Fantasy: Saladin Ahmed's Paranormal Adventure novel: Throne of the Crescent Moon

All the while I was reading Saladin Ahmed's Throne of the Crescent Moon I was picturing it as a movie. It's a very visual book and the characters would come across well on screen.

The main character is Dr Adoulla Makhslood, serves the world by killing ghuls. Fortunately those are increasingly rare as he really feels he is getting too old for this kind of work. He would have been killed on his last case if his assistant, the straight-laced, weapon of God, Raseed, had not managed to save him.

Suddenly, it turns out that there are a lot of ghuls out murdering people, and there has to be someone very powerful behind them. Dreams of his city awash in blood add to his sense of urgency.

Throne of the Crescent Moon provides a wonderfully filled-in, lived-in bit of world building. Admittedly, my first impression was of a "here we go again" with the prisoner of a mysterious, but powerful, figure, and so on, but soon I was charmed by the plight of the overweight Adoulla, getting too old and puffing out too quickly still going out to do what he alone can do, yet again.

I wouldn't say the book is flawless. For me, something about the Prince of Thieves type character doesn't seem quite thought through. On the other hand, the scenes where he is using magic to enhance his voice and the crowd's vision of him is one of the things that would work well in a film, being a parody of the way films already treat swashbuckling heroes. It is in the final battle and the ending, when he just a man, that something doesn't quite work for me. It's like the pieces are there, but they don't, quite, come together.

Really, though, it's an engaging read.

As a bonus, I see I enjoyed and reviewed short story by Saladin Ahmed a few years ago at my old blog.