Sunday, October 28, 2012

Throne of the Crescent Moon (review)

4/5 stars

Guys, can Middle-Eastern fantasy be my new thing?  I know I've only read a grand total of two or three Middle-Eastern fantasy books but I kind of love them.Throne of the Crescent Moon is a solid high fantasy.  While it may not doing anything groundbreaking or different, what it does, it does well.

One of my favorite things about this book is the humor, the little teasing jabs between friends.  I always like characters who can make jokes while saving the world.  They're much better than the heroes who take themselves too seriously.

I want to talk about romance in fantasy a little bit.  Theres a right way and a wrong way.  The wrong way is particularly popular in YA right now, the love story because the central and overwhelming plot despite life-threatening world-destroying dangers going on outside of the relationship.  The right way is in the background, where there are two characters who obviously like each other but are too busy saving the world to deal with that right now.  This book has a very sweet first crush.  They are young gifted warriors and they're in such denial that it's adorable. When romance is background to the fantasy storyline, it gives the reader something to root for.  You want the world to be saved, peace to reign so that main characters can finally get their kiss on.

For me, the characters and their relationship with faith is where this book shines.  Raseed is a young overly pious holy warrior, who is working with Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, a somewhat sacrilegious ghul hunter.  Adoulla serves God by fighting demons, but breaks other rules whenever he wants to.  Raseed struggles with loyalty and faith.  Raseed serves Adoulla, who saves lives and serves God.  But in a lot of ways Adoulla is rather unholy.  Adoulla obviously believes in God, but struggles with the sacrifices he's made in his life as a ghul-hunter.  It's an interesting dynamic, faith and disobedience intertwined in a way that feels very realistic.  People are rarely completely good, usually even people of faith pick the rules they follow and the rules they choose to disregard.

This book is a great adventurous tale with ghul hunting, magic and conspiracy.  But it also has a little bit of first-love and questions of faith to give it a little more depth.  I wish more books were this fun to read.


Hannah Milton said...

This sounds really cool! I've never read a Middle Eastern Fantasy before, so I might have to pick this up :)

April (BooksandWine) said...

Middle Eastern fantasy is awesome. I mean, I LOVED Alif The Unseen and I could see myself loving Throne Of The Crescent Moon. I love the glowing recommendation. Definitely adding this to the list!