From Publishers Weekly
Mixing quasi history and legend, Saunders's episodic heroic fantasy, first published in 1981 and now greatly revised, introduces Imaro, a black African in the heroic mold of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian. Set in the sub-Saharan equivalent of Howard's imaginary Hyborea, this origin story, the first in a projected five-volume series, tells how Imaro (who seems to run afoul of sorcerers as readily as Howard's barbarian did) is falsely accused at the conclusion of his manhood rite, exiled from his tribe and transformed into an embittered, homicidal wanderer in a landscape of savage beasts and savage men, yet retains, as such heroes usually do, a certain chivalrous decency. The unusual setting more than makes up for the routine plot. Saunders alone has appreciated the potential of Africa as a backdrop for heroic fantasy. (Mar.)
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