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Conspirators of Gor (Gorean Saga Book 31) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
All of Norman’s work is available both in print and as ebooks. The Internet has proven to be a fertile ground for the imagination of Norman’s ever-growing fan base, and at Gor Chronicles (www.gorchronicles.com), a website specially created for his tremendous fan following, one may read everything there is to know about this unique fictional culture.
Norman is married and has three children.
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B00J3EU5CW
- Publisher : Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (April 1, 2014)
- Publication date : April 1, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 4823 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 684 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #107,543 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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If you don't know John Norman or this series, well, you may be for a real treat. The author has built a world with more depth than almost anyone, anywhere, anytime. Most of the books can be read our of order, though I'd say you want to start at #1 to get the most out of the variations and the main character who, while not in every book, is in about 70-80% of them.
I'll not give anything away here except to warn folks that these later books are more entwined then any of the earlier books. This book "Conspirators" kind of needs some background of the earlier recent books to be understood and for the first time that I can pick out of the other 30, really has background knowledge needed going back to book one and somewhat others in the first ten. Hence my marking the mood as "Nostalgic" because it is exciting to hark back to those books from some 30 years or so.
I truly miss the fairly straight forward story telling John did in the first few novels, but, there is more to the story in this one than most of the slave girl stories. He could so easily save a lot of paper by leaving out the psychology, or at least his version of it. I don't think I ever read a review by anyone that liked it. I did like in the first few novels when he went into details about how things were made, the reasons behind why things were as they were on Gor. But, he has played the "all women want to be slaves" thing till it is worn out. Thank God the books are now available on Kindle so we can save the paper he'd normally waste. I've learned to recognize the tangents and skip ahead a few pages till I get back to the story, as I'm sure most fans have.
If you are a Gor fan, and want to keep following the story line, this book is worth your time. I'm still waiting to find out how Tarl Cabot makes it back where he can return to his holdings in Port Kar.
Top reviews from other countries
It pulls in some of the secondary characters from Kur of Gor but bases them in the newly liberated city of Ar, before moving to the Voltai mountains.
The account starts rather disjointed, as it jumps around explaining how the narrator ended up on Gor.
I guess through there is an improvment in how the story is laid out, in that most of the "slavery is wonderful" padding is in the first half of the book and can be ignored.
Like most of the Gor novels there is an interesting story hidden in here and it is enough to keep my interest in the series, but they have long stopped being "stand alone" books, and I cannot recommend it anyone unless they have read most of the previous books.
This is the first book in the series that I would say was dissappointing, in that I cannot see how it will tuie in with the adventures of Tarl Cabot, last heard of with the Pani.
18 more words required.
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finished at last!
And it's yet another "Kajira" book (that word means "Slave girl" on the planet Gor) in which the main anti-hero of the series, Tarl Cabot, does not appear at all. About 75% of this book is "women belong in a slave collar" material. As one of those who read John Norman for the adventures, this book only came alive for me about three quarters of the way through when, as the title suggests, some of the characters run into a conspiracy affecting the fate of worlds.
If you are one of those who read John Norman for the slave girl stuff and liked books such as "Prize of Gor" and "Witness of Gor" you will probably enjoy this one as it's basically much more of the same.
The original 25 books of the "Gor" saga were first published between 1969 and 1988. After a long gap, John Norman started publishing them again just after the turn of the Millennium. Eight more Gor books have been published in the 21st century, the last of which appears to finish the saga, and they are an amazingly mixed bag. Four are adventure novels featuring Tarl Cabot as a major character and at least three of those will appeal to those who read Norman for the adventures. Another three, including this one, are variants on the "Ms Strangeslave" theme e.g. "How I learned to stop worrying and enjoy being a slave girl." The book which follows this one, "Smugglers of Gor," has alternating chapters narrated by a girl from earth who has been kidnapped, brought to Gor and enslaved, and by the man who kidnapped her. But then the series appears to be wrapped up by book 33 "Rebels of Gor," another Tarl Cabot tale of honor and heroism, which in my opinion is one of the best if not the best book of the entire series.
To understand what is going on in "Conspirators of Gor" you really need to have have read Kur of Gor and preferably some of the rest of the previous 30 books in the series. If you haven't, do not touch this with the proverbial barge-pole.
To describe the book I will have to refer to a number of places, characters and races on the planet of Gor, e.g.
Ar - the greatest city on Gor, which has recently thrown off foreign occupation after losing a war against the island powers of Cos and Tyros
Brundisium - a city on the coast of Thassa with a huge harbour, not far from Ar
Cos - an island in Thassa, defeated and conquered Ar in a major war but recently lost control of that city
Port Kar - a coastal city: main "industries" are piracy and slave trading
Steel Worlds - a large number of artificial habitats in the asteroid belt
Treve - a city in the Voltai mountains and traditional enemy of Ar
Tharna - a city near the Sirdar mountains, once the only nation on Gor run by women, but which has now gone to the opposite extreme.
Thassa - large ocean to the west of Gor's main continent
Tyros - Island power loosely allied to Cos
Voltai - a wild and lawless mountain range: we learn in this book that the aqueducts supplying Ar with water bring it from the Voltai, which must give Marlenus and Ar's government some interesting security headaches!
Vosk - a major navigable river. It has a large delta where Ar's army was defeated during the war with Cos.
Tarl Cabot - narrator and anti-hero of the majority of books in the series, though not this one. Originally from Bristol in England, then Ko-Ro-bar on Gor. Also known as Bosk of Port Kar, where he made his home from books six to twenty, but was an outlaw for a long time after that because the Priest-Kings (see below) apparently thought that he had betrayed them. Last known status: commanding a mercenary Tarn squadron on a huge ship which has crossed the ocean to a previously unknown part of Gor.
Marlenus - Ubar (Emperor) of Ar. Erstwhile father-in-law, sometimes ally, somtimes bitter enemy of Tarl Cabot who helped to depose him in book one and restore him to office in book five. He disappeared for a long time, which was one of the main reasons that Ar lost the war against Cos, and had lost his memory. As soon as he regained his memory he led a revolution which expelled the mercenaries who had been occupying Ar on behalf of Cos. Currently therefore back in power in Ar.
Talena - Daughter of Marlenus. Former free companion (wife) of Tarl Cabot. Was briefly Ubara (Empress) and titular head of the puppet government imposed on Ar by the army of Cos after the war but disappeared when her father regained power. Wanted as a traitor in Ar and there is a huge price on her head: her most recent whereabouts prior to this book were given in " Mariners of Gor "
Agamemnon - a powerful leader of the Kurri race (see below) who was thought to have been killed when his regime on one of the "Steel worlds" in the asteroid belt was overthrown. But reports of his death may have been exaggerated ...
Lord Grendel - product of a scientific experiment, Grendel is a Kur/human crossbreed who is not accepted as one of their own by either race. Highly honorable individual by both human and Kur standards. Norman does irony quite well, and an example is that perhaps the only person in the entire series whose actions would be regarded as consistently honorable by humans from Earth, humans from Gor, and Kurri has a body which all three would be inclined to view as that of a monster. Grendel helped Tarl Cabot overthrow Agamemnon's regime in the earlier book "Kur of Gor" and then took a spaceship to Gor accompanied by a human female called Bina. The cover illustration for some e-editions of this book, showing a bound woman being carried gently in the massive arm of a huge, furry gorrilla-like creature with long ears but very human-looking eyes, is presumably meant to represent the heroine of the book, Allison Ashton-Baker, being carried by Lord Grendel.
Priest-Kings - reclusive rulers of the planet. Gor is an artificial world and this species appears to have created it. They live in the Sirdar mountain range and rarely allow themselves to be seen by humans. Have promulgated laws banning certain forms of technology, for example "forbidden weapons" such as guns. Worshipped as gods by most of the human population of the planet. Some others wrongly assume that they are mythical: if this leads them to break the laws of the Priest-Kings by using forbidden technology, this may be the last mistake they make.
Kurii or "Others" - another space travelling race, who are large, furry and extremely fierce carnivores. Cruel and bloodthirsty but capable of honour. Constantly plotting to conquer Gor, but often divided among themselves: for example, one Kur, at the cost of his own life, worked with Tarl Cabot to frustrate a plot by others of his kind to blow up the entire planet in book ten.
If you don't follow the references in this review, don't buy the book because you won't understand "Conspirators of Gor" either. I would advise anyone who is thinking of reading any of John Norman's "Gor" books to start at the beginning with " Tarnsman of Gor: Vol 1 In The Chronicles of Counter-Earth " and work through until you reach the end, lose interest, or lose your temper. And there is a good chance that it will be the latter.
For me the first book was good, numbers two through six were excellent, but then the series gradually goes downhill. To get to the flashes of imagination and excitement which made the first few books fun to read, you have to wade through ever more interminable male supremacist lectures calling for the enslavement of all women.
Yes, you really did read that correctly. And the endless repetition of the case for making women slaves eventually gets quite boring and almost makes you wonder if Norman actually means it.
The full series to date consists of:
1) "Tarnsman of Gor" - Tarl Cabot first comes to Gor
2) "Outlaw of Gor" - Tarl returns to Gor to find his home city destroyed
3) "Priest-Kings of Gor" - Tarl meets the alien rulers of the planet
4) "Nomads of Gor" - a search for the stolen last egg of the Priest-Kings
5) "Assassin of Gor" - a plot to restore Marlenus as Ubar of Ar
6) "Raiders of Gor" - Tarl Cabot becomes known as Bosk of Port Kar
7) "Captive of Gor" - Elinor Brinton from Earth meets an alien monster (K)
8) "Hunters of Gor" - Tarl hunts for his lost love Talena in the Northern forests
9) "Maurauders of Gor" - of Viking raiders and the monstrous "Others"
10) "Tribesmen of Gor" - of a Doomsday weapon in the deserts of Gor
11) "Slave girl of Gor" - with a warning of invasion hidden in her head (K)
12) "Beasts of Gor" - of an invasion base at the North Pole of Gor
13) "Explorers of Gor" - Tarl Cabot explores the equatorial jungle
14) "Fighting Slave of Gor" - part one of the Jason Marshall trilogy
15) "Rogue of Gor" - part two of the Jason Marshall trilogy
16) "Guardsman of Gor" - part three of the Jason Marshall trilogy
17) "Savages of Gor" - the Kurii stir up trouble on the plains, part one
18) "Blood brothers of Gor" - trouble on the plains, part two
19) "Kajira of Gor" - Tiffany is brought to Gor to impersonate a Queen (K)
20) "Players of Gor" - of Gorean chess, drama, and war between Cos and Ar
21) "Mercenaries of Gor" - the invasion force from Cos moves against Ar
22) "Dancer of Gor" - a librarian from earth is caught up in a war on Gor (K)
23) "Renegades of Gor" - Ar's war against Cos begins to go badly wrong
24) "Vagabonds of Gor" - Ar's soldiers meet disaster in the Vosk Delta
25) "Magicians of Gor" - Ar has been conquered - but resistance begins
26) "Witness of Gor" - a girl planted in Treve to look out for a prisoner (K)
27) "Prize of Gor" - Cos's puppet regime in Ar starts to look shaky (K)
28) "Kur of Gor" - Tarl Cabot visits the Steel worlds in the Asteroid Belt
29) "Swordsmen of Gor" - Tarl trains an army, Tersites finally gets to build his ship!
30) "Mariners of Gor" - continues the voyage of the great ship of Tersites
31) "Conspirators of Gor" - Allison Ashton-Baker from Earth is enslaved on Gor (K)
32) "Smugglers of Gor" - contemporary with book 29, another perspective on the launch of the great ship
33) "Rebels of Gor" - a heroic Tarl Cabot adventure which appears to bring the series to a triumphant conclusion.
The eight books with a "K" in brackets after the description are Kajira or slave girl novels like this one.
As mentioned above, if you read John Norman for the slave girl material and enjoyed the other recent Kajira novels, "Witness of Gor" and "Prize of Gor" you will probably like this one.
However, if you feel that the amount of "women belong naked in a slave collar" material in the series has gone seriously over the top, you will find the amount of it in this book even more infuriating.
Ironically, although most of this book is about sexual enslavement fantasies, the actual depictions of sex are almost innocently coy. The slave girls in the book do get ravished, sometimes after a long tension-building wait, but almost all of the details are very firmly left to the reader's imagination. You will get far more explicit descriptions of sexual intercourse in the average regency romance published in the 21st century than you will in any Gor novel.
From the viewpoint of those who read John Norman for the adventures, there are some interesting passages in the book, particularly when the heroine and narrator, former student Allison Ashton-Baker from earth, runs into some of the major characters from "Kur of Gor," and also a dangerous trek through the Voltai mountains. These sections save the book which I might otherwise have rated at just one star, but they could have fitted into a novella a quarter of the length.
The tone of the book is set early on as Allison is describing her life before coming to Gor and describes how she and two college friends were punished by her sorority house mother after being found with "inappropriate literature" e.g. some of the Gor novels. The punishment was having to take the role of slave girls at a Gor-themed fancy dress party!
So reading the actual Gor books is verboten but for the house mother to put on a fancy dress party with a Gor theme is OK? Hmmm.
Needless to say soon afterwards Allison finds herself a slave girl for real in the Gorean city of Ar, not long after Marlenus's second restoration to power in that city. Several other members of her former sorority including the two friends who had been forced to pretend to be slaves at the party also end up as actual slaves on Gor. Allison eventually realises that the house mother is acting as a scout for Gorean slavers. But by this time she has more urgent concerns because her new owners, who are two of the major characters from book 28 ("Kur of Gor"), are taking Allison and her friends on a dangerous voyage into the lawless Voltai mountains ...
I was really disappointed when book 31 turned out to be another Kajira novel, as this interrupts an interesting story arc which began when Tarl Cabot returned to centre stage in "Kur of Gor." IMHO that was the first Gor book for many years which has significant flashes of the brilliant imagination for which many of Norman's mainstream readers originally followed the saga. To some extent " Kur of Gor " is a reprise of " Priest-Kings of Gor " and does for the Kur race in their artificial worlds in the asteroid belt what the earlier book did for the Priest Kings and their nest in the Sirdar Mountains.
This new storyline was continued with "Swordsmen of Gor" and "Mariners of Gor" which were set after Tarl Cabot returned to Gor. These included a journey over uncharted waters in a great ship which the mad genius Tersites finally got to build after first proposing it nearly four decades ago in "Raiders of Gor."
Most of the story of "Mariners of Gor" is narrated in a bar in Brundisium by one of the shipmates who sailed with Tarl Cabot to the other side of a great ocean. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that when that narrator left the great ship of Tersites to return to the main continent on which most of the Gorean novels are set, Tarl Cabot was very much in the thick of a continuing adventure. Sadly there is no indication whatsoever in "Conspirators of Gor" about what happens to Tarl next. Hopefully before too long there will another book in the series which will explain.
Ideally such a book would have a bit more of the exciting fight scenes, imaginative description of a beautiful planet, and meticulous world-building which used to characterise the series, and lot less repetition of ludicrous arguments in favour of slavery. It would thus be a much better book.
POSTSCRIPT, November 2013 - the three paragraphs above were written before the publication of "Rebels of Gor" which appears to be the final book in the series, and does indeed finish the story arc which started with "Swordsmen of Gor" and "Mariners of Gor" It's exactly the sort of adventure which I was describing and hoping for when I wrote the words above, and yes, "Rebels of Gor" is a much better book.