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Bran Mak Morn: The Last King Paperback – May 31, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; First Edition edition (May 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345461541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345461544
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Howard’s writing seems so highly charged with energy that it nearly gives off sparks.”
–STEPHEN KING

“Howard was a true storyteller–one of the first, and certainly among the best, you’ll find in heroic fantasy. If you’ve never read him before, you’re in for a real treat.”
–CHARLES DE LINT, award-winning author of Forests of the Heart

About the Author

Robert E. Howard (1906–1936) was an American pulp fiction writer who is best known as the creator of Conan, a character that has been featured in film, television, comics, and other media. Despite his suicide at the age of thirty, Howard wrote a huge number of stories in a variety of genres, including fantasy, westerns, horror, and even boxing stories. Robertson Dean has recorded hundreds of audiobooks in most every genre. He's been nominated for several Audie Awards, won nine Earphones Awards, and was named one of AudioFile magazine's Best Voices of 2010. He lives in Los Angeles, where he records books and acts in film, TV, and (especially) on stage.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Picardfan007 on July 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
One thing I notitced is that a lot of the works were finished by other writers. Not true of this collection! Not only could they not capture the true spirit of Howard's writing but they should have been left as so...unfinished. This volume leaves the stories as they should be. I was glad to see the type written unfinished story at the end of the book.

I have to wonder why Bran Mac Morn never shared the popularity of Conan. Perhaps it was the poetry that turned off some readers. It was an unexpected departure from the Conan character we all know. We can only speculate as to what Howard might have created had he lived past age 30. Not only does Howard transend the art of pulp fiction, he should be up there with Tolkien as one of the great fantasy creators of all time.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Ian Fowler on September 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Roman Empire has stretched in Britain. One race of people fights Caesar at every turn, the Picts, led by their king, Bran Mak Morn. But the Picts, rulers of a vast empire themselves in the days of Atlantis, have long since degenerated into brutish barbarism. Bran knows that his battle against Rome and his own people's extinction is a lost cause, and fights on, nonetheless.

I was unfamiliar with Bran Mak Morn before Wandering Star and Del Rey began reprinting Robert E. Howard's work. Since I had enjoyed the Conan and Solomon Kane volumes, I added "Bran Mak Morn: The Last King" to my library eagerly. However, after reading the volume, I must admit that this isn't my favorite example of Howard's work. I was surprised, as most scholars consider Bran Howard's most personal character. Bran arose from Howard's interest in his own Scots-Irish ancestry. Bran also represents Howard's own ideas about the nature of humanity, the ever-present barbarian struggling against the hypocrisy of civilization. Unlike many of his other stories, however, Howard's Bran stories place substantial emphasis on mood more so than on action.

Bran's people, the Picts, are a common fixture in Howard's writings. They appeared frequently to plague Conan years after Howard had left Bran behind. Howard's version of these people is a romanticized one, with an elaborate, mythical history of their spectacular empire built in the long-forgotten past. But he also presents them as a disintegrating people, who long ago forgot most of the basic skills necessary to maintain and build a civilization. Howard is also able to examine some of his own racialist points of view, as Bran is an exception, maintaining the majestic Aryan qualities that had marked the Picts in the ancient days.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Faust's offspring on June 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you've never read anything by Robert E Howard, you should know that he wrote for "pulp" magazines of the 20's and 30's like Weird Tales and with characters like Conan the Cimmerian and Bran Mak Morn, invented what we term "swords and sorcery" today.

This collection focuses on the people he termed Picts and their king, Bran Mak Morn who is the last of his race with an unbroken bloodline. The Picts were the first of the Stone Age tribes to build a society, strive for art and explore the world, but time has displaced them, wars with the Celts drove them from conquered lands and as a result of intermingling bloodlines has thrust them into primative shadows of former glory. The setting for most of these stories takes place in the historical period of the Roman conquest of Briton and focuses on Bran Mak Morn's hatred of the Roman invaders and his drive to restore his race to civilization. Most of the stories are short, but the longest,"Worms of the Earth" is considered one of Howards best, and the all fit firmly in the mythos of Conan, Solomon Kane, King Kull and others. Also included is the Lovecraftian "Children Of Darkness", poems that tell the history and prophcies of the Picts, fragments and first drafts.

This is an excellent collection that is at times moving, chilling and all ways entertaining. If you've never read REH and want to start, here is a good place to begin. If you like historical warfare with a supernatural flair or threories of pre-cataclysmic Ice Age societies you can do no better than this.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chris Ward VINE VOICE on April 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
Good old Robert E. Howard! In the last dozen years of his sadly truncated life, he created a whole universe of pulpy goodness. If you've read all the Conans, and all the Kulls, and the Solomon Kanes, you still have these jewels of fast-paced blood-drenched bosom-heaving skull-cleaving story-telling to look forward to. These are among my favorites in Howard-world: he's hip-deep in the kind of lost-race mythology that he loves, and the stories here of Bran Mak Morn and Black Turlough O'Brien really sing. Nobody did it better. When REH uses a cliche, he makes it HIS cliche, and you instantly forgive him for it. He took such JOY in creating these fantasies of wish-fulfillment that you're swept heedlessly along.

Thank Crom I discovered these stories when I was 11-- when I read them now, I'm that age again, and the wonder and innocence of that time is revisited.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you are a Robert E. Howard fan, which I am, then your going to certainly like this one. Fast moving, as all of Howard's stories are, this is NOT just a Conan wrapped in a different skin. I do have to agree with a couple of other reviewers in that this is perhaps not Howard's best work, but it is certainly typical Howard and certainly worth the read. As has been pointed out, this is not a bunch of unpublished tales, cleaned up by other authors, this is the real stuff, warts and all. If you enjoy this particular genre, then you will no doubt enjoy this one. I collect these particular books and am glad to have a copy of this one, old and ragged as it might be.
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