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Assassin of Gor (Gor, #5)
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Assassin of Gor (Gor #5)

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  1,189 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Kuurus, of the dread caste of Assassins, was on a mission of vengeance. For in the newly rebuilt City of Ko-ro-ba, someone had foully murdered a young warrior with flaming red hair--The mark of Tarl Cabot of Ko-ro-ba, and formerly of Earth. All guilty Men feared a hunting assassin--for none knew which was to be the next victim.
Paperback, 409 pages
Published 1971 by Ballantine Books (first published 1970)
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Aug 12, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it
Norman gets quite ambitious in his fifth Gor book. The book is quite good, but you can feel that Norman overreached a bit. This is by far the most complex and detailed book so far and at times its hard to keep up with who is who. Tarl grows a bit as a character in this book (finally) and he's back to being very interesting as a lead character. Vella also comes along for the ride and again she's a great character (better than Tarl at times). This time Tarl and Vella make a true team and have an e ...more
Christian West
Sep 11, 2014 Christian West rated it really liked it
Uber-warrior Tarl and former slave turned free woman turned slave turned free woman turned slave Elizabeth join forces to find out who killed Tarl's lookalike.
This is one of the better books in the series so far. Tarl doesn't do as much of the "earth women all want to be slave girls" justification in this book, even tho he is off having sex with random women at every turn. I think he's also finally realised that 5 books is too long to wait for his missing woman, and gets on with the mighty task
Grace Troxel
Dec 14, 2013 Grace Troxel rated it liked it
This review originally appeared on my blog, Books Without Any Pictures.

In the fifth installment of John Norman’s Gor series, our favorite ginger, Tarl Cabot, appears to be dead. A mysterious and deadly assassin named Kuurus arises in his wake, traveling to the city of Ar to avenge him. Kuurus is, of course, Tarl Cabot in disguise, because this is classic pulpy sci-fi, and heroes don’t get stabbed in the back and die without a good fight.

The Priest Kings te
Henry Brown
Apr 06, 2015 Henry Brown rated it it was ok
Shelves: heroic-fantasy
I remember seeing these paperbacks on the shelf back in the day. They had really cool covers but I just wasn't on a fantasy kick at the time. So when I found some used copies I thought, "Here's my 2nd chance."

I read the first one (reviewed on the Two-Fisted Blog) and didn't much care for it. But those in the know said the series really hit its stride with this one, so I gave Norman another chance.

There didn't seem to be as many blatant contrivances in this one, but still, for me, this was a lot
J.L. Day
Apr 12, 2015 J.L. Day rated it it was amazing
I have read the entire series, there simply isn't anything else like it; they are decadent and addictive, completely and wholly something everyone should have on their MUST READ list.

Edgar Rice Burroughs BARSOOM series would be a faint comparison, I suppose; but Norman carries his characters to a depth of depravity that is reminiscent of a D/s or BDSM fetish fanatics dream. At the same time, they are not written in a way as to be entirely sexual, he merely casts about components and subtle subt
Apr 16, 2013 Steelwhisper rated it did not like it
Read the series ages ago and disliked the whole of it.
Jan 03, 2017 Carol rated it liked it
Well, it was the best book so far but that's not saying very much!
John Devlin
Mar 26, 2007 John Devlin rated it it was ok
Swords, sandal, chicks in light bondage, and a hero who always wins the day.
Sep 10, 2014 Gabe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Robert Jenkins
Nov 04, 2015 Robert Jenkins rated it liked it
Shelves: gor
Much like the previous book in this series, Nomads of Gor, this book is mostly full of John Norman's glacially-paced world building, then abruptly shifts into high gear for the last 150 pages or so. Only trouble is, the interesting part of this book isn't nearly as well-written here as it was in Nomads. The big plot twist is obvious and predictable, but I won't spoil it here.

John Norman's views of male-female relations, and in fact of women in general, is beneath comment. All I will say here is
John Lawson
Tarl Cabot's been murdered, and the assassin Kuurus has been tasked to wreak vengeance upon those responsible. Carnivorous parakeet racing ensues.

The introduction of the new character, Kuurus, was an extremely interesting twist, and I had hopes he'd bring something new to the world. Alas, very quickly you discover his story doesn't play out as one might hope.

Little goes on in this book beyond a muddled plot involving corruption within the civics of Ar, the art of bird racing, some chess playing,
Mar 23, 2013 Shane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great read from John Norman. This one has Tarl Cabot pretending to be an assasin. It's a swift page turner, the story being helped along a good deal with the usual vignettes of slave-girls being used and abused to varying degrees. He falls for yet another girl, Elizabeth Cardwell, who was abducted from Earth by 'The Others', a rival group to 'The Priest Kings' and whom he eventually frees(of course).

His original love, Talena, gets but a passing mention at the very end along the lines of
David Teachout
Oct 08, 2012 David Teachout rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Predictable sequence of events but with far more surprises in the characters than usual makes the story worth reading or at least skimming with care. The continued discussion and examples of slavery, based as they are on a simplistic relationship between biology and social status, while ridiculous at one level are at least excellent sources for thought. Certainly the case can be made that Norman focuses too much on biology but it can equally be declared that often these days we don't look enough ...more
Jan 18, 2012 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rollicking fantasy adventure story with gladiators and giant eagle races but easily distracted by long tracts of text describing in great detail what slave girls are wearing and so on. This series started out as a coherent world, but now Earth women are starting to discover the joys of being slaves, and this breaks the illusion. Still, like Moby Dick, if you avoid the descriptive passages and look only at the adventure story, this is not too bad. Rated MA for adult themes, sexual references and ...more
Sep 07, 2009 Kione rated it liked it
It was pretty painful trudging through the first half of the book.
But, I'm learning how to get past all of Normans bullshit.
The last half was a lot more entertaining.

You'd think I'd learn by now (after the first 4 books and a couple of the latter) that John Norman was the epitome of a chicken choking fan boy living out all his fantasies, delusions and obvious dysfunctions through his writing. But hey, what can I say? I'm a glutton for some of the cool crap that he does offer in the World of Gor.
Dec 20, 2013 AmbushPredator rated it it was amazing
My absolute favourite of all the 'Gor' novels and the last one before they started going a bit...odd. It reads like a blockbuster sword & sandals fantasy spectacular script for a movie, with the plotting and skullduggery of 'Game of Thrones' plus the gladiatorial spectacle from 'Ben Hur' and then the hero's bittersweet ride into the sunset with the girl from just about all the best films.

It's a shame that, after this, things take a rather dark turn for poor Tarl Cabot.
Christopher Walls
Sep 03, 2011 Christopher Walls rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I read this whole series in a marathon session, while stationed in England. The depth and volume of the stories is humbling for any writer and I consider this series very influential in my own approach to writing and world building in general; generic post for all the books in this series as I am finally getting around to recording my reading list in Goodreads.
Chris Moyer
Aug 12, 2011 Chris Moyer rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I remember liking the Gor series well enough in junior high and high school when I read them but I don't think I would enjoy them as much 25+ years later so I will recuse myself from rating any in the series.
Sep 03, 2015 Sonnet rated it really liked it
Things start to get a little more interesting in this book. Pace & detail improve immensely. Tarl is of course still a tad blind to what's going on at times, & as ever he's a bit of an idiot generally. But Elizabeth helps with that. She's a fabulous character.
Nov 12, 2014 Glen rated it it was ok
I first read these 30 to 40 years ago an overall liked the series (those I read), Until this book. This was the first in the series that the author went WAY overboard on the sex slave crap. I had to stop 1/2 way through. I'll more than likely read more sooner or later but....
Timothy Boyd
Ever read the old John Carter of Mars books? Well here is the more adult version of a man transported to a more savage world. Great adventure reads, but not for the faint at heart. Very adult material dealing with sex. Recommended
Jun 16, 2013 Butterflykatana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was crazy great!!
From start to finish it was a book of fun and intrigue. Not wanting to go and spoil the book. I'll just add the 8th race of the festival was superbly written and has been added to my soul!
Mike Taylor
Apr 02, 2015 Mike Taylor rated it it was amazing
This is a great read. A culmination of sorts of the first four. It really brings the society and characters into full view and a more complete understanding. Loved the subtle shifts and changes.
Dec 23, 2009 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I remember liking this one a lot. The story takes place in the city of Ar, which might as well be Rome. There is a lot of political intrigue and spy type stuff in this Gor novel.
Dec 30, 2016 Alan rated it really liked it
I read this book as a teenager and remember enjoying this tome better than some of the others as the story line was a bit more compelling and the female lead was not just a silly slave girl.
Oct 10, 2008 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
One of the better Gor books with a proper story worth reading (i.e. not just about slave girls, but actually taking the saga forward)
Aug 07, 2015 Pete rated it it was ok
Simple and tedious. In the end the author was able to deliver a fairly exciting action scene.
Aug 01, 2013 Dan rated it really liked it
The ending is good but was too much unrelated jibber jabber and made the story feel slow.
Becky Patterson

This was a really enjoyable book. I look forward to being able to finish the series. Only 28 more books.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

John Norman, real name John Lange, was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1931. His best known works, the Gor novels, span 31 books written 1967 to 2012, plus three installments of the Telnarian Histories, two other fiction works and a non-fiction paperback. Mr. Norman is marrie
More about John Norman...

Other Books in the Series

Gor (1 - 10 of 34 books)
  • Tarnsman of Gor (Gor #1)
  • Outlaw of Gor (Gor #2)
  • Priest-Kings of Gor (Gor #3)
  • Nomads of Gor (Gor #4)
  • Raiders of Gor (Gor #6)
  • Captive of Gor (Gor #7)
  • Hunters of Gor (Gor #8)
  • Marauders of Gor (Gor, #9)
  • Tribesmen of Gor (Gor #10)
  • Slave Girl of Gor (Gor #11)

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