Engraved on the Eye
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Engraved on the Eye

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  385 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Stories to Captivate the Imagination: Welcome to the worlds of Saladin Ahmed
A medieval physician asked to do the impossible. A gun slinging Muslim wizard in the old West. A disgruntled super villain pining for prison reform. A cybernetic soldier who might or might not be receiving messages from God. Prepare yourself to be transported to new and fantastical worlds.

The short...more
Kindle Edition, 110 pages
Published September 13th 2012 by Ridan Publishing
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Jan 13, 2014 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of short stories, inventive new fantasy
I was very impressed by this short story collection from the author of Throne of the Crescent Moon. Only two of the eight short stories were set in the fantasy world of the novel, the first of which being the story of how Doctor Adoulla Mahkslood and Raseed bas Raseed, the two protagonists of the novel, first meet. In addition to being a great short story, it is an excellent introduction to the Crescent Moon universe.

The other stories were as engaging as they were varied. But I did have favorite...more
A Refreshing Change

Reading this collection of genre shorts by acclaimed author Saladin Ahmed was like slaking a thirst you didn't know you had.
It goes without saying the majority of speculative fiction (especially epic fantasy) is told from the perspective of White European traditions.
However, these collected stories are brilliantly told through a Middle Eastern cultural lens. They are original, provocative, exotic, and mesmerizing.
Engraved On The Eye is a shining testament to the need for the...more
Really liked. A fresh voice and perspective.

The quality was uneven, with the earlier stories being better.

A very good read. The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights setting as if told by Fritz Lieber.
I really enjoyed the first two stories, "Where Virtue Lives" and "Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela." Vivid descriptions, charming (and refreshingly jovial) characters, and the stories have a wonderful classic feel about them. The third, "Judgement of Swords and Souls," takes place in the same world, and while I liked it, I felt myself skimming. I felt bad about this, because I really like Ahmed's writing, but something about it just wasn't grabbing me.

The above are apparently tied to Thron...more
Paul Weimer
Engraved on the Eye is a collection of short fiction by Saladin Ahmed, who is probably best known to readers for his debut novel Throne of the Crescent Moon. In Engraved, we get a number of pieces from him in a variety of universes.

In Where Virtue Lives ,we witness the first meeting between two of the main protagonists of Throne of the Crescent Moon, Rasheed and Doctor Adoulla, as the former’s arrival in Dhamasawaat coincides with a ghul problem the Doctor is dealing with.

In Hooves and the Hove...more

This is an excellent use for your days coffee money and will entertain much longer then anything at this price. Saladin's art as a storyteller shows clearly in his award nominated short fiction. These stories range from sword and sorcery to superhero, well villain actually, with some western and magical realism for spice. His Arabic/Muslim heritage forms a lot if the atmosphere for his work but so does his obvious love of superheroes, fantasy adventure and complex if broadly drawn characters.

So many anthologies, whether a collection by one author or a mix of many, are an uneven mix of brilliance, mediocre, and just plain puzzling. This is one of the most uniformly high quality collections I've read in some time. While I'd stop short of "brilliance", the stories are all engaging, well-written, lovely little baubles.

I also want to avoid the word "exotic", which has far too much Orientalist baggage. But many of these stories play with settings, legends, and characters of Middle Easter...more
Matt Gilliard
One of the most unique new voices in the genre belongs to Saladin Ahmed. His debut novel Throne of the Crescent Moon was the very first debut novel I reviewed. So when I heard that Ridan Publishing was releasing a collection of Ahmed's short fiction, I was understandably excited. With a low price and an immediate release date, I snatched it up and blocked out some quality time with the e-reader.

Fans of Throne of the Crescent Moon will be pleased to know that Ahmed chooses to open this collection...more
Aug 17, 2013 Sunil rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own, 2013
After having enjoyed Throne of the Crescent Moon , I was hungry for more by Saladin Ahmed, and, as luck would have it, here was a short story collection that even featured some stories set in the Throne world, including the first meeting of the Doctor and his apprentice. Another Throne story is one of the best in the collection, and I hope to see the main character in the books proper at some point, as I believe her story has only just begun. By and large, Ahmed's strength is in his mood and atm...more
A collection of eight short stories:

Where Virtue Lives : A prequel to the author's Throne of the Crescent Moon. The Doctor and the Dervish meet and share their first adventure together. As someone that enjoyed the novel, this was a highlight, and worth the price of this book.

Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela : I'm not exactly sure what this is supposed to be. An attempt at horror? Certainly the main character reacts as if he's encountering mind shattering events, but there didn't really f...more
An enjoyable collection of novelettes and short stories by Saladin Ahmed.

The first story, "Where Virtue Lives", is set in the same world as and involves some of the same characters as Ahmed's novel "Throne of the Crescent Moon". It tells the story of how ghul-hunter Adoulla met dervish Rasheed prior to that novel. It's interesting but not earth-shaking.

The next two stories are also set in the same world as the "Throne of the Crescent Moon", but in different places and involving different charact...more
April Steenburgh

"Y'all ain't got to believe me for it to be the truth" (Engraved on the Eye, pg. 183).

But you will want to believe- in aloof bounty hunters who sing to stone and ribald ghul hunters who care far more than they let on.

From the city of Dhamsawaat Ahmed made familiar through 'Throne of the Crescent Moon', to a meeting of super villains as viewed by a rather jaded member, 'Engraved on the Eye' is an absolutely enthralling collection of the familiar mixed with the exotic and the strange. Readers are...more
I would have given this collection of short stories 3 1/2 stars had that been an option. The short stories are well written and enjoyable to read. The author was developing characters. One of the short stories had several of the main characters he included in Throne of the Crescent Moon. Glad I read it.
A short eBook with some selections from his novel Throne of the Crescent Moon as well as short stories in a variety of genres: scifi, western, fanfic-ish parody. Ahmed is an Arab-American writer, and his novel is set in faux-Persia, which was refreshingly different. His writing is very vivid! I'll definitely be picking up the novel soon. This book is free for the Kindle, so if you like free things check it out.
Some stories are better than others, but there were definitely more fours than threes in the bunch.

BTW heads up the ebook is currently free on Amazon. You literally have nothing to lose.
Dave Versace
Excellent if short collection of mostly fantasy fiction from Detroit writer Saladin Ahmed. I'd read most of these before in other collections and online, but they're all worth a look. Mostly Arabian-themed (or Arab-American in the case of a contemporary story). The best is "Mister Hadj's Last Ride", a weird West yarn featuring an Arabic bounty hunter, though my favourite was probably "Doctor Diablo Goes Through the Motions", a super-villain story featuring the eponymous Doctor Diablo and an ally...more
John Wiswell
A free collection of short stories by Hugo-nominated author Saladin Ahmed. If you own an e-reader and like Fantasy, there’s no good reason for you to not download this now, if only for “General Akmed’s Revenge?” and “Mister Hadj’s Sunset Ride”.

The main draw of the collection for me were “In Where Virtue Lives” and “Judgment of Swords and Souls.” These are fan service shorts for Throne of the Crescent Moon, with “Virtue” being the first meeting and foundation of mentorship between Doctor Adoulla...more
Jan 31, 2013 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: kindle
The widely praised Throne of the Crescent Moon isn't available as an ebook (at least, not in my region), so I thought I'd sample this short story collection instead. The first story is about the meeting of the two main characters in Throne, and I liked it enough that I'll be looking for the novel (probably at the library, since the publishers don't seem to want my money). In fact, I can see what the critical fuss is about: Ahmed writes smoothly and well, has interesting protagonists, and makes t...more
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This collection of short stories offers a departure from the usual science fiction and fantasy fare. Saladin Ahmed brings his unusual (for sf/f) viewpoint as a practicing Muslim and Arab American to the party and serves up a delicious buffet of refreshing stories.

The stories vary pretty widely. There is the story of the first case in which the characters Adoulla Makhslood and Raseed (from Throne of the Crescent Moon) work together. Another story set in the Crescent Moon Kingdoms deals with the i...more
John Constable
I'd been waiting for Ahmed to release a short story collection since I was fortunate enough to get a bundle of his short stories as part of the Hugo Voters Packet last year, upon his nomination for the Cambell award.

I'd come across his work first via Podcastle, with their reading of 'Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela', a disturbing, haunting tale that was very '1001 Arabian Nights' and its own thing - as evocative of what little Arabic culture I'd seen as Ted Cheung's 'The Merchant and the...more
Engraved on the Eye is a very diverse mix of fantasy, science fiction and horror, and for most readers the stand out piece is "Where Virtue Lives," a prequel to Ahmed's superb debut novel Kingdom of the Crescent Moon. The books other standout piece is the closing story "Iron Eyes and the Watered Down World," a hilarious sword and sorcery send up with a dim witted warrior and his foul mouthed anthromorphic rabbit partner. In between are six stories that while occasionally lacking in consistency,...more
This is a short book, with 8 short stories. The e-book was a free download from Amazon, so I read it.

The first story - "Where Virtue Lives" - is quite good, about a ghul hunter and his apprentice. The last story - "Iron Eyes and the Watered Down World" is also good, about a trio of adventurers and one man's pursuit of vengeance. In between, only "Doctor Diablo Goes Through the Motions" stayed with me. It is the shortest and most comical of the collection. The other five stories are of passing me...more
Michael Cummings
Saladin Ahmed's "Engraved on the Eye" offers a nice sampling of Ahmed's short fiction. Collected in this volume are three short stories set in the same world as his first novel, The Crescent Throne, as well as a western, sci-fi, bunnies with swords, and an urban fantasy. Readers unfamiliar with the Crescent Throne will find the stories a good starting point, while fans of Saladin Adhmed's will enjoy the additional background on a certain ghul hunter and his blue clothed dhervish.

Tying the eight...more
Renee Babcock
I read Throne of the Crescent Moon and liked it somewhat, but I did enjoy these stories, some set in the same world as Alex's novel. A varied collection of stories, most entailing discoveries of self in the main characters, and all written in an interesting and unique voice in fantasy.
I want to like Ahmed's work, but I just can't seem to get into it. It's fun, but I don't ever fall in love with the characters and I feel like it's very difficult for me to relate to them. Too bad, because the Crescent Moon Kingdom sounds fascinating and I'd love to read more about it.
A collection of short stories from a fairly new voice in science fiction. Three of the stories are set in the same world as his novel Throne of the Crescent Moon though they stand alone just fine. Standout stories include Judgement of Swords and Souls, Doctor Diablo Goes Through the Motions and Iron Eyes and the Watered Down World. Highly recommended.
I'm torn here. I'm not sure if I want to wish for more short stories by Ahmed or more novels. He's good. He's got an eye for scene that allows him to set up traditionally familiar stories and then focus on something different, whether it is power dynamics, religious details, or some clever joke that subverts the expected. I've read quite a bit of genre fiction, and I've come to the conclusion that Ahmed has chops that exceed most of what is out there.

In any case, if you enjoyed the Throne of th...more
I think I like Ahmed's shorts better than his novel, at least so far. There's some ideas in here I really like that I'm not sure would have the legs for a full-length piece but don't wear out their welcome in short form. Very enjoyable.
The stories gathered in this collection vary greatly both in theme and in writing: from tales that draw from Arabic folklore to ironic pieces set here and now, from rich and vivacious language to clumsiness and rushing plot forward. But even the weaker stories were good, so consider me spoiled after being exposed to overall quality writing. I'm certainly looking forward to more glimpses into Ahmed's extraordinary imagination.
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The Sword and Laser: Authors and marketing 7 84 Jan 17, 2013 10:37PM  
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Saladin Ahmed was born in Detroit and raised in a working-class, Arab American enclave in Dearborn, MI.

His short stories have been nominated for the Nebula and Campbell awards, and have appeared in Year's Best Fantasy and numerous other magazines, anthologies, and podcasts, as well as being translated into five foreign languages. He is represented by Jennifer Jackson of the Donald Maass Literary A...more
More about Saladin Ahmed...
Throne of the Crescent Moon (The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, #1) Where Virtue Lives (included in Engraved on the Eye Anthology) Iron Eyes and the Watered-Down World Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #43

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