Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed is a fantasy novel and it sucked. 😡 I didn’t finish it, only got through a portion of chapter four, but it made me so mad, I actually chucked the book across the room. The prologue grabbed me right off the bat, but then I started chapter one.
Alright, let me explain. Part of why I picked this novel up was because it quite obviously drew a lot of influence from Middle Eastern culture. Okay, sure, let’s give it a shot, I thought. Let’s take a break from the Eurocentric stories I’m usually into, expand my horizons. Boy, was that a mistake! Apparently, the book follows a middle-aged (elderly?) ghul hunter named Adoulla and that’s all I know.
Four chapters and I end up having zero investment in any of the characters despite the fact that Ahmed spends an unholy amount of time with them undergoing introspection. Half the time I was reading, I was shouting (literally) at the characters to shut up and get moving! And the dialogue was ridiculously archaic – you know, the “formal” dialogue where the characters use old fashioned terms/ways of speaking and makes it painfully obvious that the author is a rookie in fantasy (aspiring fantasy writers, please read what I have to say in my blog post Dialogue Advice for Fantasy Authors).
Nothing that Ahmed wrote made any sense, the characters were barely described, and his writing style was just plain annoying. He was repetitive and vague, filling the pages with needless, time wasting scenes that had no business being there. I’m not reading his work again because this was just plain awful. The only good part was the prologue.
For more details on what made me give up, check out my YouTube video here. Warning: video contains spoilers (actually, no, not really, but just in case you don’t like knowing the details of the first few chapters, thought I’d put the warning there).