I'm a bit frustrated by my lack of time to read Throne of the Crescent Moon. I've barely managed 50 odd pages because of work, training and the european championship. But I've definitely taken a liking to Saladin Ahmed's more traditional style and find his writing oddly inspiring. I say oddly because my main inspiration recently have been Steven Erikson's books of the Malazan as well as some of China Miéville's New Crobuzon books.
Ahmed sure has a flair of his own, more in the style (at least to me) of Leiber and Moorcock, he doesn't get in the way of his own storytelling by having to be revolutionizing the whole genre a page at the time. Something that seems to have afflicted the wide terminology of fantasy lately. Sometimes a good story needn't be longer than a few hundred pages containing nothing that we haven't really seen before. Sometimes the only thing you need is a new perspective for something that might seem to have been done previously to feel fresh and interesting. I am a bit stumped by the many reviews hailing it as a spokesnovel for the middle-eastern perspective though, and labelling it a fantastical arabian nights is a bit of a disservice to Ahmed's writing, choosing only to highlight his heritage. Glen Cook's El Murid was a tremendous read also set in an arabic/middle-eastern setting and was a fresh change of perspective in itself.
But Throne of the Crescent Moon is so much more than just a middle-eastern viewpoint on fantasy, it's a throwback to early sword & sorcery blending wonderfully with new genre tropes and breathing new life into a subgenre that has been a bit lacklustre lately. I'm intrigued, and very frustrated by time slipping out of my hands. Early saturday morning I am leaving for Mallorca for one week though, so I am hoping to finish maybe 2-3 books in that time.