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Engraved on the Eye

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  833 Ratings  ·  144 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
Kindle Edition, 110 pages
Published September 13th 2012 by Ridan Publishing
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(showing 1-30)
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This collection of stories is very diverse and fascinating. It ranges between genres, settings, eras and cultures. Most stories have references to Islamic mysticism and folklore. Quite a few, dealing with supernatural creatures such as ghuls [sic] and jinn, have a dark aura to them. There are heroic or anti-heroic exploits, highly moral as well as highly amoral characters, martial arts, super-villains, and more. Ahmed is a master of character, plot and narrative voice. The prose is polished and ...more
Aug 13, 2014 Terez rated it really liked it
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
Feb 20, 2016 Michele rated it really liked it
Highly recommended if you are looking to expand your FSF reading to include non-white-European authors. It's a lovely (and alas, still unusual) experience to read FSF written with very different cultural underpinnings, attitudes, "local color" as it were. These stories, drawing on Middle Eastern folklore, culture, experiences, and locales are steeped in a totally different milieu.

The stories are uniformly good, ranging from small villages to big cities, from 'once upon a time' to near-future dys
Jan 13, 2014 Eric rated it really liked it
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
Sep 30, 2013 Ron rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 19, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Engraved on the Eye is a collection of short fiction by Saladin Ahmed. There’s a couple of stories set in the same world as his novel (Throne of the Crescent Moon). However, there’s also several pieces set outside of that world, covering a broad span of locales and ideas.

The first story in the collection, ‘Where Virtue Lives’ is set prior to the opening of Throne of the Crescent Moon, and sets out how the protagonists of that tale first met. Looking at the world from both characters perspectives
Matt Gilliard
Sep 21, 2012 Matt Gilliard rated it really liked it
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
Sep 26, 2012 David(LA,CA) rated it liked it
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
Paul Weimer
Oct 02, 2012 Paul Weimer rated it really liked it
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
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
Mar 10, 2014 Suzanne rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
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
Oct 04, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
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
Aug 17, 2013 Sunil rated it really liked it
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 at ...more
Oct 05, 2012 Greg rated it it was amazing

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.

Apr 29, 2015 Janet rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is a delightful collection of fantasy/speculative stories set in a wide variety of locations: a Middle East where holy men and learned doctors encounter ghuls and demons, a future where a former soldier receives uncanny guidance from a glitchy computer implant, the American Old West, modern Hollywood, and more.

While some of the tropes are generally familiar (the last story reads like it could have come out of a particularly imaginative Dungeons & Dragons campaign -- and I have a great
April Steenburgh
Oct 10, 2012 April Steenburgh rated it it was amazing

"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
Jul 28, 2015 Daniel rated it really liked it
A short take:

I loved Ahmed's mash-up of magic and the Middle East. The first two stories, in particular, blew me away with their adventurous stories and novel ideas. This collection is worth every page.

More thoughts:

Reading these stories reminded me of my desire to branch out and pick up more writers who represent cultures and perspectives outside the norm (i.e. white, affluent and self-appointed arbiters of cultural worthiness). It's so easy to keep picking up books written by men who represent
Jan 16, 2016 Frances rated it really liked it
This one was honestly hovering between three and four stars for me, but "Mister Hadj's Sunset Ride" was lovely, and tipped the scales. (Yes, it's a weird Western. Yes, I am not an impartial judge about weird Westerns. Hush.)

"Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela" and "The Faithful Soldier, Prompted" were probably my next favourites; lovely writing, clean plotting, and good world-building. And "Doctor Diablo Goes Through The Motions" seemed both better and sharper now than when I first read it in
Jeff Wyonch
Mar 01, 2015 Jeff Wyonch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fan-horror
This is an outstanding collection of short work, meant as a 'teaser'. You can currently get this for almost nothing at a lot of digital booksellers, and it's well worth the price of admission. The stories range over a broad range of cultures, time periods, and technology, but the sense of humor and fun ties them all together well. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up.
Jan 14, 2014 Drew rated it really liked it
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.
Betule Sairafi
May 12, 2015 Betule Sairafi rated it really liked it
Although there was a guy quite ridiculously named Abdel Jameela, seeing my friends and family and jinn in my favorite Engleezy genre was the best time I've ever had!

I can't die before I read all of this guy's stuff... inshallah.
Feb 22, 2016 Phil rated it it was amazing
Great little collection of short stories. A couple relate to Saladin Ahmed's novel "Throne of the Crescent Moon". Most of them have a middle-eastern tone to them, that makes them feel fresh. If you like Swords & Sorcery you will enjoy this.

It is also free on Amazon!
Dec 08, 2014 Eric rated it really liked it
Really solid collection! Very glad clifdisc recommended it to me. The first two short stories left me wanting more, so I'm glad to hear there is a book in the setting. Great to read a voice with a unique perspective on a genre I love!
Aug 11, 2013 Nadia rated it really liked it
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 Wagner
Oct 06, 2014 Dave Wagner rated it really liked it
Definitely hit the spot. A series of unique, well-written fantasy short stories. I'll definitely be reading Ahmed's full-length fantasy novel "The Throne of the Crescent Moon" soon...
Oct 12, 2014 Ryan rated it really liked it
Nice collection of i think 6 or 7 fantasy short stories outside of the typical worldview.
Shira Glassman
Overall a fun collection of SFF shorts, mostly centered on Muslim-flavored stuff but includes other non-northern-European cultures (for example, the MC of one story is a Latino supervillain and another's setting was definitely Asian but polytheistic.)

"Where Virtue Lives" takes us back to the MC's of Throne of the Crescent Moon, showing how the young warrior, a pious zealot, learns to appreciate the practical wisdom and especially the compassion of the older wizard who'd the book's star.

Elizabeth Hobbins
Oct 14, 2016 Elizabeth Hobbins rated it it was amazing
Usual and interesting.

Little book of short stories. Arabian nights type tales.
Whirled away an hour quite nicely.
Well done. I will keep an eye out for this author.
Judi Moore
Oct 05, 2016 Judi Moore rated it it was amazing
I loved this book of fantasy stories with a big dollop of Arabic influence. The narrative voices were splendid, the quests original and the baddies were wonderful creations. The other thing I loved about the stories were that they were short stories. You don't see much fantasy at this shorter length - especially good fantasy. If you like fantasy you will like these.
Just A. Bean
Sep 28, 2016 Just A. Bean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short collection, but very enjoyable. Two of the stories were set in the same secondary world as Throne of the Crescent Moon (including a bit of backstory that I'd read somewhere before), and the rest were a mix of SF and F short stories in a variety of worlds.

I think that "Where Virtue Lives" the backstory for how Raseed ban Raseed met Doctor Adoulla Makhslood was my favourite of the bunch, even if I'd read it already, but the dark supervillain comedy "Doctor Diablo Goes Through the Motions" an
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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 about Saladin Ahmed...

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“No, it wasn’t nothing Christian. But my momma taught me that another man’s religion was like another man’s wife—none of my goddamn business. That” 0 likes
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