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Throne of The Crescent Moon

Throne of The Crescent Moon

Scritto da Saladin Ahmed

Narrato da Phil Gigante


Throne of The Crescent Moon

Scritto da Saladin Ahmed

Narrato da Phil Gigante

valutazioni:
4/5 (65 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
10 ore
Pubblicato:
Feb 7, 2012
ISBN:
9781455878260
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

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.

Pubblicato:
Feb 7, 2012
ISBN:
9781455878260
Formato:
Audiolibro


Informazioni sull'autore

In addition to his short fiction, Saladin Ahmed has published nonfiction in Fantasy Magazine, Salon, The Escapist, and Tor.com. His first novel, Throne of the Crescent Moon, which Kirkus Reviews called “An arresting, sumptuous and thoroughly satisfying debut,” was recently published to wide acclaim. Saladin lives near Detroit with his wife and twin children.

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3.8
65 valutazioni / 50 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    At first glance, it's easy to dismiss THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON as a typical sword and sorcery novel with not one, but many reluctant heroes in the guise of being presented by multiple points of view. But from the very first chapter, you realise you're in the presence of something much larger, grander, and more indepth than previous versions of this motif. You could read the story for what it is, a tale of an old man and his young charges righting the wrongs of the world, but you'd be missing out on much of what Saladin has to say.

    And boy does he have a lot say - THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON is an allegorical tale using Saladin's world as the mirror to our own and through his work, he is critiquing the problems that exist in our world. He underscores some of the larger and complex concepts with a very subtle humour that at first read through you miss until you realise what he's getting at -- very Dickensian. His voice is very passionate, very authentic, and very real.

    And there was something else in this tale that I couldn't put my finger on until I read it on another review: Saladin's work has soul and a heart. A lot of fantasy I've read, and in the larger scope of my canon is actually much less than most, tends to have a hollowness to the world and characters - they seem to be missing their "humaness" about them we often need to make that connection within ourselves. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, not every novel needs to be a treatise on the human condition. But you don't realise how much you miss having a full bodied story until you get your hands on one again.
  • (3/5)
    I liked it ok. Interesting setting and a few compelling characters. In some ways too surface level, formulaic, and reliant upon gender essentialism for me to get immersed in.
  • (2/5)
    This was just really bland and tropey and boring. I can't even write a fun ranty review about it because it wasn't bad, per se, just overdone. I really appreciated the Middle-East-inspired setting though. Always nice to see fantasy that isn't overwhelmingly white.
  • (4/5)
    At first glance, it's easy to dismiss THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON as a typical sword and sorcery novel with not one, but many reluctant heroes in the guise of being presented by multiple points of view. But from the very first chapter, you realise you're in the presence of something much larger, grander, and more indepth than previous versions of this motif. You could read the story for what it is, a tale of an old man and his young charges righting the wrongs of the world, but you'd be missing out on much of what Saladin has to say.

    And boy does he have a lot say - THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON is an allegorical tale using Saladin's world as the mirror to our own and through his work, he is critiquing the problems that exist in our world. He underscores some of the larger and complex concepts with a very subtle humour that at first read through you miss until you realise what he's getting at -- very Dickensian. His voice is very passionate, very authentic, and very real.

    And there was something else in this tale that I couldn't put my finger on until I read it on another review: Saladin's work has soul and a heart. A lot of fantasy I've read, and in the larger scope of my canon is actually much less than most, tends to have a hollowness to the world and characters - they seem to be missing their "humaness" about them we often need to make that connection within ourselves. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, not every novel needs to be a treatise on the human condition. But you don't realise how much you miss having a full bodied story until you get your hands on one again.
  • (5/5)
    I don't recall what it was that made me pick up this book, but I'm very glad that I did. The story is compelling from beginning to end, and the writing authentic. It's not often that you find a modern fantasy/adventure story that isn't set in pseudo-medieval western European-like environment, so that this is one is refreshing. Through the adventure I was transported to a land rich in vibrant culture, and wholly realized social mores with a base in the equally rich and oft maligned realities and mythologies of the Middle East. It has a timeless quality which sets it above and beyond many other 'sword and sorcery' fare, and makes it more than worth a read, without adding in that the characters are well drawn, well written and well developed throughout the adventure, which can often be a problem in some fantasy stories. Not so in this book. I eagerly away another Crescent Moon Kingdoms book.
  • (3/5)
    There is something in the pacing/plotting that throws me out of the narrative and it is only partly figuring out whose POV is active since it is all third person POV.
  • (4/5)
    I thought this story was pretty interesting. Whereas many sword and sandal type epics generally borrow from European history, the Throne of the Crescent Moon used really elements of Middle Eastern history and culture to create a unique historical universe. Set in a world populated by dervishes, ghuls, magicians, and other magical characters, Saladin Ahmed weaves together an engaging narrative. His characters come off a little one-dimensional but I still really enjoyed the story. As this is part of an envisioned trilogy it does have a conclusion but still leaves open many questions to be pursued in later adventures.
  • (3/5)
    I was sadly disappointed in this book. It's been on my shelf awhile, and I figured, given the accolades it's received, it would be an interesting, perhaps unusual fantasy romp. This novel had potential. The plot is fine. Good guys, bad guys, guys somewhere in between. The characters are very interesting. There was a nice age range (young and untried to aged and tried too much), a healthy gender balance that didn't resort to the women standing around and looking pretty while they got saved. Refreshing fantasy fare. The story has undead, evil overlords, dark magic, and a city with potential. Should all be great, right?It should! Yet somehow this novel fell flat for me. There was lots of sitting around. Walking from one end of the city to another. Sprawling narratives that didn't do much to ratchet up the tension of the story. Evil creature aiming to take over the city? I should be aching to turn the next page! The religious references that characters insisted on uttering every other breath were also.... more irritating than illuminating. Things just felt too glossy.Unfortunately, I was just aching to finish so I could move on to a novel that was more... successful. So while Throne of the Crescent Moon isn't the worst book out there, it's not in the running for my top ten of 2014 reads. I liked it, barely.
  • (4/5)
    This is really an excellent book. I have been intrigued by Arab fiction since I discovered Naghib Mahfouz' Children of the Alley and I found the setting and the phrasing of the dialog to be enthralling. Though far from the main thrust of the work, I kept finding myself enthralled by the God-tinged fatalism of the way the characters talk. "If God wills it" and its variants punctuate the speech of the characters and that highlights a humility and an awareness of their fate being in the hands of an ineffable force. One last comment on the humility that accompanies this kind of fatalism: none of the characters surrendered their will to this inexorable fate, they still strove and struggled and fought for life. The pervasive American Evangelical Optimism that surrounds me denies this and that denial rings false. We seem to believe that *WE* control everything and thus everyone's fate is deserved. It is an atmosphere that is a rejection of both compassion and humility. I'm afraid I am unable to be religious at this point of my life, but I'd prefer a capricious/ineffable deity to one who insists that the status quo was what the omnipotent intended from the moment of creation.

    (Personal aside over, now to the book!)

    The narrative here is, by some measures, standard and straight-forward: a diverse set of unlikely friends band together to fight against a dauntingly powerful enemy who threatens their city and their way of life.

    Like Scheherazade, Ahmed shows us here that it is the telling, more than the tale that keeps us wanting more. The Doctor is wonderfully introspective and his worries and thoughts about himself and his apprentice provide a very rich look into the wise-but-jaded old master and the full-of-potential young idealist.

    At first blush, All of his characters can be fit comfortably into existing tropes, but the way Ahmed puts them together makes these trope come alive, rather than succumb to cliche. Each character is conflicted in interesting ways, and they each deal with their internal conflict well. Nothing comes down to a simple black/white distinction and Mr. Ahmed gives us all a gift by treating these internal conflicts about how to best live our lives and make choices with respect. It is in how his characters deal with their conflicts and their choices that they are revealed to us and their beauty shown. All too many genre authors make the familiar mistake of reducing conflicts down to their resolution and leaving us with the false impression that the answers are more important than the questions. Ahmed avoids this and shows us richer and more human characters that reveal more about life and humanity than many others who fit into the same tropes.
  • (4/5)
    Doctor Adoulla Makhslood is an aging monster hunter, happily pondering his retirement. However, one does not simply retire from God's calling. An old flame's plea for help and the most terrible threat of his life await the good doctor.

    In his debut novel Saladin Ahmed reinvigorates familiar Fantasy themes with a fresh Middle Eastern flavor.
  • (4/5)
    After reading this book, I know I can honestly look Saladin Ahmed in the eye at this year's JordanCon and say, "Your book was fantastic. And it made me crave cardamon tea." (I actually drink my own blend of cardamon heavy chai, so it's not a far stretch. But I did spend an inordinate amount of time wondering what the blend at the tea-shop had as ingredients.)It was very refreshing to read a book set in a world with the middle eastern flavors of ours. It felt at once familiar, and also exotic, and delightfully not medieval. I'm hoping to see Adoulla and rest of the characters fleshed out a bit more, and pacing steadied, but my minor quibbles will not stop me from giving 4 stars, or from reading book two when it comes out. The descriptions of foods and life were very evocative. But, (And take my word for this, please) if you tend to sit down with a tea and a nibble, be sure not to think you'll partake if reading the prologue (I) or the lettered interludes. Ahmed does gory well.
  • (3/5)
    I really enjoyed all the individual bits and pieces of this story, the characters, the setting, the style. It didn't quite all come together for me, when it came down to structure and pacing, but still a really interesting read and I look forward to more.
  • (3/5)
    more like 3-and-3/4s stars? charming, reminds me of burroughs or leiber without the painfully objectionable bits.
  • (3/5)
    3.5 stars

    it was fun, author showed a great understanding of growth character and their relationships. A great understanding of love. He had a great villains' villain. it was fun wished it was larger so the author could expanded more on background histories of some of the other characters like the Prince and the dude with the dirty kaftan. Would definitely read if there was a follow up book.
  • (4/5)
    It was great to read a fantasy novel centered around an entirely different culture. Interesting and distinct characters, and an exciting plot made this novel entertaining and memorable.
  • (4/5)
    good 3:75 stars , I'm waiting for the next book to arrive .
  • (2/5)
    I was fairly disappointed by this much-lauded Hugo-nominated breakthrough. After a great set-up and with an interesting world to explore, I felt this was derailed by poor character development, dodgy exposition and stilted dialogue.On the plus side, it's very short.
  • (2/5)
    Doctor Adoulla Makhslood is the last ghul hunter in Dhamsawaat. Constantly battling mystical monsters for little material award, his only assistant is the pious dervish Raseed bas Raseed. Although Adoulla is magically powerful and Raseed is prodigiously quick and strong, they nearly die fighting an unusually large group of ghuls. Luckily, a lion shifter enters the fray and saves their lives. The lion-girl Zamia (a Badawi whose entire clan was killed by ghuls) and Raseed find themselves drawn to each other despite their vows to dedicate themselves to fighting evil. All their skills are not enough, however, and so alkhemist Lady Litaz and her magician husband Dawoud are called in to help. And complicating matters is the Falcon Prince, Pharaad Az Hammaz, who steals from the rich to give to the poor and who may prove to be any ally or a deadly enemy.

    It's all written in a very clunky, amauterish style. Despite the demons and thief-kings and unresolved sexual tension, I was so bored I almost couldn't get through it. Ahmed's short stories are wonderful; I'm not sure why he wrote a book so charmless.
  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed the world; a sort of fantasy version of medieval Egypt, rather than the typical medieval Europe-inspired fantasy. A world where magic, alkhemy, God and the dead Kemeti gods, djenn and ghuls are all real. The world feels very real and fully developed, with a history, multiple cultures and countries, religious differences, etc.

    I enjoyed the characters, particularly Raseed and Zamia, and their internal conflicts. (Although the resolution there wasn't particularly satisfying.) Having a different viewpoint character each chapter worked well, and helped develop the main characters, especially those other than Adoulla and Raseed.

    Unfortunately, the plot, however, wasn't as satisfying. It felt relatively straight-forward; there weren't any surprising twists. Adoulla and his gang gradually uncover enough details to resolve who the ghul-raiser is and what his plans are (without any serious false leads), and then proceed to go and defeat him. Sure, the Falcon Prince acquires great power by drink the heir's blood like Orshando hoped to do but that was only a late surprise, and only in the details. (Although I'm sure it'll play a role in the sequels).
  • (4/5)
    About every 10th word in this book is God. God this, God that, God whatever. The sheer volume of the word is off putting. After a bit, you get numb to it, to the point that the rare (short) paragraph without a god in it catches your attention. If the incidences of the word god had been cut at least in half, the author would have freed up considerable space to detail the world building a bit more, which would have been more appreciated than being beat over the brain by word repetition. All that said, the characters are richly drawn and engaging, the story is well paced and fun, just rather sorely lacking in background detail. I will look forward to more by this author, who I sincerely hope will lighten up on the word repetition.
  • (5/5)
    I've actually been wanting to read this for quite a while so I'm glad I finally had time. This is a great fantasy story, full of gripping tension and diverse characters. The real star of the book, though, is the stellar worldbuilding. I love worldbuilding very much, and what impressed me is everything down to the expressions the characters use fit into their world. Much love.
  • (2/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    The idea behind Throne of the Crescent Moon is great - an epic fantasy with middle-eastern roots featuring djenn, ghuls and royal vizier's with mystical powers. I wanted this book to read like a darker Aladdin (naive I know, but I love Aladdin), something akin to One Thousand and One  Arabian Nights, full of magic and intrigue. I got something so different, it's a miracle I finished the book.It begins with the torture of a palace guard - a bloody and gruesome ordeal that had me geared up for a great tale. And then I met the lead characters. I don't think I've ever gone from excited to bored so quickly. They're stereotypical, utterly unoriginal - Adoulla is old and tired and wants to retire from his ghul-hunting days, but he's never seen fit to train a successor and is now stuck doing it all himself, wheezing and stumbling along the way. Raseed, his assistant, is blindly devoted to religion and quotes religious texts at every opportunity he gets, and spends most his time rolling his eyes at his mentor's antics and questioning his morals. If that wasn't enough, they are soon joined by Zamia, a feisty shape changer hell-bent on revenge. She and Raseed fall in love at first bloody sight, for absolutely no reason, and spend the rest of the book sneaking glances and staring and generally making me nauseous.The plot is well thought out and relatively exciting. It's not grand, not in the way I was expecting it to be, but was kept entertaining by the addition of two further characters, the husband and wife duo Dawoud and Litaz. Their function is to foil the original trio, to comment on their idiosyncrasies, make peace between them when needed, and generally be voices of reason, and I really believe that it's only because of them that I finished the book. Litaz is my favourite character by far, straight forward and honest and a natural heroine. Adoulla stumbles into a dire plot to overthrow the ruler of the Crescent Moon Kingdoms, and although it's always his intention to help out in whatever way he can, it feels like he is only really spurred into action because of his personal losses - his home, his friends and his relationships all suffer in the course of this adventure. He's not really a reluctant hero, but more an accidental one: he ends up saving the world while pursuing his own revenge. It's certainly different from the usual fantasy reads, and I quite liked it.While it's refreshing to read a book set in the Middle East, and I wouldn't have minded the author always reminding us of this fact in the way his characters addressed (giving peace) and greeted (cheek kissing) one another, I felt it was all too much. At under 300 pages Throne of the Crescent Moon isn't exactly a long read, but it could have been between around 10% shorter if the characters weren't constantly thanking, blessing or taking the name (in vain) of their God. There are less than ten pages in the narrative that do not have the 'God' in them. It feels like their religious beliefs are constantly being flung into the reader's face, and it's quite frankly exhausting.I took the author's examination of gender roles and masculinity in stride, seeing as the book is set in the Middle East and it would have been odd if he hadn't, but I confess I balked when, in the midst of a battle, Litaz, an otherwise confident and capable woman, had this pearl of wisdom about herself: "She was a woman. God had not made her body for this". I know I'm meant to then marvel at how Litaz got up and fought anyway, how she ended up being an integral part of the final battle, but it's hard because, with those two lines, the author eroded away any progress he'd made by writing two strong (albeit stereotypical) female characters.I will freely admit that I didn't like this book because of personal biases and expectations, and there are many who have loved the refreshing tale and its exotic setting. I wanted more from Throne of the Crescent Moon, however, and in my eyes it failed to deliver. Although I hope that the sequels are more to my liking, it's looking unlikely that I will pick them up.A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (4/5)
    Throne of The Crescent Moon is a refreshing change from the damp European Fantasy settings.Cardamon tea rather than ale, Khalif rather than King, Kaftans not armor, Magus not Wizard.Doctor Adoulla Makslood, the last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat is weary “Gloomy? Hmph. I have cause to be. Adventure, you say? A fortnight ago I was face-to-face with a living bronze statue that was trying to kill me with an axe. An axe, Yehyeh!” He shook his head at his own wavering tea-reflection. “Threescore years old, and still I’m getting involved in such madness.""His assistant was a true dervish of the Order, truer than most of the hypocritical peacocks who wore the blue silks. He had spent years hardening his diminutive body, his only purpose to be a fitter and fitter weapon of God. To Adoulla’s mind, it was an unhealthy approach to life for a boy of seven and ten. True, God had granted Raseed more than human powers; armed with the forked sword of his order, he was nearly invincible. Even without the sword the boy could take on half a dozen men at once.Adoulla had seen him do it. But the fact that he had never so much as kissed a girl lessened Adoulla’s respect for him considerably."The Doctor and Raseed soon face an old evil, long thought dead and buried. The Doctor's skill and strength and Raseed's faith are to be tested to the extreme.The characters are convincing, their milieu well established and their challenges are not simply fixed with a click of their fingers and a few muttered spells.I look forward to the next book in the series with interest.
  • (4/5)
    I first heard about Throne of the Crescent Moon on John Scalzi's blog - he has a series ("Big Idea") where sci-fi/fantasy writers talk about a recent book and the idea behind it. I was immediately impressed by Saladin Ahmed's thought process - bringing a Muslim perspective to fantasy, as well as featuring a fat 60 year old protagonist, and breaking a few other clichés in the process. I immediately put it on my wishlist, and got around to buying it a few days ago.The first thing that struck me about this book is that it's really short - 274 pages. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. Throne of the Crescent Moon is tightly plotted, action-packed and builds an interesting world. but the the characters aren't as well-developed and the world is not as well-detailed as I'd like (although we do get a sense of all the nearby realms, instead of just the kingdom that the story is based in.)I loved the older protagonists Adoulla, Litaz and Dawoud. They seemed totally believable and likable - worldly and experienced enough to be cynical and pragmatic, but still retaining enough idealism to want to make a difference. I didn't care for the younger protagonists Raseed and Zamia as much; they didn't have much of a personality beyond being young and eager and attracted to each other. I did appreciate how their story ended, but I found their feelings for each other a bit implausible. It seemed to be born more of proximity and desperation (more like a crush than love) rather than any real depth of emotion. However, maybe that's how Ahmed meant it to come across, so I'll reserve judgement until the next book(s).The plot was pretty predictable for most of the book, but the ending surprised me (in a good way!) I wish that it had been a bit more complex or the book had been longer and spread out over a longer span of time, but it was still pretty good. I'll definitely be picking up the next book.Comment
  • (3/5)
    This book reminded my of someone's (pretty good) Dungeons and Dragons campaign. It's set in a fantastic Middle Eastern-like setting, in the vein of Prince of Persia or the Arabian Nights. The protagonists are Ghûl hunters, servants of God. The heroes are well-written, if a bit monodimensional. The plot races along from confrontation to confrontation until the (literal) Throne Room Battle with the Evil Villain. Although neither the setting nor the plot were particularly original, what was good about this book was the motivation of the heroes (who did nevertheless seem a bit like a band of larger-than life D&D adventurers).
  • (3/5)
    Throne of the Crescent Moon is a refreshing entry to the fantasy genre, one which goes beyond the clichés of medieval Western fantasy. There's a real sense of life in his city, of people whose lives don't serve the plot but go on around and beyond it. I enjoyed the sights and smells of his world. I enjoyed that power and virtue isn't held totally by those you might expect, and that everything has a price, even magic. There's a certain ambiguity, too -- there's no unequivocal virtue.I don't know, though, I think I was expecting more. It's an enjoyable adventure, and the setting is certainly a change, but the story isn't exactly revolutionary; it didn't feel that different from the standard Western fantasy's plot. I wanted it to be more of a breath of fresh air, a plot I couldn't predict, characters I couldn't quite understand.And... I wanted better writing, too. One more description of 'tilted' or 'emerald' eyes was gonna drive me round the bend.
  • (3/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    It tool me a while to get to this even though lots of people I read had been raving about the book. The book does things with the usual fantasy setups and makes it fresh. Almost all the main characters are older, there are a few young people but they are certainly being mentored or taken care of by the older people in the book. The setting is in the desert instead of some "medieval forest" and the monsters correspond with this setting. I enjoyed the book and the story and I will be looking for the next book out in the series. A well written fantasy and a nice change of pace for most of it out there.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (3/5)
    A thoroughly enjoyable first novel.
  • (3/5)
    When I started reading this book, monotone descriptions of Doctor Adoulla were boring and I thought this would be a 2-star read. Nothing spectacular. I even wondered if I could read trough Adoulla's complaining about old age and hard work until the end.
    But then point of view of story changed. It switched to Raseed, young dervish, and it was funny discovering that his opinion of Doctor Adoulla was similar to mine. And then the storyteller changed again. And as the number of Doctor Adoulla helpers grew, also different views of the story were introduced. I really loved this detail, it added much dynamic to the pace of the story.

    This is the first fantasy with Arabian motives I read and it was weird and strange. Like taking a sip of your favorite drink and finding that it has different taste altogether. It took some time getting used to, I don't know why but superstitions and God-calling and prayers of most of the characters bothered me a little. It was strange and somehow archaic.

    So... Not bad. Nothing extraordinary, but good to spice up your fantasy reading a little bit, if you find books on your reading list to be all made on the same mold.
  • (4/5)
    4.5 stars: 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 and set off on one more ghul hunt.

    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 heroic fantasy and D&D as source material are evident. I'm looking forward to more in this series.