction, and assembled and edited 8 collections of Lamb's work for the University of Nebraska Press. He served as Managing Editor of Black Gate magazine from 2004 onward, and still blogs regularly at the magazine web site.

When not helping run his small family farm or spending time with his wife and children, he can be found hunched over his laptop or notebook, mumbling about flashing swords and doom-haunted towers. He's worked variously as a TV cameraman, a book editor, a recycling consultant, and most recently, as a writing instructor at a mid-western college.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
It is entertaining and full of twists and turns.
Zeyd Ali Merenkov MD
Before I tell you how good the story and characters are you need to be warned.
Paul of Oz
The main characters were written in shades of gray.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Claire S. Cooney on December 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is the second of the Dabir and Asim books, which are often described as Sherlock and Watson in 8th Century Baghdad - only this time they're in Mosul, near the ruins of the ancient city of Nineveh.

Dabir and Asim are fast friends - brothers - by the time this book takes place. Asim, the first person narrator, has grown more likable - probably due to Dabir's influence. He seems less of a lunkhead, less arrogant, more tender. Not any less a warrior but beginning to become a poet.

Dabir is, of course, pining for Sabirah from Book 1. But he's his usual competent and laconic self, and it's nice to see him reacting with friends he's had longer than Asim, and how his mysterious back story is shaping up.

The presence of women is hugely strong in this book (one of my plaintive outcries against the last was the usual 4 women versus 400 men complaint, though in most fantasy it's 1 to about 10,000), and they play every role from ghost-possessed seeress, to the blood witch Lydia, to a warrior sorceress, to an immortal chaos priestess, to a Frost Goddess Titan. It was just so jolly to see these girls out and about, up and doing, destroying worlds, that sort of thing, instead of behind walls and veils, kept in the kitchen... Although the one housekeeper who IS in the kitchen has a splendidly sour attitude, and I loved her for that.

The settings of each scene were fantastic (in all senses of the word): tombs, and mountains, and temples, and ruins, and cities, and magic carpets. The tenor of the book was as unabashedly romantic as it was heroic and sorcerous. The fight scenes were gorgeously executed and constantly interesting - and the pacing of the entire plot was smashing.

I can't wait for the third.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John C. Hocking on December 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The second novel of Dabir & Asim more than fulfills the promise of the first.
The lush Arabian Nights setting is as entrancing as before, but rendered fresh and strange as an unnatural chill shrouds the landscape with ice and snow. Asim el Abbas tells the tale and in doing so emerges as one of the most believable and compelling characters in modern fantasy. Honest to a fault, dedicated (and much-needed) bodyguard to the wise and valiant Dabir ibn Khalil, Asim comes into his own in this novel as he and his friend strive against a weird cabal of fearfully powerful beings who are in ruthless pursuit of some very dark goals.

Virtually every enjoyable aspect of The Desert of Souls is found here, and much of it is stronger, more emotional and more intense. Devotees of classic sword & sorcery will delight in rich scenes of ancient pageantry, eerie delving into forbidden places, weird and horrific magic, sweeping clashes of combat and ferocious duels to the death. Yet ultimately it is through character that the novel makes its deepest mark. These characters think and feel and bleed and strive. The novel's climax offers spectacular wide-screen thrills, but is also emotionally exhausting.
If you like adventure fantasy, this is the real deal. I can only hope for more.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Jones' writing has something of the adventurous style of novels of days gone by, with a depth many pulp writers didn't have. When I sampled the first novel before purchasing it, I immediately thought of Indiana Jones and Robert E. Howard, and knew I'd be in for a good time.

This second novel of the series is even better than the first. While the first novel had some uneven pacing, this novel shows none of that. It pulls you through the book from beginning to end, nothing dragging and halting the pace.

But what I really liked the most were the characters. All of them, even the villains, have more than one dimension. Secondary characters weren't just plot points. The main characters were written in shades of gray. A times I wanted to shake the heroes for their foibles, and was in turn pleasantly surprised that the villains had reasons why they acted as they did, some even changing in the process.

And likewise, the action too was sometimes fun, sometimes harrowing, and not always ending well. I didn't know how the book would end until it did, and the ending was good and above all, earned.

I enjoyed the style too. As I mentioned, it reminded me of old tales of adventure with Middle Eastern flavor (though with none of the inherent racism of the times). The descriptions were very evocative of other places and times, and yet written in a way that I could relate to. Jones made me aware of how normal and like me these people in this tale were, which is quite an accomplishment considering the magic and difference in era and place, and so I was quite invested in their story.

I was really impressed with the writing, but want to stress how *fun* these books are.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sneaky Burrito on April 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I am a longtime fantasy reader, though I tend to stick to "epic" or "traditional" fantasy and thus have not read a lot of sword and sorcery. My sole experiences with sword and sorcery to date, other than the first volume in this series (The Desert of Souls), have basically been a handful of Elric stories by Michael Moorcock. I am not particularly familiar with many of the writers who influenced Howard Andrew Jones (e.g. Harold Lamb, Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, etc.). So the first thing I will say is that, if you happen to find yourself in the same situation as I was, don't let that stop you from picking up this book. It is definitely possible to enjoy The Bones of the Old Ones, even without that background. Actually, having read Mr. Jones's books, I am now motivated to go seek out some of the work of the authors who influenced him.

While you don't need to be immersed in the world of sword and sorcery to enjoy The Bones of the Old Ones, I would strongly suggest reading The Desert of Souls first. Although Bones IS a self-contained adventure, a few characters from the previous book make appearances (not necessarily as characters in this book, but as names dropped here and there, for example). Plus, the relationship between the two protagonists, Asim and Dabir, was developed primarily in the first novel. Asim, I thought, underwent a rather nice transformation in Desert from being a little bit of a stick in the mud to being someone who would actually be willing to break the rules to save a friend. (In Bones, as in Desert, events are related from Asim's point of view -- basically as an account he is writing years later -- so you get much more inside Asim's head than Dabir's.)

At any rate, I don't want to spend too long talking about the previous book.
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