Sword and Soul

Came across an intriguing genre of fiction in recent months, although it's been around for quite some time. It's called "sword and soul" and can generally be described as African-inspired heroic fantasy. Charles Saunders is probably the most well known author of this type of literature, introducing heroes like Imaro and Dossouye who could probably, or so I'm told, go head to head with the likes of Conan and Elric any day.

While I've not read Saunders, I frequent SFReader.com, a SF/F discussion board, where another Sword & Soul writer has generated quite a bit of interest. Milton Davis is the author of Meji Books One & Two, a nice review of which is up at Black Gate (written by Saunders). From what I've read and heard, these stories seem fresh and exciting. And the publishing world is always on the lookout for something new and different. Like I said, the genre isn't exactly new, but it's a niche that I believe will find a wider audience. Davis and Saunders may be on the cusp of a new wave in fantasy fiction. It's definitely a genre worth exploring.

Here's the official blurb from Milton's website:
On the continent of Uhuru, in the grasslands of the Sesu, Inkosi Dingane is granted his wish. His Great Wife Shani bears him a son, an heir to his growing empire. But the ancestors have plans of their own. Shani bears him twin boys, meji, an abomination among the Sesu, but a blessing to Shani’s people, the Mawena.

Thus begins the story of two brothers destined to transform their world. One brother, Ndoro, fights for his place among the Sesu, hoping to shed the stigma of abomination. The other, Obaseki, grows to a man among the Mawena, struggling with a gift that alienates him from his family and eventually leads to his exile. Each brother sets out to find his destiny, revealing a prophecy that changes them and their world forever.
I don't know about you, but I get Christmas money every year...so it looks like I know what I might be getting myself come the New Year!

UPDATE: Jan 22, 2010. I did receive the two Meji books and they look great. For up to date info about his latest projects, check out Milton's new blog, Wagadu.

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