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The io9 Book Club is in session! Let's talk about Saladin Ahmed's Throne of the Crescent Moon

Illustration for article titled The io9 Book Club is in session! Lets talk about Saladin Ahmeds emThrone of the Crescent Moon/em

Welcome to the monthly meeting of the io9 Book Club. In July, we read Saladin Ahmed's Throne of the Crescent Moon. Jump into comments to get started talking about it!


For those unfamiliar with the io9 book club, here's how it works: You read the book. We create a special book club post on io9 when the meeting is in session. That would be the post you're reading right now. Then everybody talks about the book in comments for a few days, starting right now.

Ahmed will be stopping by to talk to you about the book this Monday, July 30, from 11-12 AM eastern time. I'll put up a separate post calling for questions on Friday, so look for that if you want to ask him something!


So, what did you think of the book?

Want to get a head start on our next book? In August, we'll be reading Maureen McHugh's short story collection After the Apocalypse [via Amazon]. We'll meet August 21 to talk about the book, and we hope McHugh can join us for a conversation later that week.


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There was one interview where Ahmed said he was trying to invoke the feeling of the stuff like the early Dragonlance novels—the books we all read and liked as kids but aren't supposed to be cool any more because we're all reading dark and gritty GRRM and Joe Abercrombie stuff. I do like ASoIaF and the First Law, but I thought this was a fun, lighter romp with a setting that begs for more exploration, and a perfect introduction to epic fantasy for younger readers.

I really liked Ahmed's handling of his characters' religious beliefs as well. Ahmed's characters share the same pseudo-Islamic faith, and all seem fairly devout believers, but they disagree constantly on the interpretation of doctrine. Yet at the end of the day, they're all on the same side and are willing to agree to disagree to save the world. It's nice to see these types of relatable conflicts between main characters without any of them having to be total bastards once in a while.

This is a marked contrast to a lot of Standard Medieval European Fantasy(tm): often in those stories, the characters and their society seem so damn secular, even though they live in a pre-industrial society where magic and the supernatural are very real. Devout religious characters tend to be outright villains, or at least foils who make things difficult for our heroes.