Book One of The Crescent Moon Kingdoms
DAW BOOKS, INC.
DONALD A. WOLLHEIM, FOUNDER 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014 ELIZABETH R. WOLLHEIM SHEILA E. GILBERT
Copyright © 2012 by Saladin Ahmed.
All Rights Reserved.
Jacket art by Jason Chan.
DAW Book Collectors No. 1575. DAW Books are distributed by Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Book designed by the Barbarienne’s Den.
Map by Priscilla Spencer.
All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is strictly coincidental. The scanning, uploading and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal, and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
First Printing, February 2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 DAW TRADEMARK REGISTERED
U.S. PAT. AND TM. OFF. AND FOREIGN COUNTRIES —MARCA REGISTRADA
HECHO EN U.S.A.
PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.
To my parents, Ismael Ahmed, and the late Mary O’Leary, who introduced me to the fantas U.tic world of books;
to my wife, Hayley Thompson,
who supported me in countless ways as I wrote this one; and to my children, Malcolm and Naima, who make this broken world beautiful enough to keep living and writing in, this is for you.
A number of people have helped me usher Thronefrom the “neat idea” stage to the book you now hold in your hands. In particular I’d like to thank: • All of the readers who’ve helped me hone my writing over the past few years: My fellow students in the 2007 Taos Toolbox workshop (especially Christopher Cevasco, Scott Andrews, and Dorothy A. Windsor); the members of the 2009 Rio Hondo workshop; and the past and present members of the Tabula Rasa and Altered Fluid writers groups (in particular E.C. Myers, Rajan Khanna, Richard Bowes, and Justin Howe)
• Walter Jon Williams, the best teacher in the genre-writing business
• Kevin J. Anderson, for the precious gift of his free time
• The members of the SFNovelists listserv, for their generous mentorship
• Jennifer Jackson, super-agent extraodinaire
• Betsy Wollheim, the best editor/publisher a writer could ask for
This book wouldn’t exist without your help, folks. Thank you!