Bran Mak Morn: The Last King
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Bran Mak Morn: The Last King

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  810 ratings  ·  42 reviews
From Robert E. Howard’s fertile imagination sprang some of fiction’s greatest heroes, including Conan the Cimmerian, King Kull, and Solomon Kane. But of all Howard’s characters, none embodied his creator’s brooding temperament more than Bran Mak Morn, the last king of a doomed race.

In ages past, the Picts ruled all of Europe. But the descendants of those proud conquerors h...more
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Published May 31st 2005 by Del Rey (first published September 1st 1969)
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Jake
While the rest of the world was obsessively reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this weekend, I was taking the time to finish off my latest venture into my growing REH collection. Nothing against Harry, mind you, but I had already started on Bran Mak Morn, and wanted to finish it off before I moved on to other things. Besides, the idea of over-caffeinating myself just to obsessively force myself through the end of the book sounds dreadfully unpleasant to my ears, and reading is supposed...more
s-b-t
Oct 28, 2007 s-b-t rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction and fantasy
Though these stories were first seen in pulp fiction magazines in the late 1920's and early 1930's, to dismiss them as "easy reading" is a mistake. Howard and his contemporaries wrote impressive works of literature that drew heavily on history, and referenced recurring fictional themes such as dark fantasy, eldritch magics, the horrors of the night and the undiscovered country, lost empires and cities such as Atlantis, and of course massive battles between iron-clad warriors with sword and shiel...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Also a pretty good read, anoter "for-runner" of Conan. Bran Mak Morn is the "last" King of the Picts. Howrd romanticized the Picts and used his fictionalized version of them in both the King Kull stories and some of his Conan adventures.

This is his foray into using "them" as the main character focus.

Again, Howard's gift for adventure comes to the fore and the only concern may be not getting blood splashed on your clothes from the page.
Tom Barnett
Robert E. Howard was a great writer of heroic fiction of the pulp era. This is an a very enjoyable collection of stories.
Dan Schwent
Bran Mak Morn is the last king of the Picts and will do whatever it takes to help his people. That's all you need to know going in.

I liked this omnibus about as much as the Kull one I read at the beginning of the year but not as much as Solomon Kane and definitely not as much as Conan. My favorite story in it is Worms of the Earth, where Bran makes a deal with some Lovecraftian beasties.

I enjoyed it and I'm glad I read it but I wouldn't consider Bran an essential read for Howard fans.
Colin
Howard was a true master of his craft - his Bran Mak Morn is the last of the ancient royal line of the Picts, facing the oppression of the Celts and the Romans as well as other, darker powers . . .
jack
short stories. some historic fantasy, some weird. i think i liked this better than some of the conan stuff by him that i grew up on.
Steven
Jun 06, 2008 Steven rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: REH fans
I enjoyed this one, though it wasn't what I expected. Bran wasn't in enough of the stories.
Jeremy
The richness invoked by Robert E. Howard's words was engrossing to me. All of the stories held well together by themselves; however, reading them as a whole didn't diminish the experience for me. A few favorites did emerge, imho, and those were: The Dark Man, Kings of the Night, and Worms of the Earth. The first containing a story well into the future, where despite Bran Mak Morn's earnest efforts the age of his people have come and gone. Black Turlogh, an Irish warrior who's the main character...more
Joel Griswell
Ah, REH, how I love thee! This book collects all of his stories about Mak Morn (and a few others merely concerning the Picts), including short stories, poems, and a number of unfinished works. It's interesting reading about REH's obsession with the Picts since early childhood, they were the one culture that stayed present throughout his whole writing career. Although obsessed with history and the real-life Pict's at-times very mysterious development, in his stories, REH also creates his own sort...more
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
hese book needs no introduction. Bran Mak Morn was one of the famous characters created by the mythic Robert E Howard, the creator of Conan, Kull or Solomon Kane. It's quite amazing that some of these stories he had only 13 years old. And they are beautiful. I must say that the painter Gary Gianni was the right one to do the job. I've search some books with pictures of Bran Mak Morn and even Conan ones and this one was the better one. Trully beautiful. The history on this book as some not fidegi...more
Zare
Having never read Conan stories I decided to take a look at the works of a man considered to be a master storyteller and a writer that has triggered entire heroic-epic-fantasy concept (exaggeration perhaps but after reading this book I can say that he is very very good storyteller and writer). I took this book because everyone said that Howard was obsessed with Picts and that his stories about them were the best.[return][return]This one is a story of an ancient race, one that has ruled entire Eu...more
Zare
Having never read Conan stories I decided to take a look at the works of a man considered to be a master storyteller and a writer that has triggered entire heroic-epic-fantasy concept (exaggeration perhaps but after reading this book I can say that he is very very good storyteller and writer). I took this book because everyone said that Howard was obsessed with Picts and that his stories about them were the best.

This one is a story of an ancient race, one that has ruled entire Europe during the...more
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Bran Mak Morn è uno dei personaggi più famosi usciti dalla penna di Howard e in questo libro vi sono raccolte le storie, uscite a suo tempo sulla rivista "Weird Tales", in cui viene almeno citato. Essendo Bran Mak Morn, nell'immaginario dello scrittore texano caposcuola di un certo modo di concepire il fantasy ritenuto agli antipodi di Tolkien, l'ultimo re dei pitti, i barbari per eccellenza fin dalla nascita dell'umanità, questi ultimi sono i veri protagonisti dei racconti, siano essi il valent...more
Daniele
http://www.lastambergadeilettori.com/...

Bran Mak Morn è uno dei personaggi più famosi usciti dalla penna di Howard e in questo libro vi sono raccolte le storie, uscite a suo tempo sulla rivista "Weird Tales", in cui viene almeno citato. Essendo Bran Mak Morn, nell'immaginario dello scrittore texano caposcuola di un certo modo di concepire il fantasy ritenuto agli antipodi di Tolkien, l'ultimo re dei pitti, i barbari per eccellenza fin dalla nascita dell'umanità, questi ultimi sono i veri protago...more
Kristopher
Since reading "Worms of he Earth" in another Hoard collection earlier this year, I've been wanting to get back to Bran Mak Morn. I've had this collection on my bookshelf for years but haven't looked into it since high school. This is a cheapo edition, featuring an "introduction" by Howard, probably pulled from one of his letters, that doesn't mention he'd been dead for 30 years when the book came out.

But the stories within are a mixed bag. "Worms of the Earth" was still my favorite, but "Kings...more
Tra-Kay
Longtime fans of Howard may find something to enjoy in his every work, but as a newcomer "Bran Mak Morn" seemed lacking. Rather than a novel, it's a collection of short pieces that center around the Picts, whom Howard usually depicts as reptilian, bestial, or otherwise devolved. They aren't stories so much as snapshots: historically-informed scenes of men and their tribes and empires, and the bloody battles in which they rage.

I will say of Howard that he creates mood very well. The dark and spat...more
Krzysztof
A must read for Howard fans, but not so sure if other people need to pick this up.

The stories are reasonably good, but none of them I felt had the vitality of the Conan, Solomon Kane or even the Kull stories. These ones have a tendency of going off on a tangent and re-telling pretty much the same story of the Picts as a race in the middle of something else happening. The action is only sometimes on par with Conan, but the "historical" setting is a nice change from Kull and the Cimmerian.

At any r...more
Timothy Boyd
While this is my least favorite of Howard's characters, the action is still the best. An awesome unedited collection of all the Bran Mac Morn stories. Highly recommended
John
All of REH's Bran Mak Morn stories along with a few fragments and essays. The essay on the history of Hyboria is exhausting but a fantastic reference on the fake history of REH's worlds. I've come to the conclusion that aside from The Worms of Earth and Kings of the Night, most of the Bran Mak Morn stories are crap. The Dark Man is also good but that's really a Turlogh O'Brian story and probably only made into the book because it includes yet another incarnation of the Picts. Most of the other s...more
David
Howard's persona of Bran Mak Morn is different from his others in that the last Pictish king is one of a constrained, brooding countenance that is not out for freedom or the greater good, but of saving a dying kingdom from the forces of Rome. Mak Morn's stories carry an angst that reveals Howard's passion for the Pictish legends. His trademark battle descriptions and knack for draping the supernatural over any event are just as evident in these works as they are in his tales of other, more well-...more
William King
Don't let the fact that Pictish King Bran is one of Howard's minor heroes fool you. This book contains some of his best sword and sorcery. Howard's predilection for themes of illusion and reality is evident in the Kull crossover story Kings of the Night, and the Worms of the Earth is simply one of his strongest stories ever. Here, more than almost anywhere else, the power of Howard's prose and the depressive grandeur of his vision is evident. Bran is fighting a losing war against an invincible e...more
Doug Dandridge
May 21, 2012 Doug Dandridge rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Robert E Howard fans
Another Howard gem I read as a child, in fact my first introduction to Howard. Bran is a king of the Picts, and his stories are set in Roman Britain, until recently a little known or written time, when the Dark Ages were starting to overtake the civilization of the Romans. Very good sword and sorcery with Howard's gritty feel. Bran of course stars in the early stories, with a guest appearance by King Kull. Bran and the Picts are mentioned in later stories that feature Gaels and Vikings. There is...more
Justin Achilli
While the Bran Mak Morn stories are easily as good as any of Howard's other tales — and "Worms of the Earth" is without a doubt one of Howard's best — this volume mostly consists of stories reprinted from the other titles in this collection. The volume does include a partial draft of a novel in progress, as well as a few manuscripts, typescripts, a play, and a chronology, these are more of academic interest than the stuff of a rollicking read. Recommended for completists and scholars, but the ca...more
Jeff Cadoff
Nov 07, 2010 Jeff Cadoff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans
Howard is unparalleled in creating a vivid mental picture with sparing text. Absolutely amazing imagery. It never ceases to awe me how I can be transported to a lush scene in a single paragraph. Howard brings disparate climes and times to life with ease. YOU ARE THERE! And it is breathtaking, fun, fast-paced and real. Wow. If you are a fantasy fan, and haven't read his works, then you are short-changing yourself. This is an excellent place to start. Starting here will alleviate any problems caus...more
Paul Roper
Robert E. Howard got me through a daily 3 hour round trip ride to High School. I started with Conan in 1967 and blew through everything that was available to me, then found that Mr. Howard had other heroes and I snatched them up as quick as I could.

Bran was interesting, telling me stories about the shadow warriors of Scotland, known as Picts, and they were great stories.

I love REH's writing, total pulp, but what's wrong with that, it opened doors for me, made me look into history to see where RE...more
Jacob Aitken
Definitely not his "Conan material." Some of the stories are good, and certainly better than the garbage today, but not Howard's best work.
Alejandro
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that, as of July 2012, Bran Mak Morn may indeed be my absolute favorite Robert E. Howard hero. He's just so much darker than everyone else. There's something deeply romantic and dark about the last king of a race doomed to unrelenting atavistic regression. Great stuff, and it's a shame REH didn't write more.

Just found out that Karl Edward Wagner wrote a Bran Mak Morn novel. I'm gonna have to track that one down.
Valerio
Index:

The Bell of Morni
The Whell Turns
Bran Mak Morn: A Play
Bran Mak Morn
Men of the Shadows
Kings of the Night
Worms of the Earth
Untitled (A gray sky arched ...)
A Song of the Race (poem)
Untitled Synopses
Untitled Synopses
The Dark Man
The Lost Race
The Little People
The Drums of Pictdom (poem)
The Children of the Night

Vincent Darlage
This collection contains some of REH's best work, including "Kings of the Night," "The Dark Man," and "Worms of the Earth" (and includes an early draft of the latter tale). I like the overall themes of the Bran Mak Morn tales, especially the intention of a man to hold back the tide of time from crushing his people, knowing the futility of the task but bending to it regardless.
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Robert E. Howard ...: Thoughts on Bran Mak Morn 19 18 Jan 13, 2014 07:44PM  
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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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“Time and times are but cogwheels, unmatched, grinding on oblivious to one another. Occasionally - oh, very rarely! - the cogs fit; the pieces of the plot snap together momentarily and give men faint glimpses beyond the veil of this everyday blindness we call reality.” 2 likes
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