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Imaro Paperback – February 1, 2006
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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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About the Author
CCharles Saunders, born July 12, 1946, is an African-American author and journalist currently living in Canada. During his long career, he has written everything from novels both fiction and non-fiction, to screenplays and radio plays.
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Top customer reviews
Imaro stands on his own as a hero, equal to legendary heroes such as Samson, Hercules, Beowulf, and even fictional ones like Conan and John Carter. Through his internal and external struggles, he is more human and relatable than most heroes. Imaro may have moments of anxiety and self-doubt, but he's not paralyzed by them. Imaro isn't as smug or self-righteous as some heroes, but he has principles and will stand up for them. I'm not going to give away any plot points, but I will say that Imaro ranks up there will the very best fantasy heroes. He's neither a "chocolate-covered Conan" nor "Tarzan in blackface," but a hero and warrior in his own right.
As of this review, I also have the second book "Imaro 2: The Quest For Cush" and "Griots: A Sword & Soul Anthology." I hope that a reissue of "Imaro 3: The Trail Of Bohu" and "Imaro 4: The Naama War" will become available.
There seems to be no movie in the works, and I don't know why. I think it would do fine box office, if they don't decide to "improve" it out of all recognition.
Too often people are unaware of the great and long-standing fiction already in existence. They will ask "where is the African version of X!" and folks, Imaro is not a new story. While this is a new printing and the author has expanded the original printing from two books, to self-publish books three and four, it's origins are short stories that are filled with action and adventure.
If you imagine a different sky and setting for fantasy adventures, look no further than the tales of Imaro.
If there are any particular weaknesses, it would be the stereotypically gendered supporting character of Tanisha, who seems to serve no other purpose than as Imaro's lover and the lack of a recurring central antagonist. However, given the nature of the book as a collection of Saunder's short stories rather than one fixed novel, it should come as no surprise that the latter would be missing. Nevertheless, the unseen villains known as the Naamans (a group of evil sorcerers from the south of Nyumbani) are adequate enough to be a looming threat for Imaro throughout the entire series. If you're a fan of sword and sorcery, fantasy, and want something atypical of most fiction within the genres, definitely check our Imaro.
Most recent customer reviews
This unique blend of Lovecraft & African mythology features a Conan-like hero.Griots: A Sword and Soul AnthologyRead more