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Review: THE SAVAGE TALES OF SOLOMON KANE



Robert E. Howard,
The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane


I've been reading fantasy tales for 63-plus years, ever since a friend of my adoptive mother's began loaning me the Oz books by L. Frank Baum and Ruth Plumley Thompson. I've been reading horror literature for the last 56 years, ever since I discovered H. P. Lovecraft. And I've been reading science fiction -- the *hard* stuff -- since I turned 8, 62 years ago. Good, bad, and indifferent, I've read a great deal of all three genres -- and the stories I discovered in The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane are some of the finest and mos marvelous, in the literal sense of the word, I've ever run across.

Collected in The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane, with it's gorgeous black-and-white illustrations by Gary Gianni, are all of the stories and poems that make up thrilling, magnificent saga of the dour and deadly Puritan, Solomon Kane. As the author, Robert E. Howard says of him:

"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."

The stories of Solomon Kane comprise a sprawling epic epic of weird fantasy adventure stretching from 16th-century England to remote African forests, grasslands, and plateaus where no white man had theretofore ever set foot. Here are gorgeously nightmarish tales of vengeful ghosts, bloodthirsty demons, and dark, dark sorceries wielded by evil men and women, all opposed by a grim avenger armed with fanatical faith and Ares's own wild heart.

This edition also features exclusive story fragments, a biography of Robert E. Howard by scholar Rusty Burke, notes on Howard's original text, and tributes to Howard and his work by 13 writers, including H. P. Lovecraft and 12 others.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
galadrion
Jul. 14th, 2015 10:44 am (UTC)
This is actually one book in a series from this publisher, grouping Mr. Howard's various works by the primary characters. (Some characters - Conan, for instance - feature in too extensive a body of work to fit in a single volume. Those have been grouped into multiple books.) I believe I have all of these, although I may be missing one or two. They are indeed well worth the time and effort to read.
polaris93
Jul. 20th, 2015 12:48 am (UTC)
I have some of the other collections of Robert E. Howard's work on Kindle editions. And as you say, they are all very much worth reading. (I wish Solomon Kane were around today to deal with some of the crooks and evildoers daring to mask themselves as politicians and corporate heads. :-D)
galadrion
Jul. 20th, 2015 08:21 am (UTC)
Mm... Conan or Kull would probably be more their speed. Kane tends to be a little too subtle and indirect for most of them to understand. *Grin* And yes, I'm well aware of what I'm saying.
polaris93
Jul. 26th, 2015 11:49 pm (UTC)
I think you're right. But Kane is certainly handy with a sword, a pistol, a musket, or a knife. XD

Edited at 2015-07-26 11:49 pm (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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