- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (June 29, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345461509
- ISBN-13: 978-0345461506
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 100 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane Paperback – June 29, 2004
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“Howard’s writing seems so highly charged with energy that it nearly gives off sparks.”—Stephen King
“I adore these books. Howard had a gritty, vibrant style—broadsword writing that cut its way to the heart, with heroes who are truly larger than life. I heartily recommend them to anyone who loves fantasy.”—David Gemmell, author of Legend and White Wolf
“The voice of Robert E. Howard still resonates after decades with readers— equal parts ringing steel, thunderous horse hooves, and spattered blood. Far from being a stereotype, his creation of Conan is the high heroic adventurer. His raw muscle and sinews, boiling temper, and lusty laughs are the gauge by which all modern heroes must be measured.”—Eric Nylund, author of
Halo: The Fall of Reach and Signal to Noise
“That teller of marvelous tales, Robert Howard, did indeed create a giant [Conan] in whose shadow other ‘hero tales’ must stand.”—John Jakes, New York Times bestselling author
of the North and South trilogy
“For stark, living fear . . . what other writer is even in the running with Robert E. Howard?”—H. P. Lovecraft
“Howard wrote pulp adventure stories of every kind, for every market he could find, but his real love was for supernatural adventure and he brought a brash, tough element to the epic fantasy which did as much to change the course of the American school away from precious writing and static imagery as Hammett, Chandler, and the Black Mask pulp writers were to change the course of American detective fiction.”—Michael Moorcock, award winning author of the Elric saga
“In this, I think, the art of Robert E. Howard was hard to surpass: vigor, speed, vividness. And always there is that furious, galloping narrative pace.”—Poul Anderson
“Howard honestly believed the basic truth of the stories he was telling. It’s as if he’d said, ‘This is how life really was lived in those former savage times!’”—David Drake, author of Grimmer Than Hell and Dogs of War
“For headlong, nonstop adventure and for vivid, even florid, scenery, no one even comes close to Howard.”—Harry Turtledove
“The stories have a livingness about them [that’s] impossible to fake. . . . Not one of them is boring—there is always some special touch—and most, of course, are rousers.”—Gahan Wilson, reviewer and author of I Paint What I See
“The best pulp (fantasy) writer was Robert E. Howard.”—Fritz Leiber, author of Green Millennium and Farewell to Lankhmar
“Weird, fantastic, but peopled with real men who think and act as we conceive the thoughts and acts of men. . . . None of the dummies that pirouette through some stories, using stilted, supposedly archaic language, and moving in response to the author’s obvious string-pulling. All of which leads you to believe that I like it. Correct. I do.”—E. Hoffman Price, author of The Jade Enchantress
“[Behind Howard’s stories] lurks a dark poetry, and the timeless truth of dreams. That is why these tales have survived. They remain a fitting heritage of the poet and dreamer who was Robert E. Howard.”—Robert Bloch, author of Psycho
“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 and The Onion Girl
From the Inside Flap
With Conan the Cimmerian, Robert E. Howard created more than the greatest action hero of the twentieth century--he also launched a genre that came to be known as sword and sorcery. But Conan wasn't the first archetypal
adventurer to spring from Howard's fertile imagination.
""He was . . . a strange blending of Puritan and Cavalier, with a touch of the ancient philosopher, and more than a touch of the pagan. . . . A hunger in his soul drove him on and on, an urge to right all wrongs, protect all weaker things. . . . Wayward and restless as the wind, he was consistent in only one respect--he was true to his ideals of justice and right. Such was Solomon Kane."
Collected in this volume, lavishly illustrated by award-winning artist Gary Gianni, are all of the stories and poems that make up the thrilling saga of the dour and deadly Puritan, Solomon Kane. Together they constitute a sprawling epic of weird fantasy adventure that stretches from sixteenth-century England to remote African jungles where no white man has set foot. Here are shudder-inducing tales of vengeful ghosts and bloodthirsty demons, of dark sorceries wielded by evil men and women, all opposed by a grim avenger armed with a fanatic's faith and a warrior's savage heart.
"This edition also features exclusive story fragments, a biography of Howard by scholar Rusty Burke, and "In Memoriam," H. P. Lovecraft's moving tribute to his friend and fellow literary genius.
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Still, worth every penny. I just wished there were more.
I always recommend Conan but you'll be surprised by Solomon Kane. If you've not read the Kane stories, or even if you have, this is a wonderful volume that will bring you back to Howard's creation again and again. Enjoy!
Many of Howard's creations, like Conan, have a catch-as-catch-can approach to morality, if they consider it at all. Not Kane.
"It has fallen upon me, now and again in my sojourns through the world, to ease various evil men of their lives," he explains in "The Castle Of The Devil" "Devil" is one of four story fragments that appear here along with nine full Kane stories and three poems.
While not all of them are equally inspired, all resonate with the singularity of the main character, half-swashbuckler, half-fantasy hero, wandering through Europe and Africa following the call of God and his own willful urges.
Two of the stories, the early "Red Shadows" (1928) and the later "Wings Of The Night" (1932) are first-rank Howard stories, masterpieces of mood and pulsing suspense. "Shadows" gives us a classic revenge tale served up with style, while "Wings" is a complex character study that pits Kane against a rare defeat. Two others, "The Footfalls Within" (1931) and "The Hills Of The Dead" (1930), are just a cut below, not as well-crafted but imbued with that Howard quality of primitive power that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go.
Add to that some other stories that, while pat at times (see "A Rattle Of Bones") and convoluted at others ("Skulls In The Stars"), have flashes of the same dark power. Kane isn't evil; in fact he's something of a maniacal do-gooder. In "Footfalls" he gets so caught up watching helplessly as a line of blacks are force-marched into slavery he bites down on his forearm "until his teeth met in the flesh". Other stories have him spending years chasing down the murderers of women and villagers he never knew in life.
This book is the first time all the known Solomon Kane items have been collected in one place. Publisher Del Ray does even better by employing the talents of illustrator Gary Gianni from first page to last. Too bad they don't mirror their sterling Conan collections with some Kane-focused scholarly essays. All that's offered instead is a general biography on Howard and a contemporary obituary by his friend and fellow legend H.P. Lovecraft.
That Howard could be a purple writer is evident here at times, like with the frustrating, overlong "Moon Of Skulls" with its half-baked lost-civilization theme. He could frustrate just as much with what he didn't write. "The Castle Of The Devil" sets up to be his best European-set adventure before abruptly stopping. "Hawk Of Basti" catches up with Kane for a rare ocean-borne adventure Howard also didn't finish. Even the poems seem misplaced stories.
Howard's sudden death in 1936 cheated us of further Kane adventures, though Howard himself had apparently dropped the character well before then. Given the progression of Howard's art in his last short years, with its sturdier plot construction and cinematic scene changes, one can only wonder what else might have been possible.
What is here is good all the same, an entertaining corrective for those who think Howard only wrote for barbarians.