When Abdul Alhazred gets his lover, the daughter of the king, pregnant, he's forced to eat the roasted fetus, along with his own genitals. Mutilated and near death, he is left to die in the Empty Space, the great desert. But that is only the beginning of his journey to becoming the greatest necromancer in existence...
After reading Tales of Alhazred, I jumped at the chance to read this. Much like the time I drank a twelve pack of Angry Orchard, it was too much of a good thing.
Since I read Tales of Alhazred first, this book had a lot to live up to. Sure enough, it chronicled his meetings with Martala and Altrus, as well as his mutilation. Things hinted at in the collection of short stories were given life, like Alhazred's time with the ghouls.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. How could I not with its mixture of swords & sorcery and the Cthulhu mythos? Alhazred learns from a wide variety of teachers and gets into a wide variety of adventures. So why did I only give it a three?
It was too damn long! This could have easily been two or even three books. I feel like Cthulhu rose from his eternal slumber and went back to sleep in the time I was reading it. There were a lot of times I yearned for something major to happen. It probably would have worked best as a collection or two of short stories rather than the never-ending tale of wandering around the Middle East.
Three stars. I didn't like it as much as Tales of Alhazred but I'll read more of Alhazred's adventures at some point.