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The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane

(Solomon Kane)

by
4.07  ·  Rating details ·  4,132 ratings  ·  251 reviews
With Conan the Cimmerian, Robert E. Howard created more than the greatest action hero of the twentieth century—he also launched a genre that came to be known as sword and sorcery. But Conan wasn’t the first archetypal
adventurer to spring from Howard’s fertile imagination.

“He was . . . a strange blending of Puritan and Cavalier, with a touch of the ancient philosopher, an
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Paperback, 414 pages
Published June 29th 2004 by Del Rey (first published 1932)
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,132 ratings  ·  251 reviews


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Dirk Grobbelaar

The moon began to rise, lean and haggard, like a skull among the stars.

In the very first few pages of reading this, I was reminded again of just how electrifying a writer Howard was. I can’t help but wonder what a legacy he would have amassed by now, had circumstances been different. (Howard passed away at the age of 30; the first Solomon Kane story was published when he was around the age of 22)

What are mortals but food for the jaws of the black gods?

This is a fantastic collection and I can’t r
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Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I'd like to have been able to give this 5 stars but for various reasons I can only go 4. I first read this book in spurts some years ago. The stories and the character I've known for many ears. Having discovered Conan back in the dark ages of my youth I spent time searching out many of REH's works. Back in the late '60s and '70s there were many reprints and collections of stories based on Howard's work.

I like Howard and I like most of his fantasy characters...though I never really got into his s
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Stjepan Cobets
The dark hero Solomon Kane leads us into the world of ancient secrets and the monsters that live in the jungles of Africa. With his loyal pistol, rapier and Ju Ju staff opposes the vampire queen, damned creatures, evil men, and evil that is hiding in the old cities and ruins. Always on the side of good, he helps those that attack these dark forces, although it often is in perilous situations, with his strength and mind destroy evil in its path. Writer story of Conan Robert E. Howard, in this boo ...more
Werner
Dec 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of adventure-oriented fiction in a historical setting
Aug. 4, 2014
Best known as the creator of Conan the barbarian, pulp-era giant Robert E. Howard enriched literature with several other memorable series characters, including Kull, Bran Mak Morn, Dark Agnes de la Ferre --and Solomon Kane. This volume collects REH's entire Kane corpus: nine short stories, three narrative poems (one of which exists in two variant forms, both of which are included here), and four partially completed story fragments, of which we have the beginnings but not the endings.
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Jake
“He was…a strange blending of Puritan and Cavalier, with a touch of the ancient philosopher, and more than a touch of the pagan…A hunger in his soul drove him on and on, an urge to right all wrongs, protect all weaker things…Wayward and restless as the wind, he was consistent in only one respect—he was true to his ideals of justice and right. Such was Solomon Kane.”

“Such was Solomon Kane,” indeed.

This book rocks. As much as I’d like to try and sound clinical about this—screw it. I’m not a litera
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Terence
Nov 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: REH completists
I’ve been reading Robert E. Howard’s Conan for 30+ years now. I remember – and still have – the Science Fiction Book Club editions edited by the late Karl Wagner and I think any consideration of the best fantasy writing has to include “Beyond the Black River” and “A Witch Shall Be Born,” at the very least, but I was never much interested in reading any of the non-Conan stories Howard wrote.* I was always intrigued, however, by what I heard about “Solomon Kane” – a Puritan soldier-of-fortune who ...more
Dan Schwent
Apr 26, 2008 rated it liked it
Since I've read half of this before as Skull in the Stars, I'll only be reviewing the complete stories I've yet to read, no fragments.

Hills of the Dead:
Solomon Kane and N'Longa go up against a group of vampires in some remote hills. Carnage ensues.

It's been a couple years since I read one of the Solomon Kane stories. Howard's Puritan adventurer is quite a bit different from Conan but still quite good. The staff N'Longa give Kane to use proves to be invaluable and I loved the way the vampires wer
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Joseph
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Standard Howardian disclaimer first: Robert E. Howard was living in a small town in Texas in the 1920s & 30s and writing, very quickly, for pulp magazines, so his stories sometimes feature ... suboptimal portrayals of people of other races & ethnic backgrounds, and ditto portrayals of women (if any).

Which, given that Solomon Kane is a "Puritan adventurer" circa 1600 AD, wouldn't seem like it would be an issue, but several of Kane's adventures take him to the heart of Africa, an Africa th
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Rob
Executive Summary: This was a disappointment. I signed up to review this for SFF Audio trying something I wouldn't have read otherwise, but I mostly found myself bored.

Audio book: Paul Boehmer does a pretty good job here. I'd listened to him before with the Night Angel Trilogy, and enjoyed him again with this book.

He does some voices for the various characters. I think if this collection had a bad reader I would have stopped before the end.

Full Review
I don't normally seem to enjoy older works
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Jean-marcel
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love these stories. In many ways, Kane seems the most dangerous of all of Howard's strong, brooding warrior creations. He's driven not by gold nor sex nor fame, but by a strange fire within his soul that makes him believe he is on an eternal, righteous quest. He feels with his heart the difference between right and wrong, and he acts upon those feelings with the cold, implacable drive of the religious crusader and fanatic. In many ways, I think he's pretty insane. It is his insanity that parti ...more
Greg (adds 2 TBR list daily) Hersom
Dressed in black with the tall slouch-hat typical of Puritan fashion, and armed with sword, flint-locks, and, later, an ancient carved staff, Solomon Kane stalks the 16th century world from the remote reaches of Europe to the bloody decks of the high seas, and into the deepest, darkest African jungles. Whether it be a witch-cursed monstrosity, hell-spawned vampire, mutant throw-back, or just a wicked wretch of humankind, Solomon Kane will fight with equal determination and enthusiasm to see good ...more
Mohammed Abdi Osman
Solomon Kane is the strongest, most interesting character i have read by Howard. Kane is perfect for his stories, his somber personality,style creates the weird atmosphere for the stories so seamlessly.

There are not many Kane stories and they are not the most consistent collection of stories i have read by Howard. The minor stories are somewhat uneven. But stories like Red Shadows, Hills of the Dead, Wings in the Night is very hard to improve on when it comes to stark atmosphere, quality storie
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Nate
Aug 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
SPECIAL DRUNKEN HALLOWEEN REVIEW EDITION!!!!!!!!!


God...it pains me, but this was disappointing. Disappointing to the point of aggressive boredom, even. I really like Howard, which is why I put this review off for months. I mean...I WANT to say I liked it as much as his Conan stuff, but I didn't. I don't think it just comes down to the choice of protagonist, either. Conan is certainly more likable with his "gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth" as the author would put it. That single descript
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Jon
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This is written in a similar style, but it misses a lot of the fun factor of Conan.
Paul
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Ahh, Solomon Kane. One of Robert E. Howards' other great creations, along with King Kull, Bran Mak Morn, and of course, Conan.

So, where to begin?

Solomon Kane is basically a bad-ass who is also really religious, in the Puritan sense (which means really hardcore). He knows how to fence, he knows how to lose it and go into a mad rampage where his vision is red with bloodlust, he knows how to be methodical and plan, and he's a damned good shot with a musket ball pistol.

Most of all, he is perhaps
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Daniel
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who knows me can tell you I am a Robert E. Howard fanatic. I think I always have been, since back in the Roy Thomas, Marvel Comics days. I actually read the comic books before I read the Conan novels. Solomon Kane came along to me many years later, in the form of some collected short works and eventually comic books. I was in love all over again, with a man who wrote during a very short few years in the 1920's and 1930's. Just a snapshot here, but Howard was a man who claimed he didn't ha ...more
Jared Millet
Solomon Kane is arguably Robert Howard’s most original creation. Most of his others were boxers, cowboys, or barbarian kings, but 16th century Puritan swordsman Kane stands alone. Of all Howard’s characters he’s certainly the most selfless – but more than that, he’s an obsessive fanatic willing to scour the ends of the earth righting wrongs, which most of the time involves avenging the death of people who are total strangers to him. Unlike Conan or Kull, Kane seems to have no desires for himself ...more
Todd
May 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is a compilation of all the Robert E. Howard Solomon Kane stories. This volume also contains fragmented stories, a biography of Howard (by Rusty Burke) and an "In Memoriam" written by H.P. Lovecraft. These stories jump off the page. In fact, in my estimation, Robert E. Howard is the greatest short story writer to ever write. He can detail characters and create complicated plot lines in less pages than most well known writers can in full-length books. This book is a testament to that fa ...more
John
Solomon Kane is an interesting and unique enough character to make up for the fact that many of his adventures feel rather second-rate. The sad truth is that author Robert E. Howard passed away at the age of thirty, well before he had a chance to reach his full potential as a writer. Imagine if Stephen King had died at thirty...the world would have considered him a one-hit wonder with CARRIE.
THE SAVAGE TALES OF SOLOMON KANE is no LORD OF THE RINGS, yet it's still pretty impressive coming from a
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Arun Divakar
Jan 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Simple straightforward action, that seems to be the style of Robert Howard. No questions asked, in your face action sequences and characters. Solomon Kane for the uninitiated among you is a wanderer, a puritan, a fanatic who believes himself to be the right hand of a wrathful god.

The stories are very enjoyable provided you switch your brains off and enjoy the roller coaster ride on the offering. It has all the marks of a racist writing wherein the dwellers of Africa are called as nothing but sav
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Andy Howell
Dec 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Badassery
Alright, I'm just going to list some things...
Puritan avenger with Thankgiving pagent hat, white socks, and buckle shoes.
Twin flintlock pistols.
Broadsword beheadings.
Pirates vs. Puritans.
Naked over-sexed ebony skinned Satan-worshiping jungle princesses.
Ruined jungle cities.
Zombies.
A Lovecraftian demon imprisoned by King Solomon.
Need I go on? True pulp if there ever was. This volume collects all of Howard's Kane stories, including the unfinished drafts. Beautiful artwork as well.
Matthew
Aug 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantastic
I'm sure that Howard's fantasy was mind-blowing back in the 30s, but I get the sense that most people who praise him nowadays do so mostly out of nostalgia. I give him props for making his main character a hardcore Puritan who walks the earth righting wrongs and kicking ass. Otherwise I was pretty bored.
Darren
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Solomon Kane was the birth of Urban Fantasy. Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn't read him. It's probably the reason Jim Butcher keeps insisting that Dresden doesn't wear a hat, but the cover artist keeps adding one. Fantastic illustrations by Gary Gianni, which is no doubt a redundant sentence.
Jim
I didn't care much for the hero. My prejudices against religion, I guess.
Ryan Sean O'Reilly
Why was I not taught about Solomon Kane when I learned about the pilgrims in middle school?

Swashbuckling tales of adventure and voodoo. Solomon Kane, the vigilante fanatic driven by demons to journey the world in a relentless and endless quest to destroy as many evil doers as he is physically capable of until he meets his own demise.

First of all, this character is impossible and defies all reason. Solomon Kane is a puritan in puritan garb, but armed with daggers, a sword, pistols, a musket and
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Michael Sorbello
The Moon of Skulls and Wings in the Night were brilliant, full of eldritch horror and visceral fantasy action. The rest of the stories were good, but they didn't really leave any lasting impressions on me quite like the two particular tales I mentioned. Solomon Kane had some fantastic tales to offer, but I think Conan is the superior man in terms of character, setting and lore.
Krycek
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Solomon Kane is, perhaps, one of R.E. Howard's most interesting characters, at least to my mind.

He was a man born out of his time - a strange blending of Puritan and Cavalier, with a touch of the ancient philosopher, and more than a touch of the pagan, though the last assertion would have  shocked him unspeakably. An atavist of the days of blind chivalry he was, a knight errant in the somber clothes of a fanatic. A hunger in his soul drove him on and on, an urge to right all wrongs, protect all
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Graham
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthology, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew Nease
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, anyone who's read my reviews of the two 'best-of' volumes in this same series knows my general opinions about Howard. This book does not disappoint. The prose has that unique Howard feel where you can't quite tell after the fact whether it was lush and poetic or blunt and brutal, the world explored and its mythology is fascinating, the stories have all the round-the-campfire pacing you could want of a good horror or adventure yarn, and it was good to get to know Solomon Kane, personally, a ...more
Richard Tokebroker
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Okay...so I wanted to like this book, but I honestly couldn't help but flinch when I read over half of the short stories in this compilation. Solomon Kane, a Puritan armed with a sword and a badass outfit, was everything I could have wanted from a hero. Robert E. Howard made him brave, strong, and hopelessly romantic...for whatever reason. I mean, the guy is a Puritan, right? We don't hear much about his beliefs, except when he's refusing to sex the damsels he's recently rescued, and when he's t ...more
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1,760 followers
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
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Other books in the series

Solomon Kane (7 books)
  • Red Shadows
  • Solomon Kane: Skulls in the Stars
  • Rattle of Bones (The 'Solomon Kane' Stories)
  • Moon of Skulls (The Weird Works of Robert E. Howard #2)
  • Solomon Kane: The Hills of the Dead (Solomon Kane #2)
  • The Footfalls Within
  • Wings in the Night (The Weird Works of Robert E. Howard #4)
“Over the souls of men spread the condor wings of colossal monsters and all manner of evil things prey upon the heart and soul and body of Man. Yet it may be in some far day the shadows shall fade and the Prince of Darkness be chained forever in his hell. And till then mankind can but stand up stoutly to the monsters in his own heart and without, and with the aid of God he may yet triumph.” 19 likes
“For man's only weapon is courage that flinches not from the gates of Hell itself, and against such not even the legions of Hell can stand.” 17 likes
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