Book Review: Without Faith, Without Law, Without Joy by Saladin Ahmed (Three stars)

Book Review: Without Faith, Without Law, Without Joy by Saladin Ahmed

Three stars out of five

A great concept: examine experiences of three Moslem characters from Edmund Spenser’s sixteenth century fantasy poem The Faerie Queene from one of their point of view. Ahmed has demonstrated his ability to deliver award-winning, genre-expanding fantasy, so I expected more than was delivered.

The short work is framed by excerpts from The Faerie Queene and seems true to that frame work but, perhaps because it is so short it doesn’t quite deliver on the promise.
It’s still an enjoyable read and helps the reader realize that most antagonists are not villains in their own eyes. Increasingly lost in modern dialogue is the idea that not everyone who doesn’t look, dress, think, let alone worship as you do is a bad guy. In fact, sometimes the most vile person you’ll meet today looks from your mirror first thing in the morning.

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