This is in 3.5-3.75 territory for me. You have foul ghuls, horrific death, blood magic, a fight for the throne, an evil that will devour everything in it's path, and a small band willing to risk their lives to fight it. It's also a fantasy that does not take place in a European setting, something I enjoyed very much.I liked the the main protagonist, Adoulla, is an old man who has devoted his life to ridding the world of evil creatures that feed on mankind, but now that he's at retirement age, and basically "too old for this shit" he's regretting some of the things he had to give up, and wondering if he really wants to go out fighting monsters, or in his home surrounded by loved ones. I liked this perspective, and then when we get to meet Litaz and Dawoud - a couple who have fought side by side with Adoulla through the years, you get a sense of how much they have all lost by trying to be heroes, using their powers for good. Especially when the very people they protect seldom appreciate it. It's so bittersweet, and I really appreciated that element. In fact, if the book had focused more there, I would have rated it higher. While I liked the characters of Raseed and Zamia (a dervish highly trained to fight evil and an "angel-touched" girl who can transform into a lion), I would have been happier not having passages from their perspective. I got their idealism - they are the youthful counterparts, just starting their fight. But they couldn't really match the POV of their elders, so I found myself wanting to race through the parts that were in their heads.