This is one of the few books for this Fantasy Reading List that I have actually read before, maybe in the late 80's. It's one of our long-time favorites, primarily because it features the Shetani, also known as "The Most Frightening Monsters You Will Ever Read About In Any Book Ever," or "This is Why We Hate Using Airplane Bathrooms Even More Than Normal People Do," or "Pieces of Tire Tread at the Side of the Road are Completely Terrifying."
What I loved about this book still stands: it is urban fantasy based on the folklore of Tanzania (or MMBA, which stands for "Miles and Miles of Bloody Africa,") it is truly awesomely unique and entertaining, and quite riveting in the big movie-style Foster writes in (though sentences are not as graceful as they could be). I can forgive the endless Deus Ex Machina rescues from the disgusting Shetani, mostly because I can't think of any other way to resolve the endless attacks without killing off some main characters.
Lessons for Writers: An entertaining story does not have to be curlicued literature. The dangers of writing in present-day is that it will be read thirty years later and be dated, maybe, a little bit, (if you are lucky and someone reads your book thirty years later)
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In 2011, I began reading a list of 100 Great Fantasy Novels. I am listing them on this page.