“[Behind Howard’s stories] lurks a dark poetry and the timeless truth of dreams.” –Robert Bloch
“Howard’s writing seems so highly charged with energy that it nearly gives off sparks.” –Stephen King
The classic pulp magazines of the early twentieth century are long gone, but their action-packed tales live on through the work of legendary storyteller Robert E. Howard. From his fecund imagination sprang an army of larger-than-life heroes–including the iconic Conan the Cimmerian, King Kull of Atlantis, Solomon Kane, and Bran Mak Morn–as well as adventures that would define a genre for generations. Now comes the second volume of this author’s breathtaking short fiction, which runs the gamut from sword and sorcery, historical epic, and seafaring pirate adventure to two-fisted crime and intrigue, ghoulish horror, and rip-roaring western.
Kull reigns supreme in “By This Axe I Rule!” and “The Mirrors of Tuzan Thune”; Conan conquers in one of his most popular exploits, “The Tower of the Elephant”; Solomon Kane battles demons deep in Africa in “Wings in the Night”; and itinerant boxer Steve Costigan puts up his dukes of steel inside and outside the ring in “The Bulldog Breed.” In between, warrior kings, daring knights, sinister masterminds, grizzled frontiersmen–even Howard’s stunning heroine, Red Sonya–tear up the pages in stories built to thrill by their masterly creator.
And in such epic poems as “Echoes from an Anvil,” “Black Harps in the Hills,” and “The Grim Land,” the author blends his classic characters and visceral imagery with a lyricism as haunting as traditional folk balladry. Lavishly illustrated by Jim and Ruth Keegan, here is a Robert E. Howard collection as indispensable as it is unforgettable.
“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
Robert E. Howard is one of the most famous and influential pulp authors of the twentieth century. Though largely known as the man who invented the sword-and-sorcery genre–and for his iconic hero Conan the Cimmerian–Howard also wrote horror tales, desert adventures, detective yarns, epic poetry, and more. This spectacular volume, gorgeously illustrated by Jim and Ruth Keegan, includes some of his best and most popular works.
Inside, readers will discover (or rediscover) such gems as “The Shadow Kingdom,” featuring Kull of Atlantis and considered by many to be the first sword-and-sorcery story; “The Fightin’est Pair,” part of one of Howard’s most successful series, chronicling the travails of Steve Costigan, a merchant seaman with fists of steel and a head of wood; “The Grey God Passes,” a haunting tale about the passing of an age, told against the backdrop of Irish history and legend; “Worms of the Earth,” a brooding narrative featuring Bran Mak Morn, about which H. P. Lovecraft said, “Few readers will ever forget the hideous and compelling power of [this] macabre masterpiece”; a historical poem relating a momentous battle between Cimbri and the legions of Rome; and “Sharp’s Gun Serenade,” one of the last and funniest of the Breckinridge Elkins tales.
These thrilling, eerie, compelling, swashbuckling stories and poems have been restored to their original form, presented just as the author intended. There is little doubt that after more than seven decades the voice of Robert E. Howard continues to resonate with readers around the world.