All too often, the only fantasy we read is that written by white Westerners with a Christian or Jewish religous/cultural background. It is therefore a joy to read the occasional book, written in English, that taps into another culture, penned by someone who has more than a touristy knowledge of it.
I'm white and Western, but I have lived 80% of my (long!) adult life in Muslim and Asian or African societies, married to someone who is neither white nor western nor Christian. Which is one of the reasons I try to tap into this experience in my world building. Certainly, I will be doing this in my new trilogy, and the title of the first book, "The Lascar's Dagger" gives a hint of this. There's even a possibility that somewhere in my nuclear-scientist husband's ancestry, there was a lascar... My husband was after all, born in a place which was once one of the world's great ports (Malacca), and his lineage originates from Muslim Aceh in Sumatra.
But I digress. This blog post is not about me, but to point in the direction of another writer, American-born, but of Arab descent, who has also tapped into his non-white, non-western, non-Christian cultural background with his first novel.
"The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, land of djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, Khalifs and killers, is at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron-fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. In the midst of this brewing rebellion a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. It is up to a handful of heroes to learn the truth behind these killings...."
His blog is here. Scroll down to read one of his short stories.