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The Outlaw of Torn

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  780 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Here is a story that has lain dormant for seven hundred years. At first it was suppressed by one of the Plantagenet kings of England. Later it was forgotten. I happened to dig it up by accident. The accident being the relationship of my wife's cousin to a certain Father Superior in a very ancient monastery in Europe. He let me pry about among a quantity of mildewed and mus ...more
Hardcover, 238 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Wildside Press (first published 1914)
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(showing 1-30)
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V. Gingerich
May 02, 2013 V. Gingerich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had I read this at fourteen, it would've received five stars and favorite status. Ah, timing...

It's a great book still, though one of my favorite characters didn't make it to the end. It's full of knights and ladies, gloomy castles, dark secrets, revenge, deceit and valor. I'd label it a rollicking good tale, a mixture of Robin Hood, From the Valley of the Missing, and The Black Arrow.
Aug 01, 2013 Gale rated it it was amazing

In a welcome departure from ERB’s formulaic plotting and sequels ad nauseum this novel, his 2nd in fact, is relatively unknown but would make wonderful fodder for a Hollywood swashbuckler. Combining both actual history with fantastic fiction the creator of TARZAN and the MARS series has woven a tapestry with threads of hatred and revenge, passion and treachery. Set in the violent 13th century era of King Henry III and Simon de Montfort, this st
Sep 12, 2008 Greg rated it really liked it
As a boy, I was enamored of the Martian and Tarzan series' of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Along the way, I found a nearly forgotten novel he wrote, widely panned by critics, but which I really liked. Go figure. The Outlaw of Torn is a fanciful tale of a prince who becomes a highwayman, and then a prince again. Through an unbelievably remarkable set of circumstances (ERB was known for those), he also becomes the greatest swordsman in England.

Being a fan of swordfighting adventures, this was r
Thom Swennes
Sep 25, 2013 Thom Swennes rated it really liked it
This story is much more believable and in many ways superior to other (more widely known) novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It resembles Men of Iron by Howard Pyle and Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper. A man seeks revenge for a serious slight and kidnaps Prince Richard, second son of King Henry III. What greater revenge can be taken on an enemy than turning his own son against him and all Englishmen? The best laid plans often miss the mark and when the love of a woman is involved all bets ar ...more
Aug 13, 2014 Elar rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
In style on Black Arrow and Ivanhoe book is quite amusing medieval adventure story about boy with a Stockholm syndrome.
James McKenna
May 04, 2017 James McKenna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-twice
When I was fifteen, the cover of the current paperback showed a brawny man on a Percheron under a churning sky. He wore a red cape over mail and hid his face under a Norman helmet, and he brandished a sword point forward. Frazetta, I'm sure. Of course I snapped it up. Burroughs delivers action and drama, and this is a great one for that. The good are put to the test and the evil die cowardly deaths. There's a girl. I read it now and again; it's never as good now as it was on whatever hot afterno ...more
Mark Strumke
Feb 28, 2011 Mark Strumke rated it liked it
I recently decided to read some classic early 20th century sci-fi (HG Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, etc). So I purchased a copy of the John Carter of Mars compendium by ERB when I saw it in a bookstore. I also had this copy of “Outlaw of Torn” lying around the house unread for a long time so I decided to make this the jumping off point of my excursion into classic sci-fi authors.

One thing to consider, however, if you want to read this book is that “Outlaw of Torn” is neither sci-fi n
Mar 03, 2016 Kevin rated it really liked it
Distressed damsel rescuin', court intrigue, a lost prince, identifying birthmarks, flowery dialog like the King James version of the Bible (even though the action takes place several hundred years prior and should probably be closer to Chaucer), sword fights galore, lots and lots of romance . . . What's not to like? It's even got a brief cameo appearance by one Lord Greystoke, surely a distant ancestor of John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, a.k.a. Tarzan of the Apes. It's got all the ingredients you'v ...more
Jeff Anderson
Jun 03, 2012 Jeff Anderson rated it it was amazing
Some books try to glorify a character that is the best in the world at something (best gunfighter, best swordsman, best crime-solver). The problem is that to truly become the best, a person would have to be incredibly unbalanced and hard to identify with. In this case the cause of the imbalance is not the main character's fault and the story is therefore much more plausible while still remaining accessible. I enjoyed this book because it has the "man against the world" motif that I love so much ...more
Nathan Langford
Not as formulaic as I have found his works - this one was enjoyable. The hero is noble like so many of ERBs characters but the interesting part in the story is how the hero is born to nobility, stolen away and raised to hate the 'noble class' but still raised in 'treachery' with an understanding of chivalry and 'true' nobility and becomes 'noble' himself - a simple but interesting view of "nature vs. nurture" or that both can be true. This story just had a better 'feel' than most of his others b ...more
Jun 21, 2010 Shep rated it liked it
This book was entertaining, if not highly fanciful, fiction. The story presents a bizarre sort of antihero: Norman of Torn, who leaves his zorroesque mark on the heads of his vanquished enemies, who has been twisted by the teachings of a vengeful old man, and who is ultimately saved from this darkness by his love for a beautiful maiden. Some parts of the story were very far-fetched and the claim that the story is based in history is dubious. The book was far better than Burrough's first Tarzan n ...more
Apr 16, 2012 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Outlaw of Torn is an enjoyable tale set in Medieval England. Imagine a shorter, faster-paced Count of Monte Cristo and you have a good idea of what to expect. My grandfather has almost every Edgar Rice Burroughs book ever written and this is the first one I bothered to pick up and read. Glad I did, although be prepared. This is written in more the classical Fantasy style, with archetypal heroes and a linear plot. Probably a 3.5 star read but this kept me well-engaged through a 5-hour plane r ...more
William Stafford
May 29, 2015 William Stafford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edgar Rice Burroughs's second ever novel (he wrote Tarzan of the Apes after this one) is a riproaring historical adventure involving a kidnapped prince, a vow of revenge, a body count too high to calculate, and liberal helpings of romance and derring-do thrown in. It's a cracking, face-paced read in Burroughs's clear and evocative style, however the dialogue clunks a little, thick as it is with thee, thy and thou.

Old-fashioned and melodramatic, this is an entertaining read from the master of pu
Maggie Maxfield
Jul 02, 2012 Maggie Maxfield rated it it was amazing
From the author who brought you "Tarzan of the Apes" and "The Princess of Mars" [a.k.a. John Carter] comes a story to rival "The Princess Bride." His writing style is simple and linear. The characters and setting remind me of Robin Hood and The Scarlet Pimpernel, but don't worry: Burroughs' story is unique and stands on its own really nicely. The plot twists are elegant. The themes are obvious without being trite. The swordfighting stuns, the friendship-forging captivates. I would recommend this ...more
Ian Connel
Jan 20, 2014 Ian Connel rated it liked it
A noble-born, villain-raised warrior sociopath finds that he has empathy - at least where people with boobs are concerned. Edgar Rice Burroughs' lost prince story is fun, if obviously contradictory at times. And despite the unflinching admiration of chivalry, it is also a detailed and gruesome tale set in a time when the highest enterprise was to screw others out of their own enterprise.

If you like The White Company, or general medieval fantasy, there is a chance you will like this.
Apr 22, 2015 Julia rated it really liked it
I have enjoyed reading through many of Mr. Burroughs's Tarzan and science fiction books, but this story was a pleasant and surprising shift in style. No wild beasts or mystical religions here, just an exciting tale of bitterness and revenge pitted against love and honor set in medieval England, all surrounding the disappearance of a three year old prince. I listened to this as a free audio download from
Mar 15, 2016 Byron rated it it was amazing
Look, it's ERB, so if you don't like his stuff, move on. If you do, know that you are in for a grand story in chivalric England(a fictional place, like Spillane's NYC). It has echoes of an Alexander Dumas tale of revenge, but is more concise, focused differently, and has a similar level of satisfaction.

Why are you still reading this pithy review? The Outlaw of Torn is free on kindle, and probably a couple of other readers. Get the hence, and let adventure begin!
Sep 18, 2014 Clare rated it really liked it
Most people know Edgar Rice Burroughs for his Tarzan stories. This story, however, takes place in the 13th century in England in which Burroughs weaves a tale of what happened to the lost Prince Richard. It is a story rife with revenge, politics, romance, and chivalry all melded together to produce an exciting tale.
Feb 23, 2009 Liz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This little-known book is a gem for anyone who likes medieval swashbuckling-style fiction. This story has practically everything you could ask for in such a book....intrigue, romance, swordfighting, revenge, battles, a chivalrous visored outlaw who steals from the rich....what more can one possibly want? It's like chocolate fudge...pure indulgence from start to finish!
Nov 21, 2011 Marian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am surprised to find this book. I read it in high school and did not remember who the author was. At the time, I thought this was just a wonderful book! If I read it now, I don't know what I would think! Of course I thought this cover was fantastic! One of these days I might read it again!
Oct 31, 2016 Ahimsa rated it really liked it
You know what you're getting with the Burroughs formula. But instead of dark Jungle or alien Mars, this book takes place in medieval England. It feels like reading Sir Walter Scott as adapted by Tony Scott. Pure action, pure romance, pure pulptastic pseudo-history.
Todd Coburn
Nov 13, 2016 Todd Coburn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favorites when I was in my late teens and early 20s. It's been many years since I read it, but if you like warriors and weapons with a little intrigue, artfully woven together, you should really enjoy this book.
Dec 22, 2011 Kaylah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I thought Outlaw of Torn was a wonderful fantasy/historical fiction. A lot of classical elements with a bit of a twist as our main character is not the typical Knight in Shining Armor. The tale includes epic battles and confrontations, honor vs dishonor, and dramatic love affairs.
Feb 25, 2008 Rhianna rated it liked it
If you want an easy read with all the elements of classic pulp fiction: damsels in distress, sword fights, hidden royalty, you can get it here. Oh yes, and the noble chivalry is killer. I kid you not.
Really fun, easy, short read. I finished this in the 5 hours it took me to fly from SF to DC on Sunday. A good story with some interesting characters, especially a couple of female characters, which I wasn't expecting. A little cliche at the end, but hey, it's a classic!
Norman Howe
One of Edgar Rice Burroughs' rare excursions outside the field of sci-fi and adventure"," this story is a medieval tale of knights in the time of Simon de Montfort. This story belongs on the shelf beside Ivanhoe!
Jan 31, 2014 Ranmaru rated it it was ok
The Outlaw of Torn by Edgar Rice Borroughs is medieval story about knights and fair ladies in the tradition of King Arthur's tales.
It completely failed to grip me. The final chapters are exciting but they can not make up for a long and boring book.
Mar 27, 2008 Kione rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: who ever...
Recommended to Kione by: Raf.
pretty good.
fairly predictable.
i could have done with out the soap opera.
Jan 27, 2009 Andre rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heroic-adventure
Another SSR Project Gutenberg read. This one was from last year however.
Elijah Oyekunle
May 19, 2016 Elijah Oyekunle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The story of an old man's revenge against his king. A good read.
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Edgar Rice Burroughs was an American author, best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic John Carter, although he produced works in many genres.
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