[Reading] ➺ Imaro Author Charles R. Saunders – Transportjobsite.co.uk


  • Paperback
  • 256 pages
  • Imaro
  • Charles R. Saunders
  • English
  • 05 August 2019
  • 9781597800365

10 thoughts on “Imaro

  1. says:

    In the hands of its most talented practitioners, Sword Sorcery can be thrilling, scintillating, and deeply ironic which makes it all the regrettable to see just how thoughtless and cliche depictions of race and sex tend to be in the genre Part of what excited me about the prospect of reading this hard to find series was that it is very much about race, a self aware deconstruction of one of the genre s historic failings.It is that as well as a dip into African History, a fascinating and vast slice of the human story that is too often ignored and downplayed especially in the face of the endless pseudo Medieval setting that covers the fantasy genre like a fetid swamp However, the parallels with modern, Colonial slavery and the complexities of identity of American Blacks born to that tradition are a bit too on the nose I would have appreciated of a Humanistic look at the role slavery has played in human history, as well as the way that racial identity is coded and manufactured socially it s a vast and important set of ideas that needs than simply the xenophobia of Lovecraft versus the modern, post Civil Rights view to encapsulate it.It was pleasant particularly after trying the Kane series to read stories which are so intensely focused upon the hero s internal life his decisions, thoughts, experiences, and emotions Never was there that struggle to connect the character to the world and to the story as so often crops up in tales of impossibly muscled heroes who cleave their way from danger to danger by the sweat of their brow, but otherwise remain aloof.Unfortunately, Imaro s successes were too often the result of a sort of generic strength an overcoming by gritting one s teeth, and simply coming out the other side unscathed It s always a shame to see a writer give in to such a simplistic resolution but it s very common, and not only in the fantasy genre There are few things escapist, wish fulfilling than the notion of achieving something simply by wanting it enough, willing your way through, and forcing your preferences on the world If only the world would bend to us, recognize that we are right, and let us have our way but such a fantasy makes for a poorer story.I wished that these internal struggles felt as personal and emotional to the character as his motivations Intense conflict is such a great place to reveal a character, to show how he differs from everyone else on the page what unique approach he takes, in light of his experiences and personal style.Of course, that requires the imagination and skill of a seasoned author, while this is only Saunders preliminary outing There s certainly a lot of room for improvement, but also a lot of strong elements that make the story engaging and readable I ll have to give Imaro another try, down the road, and see how he progresses.


  2. says:

    Quality Adventure with Legendary ContextStyle Legendary Motivations This unique blend of Lovecraft African mythology features a Conan like hero It s pulpy style storytelling may merit 4 stars its uniqueness place in literature boost it to 5 Imaro is adventure in the vein of vintage, pulp periodicals Expect heavy doses of sorcery horror at a brisk pace Unlike traditional pulp stories, these chapters are slightly less episodic and chronological In other words, Imaro is of a continuing character versus Howard s original Conan publications Adventure tropes that could be called cheesy are compensated well with engrossing, visceral battle scenes and bestial sorcery In fact, I was reminded of James Silke Frazetta s Death Dealer series and thought Charles R Saunders was much effective at a milieu including jungle savannah beasts Saunders Imaro felt Frazetta like than Gath in Prisoner of the Horned Helmet or Tooth and Claw.An excerpt from Saunders s Into to Milton Davis s Griots A Sword and Soul Anthology best reveals the author s passion Robert E Howard and his contemporaries were products of their time Racism, in the form of white supremacy, was an integral part of the popular culture of the early decades of the twentieth century, and as such it pervaded pulp fiction As a product of a later time during which the tenets of racism came under vigorous challenge, my enjoyment of fiction from past decades was often compromised by the racial attitudes I encountered in my reading On some occasions, I simply let it slide On others, I wrestled with resentment Then I discovered a way to resolve my dilemma Interest in African history and culture surged during the 1960s, and at the same time I was reading sword and sorcery and fantasy fiction, I was also absorbing heretofore unknown information about a continent that was not dark as its detractors made it out to be I realized that this non stereotypical Africa of history and legend was just as valid a setting for fantasy stories as was the ancient and medieval Europe that served as the common default setting for everything from Conan to Lord of the Rings A character came into my head then Imaro, a black man who could stand alongside mythical warrior heroes like Beowulf and Hercules, as well as fictional creations such as Conan and Kull Saunders executed his dream very well, uniquely adding to adventure literature steering how African mythology is conveyed with entertaining fiction He coined the term Sword Soul and effectively started a new subgenre Wow I would argue that he was so effective at writing that he depicted an almost darker Nyumbani continent i.e Africa , albeit one based on history substance rather than racism Saunders sensitivity toward enslavement and genocide motivated him to replace his longest chapter Book 3 Slaves of the Giant Kings when Nightshade printed the second edition He replaced it with The Afua and included an additional chapter Betrayal in Blood I tracked down this copy too and really liked how Saunder s revisted his past work and made it stronger The Afua chapter in particular seemed consistent with Imaro s development as an outcast and his conflict with evil forcesand the writing seemed less forced especially with Tanisha s introduction The candid remarks from Saunders and Syzumskyj a loyal fan who urged him to revist Imaro added value In short, despite the first edition being a good read, I would recommend future readers to grab the Nightshade Version if given the option since it is even better .1981 Imaro Edition Contents Book 1 Turkhana Knives Book 2 The Place of Stones Book 3 Slaves Of The Giant Kings replaced with The Afua in the 2006 edition Book 4 Horror in the Black Hills Cover for 1986 based from this chapter Book 5 The City of Madness this is not in the 2006 edition of Imaro 1 from Nightshade but does appear in the first chapter in Nightshades Imaro 2 renamed Mji Ya Wzimu its original title in from a 1974 publication in Dark Fantasyactually, the Nightshade edition offers a different chapter in its place called Betrayal in Blood Imaro Through these five chapters, Imaro evolves from being a fatherless, abandoned child desiring to belong to a community into a vengeful, tribe less Hercules like figure set on destroying evil forces An excerpt captures his presence best The Illyassai was a fearsome sight His dark skin glistened sweat slick through garments that hung in skimpy tatters from his massive frame Crimson crusted wounds scored his body like glyphs inscribed by devils Dried blood matted his wooly hair His face was hardened into an implacable mask of hatred Unrequited vengeance flickered like a torch In his eyes, yet beneath the lamina of that emotion lay a core of grief so bitter it threatened to consume him entirely Imaro vs Lovecraftian Mashataan Sorcery Each story compounds the conflict of Imaro versus the being Mashatann, whose minions or followers assume mythological status Elephantine legs rose like wrinkled trees from the ground, Long bony arms hung like sticks from a pair of, knobby shoulders The hands were incongruously delicate and graceful Other than his head, those hands were the only remotely human features spoiler s name had left Upon the dais hunched a bizarre image sculpted from pitted, gray green stone From the waist up, the creature the sculpture depicted resembled Ngai the gorilla, although its skin was hairless and its wide mouth bore fangs even longer than those of the red panther Imaro had slain It was the lower extremities of the unknown beast s body that marked it as something alien to the world of natural beings Its legs were the hindquarters of Mboa the buffalo thick, muscular haunches tapering to sharp, lethal hooves Cover The 1981 cover by Ken Kelly captured the tone, but seems to have some glaring disconnects the cover depicts Book Four Horror in the Hills, but has a hero that appears non African and the creature approximates the primary antagonistbut is of the incorrect gender The NightShade s edition of Imaro 1, has a beautiful illustration by Vince Evans, but given the color palette the lack of magic creatures, appears to showcase a Historical Fiction novel rather than Fantasy Fiction Perhaps some of those design features were intentional marketing concepts Finding A Copy The series Imaro continues with 3 books Imaro 2 The Quest for Cush, The Trail of Bohu, Imaro The Naama War, available from Lulu.com Mshindo Kuumba has emerged as Saunder s go to artist for these Click here to go to Saunders website to locate books Where to purchase new Saunders books Although the first two Imaro books from DAW were reprinted in 2006 by Nightshade, they are difficult to find now 2013 Used bookstores are your best bet Ebooks are being developed according to a very credible source, that being virtual brother to Saunders, Milton Davis, who edited Griots A Sword and Soul Anthology, the foundational Sword Soul anthology He recently commented on the Sword Sorcery Group on Goodreads LINK Milton Davis Charles s current publisher is working on e book versions of the Imaro books There s a new Imaro story in Griots and a new Dossouye story in the upcoming Griots Sisters of the Spear anthology And to top it all off, I plan to publish the first book or two in a new series by him entitled Abengoni Sword Soul is highly recommended to fantasy fiction readers


  3. says:

    Imaro s mother surrendered her five year old son so that he could become a great warrior of the Ilyassai tribe His mother s people treated him with disdain and ridicule Through it all, Imaro grew to be the biggest and strongest of the Ilyassai children When he reached manhood and the time had come for him to truly become an Ilyassai warrior and be accepted by his mother s people, an evil magician strip him of that reward, spiraling Imaro s life into a world of slavery, murderous thieves, and black magic.Charles R Saunders takes the reader through an Africa untainted by Europeans influences, whose history is quite different than the one we have always known Imaro is to become a great warrior in a world he doesn t feel he is apart of Through his adventures, Imaro becomes a threat to enemies who work within the shadows and manipulates the weak willed and innocent to do their bidding Imaro soon realizes if he is to survive, he must take the battle directly to the evil that plagues him.Imaro is a must read novel and is the first book in a series I m looking forward to getting my hands on the sequels and continuing with the further adventures of Imaro.


  4. says:

    Never before has a man of the Ilyassai slain Ngatun as you did, Masadu said And never before has an Ilyassai done what you have this night Warrior my weapons are yours Imaro remained impassive Take them, Imaro, Mubaku urged.Imaro still neither moved nor spoke Mubaku s next words came haltingly, as if at great cost The wrongs we Ilyassai have done to you are greater than any you have done to us, the ol arem said If killing Muburi and Kanoko, and stampeding the ngombe, were part of what you had to do to destroy the evil that was Chitendu an evil we did not even know was still among us we can live with that You are a man and a warrior, Imaro You have done deeds greater than any Ilyassai of any clan since the time of the First Ancestors of Ajunge himself Return to the manyattas with us We will do you honor and we will honor the memory of Katisa, who brought you among us No longer will you be called son of no father I will make you my own son, for your mother s blood is mine, as is yours Imaro looked at him then Mubaku, father of Katisa Mubaku, his grandfather He recalled a day, long past, when he had unwittingly called Mubaku mkale ya mzazi father of my mother On that day, Mubaku had beaten him senseless.He bent, and took up Masadu s arem and simi. As he held the warrior trainer s weapons in his hands, new strength flowed into his weary limbs It was the strength of vindication His lifelong goal acceptance as a warrior among his mother s people was his at last For one painfully short moment, his heart sang in triumph Then the memories returned, crowding his mind like ants teeming from an overturned hill Bitter memories, hateful memories, each one a brick in a soaring wall of acrimony that would forever stand between him and the people who had now, belatedly, acknowledged him The Ilyassai were a proud people, a harsh people, a fierce people, a just people but they were not his people And he could not forget.His hands opened Masadu s weapons fell with a clatter and a clang to the rock strewn ground His heart hardened And the hurt child spoke You did not accept me before, he said tonelessly I will not accept you now 4 1 4 stars


  5. says:

    I just read Imaro and it was rewarding reading experience I ve had in quite some time.I loved the Conan novels as a teen and imagined at some point writing a story with a black protagonist Imaro is something like what I had in mind, but I ve got to admit, much better It s obvious Saunders immersed himself in African culture to create this world The culture of the Masai like Illassai is depicted so realistically and the story seems so grounded in reality that by the time the paranormal raises its head, I totally bought it Conan, almost as much as Tarzan, is a two dimensional character He s described as brooding, but Robert E Howard never really explains why, other than that barbarians are no nonsense But Imaro is a fully realized character the sources of his personal pain are clear to the reader and we see how the tragedies of his youth make him the man he becomes.Imaro isn t simply black power wish fulfillment To me, the story is elevated by the way the hero s triumphs are always either bitter sweet, laced with tragedy, often followed by disaster or misinterpreted like the forest people whose demon god he destroyed and who for generations afterward curse his name He s almost always outnumbered and outgunned I was also struck by the pace of the story, which seems decades ahead of its time, post than pre Indiana Jones Just as one crisis is resolved a greater one is bubbling up, for example when Imaro defeats the lion in his initiation only to face the confrontation with his tribe for cowardice.Frankly I would have been satisfied with a black Conan, a hero we haven t seen before, but Imaro is deeper and better than that.


  6. says:

    Not a Conan or an anti Conan in concept, but it is interesting how Saunders takes the basic principle of an outcast, a warrior who has left his homeland, and made it work for him The violence that Conan wields and Robert E Howard seems to worship is here a sour and unsettling thing, borne of anger and alienation and other psychic poison Imaro might be a noteworthy warrior and possibly a talented leader of men, but those who follow him will eventually turn from loyalty and admiration to fear.I want very much to see the rest of Imaro s story, not just for the pure adventurous thrill of it, the Lovecraft by way of Howard and the menaces drawn from a different tradition, but to see how Imaro will eventually grapple with his demons and establish an identity.


  7. says:

    Very inventive sword sorcery set in an Alternate Africa Virtually unique at the time it came out in introducing a hero who was black into a heroic fantasy setting This is the first of three books in a series, although the three don t make a trilogy in the standard sense Each book stands on its own.


  8. says:

    An enjoyable collection of interlocking tales about Imaro I enjoyed how the menace throughout the stories evolved into a world encompassing evil leading up to the next book.


  9. says:

    Very enjoyable sword and sorcery novel, Howardian in its excitement, and a bit above and beyond in terms of characterization Though Imaro is the kind of superman that slashes his way through this genre, he s also capable of three dimensional thought and feeling, which is how I like to think Howard might have progressed had he lived.Saunders does not limit Imaro or himself to a historical or prehistoric world, but instead fashions a fantastic Africa that never was, crawling with demons and magic infested sorcerers, animate tribal totems, ravenous river demons, proud hunters, and lusty bandits.I didn t read the original 70 s incarnation As other reviewers state, the origin story of Imaro s love Tanisha has actually been revised as I guess the initial story referenced the real life conflict of the Tutsi and Hutu genocide a little too closely for the author s taste.It s extremely refreshing to read a non racist stereotypical portrayal of an African hero in a sword and sorcery setting, particularly one where he s center stage, driving the plot There s not a white face in Imaro and I m fine if there never is in the character s continuing adventures, though I confess I would be curious to see how Saunders would handle white characters in his Afro centric universe.In the meantime, I ll be picking up Saunders 30 s pulp hero outing Damballah next.


  10. says:

    , , Imaro Revisited, , The Slaves of the Giant Kings The Afua , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


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Imarocharacters Imaro, audiobook Imaro, files book Imaro, today Imaro, Imaro 593c5 Imaro Is A Rousing Adventure A Tale Of A Young Man S Continuing Struggle To Gain Acceptance Amongst His People, And To Break The Cycle Of Alienation And Violence That Plagues His Life Imaro Is Heroic Fantasy Like It S Never Been Done Before Based On Africa, And African Traditions And Legends, Charles Saunders Has Created Nyumbani Which Means Home In Swahili , An Amalgam Of The Real, The Semi Real, And The Unreal Imaro Is The Name Of The Larger Than Life Warrior, An Outcast, Who Travels Across Nyumbani, Searching For A Home Like His Contemporaries, Karl Edward Wagner Kane And Michael Moorcock Elric , Charles Saunders Brings Something New To The Traditional Heroic Fantasy Tale A Broad Knowledge Of, And Passion For, The History And Myths Of Africa Led To The Creation Of A Heroic Fantasy Character The Likes Of Which The World Has Never Seen Imaro Is No Tarzan No Conan Imaro Is A Warrior Out Of African LegendSaunders Novel Fuses The Narrative Style Of Fantasy Fiction With A Pre Colonial, Alternate Africa Inspired By And Directly Addresses The Alienation Of Growing Up An African American Fan Of Science Fiction And Fantasy, Which To This Day Remains A Very Ethnically Homogonous Genre It Addresses This Both Structurally Via Its Unique Setting And Thematically Via Its Alienated, Tribeless Hero Protagonist The Tribal Tensions And Histories Presented In This Fantasy Novel Reflect Actual African Tribal Histories And Tensions, And Provide A Unique Perspective To Current And Recent Conflicts In Africa, Particularly The Rwandan Genocide And The Ongoing Conflict In The Sudan


About the Author: Charles R. Saunders

Saunders was born in 1946 in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania and emigrated to Canada in 1970 He has published science fiction and screenplays, two of which have become feature films Saunders has also written a radio play, as well as other non fiction works He currently works as a journalist in Halifax, Nova Scotia and is the author of two recent works of historical non fiction Share and Care The Stor