The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, home to djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, are 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:
Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, “the last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat,” just wants a quiet cup of tea. Three score and more years old, he has grown weary of hunting monsters and saving lives, and is more than ready to retire from his dangerous and demanding vocation. But when an old flame’s family is murdered, Adoulla is drawn back to the hunter’s path.
Raseed bas Raseed, Adoulla’s young assistant, is a hidebound holy warrior whose prowess is matched only by his piety. But even as Raseed’s sword is tested by ghuls and manjackals, his soul is tested when he and Adoulla cross paths with the tribeswoman Zamia.
Zamia Badawi, Protector of the Band, has been gifted with the near-mythical power of the lion-shape, but shunned by her people for daring to take up a man’s title. She lives only to avenge her father’s death. Until she learns that Adoulla and his allies also hunt her father’s killer. Until she meets Raseed.
When they learn that the murders and the Falcon Prince’s brewing revolution are connected, the companions must race against time - and struggle against their own misgivings - to save the life of a vicious despot. In so doing they discover a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn Dhamsawaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.
©2012 Saladin Ahmed (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I'm a voracious audiobibliophile, mainly interested in speculative fiction, with the occasional mimetic fiction or non-fiction title sneaking in.
Ahmed???s debut is a welcome new voice in fantasy. Beginning with a short, dark prologue of torture which introduces us to a powerful, evil raiser of ghuls known as ???the gaunt man??? and his jackal-faced assistant, we are then introduced to our atypical hero, Dr. Adoulla, ghulhunter: set in a teahouse rather than an inn; set with cardamon tea and a book of poetry rather than stew and a tankard of ale; set with a 60-year old, portly, tired protagonist who longs for retirement rather a group of young adventurers longing for fame and treasure. Haunted by a lingering dream of his beloved city run through by a river of blood ??? a vision introduced in more sinister detail in the prologue ??? Adoulla nonetheless finds the strength to??? stand up from his tea and face the day. In terms of the narration, Gigante???s characterizations really are something here, from the voices of demonic jackal-ghuls to the somewhat pompous and sarcastic Adoulla, to a far-flung cast of characters from cross-eyed restaurateurs to the regal Falcon Prince, beggars, on and on. The principal narration is performed in a tone which fits both the dark and yet somehow also, in its way, playful content, as Ahmed???s abiding love for fantasy and D&D as source material are evident. I'm looking forward to more in this series.
Throne of the Crescent Moon is a pretty good debut novel. I thought the characters were great, the plot fun, and the world a nice change from medieval Europe. The magic is the weakest part of the book, because it seems to be used too easy by the characters, with little or no cost involved. The plot is straight forward and predictable, but entertaining.
The gem in this book is the narrator. I've never listened to a Phil Gigante performance, but I can say he is among the top narrators available on Audible.
If you enjoy sword and sorcery fantasy Throne will be worth your credit. I only gave it 3 stars because I felt it was a bit empty when all was said and done. I like my fantasy with a little more meat to it, but I'll be listening to book 2 when it comes out.
The voice acting of Throne of the Crescent Moon by Gigante is superb. I listen to a lot of audios and this one is one of the best out there. This isn't just a recitation of a paper product, this is stage acting.
One of the strongest points of this book is Ahmed's the phenomenal characterization. These are real people with real motivations and concerns that I really care about. Gigante's acting is illustrative of the depth of personalities that Ahmed has written.
I love that you can hear Adoulla's tired old bones and Raseed's righteous indignation. You can hear the busyness of the Dhamsawaat streets.
And it sounds to me like things are pronounced correctly, which is so critical to making an audio version being immersive, as Throne of the Crescent Moon is.
The first time I heard Mouw Awa? yeah, my hair stood on end. It's *that* good.
I have a feeling I'd take this novel more seriously if it were read by someone who didn't feel compelled to overact. Phil Gigante seems popular, but I found him often nearly painful to listen to. His conceptions of the characters are cartoonish -- each one has only one mood as far as he's concerned. Since the Bedouin girl is initially angry and snappish, she always sounds angry and snappish, even when she's supposed to be talking about tender feelings. I might try another Saladin Ahmed novel in the future. I like the Middle Eastern context, and I have hopes he'll get past the modified superhero storyline, but I'll stay away from Gigante narrations from now on.
I bought this book after reading the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms trilogy and was looking for another fantasy novel with persons of color. This fit the bill perfectly!
I really enjoy listening to fantasy audiobooks because I can hear how different words are pronounced. Gigante also does creepy voices really well which makes the villains come alive.
The story is a little predictable and I felt the ending was a little rushed, but I would definitely read/listen to another book by Ahmed.
Good against evil
While the book seemingly focuses on the fight of good against evil, really it is a book about introspection. The key characters in the book are all reassessing their lives during their struggle. Their inner struggles trump the outer struggles in my mind. Looking forward to their future adventures.
Cannot pick one
I never want to listen in one sitting
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The adventure and spooky enemies made the book interesting at first, but I was more drawn in to the relationships that developed among all the characters - each of which are very important. It was interesting to see how Ahmed portrayed people with varying degrees of spirituality, or at least the spectrum of how we decide to interpret religious works. I really recommend reading it.
This is one of the best fantasy stories I've ever had the joy to experience and the superb narration added that much more to it. The pacing, characters, and conflict were all written with a master craft-person's touch.
I would totally listen to it again. There's so much to it, I'm sure I didn't catch all the fun details the first time around. I'd also love to revisit these characters again. They come alive in the story.
My favorite character was Zamia the Bedouin. It was wonderful to see a young woman character who is smart and tough, and does not wait to be rescued all the time. She acts and fights like the warrior she is, while still being believable as a young woman.
There are so many. I enjoyed the scenes the where Abdulla and Racid battle the sand ghouls, the scene where Lita and Racid fight the Humble Students, all of the scenes with the Falcon Prince. But I also loved the homey scenes at the tea house and the scenes between Abdulla and Miri. Characters and action are equally developed in this well rounded story.
The ending made me tear up.
Phil Gigante gives a masterful performance of this brilliant work. I'm really glad I listened to this as an audio book before reading it. Wonderful work all around!
The narrator is good. Easy to understand and fun to listen to. The adventure is fun for what it is. If you like Sword and Sorcery type stuff, or need a lighter novel to space between super-long fantasy books, I would recommend this.
"Sci-fi infused w/ Asian, Arabic Culture & Religion"
Without giving much away, this story tells of the supposed last adventure of a old, ready-to-retire ghoul hunter, Adoulla in the company of his sanctimonious young apprentice, Raseed. In seeking out a terrible ghul backed by ancient dark magic, the duo uncover a political coup and a long forgotten legend relating to the history of the monarchy.
The narrator is brilliant in bringing to life a story rich with Arabic and/or Indian myths, culture and religious anecdotes and touched by tales of long lasting love, friendship and duty. It is this Arabian/Asian infusion that sets this sci-fi book apart from those I've read. I really did enjoy it, failing to put it down as while it may have been slightly predictable in issues of romance, much of the book leaves the reader in great suspense, even fear and arouses intellectual curiosity and intrigue throughout. I would gladly follow this kind/class of sci-fi.
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