Kull: Exile of Atlantis
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Kull: Exile of Atlantis

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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  910 ratings  ·  43 reviews
The UK based small press Wandering Star issued glorious editions of Robert E. Howard's work, including The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn, The Ultimate Triumph, as well as two volumes of Howard's Conan tales. Subterranean Press is proud to continue this series of limited editions, beginning with Kull: Exile of Atlantis, exquisitely illustrated with color plate...more
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published June 30th 2008 by Subterranean Press (first published 1967)
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Jim
Read by Todd McLaren & downloaded from my public library. You rock, Library!

The introduction by Steve Tompkins is long, over 30 minutes. Almost immediately, he puts down ERB's John Carter. He said something about Carter's ego being so big that Helium, the city he rules, is well named. Seriously? He crapped on ERB's character?!!! I'll bet most Kull & Conan fans like John Carter, too. I do, although not as much, but that's just unnecessarily rude. It's not a contest about whose sword is b...more
Dan Schwent
Here we are again; another installment of Dangerous Dan's Book Reviews, because after all, you can only hide from the law in a brothel for so long before the girls start demanding payment for services rendered.

Today I'll be reviewing a short story entitled Kings of the Night by the one and only Robert E. Howard. Kings of the Night can be found in both Kull: Exile of Atlantis and Bran Mak Morn: The Last King. That's because it stars both of the title characters.
"How can that be?" you ask. Kull li...more
Terence
May 18, 2009 Terence rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: REH fans
Shelves: sf-fantasy
I first read Howard's Kull stories on a trip home from college one Christmas. My brother had picked up a used copy (a very used copy) of a paperback collection, which was falling apart in my hands as I read.

My initial reaction was one of disappointment. Perhaps, at that time, I was looking for a more Conan-like story. Whatever the case, when I was building my GR library, I gave these stories but 2 stars. I'm glad that I took advantage of a SF Book Club sale to pick up this reissue of the series...more
Simon
Well, this is certainly one for the Howard completists. Not that it is only such readers who would be interested in this. It is also great for those who just want to read about another of Howard's characters, those who want a change from Conan, although of all of them Kull is probably the most Conon like. If one ignores the various incomplete fragments and unfinished drafts, most of these stories are top notch, up there with his best work.

These are stories of Kull, of Atlantis, barbarian and sav...more
V_Shaft
"Kull: Exile of Atlantis” is Del Rey’s collection of all Robert E. Howard’s Kull yarns, given life not only by the author’s vivid writing, but also illustrator Justin Sweet’s magnificent artwork. Kull, a barbarian, and exile of Atlantis that is later to become Valusia’s most fabled King, is often cited as a Conan prototype and literary forerunner – which is indeed true as, ironically, the last Kull story – “By This Axe I Rule!” was later rewritten as “The Phoenix on the Sword” which is both the...more
Zare
Kull seems to be something like a blueprint for the later Conan. He is a barbarian but unlike Conan he does not try to solve everything with his sword. He uses his brains and one can almost feel his disgust with all the plotting and scheming around him that will only make him react with more force and more blood spilling. [return]He can easily be put aflame by disrespect of others and then there is no way that he will cool off without taking his revenge (in one tale he is even ready to go to the...more
Mark
A friend let me borrow this book on a whim. I had never heard of Robert Howard or Kull, and I was only vaguely aware of Conan the Barbarian (Howard's later famous creation).

What a pleasant surprise these stories were! Howard writes in a clear, straightforward style, but still manages to convey an other-worldliness. As a character, Kull is fascinating. He is an exile from his homeland who becomes a mercenary and eventually overthrows the king of the most powerful nation and takes his place. Howev...more
Doug Dandridge
I have always loved Robert E Howard from the time I found my older brother's Lancer books when I was a child. Conan was of course a favorite, but my imagination was always captured by the Atlantean King Kull, a barbarian who rule the fabled kingdom of Valusa back in the dawn of time. Kull was a more intellectual hero than Conan, always brooding about the metaphysical world, but still ready and able to swing a sword in order to crush a tyrant or kill a wizard who threatened his rule. I bought thi...more
William Gerke
A collection of some of Howard's earliest stories. "The Shadow Kingdom" is a masterpiece (and worth reading the closing essay to understand what Howard was doing with this story and it's relationship to the Biblical Saul). The remainder of them are erratic in quality but interesting as a window into the past as Howard develops the vibrant style that would characterize the Conan stories. The inclusion of "Kings of the Night" only highlights the contrast, as it is a later story featuring two other...more
David
Out of the various heroic incarnations Howard produced in his short but fruitful career, Kull is a bright spark that comes and goes all too quickly. Only three Kull stories were ever published in Howard's lifetime, so to read a collection containing unpublished works starring him is a real treat. Kull is like Conan in a lot of respects, but bears a philosophical side that gives him a more brooding aspect. I recommend this collection to anyone who enjoys swords and sorcery fiction, combat scenes,...more
Robert
Though some of the entries are good Weird Adventure fiction, it's best to appreciate this collection of Kull stories in the context of Howard's other work, particularly his most famous, the Conan stories. While Kull is sometimes entertaining in his own right, he and his loyal retainer Brule are certainly prototypes for Conan.

It's interesting to see Howard work through the psychological, cultural, and metaphysical ideas that interest him. The weirdness of some of the tales, such as Kull fighting...more
Rafal Jasinski
Antologia poniższa, będąca kompletnym zbiorem opowiadań o - nieco upraszczając - pierwowzorze postaci Conana, jest moim pierwszym zetknięciem się z twórczością Roberta E. Howarda. Przyznam, że lektura okazała się dla mnie sporym zaskoczeniem. Spodziewałem się archaicznej ramoty, typowego heroicznego fantasy, a okazało się, że wiele z zamieszczonych tu opowiadań posiada zarówno głębię, jak i niesamowity klimat. Choć Kull, to bohater pochodzący z okresu przed Conanem, zdaje się być postacią o wiel...more
Charles
There were times when I've liked Kull as a character more than Conan. He seems more thoughtful at times, but overall there's no doubt that Conan is a more consistent, and in that sense more believable, character. Still, it's nice to have this collection of all the Kull stories, as well as some fragments and drafts, because it shows us a lot about the development of Howard's characters across his writing life.
Alex
The first seven stories are incredible. Seriously some of the best REH stories ever.

Untitled Story - 5/5
A fine introduction to the world of Kull and reads like a historical learning of the civilizations, landscapes, legends, etc.

The Shadow Kingdom - 5/5
One of the very first sword-and-sorcery stories ever, and one of the best! This one is very suspenseful, mysterious, and action-packed. Can't miss it.

The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune - 5/5
This is really where it starts to get even better. About the K...more
Jake
Man, I am way behind on this sort of thing. Sorry world.

In fairness to myself, part of the delay on this one was that I wanted to be able to find something interesting to say about these stories beyond "they're really good" and "I liked them". I'm not sure I've come up with anything better than that, but here goes.

For those who don't know: Kull was a character created by Robert E Howard prior to his creation of his better known Conan. In many ways, Kull is a bit of a proto-Conan: a barbarian who...more
Krzysztof
It is clear that Kull is Howard's earlier creation - the world in which he lives is not as well defined, the stories he takes part in all deal with pretty much the same topics, and there is a sense of the author trying out different things and not really deciding on what the character is supposed to be doing. However, make no mistake - this is not only proto-Conan (despite some strong similarities), Kull is a character in his own right, with his own motivations and philosophy.

The Kull stories ar...more
Valerio
Questo volume presenta tutte le storie brevi scritte da Robert E. Howard riguardanti Kull, il barbaro esule da Atlantide che ascender�� al trono di Valusia, il regno pi�� civilizzato dell'era Thuriana.

Il volume presenta i testi originali dell'autore texano nell'ordine in cui furono scritti.

Le storie di Kull, pur rappresentando un prototipo per quelle successive e pi�� famose riguardanti Conan, si differenziano da queste ultime sia per l'ambientazione (quasi tutte riguardano un Kull gi�� re e pad

...more
Jason
I can't remember which talk show it was back in the 90s, but I remember seeing Kevin "Hercules" Sorbo sitting in the guest's seat talking about his new feature film, Kull the Conqueror. (Ah, now I remember: it was The Jay Leno Show!)

Sorbo: Yeah, it's a fantasy movie called Kull the Conqueror!
Sword & Sorcery stuff! Really excited!

Leno: Kull? Who's Kull?

Sorbo: He's the father of Conan the Barbarian!

Me, screaming at the t.v.: What?! He is NOT Conan's father! What the
the hell, man?! Get your...more
J
Having just read all the Kull stories almost exactly a year ago, I debated whether to read them again in this volume or just read what I had not read before. I opted for the cover to cover approach and I'm glad I did. I really like these Del Rey collections of Howard's work. They are true to his original manuscripts, they are very completist in nature and they're illustrated.

The introductions and essays in these collections are a real treat. I like how varied the Kull stories are and it really d...more
Dan
While some view Kull as a precursor to Conan, it is clear from these stories that he is very different from Howard's later creation. Although a barbarian by birth, Kull is more brooding, more troubled by the immortal questions of man. These stories are also more experimental than the Conan stories, which were written when Howard was more experienced. Some of the plots are more awkwardly handled than Howard's better stories, but a few of the stories rank among Howard's best. This volume includes...more
Timothy Boyd
This character is my second favorite character of all the ones Howard created. To me he is an early Conan. Only Howard can write action that reads this way. Kull rules the shattered kingdoms of a lost era. "By this axe I rule" is one of Howard's best stories. This is all the Kull stories unedited and collected together. Highly recommended
Joshua Simon
Really good stories as expected from Howard. Definitely worth the read.

Pros:
- Great description and strong use of all the senses.
- Vivid battle sequences (one of the best).
- Larger than life characters.
- Awesome history/worldbuilding.
- Nice nods to the weird (including elements of horror).
- Several memorable lines/quotes. "By this axe I rule!"
- The last two pages of The Skull of Silence might be the best thing Howard ever wrote.

Cons:
- I love Howard, but dialogue has never been his strong...more
Adam Lewis Schroeder
Kull is pretty great, but unfortunately this volume is scanty next to Howard's massive Conan volume, which casts that barbarian in a dozen different roles (though all involve chopping people's heads) in a dozen diverse locales. Here, Kull broods in his throne-room until he his betrayed then rides out broodily, or he rides out broodily and is then betrayed. This world is fun but Howard has done better work. In its favor, this volume's packed with moody (perhaps broody) illustrations.
Kris
A mixed bag. Some of the stories were 4 star and most were 3 star. The Kull stories were written early in Howard's writing career and have that double edged sword of passionate risk of content and style and inexperienced sloppiness associated with young artists honing their craft. Kull's motivations were often wishy washy and his personality was under developed. I can't help but think of Kull as a Proto-Conan which was later polished and perfected. The Kull stories were definitely imaginative an...more
Martin
Pre Conan REH. Only a few published stories, some promising fragments, drafts, etc. Despite that it's essental sword and sorcery, if only for Shadow Kingdoms which many believe to be the first s&s story --at least american. Kull is a great brooding King who spends time thinking about cosmic, Lovecraftian things, the nature of time, etc. REH examines his great (or not so) theme that civilization is less 'true' than the barbarian life, there are picts, lost civilizations (Kull being an exile o...more
Travis
Kull is great, as most fantasy stories about heroes ( Conan, Luke Skywalker etc) are on their quest and swear they will some day seize/ free a kingdom by the sheer power of their sword arm and noble heart.

Kull is on the theme of 'Okay, you've seized a kingdom. Now what?'
Kull has lots of swordplay, monsters and adventure, but there is also political plotting, and the burden and details of actually running a kingdom.

It's an attempt at a slightly more mature theme than in most traditional fantasy n...more
Christian
so far i definitely prefer kull to conan. he came before and reflects a lot more of REH's brooding personality. never has the theme of civilzation vs. barbarism [howard definitely being firmly on the side of the latter:] been so viscerally dealth with. having conquered the civilization external to him, kull faces the much greater challenge of conquering it within: a fight that he always JUST BARELY comes out on top of and only because, when the decision comes, he'd rather die than give into it.
Kate
I thought this kind of warrior fantasy would be cheesy but it was instead pure awesome. Horror stories like Poe, battle scenes that leave you literally breathless, and humanizing insights into our minds, all told by a barbarian king. If only this were a long novel instead of short stories and fragments, then it would be one of my all-time favorites. Kind of weird getting used to the mostly-dialogue prose and tendency to skip through time and place without exposition.
Proditor
It's good, it's pulp. it's Howard. If you go in to this collection of tales with these thoughts firmly in mind, I think any astute student of the pulps is going to find themselves well rewarded. Just like I know Lovecraft misses the mark with a lot of modern readers, Howard can as well. Though in retrospect, I think his general style is more modern, and accesible.

Anyway, good fun read, and Kull is a much more contemplative uber-barbarian than his more famous cousin.
Jeff
I love Robert E. Howard and I read this one as light reading while I was in the middle of schoolwork and moving and other stuff. Very good but pretty scant... There are only a handful of completed Kull stories. As usual I liked the poetry the best and I would love to track down a complete collection of REH poetry if such a thing exists.

Hurrah for barbarian kings...
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66700
Robert Ervin Howard was an American pulp writer of fantasy, horror, historical adventure, boxing, western, and detective fiction. Howard wrote "over three-hundred stories and seven-hundred poems of raw power and unbridled emotion" and is especially noted for his memorable depictions of "a sombre universe of swashbuckling adventure and darkling horror."

He is well known for having created — in the p...more
More about Robert E. Howard...
The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (Conan the Cimmerian, #1) The Conquering Sword of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #3) Conan of Cimmeria (Conan 2) The Bloody Crown of Conan (Conan the Cimmerian, #2) The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane

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