Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, “the last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat,” is tired. He’s been fighting supernatural evil all his life and he doesn’t see any way to retire. He has an apprentice who is a fierce fighter but he doesn’t have Adoulla’s magical skills. His former partners are all out of the business so someone has to stick around to fight. Then the one true love of his life, who he lost because of his inability to step away from the job, contacts him because her niece was murdered by monsters.
I really liked the premise of this book. I liked the idea of a main protagonist who is old and broken down but who is all that is left. I liked the other characters too. There is a fighter who is devoted to his religion but is starting to see that there may be more grey areas in life than he likes. There is a girl who can take the shape of a lion. There is a powerful magician who ages with every spell he casts and his wife who makes potions.
I found this book on a list of fantasy books that take place in a non-European setting. The world is fantasy Arabic with deserts and ancient cities.
With so much to like about this book, I was disappointed that the story never became a page turner for me. There is a lot that is really good here but somehow it never came together into a tight story. However, I read the synopsis of the next book in the series and it sounds good too so maybe I should give it a try…
One of my friends read this for Diversiverse last year or the year before and also didn’t love it. She said she didn’t like the sexism in it, either. Glad you tried it, though – the premise DOES seem great!
Sorry to hear you aren’t enjoying this, I read it last year and thought it was great fun, although I haven’t read the next book in the series yet.
I’m reading it now (also for A More Diverse Universe) and am getting the same feeling. I’ve been carrying it around with me for about a week now but can never seem to get into it. I think it’s because sometimes the writing feels stilted.