This series has definitely been interesting in terms of the mangakan's evolution as a an artist and a storyteller. I'll always be thankful for being a...moreThis series has definitely been interesting in terms of the mangakan's evolution as a an artist and a storyteller. I'll always be thankful for being able to get my hands on them, especially as they're practically out of print.
Wow. A perfect blend of supernatural and history, this juicy little novel kept me well entertained and perfectly satisfied with its dark, tragic endin...moreWow. A perfect blend of supernatural and history, this juicy little novel kept me well entertained and perfectly satisfied with its dark, tragic ending.(less)
Pre-Review: Started reading this while waiting for Nic to get his hair cut. Still thinking about it now. MUST FINISH BOOK. Urg, Howard, how do you do...morePre-Review: Started reading this while waiting for Nic to get his hair cut. Still thinking about it now. MUST FINISH BOOK. Urg, Howard, how do you do this to me? I just love your words.
As my pre-review states, I started this book on a whim. It was hot, I was bored, and I had forgotten to bring a book with me.
Yes, yes. Don't worry it won't happen again.
*Ahem* Back to the point....
Anyway, I started reading it because
A: I love Howard
And that's probably the only reason I ever need for anything.
Before I actually begin this review, I should state that if you've never read Howard, it might be worth warning you that there is fair number of debates on his possible misogyny and racism. I wrote about this a little bit on my review for The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, but I am going to reiterate a few things here as well. Howard grew up in the 1920s and in the American South. He grew up at a time where society, especially American Southern society, held different values, perceptions, and ideas than we do today. I'm not saying Howard was a racist, I certainly don't believe that to hold any water at all, but his work can be analyzed from that perspective, just as they can be analyzed for possible his misogyny.
He also wrote for money, something that shouldn't be forgotten if you're ever debating about his use of clichés. Finally, the audience he wrote for was primarily men, which is something one must always consider when reading any work at all.
I'm not here to excuse any of Howard's writing or start a debate, I just wanted to put those facts out there for anyone considering reading this novel or any of his other works. From my own perspective, I tend to ignore some of his more questionable aspects, and enjoy his work, because Howard truly was an amazing writer with an excess of imagination and creativity that should not be missed. He wrote wonderfully, and he's been one of the few writers that has continued to keep me on my toes no matter the circumstance. He's suspenseful, engaging, and creates worlds filled with life that will have you immersed in for ages. And those are the reasons why I read him again and again and again.
Almuric certainly wasn't my favorite of Howard's work, Conan holds that top spot, but its definitely characteristic of his work in general: Strong men, damsels in distress who end up being more than a plot point, monstrous beings/animals/wtfuckery, and evil villains that rock.
In short, its an adventure story, with plenty of suspense, mystery, and action to keep you reading and wondering where its going to go next. It's also carefully plotted, as elements you've (or at least I've), forgotten come back to haunt you later, and everything comes together in a lovely way.
It's well written, though perhaps not as well as some of his Conan short stories, but it's engaging nonetheless. It's characters are well established, and even though they can be slightly stereotypical, surprised me more than once.
All in all, Almuric is a lovely novel for any fan of Howard or the 20s pulp literature in general. It's fun, full of adventure, and a quick read. 4-4.5/5(less)
This was definitely an inbetweener volume and basically set up and backstoried (it's a word!..that I made up..) Yako and Kuryu. A fascinating one, but...moreThis was definitely an inbetweener volume and basically set up and backstoried (it's a word!..that I made up..) Yako and Kuryu. A fascinating one, but not quite as tantalizing and exciting as the last few have been.
There was that cute moment at the end when Yako started to realize his feelings though...:D