Saunders' 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.
"Not a token, not a sidekick, he's the HERO."
It begins with the reunion of Imaro and his kidnapped lover Tanisha, who has been taken to the ruined City of Madness. With the help of their newfound friend Pomphis, a Pygmay from the eastern forests of Nyumbani, they learn of the sorcerous forces that may have been behind the dark wizard that destroyed Imaro's youth.
"my new fav author. great read/listen. "
From the heart of Africa to the streets of Harlem, a new hero is born sworn to support and protect Americans of all races and creeds; he is Damballa and he strikes from the shadows. When the reigning black heavyweight boxing champion of the world agrees to defend his crown against a German fighter representing Hitler's Nazi regime, the ring becomes the stage for a greater political contest. The Nazis' agenda is to humble the American champion and prove the superiority of their pure-blood Aryan heritage.
"Wonderful Reading Captures Book's Action Perfectly"