The main characters are an old ghul hunter (cleric), his dervish apprentice/partner (paladin), the wild girl who changes into a lion (ranger), the lady alchemist (healer), and her sorcerer husband (wizard). They're working together to stop a killing spree caused by an evil necromancer who has been raising ghuls.
They're based around the capital city of the Crescent Moon Kingdoms. Sitting on the throne is a cruel king that no one much likes and working openly against him is the Falcon Prince, a criminal with grand ambitions and an idealistic hope for the empire. Sort of an Arabian Robin Hood. The city is filled with interesting characters, including the local roving puritans, tea sellers, and whore house mistresses! The author definitely makes the city come alive, and brings the arabian flavor to the front.
I wish I could say I liked it more. I wanted to. I’d hoped to enjoy it at least as much as The Desert of Souls, but it just ended up feeling like a D&D game turned into a novel, and while there isn't anything wrong with that, I'm not sure the author pulled it off as well as he could have. The flavor is great, the characters are interesting enough, the story is solid, but it just doesn't quite come together the way I'd hoped it would.
Also, let's talk about covers. At the top of he post is the UK cover. Not bad. Below are the US hard cover and paper back covers. I'm so glad I didn't see the hard cover first!
However... while not being a great book, it does give some really good inspiration for an Al-Quadim/1,001 Nights/Sinbad style game. From the monsters to the magic items, there's a lot of appreciate, and this week I'm going to show off some of that inspirational material.
Tomorrow: Bone Ghul
Thursday: The Cobra Throne
Friday: Alchemist's Dagger