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Throne of the Crescent Moon (Crescent Moon Kingdoms) Mass Market Paperback – December 31, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 270 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Ahmed’s debut masterfully paints a world both bright and terrible."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

"An arresting, sumptuous and thoroughly satisfying debut."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Crescent Moon Kingdoms (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: DAW; Reprint edition (December 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780756407780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756407780
  • ASIN: 0756407788
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (270 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Justin Landon on January 27, 2012
A few weeks back I heavily criticized a debut sword and sorcery novel for lacking character, plot, and... well... substance. When I did that, I opened myself up to the criticism that a sword and sorcery novel lacks those things on purpose. They're all about fun and adventure. I knew that was wrong, but didn't have a way to prove it. I do now. Saladin Ahmed's sword and sorcery novel, Throne of the Crescent Moon, is a superficial adventure novel at first glance. It also possesses tremendous heart and soul. Not soul in a Biblical sense, although there's some of that too; I mean soul like Barry Gordy. Every note in Ahmed's debut comes from an authentic place, a cultural awareness not unlike Motown in the 1960's.

From a plot standpoint, Throne is about a power struggle between the iron-fisted Khalif and the subversive Falcon Prince. In the midst of a brewing rebellion, a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Crescent Moon Kingdoms. The 60-year old Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, is the last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat and his young assistant Raseed bas Raseed, is a holy warrior whose swordsmanship is matched only by his devotion to God. When they learn that the murders and the Falcon Prince's brewing revolution are connected, they find themselves in a race to save the life of the tyrannical Khalif.

Told through a surprising number of points of view (I count six off the top of my head), Throne is a quintessential sword and sorcery novel. The characters are world weary, cynical, and fatally flawed. They're common by birth, possessing a strength of will that is decidedly not.
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Format: Hardcover
Some readers might first discover Throne of the Crescent Moon through a review such as this one, others might be captured by the cover, yet others might hear about it through word of mouth. These are all common ways for a novel to find new readers, to catch the eye of potential fans. Throne of the Crescent Moon, however, has another aspect that might attract readers browsing at their favourite bookstore: the name of the author stretched large across the cover. Saladin Ahmed. In a genre dominated by Georges and Patricks, Robins and Brandons, Ahmed's starkly Muslim name is an anomaly, a curiousity that promises to be something different, something exciting. Of course, a name is just a name, and the story between the covers of Ahmed's debut could be a trite rehash of the typical kitchen-boy-saves-the-world novel that we're all sick of, his ethnic background and religious heritage could have no impact on his novel, leaving readers with a story as prototypical as the cartoony cover art--but just cracking open the novel and reading the first page makes true on those promises. This is something different, something with balls, something worth getting excited about.

Throne of the Crescent Moon is the debut novel from acclaimed short fiction author Saladin Ahmed and follows one of the larger adventures of Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, the last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat who was first introduced to readers in Ahmed's short fiction, including the wonderful Where Virtue Lives.
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Format: Hardcover
I read a lot of reviews before reading this novel that praised Ahmed's good writing etc, so I had high hopes for this book. However I was ultimately disappointed. Throne of the Crescent Moon shows promise, and it's refreshing to read a fantasy novel that's NOT set in Generic White Medieval Fantasy Europe, but ultimately it was the writing that ruined it for me.
The prose in Throne is very over-told. I found it laborious to read and really difficult to get into. Perhaps this was a deliberate stylistic choice - and certainly some people seem to just love it - but I prefer prose that melts away so that the reading experience becomes completely immersive. Throne does the opposite. The prose actually gets in the way of enjoying the story, and I really struggled to finish it.
Where Throne was a real disappointment was when it came to the plot. The first half is okay, if a bit slow to get started. Then about halfway through there's a point where a minor, off-screen character just HAPPENS to have the EXACT ITEM our intrepid heroes need to save the day. It was so utterly contrived I just couldn't take it seriously. From that point on the plot descends into a series of one convenient coincidence after another to the point where it became farcical. By the end I was rolling my eyes so much at the contrived plot twists - and the teenage drama llamas - that I gave myself a headache.
Leaving aside the book's plot-and-prose flaws, it's a disappointing read as a woman. There's only three female characters, and they never talk to each other (unless it's to discuss a man). The men drive the plot and make all the decisions, and the women just sort of tag along and make all the right noises. I felt that the female characters were never fleshed out and their relationships to each other were never explored.
Ultimately, I was disappointed with the book and wouldn't recommend it.
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