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King Maker: The Knights of Breton Court, volume 1 Mass Market Paperback – September 28, 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"There are fewer greater pleasures in a reader's life than witnessing a writer whose work they have enjoyed reached a new plateau in their storytelling skills, and such is the case here... Broaddus delivers in a voice that both whispers and roars and cannot be ignored." - Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild Award-winner Gary A. Braunbeck

"Maurice Broaddus' writing creates a dangerous and authentic mood. The language is fierce and evokes the gritty realism of life on the streets... For some, King Maker is going to be the best read of 2010." - FantasyLiterature.com

"King Maker is a fascinating novel... [and] should be on every SF fan's shelf." - Adam Christopher

"Deft characterization, authentic dialogue, exciting plot... Maurice Broaddus has definitely brought his A-game to this urban joust." - Gene O'Neill

"King Maker's strength is its ability to stay true-to-life even when the fantasy components come into play..." - Nick Cato, Stem Shots

"It’s impossible to approach a new version of the timeless tale [of King Arthur] without asking, 'Do we really need this version?' I’m pleased to report that Maurice Broaddus provides many compelling answers to this question, answers which led me to conclude with a resounding 'yes.'" - The Sci-Fi Guys Book Review

About the Author

Maurice Broaddus holds a Bachelor's of Science degree from Purdue University in Biology (with an undeclared major in English) and comes from a family that includes several practicing obeah (think: Jamaican voodoo) people.

The author lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.  His areas of interests includes religious studies, folklore, and myths. His previous books was the novellas Orgy of Souls (written with Wrath James White) and Devil's Marionette. He's a senior writer for HollywoodJesus.com and his dark fiction has been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, and web sites, most recently including Dark Dreams II&III, Apex Magazine, Black Static, and Weird Tales Magazine.  He is the editor of the Dark Faith anthology. His novel series, The Knights of Breton Court (Angry Robot) debuts in 2010.  Visit his site at MauriceBroaddus.com.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Knights of Breton Court (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot; 1st Printing edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857660527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857660527
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,164,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book.

King Arthur in modern day, gang-ridden Indianapolis, this book promises, and the Arthurian legend is evident in King Maker by Maurice Broaddus. The book opens with the short, dark tale of Luther, gang leader and father to an infant, King James White. Not long after betraying King's mother with another woman Luther is shot, betrayed by his right hand man.
With that, we're told in the tone of a Shakespearean tragedy, the story moves on to King, who is in fact the One True King (albeit rather far from England). Except that despite King's role as the lead he's actually in the book very little.
In fact that's where this whole book stalled for me. Broaddus can clearly write circles around other people, but in this book he writes in circles that have hollow middles. Almost all the focus is on character building, tension building and weaving in the minute details of the re-written mythos. But for a large part of the book nothing happens.
Also, Broaddus spends an exorbitant amount of time building up characters who are ultimately side characters. This leads to next to no connection with King himself and a sense of confusion when major events to happen, or major players are killed. Because the emphasis is on everyone being gray (all the bad guys have a reason for their bad, either playing a role or being crushed by a poor life) is so overwhelming that no one comes out as a compelling or valiant hero.
Fate and legend are powerful aspects of the tale, as is the desolation and hopelessness of life way below the poverty line. Not to mention the clever metamorphosis of fiends into zombies and the very interesting use of fae and otherworldly creatures in the most unusual of modern settings.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
KING MAKER: The Kights of Brenton Court Vol. 1 by Maurice Broaddus opens by introducing us to Luther, gang leader and father of King James White, who lives in the ghetto or slums, if you will, of Indianapolis. We soon witness the betrayal and fall of Luther. There are many "side" characters (I lost count), whose stories I found at times hard to read. Living in the hood does that, as there are many stories that can be told. One in particular was of a gangster who mutilates a witness when he felt he was about to be snitched on. In addition there are graphic details of bloody conflicts, zombies and twins who are cannibalistic enforcers that had me flipping the pages as a way to hurry and get past that scene and others.

This is Volume 1, so I suspect we will learn more about King James, as I didn't get the connection of him to most of the characters. King was the side character in place of the main character in my view. If he had even narrated the story, in place of popping up now and then, it would have made more sense to me.

For fans of urban fantasy, Mr. Broaddus delivers.

Reviewed by Linda Chavis
for The RAWSISTAZ(TM) Reviewers
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoy well done remixes and extensions of classic tales, and with only a few exceptions, Maurice Broaddus has done that with the Arthur legends.

I started this book believing it to be a retelling of the story in a new setting. I quickly realized that wasn't the case after all. The events we all know from Mallory, White and others are referenced here and there in the narrative. They happened. Instead, King Maker posits are cyclic story that arises repeatedly as the conditions are right.

In the first chapter alone we see old friends' new forms - Luther White (Uther), (The) Green (Knight), Morgana (la Fey), Merle (Merlin), etc. White, a powerful street lord, has a son, King. He also has a tryst with Morgana and fathers another, before he's killed by Green and by treachery.

Some time passes, and we learn than the situation has changed. Green remains a lieutenant to a man called Night (Gwyn ap Nudd, maybe?). They are opposed by Luther's unacknowledged son, Dred. King, after a flirtation with thuggishness in his youth has stepped out of it, spending his time more with Wayne, a social worker and general do-gooder who's come up out of the same neighborhood.

The book's plot deals mostly with machinations between Dred and Night, though they have consequences for King, Wayne, and other characters. It's not until close to the end of the book that circumstances, fate, and crazy ol' Merle have convinced King that he needs to step up and protect Breton Court from the two gang lords.

The only real downside to the book for me was the writing, which was inconsistent. In many ways it was excellent; Broaddus uses different authorial voices depending on the POV characters, bringing them even more to life.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The invisible baggage attached to King Maker Book One by Maurice Broaddus cannot be ignored. It's impossible to approach a new version of the timeless tale of King Arthur without asking, "Do we really need this version?" I'm pleased to report that Maurice Broaddus provides many compelling answers to this question, answers which led me to conclude with a resounding yes.

Broaddus sets his tale among the very real rundown slums of west-side Indianapolis. The homeless huddle under streets that Hoosier natives can point to on a map, but would rarely drive through by choice after dark. While reading this book, I've stumbled upon mixed online comments regarding this choice--why not New York or Los Angeles or some other, more recognizable ghetto? I applaud the decision, and not just because I recognize the area he writes about (and clearly, so does he). By refusing to relocate his tale, he reminds the reader that poverty knows no geography. The poor are as equally trapped in Los Angeles as Pittsburgh. To massacre Shakespeare: A gang shooting in any other city would be as dangerous.

With every sentence, Broaddus traps the reader in the slums with his characters. He paints a bleak picture of warring gang members born without a chance, stuck in a school system that's given up on them. We see kids raised by drug dealers and hookers whose only options are to escape through drugs or to "rise up" through the gang system, only to discover, too late, the lies inherent in those promises.

This is the world of King James White. We begin with the betrayal and fall of his father. Frm there, we're quickly introduced to the gang and residents of Breton Court and their rival, the crew at the Phoenix apartments.
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