A finalist for the Nebula Award for his short fiction, Saladin Ahmed has ventured into novel-length works with Throne of the Crescent Moon, out this month from DAW Books. The novel is a lovely blend of adventure and intrigue, with a definite element of the horrific. In a land of djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, the Khalif and a mysterious master thief are engaged in a power struggle suddenly overshadowed by a series of brutal supernatural murders. Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, “the last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat” is retired from his days of hunting monsters. But the killings bring him out of retirement, assisted by a holy warrior named Raseed. When they encounter a tribeswoman who is also on the path of killers, the plot of Throne of the Crescent Moon kicks into high gear, with ever more intricate layers of complication.
New York Times Bestseller Kevin J. Anderson called the novel “Colorful, magical, exciting, and moving,” while Hugo winner Elizabeth Bear wrote that it “offers a glimpse of a dusty and wonderful fantasy city through the eyes of three engaging, unconventional protagonists.” Throne has already garnered starred reviews from the library journals, as well.
Ahmed has been “writing little stories (often SF/F/Superhero-themed) pretty much since I can remember. But as an adult, I started writing poetry, and that was my focus for many years.” He published “poetry in obscure venues for years,” but his first fiction sale was to the excellent magazine of “literary adventure fantasy,” Beneath Ceaseless Skies. That online short story serves as “a sort of prelude to Throne of the Crescent Moon.” Omnivoracious caught up with Ahmed via email at “Biggby Coffee on Woodward Avenue in Detroit” to find out more about his influences and his novel.
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