There are so many cool things about this author/book. Firstly he's Egyptian... so yay! But so much more than that, Yussef Zeidan also happens to be the director of the Manuscripts Department at the Library of Alexandria.
Yes! That library. So you can be confident that this historical saga about a Coptic Monk enticed by the devil on a voyage across North Africa and the Levant is well researched.
I may be biased but I think that Arabic literature is some of the best in the world (that's a pretty big call considering there are 25 Arabic speaking countries in the world, which means... a lot of literature). As a language Arabic is very poetic. It's romantic, lyrical, heavily embellished. When you want to tell someone they are beautiful you say 'you are like the moon'. Because obvs, the moon is beautiful. Arabic lends itself naturally to descriptive beauty, literally too, since calligraphy and Arabic script are one and the same (but that's another story).
Fun fact about me - my first word was cat! In Egyptian Arabic. Because of course cats and Egypt.