Dan Schwent 's Reviews > Gods in Darkness: The Complete Novels of Kane

Gods in Darkness by Karl Edward Wagner
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Feb 08, 11

bookshelves: pulp
Recommended for: pulp fantasy fans
Read in March, 2008

If you have a craving for pulp style fantasy, look no further. Gods in Darkness is a good set of stories, a delightful blend of Howard and Moorcock, and Kane is what would happen if Conan and Elric were able to mate successfully.

Later:
Kane's a red haired immortal barbarian, cast out of a garden paradise-prison by a mad god, destined to wander the earth until he dies by violence.

I'll review Bloodstone since it's the one I remember the most:
The story starts out with a bang. Kane's a member of a gang of bandits. The Bloodstone of the title appears in the Bandit's haul one day. Kane winds up slaying most of the gang of bandits after the leader rejected his offer of foregoing his share of the treasure in exchange for the ring.

The larger back story of Bloodstone is that two kingdoms are at war. Kane's dealing both sides and not playing honest with either. Without giving too much away, after a few betrayals Kane's true intentions become known, as are the powers of the Bloodstone and why Kane was so keen on possessing it. Unfortunately for Kane, he gets a little more than he bargained for. That sums it up nicely without giving too much away.

Now for the writing. I thought Karl Edward Wagner's writing would be breezier, ala Fritz Leiber. It's more like Robert E. Howard's; dense and robust. It's like eating a steak rather than the salad that comprises a lot of fantasy these days. The settings and monsters feel more like Moorcock and Lovecraft than Howard's but that just lends to the overall creepiness. Twists abound and you find yourself wondering how things are going to play out, a far cry from the usual "Slay the big baddie and/or destroy this artifact" sprawling quest you've all read so many times already.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Adam (new)

Adam Conan and Elric actually were able to mate successfully on three separate occasions. Neither of them got pregnant, however.


message 2: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Adam wrote: "Conan and Elric actually were able to mate successfully on three separate occasions. Neither of them got pregnant, however."

That's unfortunate. Their lives would be complete if they devoted them to raising the red headed barbarian with strangler's hands.


message 3: by Adam (new)

Adam Hey, they could've if they'd wanted to. Adoption is always an option, even for mythical heroes.

I smell a sitcom. My Two Barbarian Dads?


message 4: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Adam wrote: "Hey, they could've if they'd wanted to. Adoption is always an option, even for mythical heroes.

I smell a sitcom. My Two Barbarian Dads?"


Maybe an SNL sketch.


message 5: by Adam (new)

Adam Now I'm having flashbacks to "Lothar of the Hill People."


message 6: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed I would love to read Kane like 2 years ago but the second hand collections like 300 dollars wow...

All the cult status, rave reviews Wagner S&S,horrror stories get his seriously out of print,underrated.


message 7: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent I got this book and the Kane short story collection from the science fiction book club a few years ago for something like 12 bucks each. They're good but not worth the crazy money they're going for now.


message 8: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed Dan wrote: "I got this book and the Kane short story collection from the science fiction book club a few years ago for something like 12 bucks each. They're good but not worth the crazy money they're going fo..."

Be glad you live in a huge country that speak english is all im saying. Not only Wagner but Clark Asthon Smith,William Hope Hodgson books are near impossible to find at times.

Its just ashame about Wagner i would like to see whats the fuss about Kane.


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