6 Middle Eastern Flavored Fantasy and Science-Fiction Novels


Cover detail from Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed

A lot of modern fantasy has been inspired by the history and myth of Western Europe. While that’s all well and good, focusing solely on this kind of fiction means you might miss other kinds of stories—like tales inspired by the Middle East. Here’s a list of fantasy and science-fiction novels you might want to try, if you haven’t already. Feel free to share your own suggestions in the comment section below!

Alif the Unseen
by G. Willow Wilson

Devastated by a love affair gone sour, a hacker called Alif creates a program that destroys online anonymity. After the program attracts the unwanted attention of his nation’s intelligence agency, Alif goes underground and finds himself in the company of mysterious outlaws and rebels.

The Desert of Souls
by Howard Andrew Jones

The key to a long lost civilization was once in the hands of the Baghdadi scholar Dabir, but it has been stolen by enemies. Now he must do what he can to reclaim it, even if that means crossing paths with a powerful supernatural being.


The Golem and the Jinni
by Helen Wecker

The Golem and the Jinni tells is the story of two supernatural creatures, a golem and jinni, in New York, 1899. Each creature is unaware of the other’s existence, and both are forced to find their way among the city’s people on their own.


The Lion of Cairo
by Scott Oden

Assad the Assassin is the best of his profession: a master of the killing arts armed with a demon-possessed dagger that thirsts for infidel blood. When his master assigns him the unusual task of protecting a young noble, Assad finds his deadly skills put to good use.

Throne of the Crescent Moon
by Saladin Ahmed

Against a background of political intrigue, the legendary ghul hunter Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, his assistant, the Dervish warrior Raseed, and a gathering of magicians and mystic warriors face off against a dark sorcerer.


The Winds of Khalakovo
by Bradley P. Beaulieu

The island kingdom of Khalakovo is a destination for all the world’s traders: a great civilization in the mountains approachable only by windship. Glorious as it may be, not all is well in the streets of Khalakovo: Disease and intrigue threaten from within, and sinister magic without. In the aftermath of an unexpected tragedy, Prince Nikandr is tasked with seeking out the forces responsible.