There must be a word for the genre in which Saladin Ahmed’s Throne of the Crescent Moon sits, but I’m not sure what it is. It’s not an epic fantasy, because the characters don’t travel all over the world—but what it shares with the epic fantasy genre is that you have a group of individuals, all with their own talents, who band together to save the day. So… party-based fantasy, maybe?

But that makes it sound a bit D&D-ish, which isn’t quite right, either. Because this takes placed in a well-developed Islamish fantasy world, with ghuls and khalifs and alkhemists, which certainly sets it apart from the standard fare. But then again, it’s not entirely wrong: This does feel like a very well done D&D story.

Ahmed has been nominated for a Hugo for this book. On the one hand, my first thought after finishing the book wasn’t that it should win a Hugo; on the other hand, based on what else is nominated, this would actually be my vote for the winner, so hey. And at any rate, leaving awards to the side, this is a very enjoyable book, and I’ll be eager to read the sequels.


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