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Priest-Kings of Gor: (#3) Mass Market Paperback – October 12, 1980


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Del Rey (October 12, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345295390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345295392
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,178,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Norman is creator of the Gorean Saga, a series of novels spanning dozens of titles that began in 1967 with TARNSMAN OF GOR and that are considered to be cult classics. He has also produced a three-installment fictional series, Telnarian Histories, plus two other fiction works and a nonfiction paperback entitled IMAGINATIVE SEX. He continues to write new novels in the Gorean saga, notably WITNESS OF GOR (2002) and PRIZE OF GOR (2008), both published by E-Reads. At Gor Chronicles, a web site specially created for his tremendous fan following, one may read everything there is to know about this unique fictional culture. Mr. Norman was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1931. He is married and has three children. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

A good read, this was my second John Norman book.
F. Baldwin
In the third book of the Gorean Saga, Tarl Cabot finally travels to the Sardar Mountains to meet the priest-kings.
Jeremy Richmond
There are a lot of plot twists that keep the reader on edge.
David A. Rundquist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 25, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Gor book that I have read. I have known about them for decades but had dismissed them as trash without ever having read one because of their reputation for misogyny and the promotion of bondage. During a recent trip to a used book I came across a copy of Priest-Kings of Gor with a cover by Boris Vallejo that intrigued me. It showed a barbarian standing over a slave girl with what I took to be a golden idol of a gigantic insectoid creature in the background. (As it turned out, the "idol" was a living Priest-King!) I was in the mood for "guilty pleasure" so I bought it. I expected to get slam-bang action, lurid writing, a no-brainer story, and lots of politically incorrect pornography. Boy, was I wrong! The story has its share of action but it also has a fair amount of exposition and character development. The writing is far from lurid. It actually has a somewhat stilted feeling to it that I associate more with Victorian prose than with modern writing. The story was reasonably complex and the cultural background was surprisingly detailed. What impresses me most about this book, however, is the convincing presentation of an alien with a truly ALIEN perspective, the Priest-King of Gor, an intelligent creature whose sensorium is based on olfaction rather than vision. I've been reading science fiction for more than 40 years and I can't think of a book that has done it better. Oh, yeah, the bondage stuff. It's there but not as prominent as in the other Gor books, I'm told. And there is no pornography...whatever sex there is in this book (I don't remember any!) occurs offstage. Nevertheless, anyone with feminist views is advised to stay as far away from this book as possible. For everyone else it's a hell of a good read!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kat Hooper VINE VOICE on December 17, 2010
Format: MP3 CD
I'm not sure why I'm still reading the Gor books. I guess it's partly because Brilliance Audio does such nice productions, but it's also largely because these books have been maligned for years as poorly written sexist-BDSM-erotica, so I can't help but want to see for myself before dismissing them as such. After finishing book 3, Priest-Kings of Gor, here's my take so far:

They are not poorly written. The quality of the writing is quite good except for the overuse of phrases such as "to my amazement," "to my surprise," "I found it strange that," "I marveled," "I was astonished," "I looked at him dumb-founded," "I was thunder-struck," etc. This may be more noticeable with the audio version, because the narrator, Ralph Lister, reads vivaciously, so these expressions of enthusiasm seem a little overdone. (But generally I appreciate Lister's spirit and recommend the audio version if you want to read the Gor books.)

The best aspect of the books, "to my surprise," is the world building. John Norman has created a fully detailed alternate world which is fun to explore. In Priest-Kings of Gor, we finally meet the Priest-Kings who rule the planet, and they are not at all what we were expecting. In fact, they're a different species altogether and Norman gives a lot of attention to their language, culture, sensory systems, and lifestyle. Personally, I found the Priest-Kings to be somewhat disturbing (I won't go into details so as not to spoil things), so I didn't enjoy spending so much time with them, but other readers are likely to feel differently.

The Gor books are not, so far, erotic. Yeah, there are beautiful scantily-clad pouty women in chains who are kneeling at Tarl Cabot's feet and claiming to be his pleasure slaves, but so far that's all they do.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
In this, the 3rd episode of the Counter-Earth saga, Tarl Cabot has determined to enter the forbidding Sardar mountains where the Priest-Kings, legendary rulers of Gor are believe to reside, and demand an accounting from them for the destruction of his beloved city Ko-Ro-Ba.
Cabot learns the true nature of Priest-Kings, and becomes enmeshed in their machinations as a not-unwilling paladin in a power struggle between factions of the Priest-Kings. He eventually learns of the reason for the destruction of Ko-Ro-Ba, and how his own choices may doom or save the Counter-Earth.
As of this writing, I just recently re-read this novel, and enjoyed just as much as the first time. Some may pooh-pooh Norman's writing as appealing only to adolescents, and deride his themes and pseudo-psychological theorizations as perverted or denigrating, but Norman's work is pure, unadulterated escapist fiction, where evil receives its just desserts, and you can lose yourself for a time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Nathaniel Wallace, Jr. on January 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Tarl Cabot, enraged at the Priest-Kings for destroying his city Ko-Ro-Ba (In Outlaw of Gor), finaly reaches the Sardar mountains. There he is introduced first hand to those powerful and terrible rulers of Gor. But while meeting them he finds himself in the middle of a brewing civil war between the Priest-Kings themselves. He befriends Misk, and along with other Priest-Kings and slaves is able to defeat the enemy Priest-Kings while restoring the honor of his city at the same time.

While not the best of Norman's early books, Priest-Kings of Gor is still head and shoulders above any book written after (Book #18) Blood Brothers of Gor. I liked the storyline and the haughty and tenacious Vika got my blood boiling! I both loved and hated her. Norman created great characters in this book.

I reccomend this book to new readers of the series. However, I suggest readers start from the beginning of the series so as to better understand what has occured to that point. Indeed, Outlaw of Gor (Book #2) is a direct prequel to Priest Kings.

If you like Sword & Planet styled Science-Fantasy you will not be disappointed in these early Gor books.

A. Nathaniel Wallace, Jr.
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