Now Reading – Some More Robert E. Howard

It has been a while since I posted a “Now Reading” post, so I thought it would be a fun diversion. Back in December I finished up The Icewind Dale Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore. It was a solid read for heroic swords and sorcery fiction based on Dungeons and Dragons; really the Forgotten Realms setting. I am not going to pretend to be a fiction critic; remember this is just a fun diversion type of post.

With that said, I thought the pacing was very uneven. The trilogy started off fine, hooked me in the middle, and became too unbelievable (if I can use that adjective to describe fiction) towards the end. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but the conclusion to the dragon fight in the underdark-ish dwarf citadel was just too much. To make matters worse, I really had to slog my way through the very last bit in the astral plane (or whatever it was). Thankfully there was not too much of this nonsense; Mr. Salvatore must have realized that he was up against some sort of page count.

As I said, I enjoyed The Icewind Dale Trilogy enough to take up some of the other Drizzt books. I thought the characters were interesting, and certainly the sights and sounds of the Forgotten Realms were captivating. Well, maybe not captivating, but certainly enjoyable.

I just started Robert E. Howard’s Kull Exile of Atlantis. I have read some of Howard’s Conan works, but never any Kull stories. Obviously Kull came first, I have to assume that Conan and Kull are fairly interchangeable as sword and sorcery characters for all but the most diehard Robert E. Howard fans.

I am only about 40 pages in, but so far am enjoying the tales. I have to admit that I can only take so much of this type of fiction in one sitting, much less over the course of a book. Last spring when I was reading The Essential Conan, as much as I enjoyed the various Conan stories, I never made it through the last few in the book.


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