Imaro: The Trail of Bohu
Charles R. Saunders
Sword & Soul Media (217 pages, $20.00, January 2009)
Fans of Sword & Sorcery and Heroic Fantasy had reason to rejoice as 2009 kicked-off with a big release from one of the genre’s master storytellers. No, it wasn’t a new Elric novel, nor a previously undiscovered Fafhrd and Gray Mouser short. And not a book by one of those other famous names, Howard, Vance, Gemmell, or Wagner, either. It was Imaro: The Trail of Bohu, the third in the Imaro series, by the best fantasy author you’ve never heard of.
Of course, many of Black Gate’s readers have heard of and are fans of Charles R. Saunders, but the world at large has been slow to catch up. The perilous journey of the Imaro series into and out of print has been related elsewhere, but finally it seems things have gotten on the right track and this previously unfinished series will at last be in the hands of fans everywhere, thanks to new imprint Sword & Soul media.
Imaro: The Trail of Bohu continues the saga of the outcast warrior Imaro in the land of Nyumbani; a rich fantasy setting based on African history and myth. But, while the first two books in the series, Imaro and Imaro: The Quest for Cush, were essentially episodic in structure (constructed as they were of Saunders’ short stories), The Trail of Bohu, the first Imaro book written as a novel from start to finish, presents us with a bigger overall story — it is, in fact, the beginning of the arc that will carry the reader through books four and five and, let’s just say, things really start to get going in this installment of the Imaro saga.