mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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Delendo est. (1)

Kull: Exile of Atlantis by Robert E. Howard.

Kull the king & Brule
hands bloody with snake ichor:
"By this axe I rule!"

Maybe I'll start tossing haiku's in with my reviews! Since I don't get a chance to do them so often anymore. I guess Skull-A-Day is the genesis for the idea. So. Kull. Well, first, there are a few fragments of a fifth to Howard's stable-- Am-Ra the Ta-an. How barbaric is he? He is from the land of the dinosaurs. So we've got Am-Ra, Kull, Conan, Bran, & Solomon. Of them, Kull is the most like Conan-- the direct predecessor to him, in fact. There are differences-- Kull is more changed by kingship, but he's still a barbarian who seized the throne, but he's always the king in the stories. He doesn't care about women, that is a key difference, & he has friends, that I'd say is the other. If you've drilled down to Kull, you already know you'll probably like it, right? primroseport recommended him as more introspective, which I suppose he is. I liked the Kull stories for being more experimental; you've got a few that are barely about him. It is more vignette-y in points, in fact. The bit with the golden skeleton for some reason sticks with me particularly. Racially, it is pretty open-- Brule & Kull are both not-white people in the city of white people, right? The Am-Ra fragments are not part of this though-- black ape-men? Thanks, but no thanks, Howard. He's the frontier guy, I guess, right? So the way I see it he likes cowboys, indians, & free blacks; if you aren't one of those, you'll get a raw deal. Gender-wise? Women are pretty absent except for one young lady-- Delacardes. She's conniving but not wicked? She's maybe alright, given Howard's place in history. She's not a strong, warlike man, so she makes up for it with cunning. In one of the Am-Ra fragments though there is Am-Ra morally wrestling with giving a submissive young lady a spanking. First, Howard finally spells out what he's into in no uncertain terms, huh? Second, he does apologise for it, saying they were more savage times, but third, yeah, what? Like I said; I knew I'd like it, since I like Howard, but I wasn't blown away; this is Howard doing nice work, but it isn't up to his best-- except maybe when Kull grabs the axe & screams "by this axe I rule!"
Tags: books, haiku
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