El Borak and Other Desert Adventures Paperback – Feb 9 2010
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“Howard’s writing seems so highly charged with energy that it nearly gives off sparks.”—Stephen King
“Howard had a gritty, vibrant style—broadsword writing that cut its way to the heart, with heroes who are truly larger than life.”—David Gemmell
“For stark, living fear . . . what other writer is even in the running with Robert E. Howard?”—H. P. Lovecraft
About the Author
Robert E. Howard was born January 22, 1906, southwest of Fort Worth. His father, a country physician, moved the family around Texas before settling in the small town of Cross Plains in 1919. While in high school, Howard began submitting stories to magazines, and Weird Tales magazine accepted Spear and Fang. Solomon Kane was the first of his continuing characters to see print; others included King Kull and Bran Mak Morn. Howard tried detective fiction, horror, and Paul Bunyanesque tales, then in 1933, Weird Tales introduced Conan the Cimmerian. In 1935 his mother was admitted to the King's Daughters Hospital. Told she would never recover, he committed suicide in 1936.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Swords of the Hills
The Daughter of Erlik Khan
Hawks of the Hills
Blood of the Gods
Sons of the Hawk
Son of the White Wolf
Gold from Tatary
Swords of Shahrazar
The Trail of the Blood-Stained God
The Fire of Asshurbanipal
Three-Bladed Doom (original manuscript)
If you love Howard or if you love action and adventure, this collection is highly recommended.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This new-to-me character is, like Howard's other protagonists, an adventurer, but Howard did not create clones. Francis Xavier Gordon has no discernible interest in wealth, tries to smooth things over between conflicting friends and, for those inexperienced enough to be romantics, there is a... wait for it... hand holding scene. Not being entirely without sentimentalism, I thought it was a nice touch from the master of skull cleaving fiction.
The prose is clear, lyrical in places, fast and furious. Mr. Howard knew his craft well.
"Son of the White Wolf" has Gordon on the trail of Turkish troops under the command of Germans who wipe out a village and steal all the women including a beautiful German spy. Gordon sets out to rescue her and get revenge.
In "The Daughter of Erlik Khan" Gordon must rescue a runway princess from the husband who wants her returned and executed and has hired a pair of English assassins to do the deed.
"The Lost Valley of Iskander" finds Gordon discovering a lost civilization that dates back to the time of Alexander the Great and an evil king who wants him dead.
"Three-Bladed Doom" is the longest tale, near novel in length, as Gordon has to track down a ruthless cult that is killing regional leaders who are loyal to the British.
In "The Curse of the Crimson God" O'Donnell is on the trail of a stolen treasure map that leads to a fabulous jeweled idol call the Bloodstained God.
The O'Donnell stories have a distinct "Indiana Jones" type of feel to them as O' Donnell is disguised as an Arab, Ali el Ghazi for much of the time. The stories are filled with a lot of intrigue and loads of two-fisted, sword-swinging, gun-blazing action. These two heroes are more than just modern day versions of Conan. They each have their own unique character traits that set them apart from Howard's other characters. If you love Conan, Kull, or Solomon Kane, you owe it to yourself to check out this collection.
However, being a Howard devotee' for many decades, within one of the stories there has been a changed ending. "The Fire of Asshurbannipal" was published in the scintillating collection of Howard's stories in the Lancer 1967 pb edition titled "WOLFSHEAD" with the Frazetta cover art. This story was published not long after L.Sprague de Camp took over control of the papers and writings of Howard's from estate executor Glen Lord. De Camp, a fantasy/swords and sorcery fiction writer himself, may have changed the story ending to make it more marketable in de Camp's estimation. Comparing the story ending in the Lancer edition is different from the story ending in "EL BORAK". Though the ending is significantly different in the Lancer edition and not the intended ending as in the EL BORAK, as written by Howard himself. Though the endings are different, they are both worthy of consideration and very good.
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