Take the best elements of heroic fantasy as exemplified by Conan the Barbarian, combine it with the high fantasy ingredients that made Tolkien's Ring trilogy popular to this day and what you have is an epic work that is truly a classic for the ages. What work am I referring to? The Imaro series. Imaro 1through 3 introduced us to the hulking, brooding title character, revealed to us his destiny and took us on a journey fraught with peril and passion toward the fulfillment of that destiny. Imaro IV brings everything to a head in a confrontation that will decide the fate of the continent of Nyumbani while catapulting Imaro from the degradation he suffered as a youth to a celebrated hero.
After reading Imaro IV I had to struggle a bit to gain my equilibrium, as if I had just completed a roller coaster ride...or finished spinning in place. There is struggle in this book. Struggle on a mass scale with armies of men fighting creatures straight out of the realm of nightmares. Individual struggles between heroes and villains. Gods struggling to exert their will on men. And then there's Imaro, a tortured, troubled, reluctant hero locked in a perpetual struggle to find a place for himself in a world he hasn't quite come to terms with. Some of his problems are self inflicted, others imposed by circumstance.
Charles Saunders has given us a hero who is the world's best kept secret. Imaro is strong, complex, valiant and honorable. Imaro IV is a thrilling conclusion to a breath taking four part saga. Fortunately, there is no evidence, judging by the ending, that this will be the final chapter. If anything, Charles has left the door wide open for more Imaro adventures.
Keep it coming, Charles!!