Monday 15 November 2010

King Maker by Maurice Broaddus

This is a cunningly wrought retelling of the Arthurian myth set amongst the street gangs of Indianapolis (a city I'm afraid to say I had to look up on Wikipedia). As usual this isn't exactly a review (but it is an endorsement) more a singling out of the aspect of a book that particularly caught my eye.

Spoilers ahead.

The clever thing in King Maker is the shroud of ambiguity that Broaddus wraps around the supernatural for the first half of the book. Many of the characters live in something close to a state of waking hallucination brought on by drugs, mental illness and years of poverty and abuse that even when something indisputably supernatural happens in the text you still find yourself questioning whether it actually happened or not.

This ambiguity prevents the supernatural elements from swamping the horrific reality of the setting allowing the magic to serve as a spot light to throw the characters lives into harsh relief.

Fortunately, for anyone like me who has finished the book, the second novel is due to be published in February 2011 - I have mine on pre-order already.

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