Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed

When the niece of a woman once dear to him is murdered by a demon, Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, the last of the true ghul (ghoul) hunters, leaves his precious retirement to track down the killers. Enlisting the help of old adventuring friends—the mage Dawoud and his alchemist wife Litaz, as well as his assistant, the passionately fanatic young dervish Raseed bas Raseed—Adoulla scours the great city of Dhamsawaat for clues to the identity of the infamous Orshado, the ghul of ghuls, who threatens to destroy the world. Also joining the hunt is Zamia, a young tribeswoman gifted with the ability to take the form of a lioness, who seeks revenge for the massacre of her entire tribe.

VERDICT Set in a quasi­ Middle Eastern city and populated with the supernatural creatures of Arab folklore, this long-awaited debut by a finalist for the Nebula and Campbell awards brings The Arabian Nights to sensuous life. The maturity and wisdom of Ahmed’s older protagonists are a delightful contrast to the brave impulsiveness of their younger companions. This trilogy launch will delight fantasy lovers who enjoy flawed but honorable protagonists and a touch of the exotic. –Library Journal, Starred Review