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Kull: Exile of Atlantis Paperback – October 31, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
"The Shadow Kingdom" is, in my opinion, the obvious standout, and it should have been the basis for the ill conceived Kevin Sorbo fiasco. Kull battles a race of serpent men who can assume human form and have infiltrated all levels of society.
"By This Ax I Rule" was never published during Howard's lifetime, and was rewritten as the first Conan story, "The Phoenix on the Sword", which is also a better story in my opinion. The climactic fight scene, which is virtually the same in both versions, is trademark Howard: extreme graphically described violence and headlong action at a breakneck pace. That's one of the things that makes Howard's stories so fun to read over and over; they thrill you on a purely visceral level. When it comes to writing an exiciting action scene, Howard has no peers, past or present.
One of the most enigmatic things about the character Kull, which Howard never clarifies, is his asexuality. Kull has no interest in the opposite sex at all. Is he a virgin? Howard seems to be saying that he is. Why? Howard never explains. Anyone who has read the Conan stories knows that his sexual prowess is almost as legendary as his prowess with a broadsword. Why is such a manly character as Kull, so full of testoterone, so disinterested.Read more ›
Still, I think it's clear that the Kull stories represent an earlier, less developed phase in Howard's meteoric writing career. In these stories, we can see Howard's story telling mastery in an earlier stage of development than in the Conan stories. It's noteworthy that Howard's first Conan story was based on one of his last -- and unsold -- Kull stories, "By this Axe, I Rule!"
For anyone who loves Howard's work, the stories in this volume represent an essential stage in Howard's development as a writer and story-teller. Also, Conan's Hyperborian world was quite literally built upon the ruins of Kull's Atlantean/Valusian world. To really understand and appreciate Conan, you have to know Kull.
Even if Conan had never been created though, it would still be worth the readers trouble to meet Kull. These are superb stories and very important to the development of the American school of fantasy writing -- what would later become known as "Sword and Sorcery" writing.
Don't let the awful movie from a couple of years color your impressions of what these stories are. You'll find some echoes of them on the screen, but their true power can only be found in this anthology, the only place that I know where all Howard's Kull tales have been collected.
Howard always spoke of how the characters seemed to be dictating their stories to him until they were replaced by the next character and Kull is no different. A literary and chronological precursor to Conan, the formula is very similar. A barbarian with strengths and weaknesses rising to rule the foremost kingdom of his time despite human and inhuman enemies. Astute Howard fans will note the similarities between several stories (By This Axe I Rule v. The Phoenix in the Sword.
Ka nama kaa lajerama
An added feature to this book is the excellent artwork that fills it's interior. It is a fantastically illustrated work that I am proud to have in my library.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Many folks know Robert E. Howard for his sword & sorcery character Conan. However, before there was Conan, there was Kull from Atlantis, a mere man who won the crown of Valusia. Read morePublished 15 months ago by DabOfDarkness
Better than expected. Different from Conan. I bought this because I found it used and for a good price. Read morePublished on September 15, 2014 by Glenn
Ever since I read The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune some 40 years ago I have felt a special liking for the dreamy quality of the few Kull-stories Howard wrote. Read morePublished on July 11, 2014 by Magnus Magnusson
A beautiful book, lavishly illustrated, in a slip cased edition! Very tough to find! And at a great price! Read morePublished on February 6, 2013 by James Clukey
I have always loved Robert E Howard from the time I found my older brother's Lancer books when I was a child. Read morePublished on May 21, 2012 by Doug Dandridge
It was very good! it was even better than anticipated. Wow!!! I just don't have the words to adequately describe the depth of my enjoyment with this piece of literature.Published on March 11, 2012 by Tom Oldoski
I am a Conan of Cimmeria fan. I enjoy Robert E. Howard's stories. When I saw all of Kull's stories by Howard into one book, I knew it was a must get and I am glad that I got it. Read morePublished on August 30, 2011 by Joe Owen
The publishers give a lot of unfinished stories from a conan variant ,and want to charge us an arm and a leg for a book that needs to be neithor printed or shipped,not a good buy.Published on September 5, 2010 by Douglas J. Berry
REH lived from 1906-1936 and lived most of his life in Cross Plains, TX. He was a genius and visionary.
From the back of book: "Robert E. Read more