The author of Escape from Baghdad! and Djinn City returns with djinn king Melek Ahmar waking up after millennia of imprisoned slumber to find a world vastly different from what he remembers. Arrogant and bombastic, he comes down the mountain expecting an easy conquest, but is surprised instead to find that Kathmandu is a cut-price paradise, where citizens want for nothing and even the dregs of society are distinctly unwilling to revolt.
Everyone seems happy, except for the old Gurkha soldier Bhan Gurung. Knife saint, recidivist, and mass murderer, he is an exile from Kathmandu, pursuing a forty-year-old vendetta that leads to the very heart of Karma. Pushed and prodded by Gurung, Melek Ahmer finds himself in ever deeper conflicts, until they finally face off against Karma and her forces. In the upheaval that follows, old crimes will come to light and the city itself will be forced to change.
Through an unlikely fusion of Middle Eastern folklore and futuristic, A.I.-powered sci fi, Saad Z. Hussein has created a fantasy-comedy of Pratchett-esque proportions. The Gurkha and The Lord of Tuesday is a slim volume, but with a storytelling style that gets straight to business and a colorful cast of over-the top characters. It packs a satisfying punch ... As parody, the story takes a cynical view of human nature, and while not meant to be taken so seriously, one might say a Rand-like skepticism of an egalitarian distributive economy ... The Gurkha and The Lord of Tuesday achieves immense enjoyability. With well-drawn, amusing characters, a fresh and underrepresented fantasy viewpoint, and snappy dialogue and action scenes, the book will have broad appeal to readers who like well-played humor in their fantasy/sci fi.
Hossein is a Bangladeshi author who has already established a formidable reputation for combining dark humor, loopy adventure, and breezy style ... While those characteristics are much in evidence in The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday, he also shows a provocative knack for sharply satirical SF as well. It’s probably the funniest thing I’ve read this year.
Hossain...paints a rich, interesting, even plausible future and fills it with a cast of quirky characters. Readers will laugh at Melek Ahmar’s narcissism, especially when his plans are thwarted, as well as Hossain’s irreverent writing style, including the characters’ cheeky dialogue. With a mischievous protagonist and fascinating world building, this one should be recommended to readers who like their djinn tales with a large helping of humor.