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Abengoni: First Calling

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  32 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Sword and Soul originator and Sword and Sorcery master Charles R. Saunders storms back onto the literary scene with an new epic fantasy sure to become a classic.

Matile Mala, once the most powerful empire in the black continent of Abengoni, is slipping slowly into decadence, and becoming more and more vulnerable to aggression from the nations and tribes it once dominated.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 10th 2014 by Mvmedia, LLC (first published November 3rd 2014)
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Vincent Stoessel
I loved this book.
Every so often I read a real book, a dead tree book I mean. These books are the ones I want to carry to a comfortable corner of the house and read slow, savoring the prose. Bernard Cornwell does this for me, Guy Gavriel Kay does it as well, as does Charles Saunders. Now that today's Fantasy has gone from saccharine sweet to "grimdark", it's good to know that someone is still writing books about people you can sympathize with.
The world that Saunders has crafted is wonderful feat
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review is taken from my personal blog artandyouthlove:

One of the best aspect of the book is the incredible cast of characters the author has created. They come from different social classes, races, and countries. An important factor is that these characters are inspired by both African and Celtic cultures and myths. Some notable characters include the courageous and dutiful Tiyana, the pious and powerful Kyroun, the hardened and deadly gangs of impoverished tsotsi theives, and the secretive
Brandon Pilcher
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Charles R. Saunders is one of my favorite writers in the speculative fiction genre, and Abengoni is another example of his brilliance. As with his Imaro and Dossouye series, he displays his rich knowledge of Africa's long history and diverse cultures in constructing his setting, but this time he hybridizes these various traditions into one fictional empire called the Matile Mala. And while the European stand-ins early in the second Imaro book were all minor antagonists, here they are portrayed ...more
Gregg Chamberlain
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Charles R. Saunders has done it again! First he revived the sword&sorcery/heroic fantasy genre with his stories of Imaro, followed soon with Dossouye, his sword-slinging amazon character. Then he stepped into high fantasy with his neo-African folk tales (now in a collection called Nyumbani Tales). Now this master craftsman of speculative fiction has presented the first volume of a planned epic fantasy series set in another revisioned Africa. Abengoni: First Calling sets the stage for what ...more
Brent Lambert
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Derek Fraser
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Filled with plenty of great ideas, but I found the actual writing to be extremely lacking, which disappointed me because that's just not the case in Saunder's Imaro's stories. Felt very rough drafty, and i mean I this whole thing is just filled to the brim with spelling errors and typos even to the point of sentences ending with @ symbols and repeated words. Theres a massive cast of characters, some of which are introduced early on with no payoff at the end of this entry or until much later in ...more
Morgan Dhu
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ve loved Charles Saunders’ African-inspired fantasy writing for years, ever since I read the very first stories about Imaro, the heroic warrior destined by the gods to battle the forces of evil. Imaro, and the wonderful woman warrior Dossouye, were some of the earliest examples of heroic fantasy that featured black protagonists, moving fearlessly through magical worlds based on African places and societies.

In his new novel, Abengoni: First Calling - the first volume of a planned epic fantasy
Jess Mahler
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Well developed original fantasy world that's a nice change from the endless medieval Europe knock-offs. Well developed characters, solid magic system, lots of conflict, both large and small scale.

(view spoiler) but he doesn't indulge in gratuitous violence either.

This book is the first in a serial epic, if you like stand alone novels, pass by.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A satisfying read for the most part. Good example of Afro-fantasy/Sword and Soul! Has series potential. Good strong characters and expert world-building by Saunders. Lots of action, with solid plot. Loses points for no clear protagonist, because it jumps from POV to POV; even that of the antagonists. It also loses points for poor copy-editing. Many typos throughout; to the point it sometimes takes you out of the story. That's a shame though since the narrative is very engaging.
Justin Howe
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Liked bits, skimmed other bits but I'm not much of an epic fantasy fan. Still, I'm curious where Saunders takes the characters and this world.
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Saunders was born in 1946 in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania and emigrated to Canada in 1970. He has published science fiction and screenplays, two of which have become feature films. Saunders has also written a radio play, as well as other non-fiction works. He currently works as a journalist in Halifax, Nova Scotia and is the author of two recent works of historical non-fiction: Share and Care: The ...more