An amazing debut with fun, well drawn characters, strong plotting and well written action sequences, good use of culture and invention. A delightful read, but not one of those fantasies that's so long or involved anyone would hesitate to make the investment.
The story of a ghul hunter, his dervish apprentice and their friends taking on a gruesome magical threat to the Crescent Moon kingdoms, this is tightly, concisely written with a good flow and very enjoyable as a gateway to a new writer or into sword and sorcery or Arabic fantasy for anyone new to it.
The magical elements and themes fit well within the Arabic cultural fantasy world, Ahmed weaves together seemlessly with a blend of fact and fiction. His switches POV characters flawlessly as well for such a short novel and therefore develops all of his major characters more richly and deeply than many other novelists might even for such a short book.
His transitions between chapters and characters are seamless and they often provide just the right insight to keep the story moving forward in both pace, plot and character arc.