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King Maker by Maurice Broaddus
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There's a lot that could be really awesome about this book. I'm not overwhelmed by the idea of an African-American King Arthur, because I'm tired of people claiming him away from the Welsh/the original British. I have actually had an argument with someone, I think about this book, where they were saying that a white person's plot using elements of voodoo or whatever was appropriative and evil, and it's not like it's a "global myth" like King Arthur. But King Arthur is only a global myth because someone (I've got my eye on you, Geoffrey of Monmouth) appropriated it in the first place, adapting it to a Norman audience.

Maurice Broaddus is just the latest in a long line of people taking Arthur away from the Welsh. And, you know, having grown up in an English school being ruthlessly bullied because I was Welsh, I feel that pretty intensely. Arthur was a symbol of a vanquished people: why else did Henry II need to 'discover' the body of King Arthur in England? Gee, could it be to 'prove' that Arthur wasn't going to return to save us, and further dispirit us before he attacked? Propaganda wasn't invented in the twentieth century.

On the other hand, I can't say no Welsh author has used elements of other mythologies, or even that I don't do it, so I guess I don't have a leg to stand on. I try to do it with respect, though, and -- I'm not sure what Broaddus is doing here. I couldn't finish this book. I had expectations as an Arthurian scholar and as a Welsh person that were continually frustrated: I didn't want to see King Arthur as a drug lord. I can see the parallels, I guess, but I just couldn't buy into it.

If you're interested in a very alternate take on King Arthur, though, this one would be a very interesting one if you can ditch your expectations. I love the cover -- a powerful POC front and centre -- and I love that it was published and, from the sounds of it, pretty successful. Just definitely not one for me. So bear in mind that my one star rating is very very personal. ( )
  shanaqui | Jul 9, 2013 |
This is urban fantasy with a heavy emphasis on "urban"-the official description is "The Wire meets Excalibur" which is true in all of the best ways. King Arthur played out between rival drug dealers on the streets of Indianapolis, magic and mythic elements included. It's kind of glorious, with some wonderfully vivid language. ( )
  rrainer | Apr 30, 2013 |
A new version of the Arthur-story, replayed in the ghetto of Indianapolis.
At first I was confused. Not only reading the street slang took some getting used to, it also took me some time to recognize some characters. This first book is very much the setup for the whole story, which unrolls very slowly.

Some characters, like Merle and King, are easy to recognize, others took more time. And this is also urban, with very recognizable urban and fantasy characters like trolls and zombies, that are not so easy linked to the Arthur story. The way they are introduced is very well done. The story sticks in you mind and I will certainly read part 2 and 3 of this story! ( )
  Maaike15274 | Dec 6, 2012 |
Well written but a challenging read. Broaddus not presenting a feel good story here. He is writing a gritty, urban drama about some tough characters in tough circumstances. Gritty violence and language permeate the tale. So despite the fact he's a Christian writer, don't go into this expecting a CBA friendly book. Powerful and important but not easy to wrap one's self around. Still recommended. ( )
  BryanThomasS | Nov 7, 2011 |
Another book that moves an Arthurian story to modern times - and this time an American low-rent gangster setting for a good chunk of it.

A little more obliquely than some, a la MAGE etc.

Throw in your nasty faeries that pack heat, trolls that eat people and might do likewise.

Pretty amazing actually how many times the whole Arthurian thing turns up in the USA as opposed to say, Ireland, or Uganda, or Paraguay.

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2010/09/king-maker-maurice-broaddus/ ( )
  BlueTysonSS | Sep 23, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0857660527, Mass Market Paperback)

FROM THE DRUG GANGS OF DOWNTOWN INDIANAPOLIS, THE ONE TRUE KING WILL ARISE.

The King Arthur myth gets dramatically retold through the eyes of street hustler King, as he tries to unite the crack dealers, gangbangers and the monsters lurking within them to do the right thing. From the drug gangs of downtown Indianapolis, the one true king will arise. The King Arthur myth gets dramatically retold through the eyes of street hustler King, as he tries to unite the crack dealers, gangbangers and the monsters lurking within them to do the right thing. Broaddus' debut is a stunning, edgy work, genuinely unlike anything you've ever read.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Street Gangs | Drug Wars | Ancient Bloodline | Dragon Rising ]

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:28 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

An urban fantasy features street hustler King and his attempts to unite the gangbangers, crack dealers, and monsters on the streets of Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Angry Robot

2 editions of this book were published by Angry Robot.

Editions: 0857660527, 0857660535

 

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