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[ read online books ] King Maker (Knights of Breton Court #1) Author Maurice Broaddus –

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 I ll admit I was skeptical I don t mind folks taking risks with the classic once and future king aspect of the King Arthur mythos one of my favorite books of all time is the graphic novel Camelot 3000 , but I wasn t sure about melding it with inner city gang warfare I m glad I decided to read the book anyway.What really works for me with this book is the narrative style Even though it is set concretely in modern inner city Indianapolis, Broaddus gives the proceedings an incredibly dreamlike, ethereal quality Intentionally or not, there were times when I felt like time was either speeding up or slowing down for the characters at times there s a very real sense that no time has passed and yet large quantities of time have passed This is truly urban fantasy in which the urban setting is a key character and yet the fantastic elements still feel fantastic It helps that the book also feels just a bit claustrophobic almost like Breton Court and its surroundings have been plucked out of the normal world and exist in a kind of self referential limbo fantasy realm.It also helps that after the Prelude The Fall of Luther , the fantastic takes a back seat for a little while so that Broaddus can immerse you in the characters, especially since there s a large cast to keep track of While supernatural elements are mentioned Green s seeming immortality, for example , they really are less important than getting to know the characters until about 2 3rds into the book, when the supernatural suddenly jumps up and grabs the characters and the reader by the ankles and there s no turning back.Broaddus also does an excellent job of taking the familiar Arthurian names and tropes and twisting them to fit the setting Some of the older names, like Rhiannon, fit Guinevere wouldn t, so we get Lady G instead Lott instead of Lancelot And even though Merle appears to actually be Merlin himself, he changes his name to fit in better with the times The relationships are also slightly skewed, and of course swords don t really cut it in the gangbanger world, so we get mystical guns instead And it s all handled in a way that works and doesn t feel hokey.I ve got the second and third books in the Knights of Breton Court series on my TBR pile, and I hope to get to them ASAP I m definitely intrigued by the world Broaddus has created. 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.The premise of King Maker is simply awesome, and I wanted to love the book based on that alone I m a big fan of the King Arthur mythology, and the idea of such a unique slant on the story had me extremely excited I found myself bewildered, however, as I worked my way through the book.I want to deal with the strengths of the novel first Maurice Broaddus writing creates a dangerous and authentic mood The language is fierce and evokes the gritty realism of life on the streets When the supernatural elements are introduced, they drift through the novel like smoke, leaving the reader gradually horrified as the end game is reached Broaddus horror background is evident some of the events in King Maker sent chills down my spine.With all that said, I didn t enjoy King Maker, for a number of reasons.It is a relatively slight novel the first in a trilogy being published by Angry Robot books , and yet I found it took me almost a week to plough through Part of this was thanks to the stop start nature of the plot, and the bouncing around of timelines I found it extremely easy to put the book down, rarely wanting to read on at the end of a chapter I became confused at times by the fact that one of the characters was alive when I had read a couple of chapters ago that they had died.Although the dialogue is very effectively written, it is also hard to understand at times As a white gal who lives in comfort a million miles away from the types of events being described, I felt like I needed a dictionary Although I list this as a fault, I do greatly admire Broaddus for delving so well into the psyche of inner city America and not making compromises for the ease of his readers.The characters are difficult to like, and, due to the nature of the gang warfare, all of them are written in shades of grey I do like ambiguous characters, but sometimes you just want to root for a hero Here even King Broaddus version of King Arthur acts reprehensibly at times.Lastly, there are some extremely gruesome scenes that I found distasteful to read They fit the nature of the book, but it should be mentioned that if books received ratings, King Maker would have been stamped an 18 Yet I have the sneaking suspicion that other readers will love this book Sometimes you just don t fit with a book, and find yourself confused by the overwhelming praise other reviewers shower upon it I have a feeling that, when King Maker is released, many will adore it for the bravery and uniqueness of the writing I am left comparing the book to a worthy film generating Oscar buzz something you feel you should watch, but know you won t enjoy as much as an explosion ridden summer blockbuster.In conclusion, although I did not like this book, I firmly believe that readers will have to make up their own minds For some, King Maker is going to be the best read of 2010. 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. I listened to this book from Audible and I have to admit, I don t think I get it That s why I ve chosen not to give it a star rating I understand it s a modern day, inner city retelling of the King Arthur myths, with the general idea of some magical forces being eternal and reincarnation explaining why Arthur is popping up in Indianapolis, but that s not what this felt like.I know that doesn t make sense Let me try to explain.As a middle class white man, I m about as far as any American can get from these characters Additionally, I only have a passing interest in the King Arthur legends, so there s a ton of allusion and subtlety that no doubt flew right over my head I suspect that if I was like the characters, or well versed in the Arthurian tradition, I would have enjoyed this.The whole first half of the book is just introducing characters I m a fantasy reader, so I m no stranger to non linear storytelling from multiple points of view, but this bounces around so much I found myself genuinely wondering who the protagonist was supposed to be I was pretty sure it was King, who is clearly the King Arthur proxy, but I barely ever saw him and he didn t really do much when I did I had a hard time keeping track of all the names that were thrown out and by the time things actually started happening to the main characters, I was lost and confused as to who to root for.The first two thirds of the book are almost exclusively gangsters doing gangster stuff with vague hints of mystical underpinnings here and there Once you get to the last third, it goes full on fantasy and feels very different I actually turned to my wife at one point and asked, Are there in the King Arthur myths and she looked at me like I d sprouted a second head.I found the shift in theme and tone pretty jarring Also, it isn t until the very end that King actually has to overcome any meaningful challenge Up until then, he s just sort of a guy who doesn t want to do the gangster stuff everyone around him is involved in.Overall, I was hoping to be inspired to check out work depicting inner city life or at least dive deeper into the Arthurian tradition Sadly, I didn t get that from King Maker My takeaway was really just that I should be thankful for all my blessings and never, under any circumstances, sell drugs I suppose that s not a bad moral to walk away with.I don t doubt this book has an audience that would love it, but I know it s not me I wish the author and those fans all the best. , bloodwyrm 2 3 . Rating 5 10You can read my full length review at my Official Website.OVERVIEWMaurice Broaddus ambitious and original re telling of the Arthurian Legend playing out on the crime ridden streets of an African American neighbourhood in contemporary Indianapolis, is notable for the author s uncompromising commitment to authenticity in setting and characterisation.While this ensures that King Maker is one of the most unique urban fantasy novels out there, it s also guaranteed to alienate many readers as the characters and dialogue will be difficult to relate to not to mention how Broaddus narrative is very much a slow burn that will require patience to get through.Nonetheless, the book is certainly worth reading at least once Blog Website Newsletter Well that was a disappointment I had such high hopes for this book, I was looking forward to it months before it released I mean a King Arthur retelling set in downtown Indianapolis Starring a mostly POC cast with the side benefit of a cover model who is not whitewashed and is also pretty smoking hot SOLD, anticipation levels through the ROOF But this whole thing was full of what was imo unnecessarily graphic violence and misogyny with no real pay off for making it through I mean when I read a King Arthur story I expect Arthur to make things better you know I don t expect to be subjected to scenes of torture and side eye inducing representations of women while the Arthur figure faffs around the edges occasionally making remarks about his repressed anger and feeling like he s a got a destiny or whatever Hurry and step it up then King, you need to do a little to keep my interest than just be the reincarnation of King Arthur I m regretting wasting so much time forcing myself through this book hoping it d get better Won t be picking up the sequel. There s something about the King Arthur legends that fascinate me and tug at my imagination It s probably the tragedy of the tale mixed with that message of hope Arthur s body spirited away to Avalon to await his return Merlin is literally the wizard who helps Arthur answer the Call, and I ve always identified with that archetype on account of my intellectual and autodidactic leanings So I m always happy to try a book that attempts to put a new spin on the legend of King Arthur why not Maurice Broaddus deserves commendation for his Knights of Breton Court series The idea is intriguing retell or rather, reimagine the story of King Arthur as a story of Indianapolis gang warfare And Broaddus is good at crafting a setting, atmosphere, and characters that all seem authentic The characters in King Maker run the spectrum some are not nice at all and have no qualms about using a gun to close a deal others are decent and conflicted about the life they are leading And because of the way he focuses on Breton Court, Broaddus creates this sense of community within the story that sets the groundwork for connections that would no doubt be important, if I had ever finished the book.I didn t even get halfway done I just couldn t get into King Maker, try as I might There s something to be said for reimagining the Arthur legend or keeping the allusions to it light and subtle the last thing one needs is a story that hits the reader over the head with allusions to the classic Arthur mythos Yet Broaddus is almost two subtle Some things are obvious Luther is Uther, and his son King is the Arthur analog Merle is a Merlin figure But the magic is tentative, almost non present for what I managed to read of this novel We get no sense of King s larger plan, or indeed of anyone else s plan.I stopped reading when I realized I had been reading an entire chapter and didn t know who it was about There are plenty of characters but which ones really matter Which ones are the protagonists Who should I be cheering for These are not questions a reader should have to be asking Obviously King is a protagonist, but he is absent for vicious swathes of the first half of the book, leaving a second string line of characters to take up the slack and they don t do it well King Maker is a soup of scenes and characters that didn t manage to hold my interest.It s conceivable I could return to this after I m finished my practicum, which has placed constraints on my time that make me less charitable to what I m reading But I ll have to think about it King Maker isn t necessarily a bad book it has some glowing reviews here on Goodreads, so it obviously works for other people Unfortunately, in my case, it was a clever idea with a payoff that just seemed too far away. Come for the fun premise of King Arthur meets The Wire, stay for the stark violence and an unflinching examination of poverty that will break your heart, but give you hope this is the story of the rise of a King But seriously, there s a whole lot of horror, from fair maidens being forced to chew razor blades to corner boys being ripped in half by their legs, and many other violent delights If that sounds like fun to you, you re going to love this book If not, maybe go rent Disney s Sword and the Stone and drink some warm milk If you re prefer something adult, read this These characters are neither completely good nor completely bad, though we know who our villains are, and this version of Arthur is named King James White, so we know who to root for We re dealing with fantasy and predestination and all that good stuff, but plenty of the predestination is manmade.This being the first in a series, we meet lots of fascinating characters being moved into position to play their role in this tale Will King lead his people and unite the Knights of Brenton Court, or will it fall to rival gangs No spoilers, but this book will haunt you either way that s a good thing This story isn t playing it safe and you won t feel safe, nor should you This is a tale with teeth set in a world of random gunfights and murderous people as well as plenty of sad, oppressed peasants It s not all darkness There are magical guns and zombies sorta and all the drama we re to expect in a King Arthur reimagining Lady G and Lott and Merle and Green, so this story s got a familiar beat the reader remembers how to dance to.But beware, there are plenty of well written grim passages to stay with the reader after the story Love, like cancer, crept into you slowly and by the time you realized you had it, it had metastasized This and the realization that the reason someone might wear a long sleeved sweatshirt in 80 degree heat is because later it will get cold later when they re sleeping under a bridge are just two of the cheery gems I have enjoyed while reading King Maker that will stay with me long after Buy this book and read it now