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.
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
It's no secret that the fantasy genre has a bit of an unhealthy fascination with Medieval Europe when it comes to world building (largely due to the unfortunate influence of Tolkien and Lewis). Thankfully, Saladin Ahmed's The Throne of the Crescent Moon bucks that trend in favor of a sword swinging story worthy of the 1001 Arabian Nights!
Obviously, the titular Crescent Moon Kingdoms is heavenly modeled off of the Middle East during the Golden Age of Islam, but there are also segments modeled off of Africa and India, with the ancient Kemeti Empire clearly a stand in for Egypt and other ancient near eastern empires. At the same time, however, the kingdoms are direct carbon copies of existing nations and cultures, and half the fun was guessing which elements the author incorporated into them.
Now, the characters. Dr. Abdula, the last great ghual hunter. He's over 60 years old but still witty, sarcastic and generally laid back about life. By contrast, his assistant Raseed is a pious, holier than thou Dervish (think kind of like a paladin) who treats life ever so seriously. Along the way we meet Zamia, who is basically a werelion (Angel Touched, is the in universe term), the dashing thief Falcon Prince, Miri the brothel owner (and Abdula's love interest), and so much more. All of them excellently written and fleshed out.
Like, I said before, the writing is amazing and Paul Gigante more than does it justice. I also appreciated that it managed to pack more plot and make its world feel more fleshed out in less than 300 pages, or rather, in around 10 hours. Let that be a lesson all you aspiring fantasy writers; it's skill of writing, not length, that make for good plot and world building.
Ahmed said he intended the series to be both an homage to and a response to the fantasy he grew up with in the 80s and it couldn't come at a better time. When so many writer reuse the same tried cliche's over and over again this book dares to be different. A breath of fresh air in a world gone stale.
Bottom Line: if your looking for fresh and innovative in your fantasy, look no further than this book!
I think I would try because the book had good ideas.
Focus on the main characters he introduced from the beginning, shorten the first act, and strengthen the second and third act.
Kind of, unfortunately, I always think it's weird when there's one voice for all of the characters but that can't always be helped.
I love fantasy and I will always read fantasy novels, and the Throne of the Crescent Moon did inspire me to continue to look for novels set in a middle eastern fantasy world.
While the book started out strong- awesome ideas, cool characters, and a great setting, the story failed to deliver. The new characters introduced were boring and some of them were cliche. The second act slowed to a screeching halt. The third act quickened a little, but over all, I didn't enjoy the second half of the novel. Honestly, I don't think I would recommend this audiobook. If people are interested in trying the book out for themselves because it does start out pretty great, I would suggest just buying the book or the ebook because it's cheaper. Otherwise, save your credits.
This is a good book. If you are a fan of the sword and sorcery genre, check this out. It is a fun change of pace. My only complaint is that it might have had a little too much of infodumpyness (too different from standard sword and sorcery).
I really loved that the book pushed the borders of normal fantasy. The book is set in the world of the 1001 night's tales - or a world like this. The storytelling is really different from most books I have read - the storytelling perspective shift from chapter to chapter much like in Game of Thrones, but in Throne of the Crescent Moon the perceptive always shift to another person in the same scene, so the location do not change with the character.
The middle of the book is a bit dry, but otherwise it is good an interesting.
For me this book was refreshing. After reading fantasy for 20 years it gets a little tiresome reading about the same type of heroes and villains. It was nice to have a different culture, with different looks for the characters. Most fantasy authors ignore people of color. It was also great that the author didn't make religion the great evil, which most are doing these days. The book didn't seem pro or anti religion. The magic system wasn't all that good. The book flow had a nice pace. The humor was ok. The narration was good.
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