[CONAN] Legends of Kern

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[CONAN] Legends of Kern

Postby Supplement Four » Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:55 pm

I've read about 50 pages of the Age of Conan novel, Blood of Wolves, by Loren L. Coleman. It's the first in the Legends of Kern trilogy, focussing on the barbarians of Cimmeria during the reign of King Conan.

Image



Damn! So far, this is an EXCELLENT book! No kidding!

I am totally digging it.
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Postby Supplement Four » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:30 pm

Half way through, and this is becoming one of the best books I've read. It's an excellen Hyborian Age tale.

I like how I can pick out game references in the story. Kern, himself, has the Eyes of the Cat feat with his low light vision. And, the way he fights! He's the anti-Conan Cimmerian. The bigger weapons are too much for him. Unweildy. Until someone shows him how to fight with an arming sword--a smaller weapon, used to jab with the pointed end rather than slice as you would with a broadsword.

I blinked and I realized that Kern was being taught to fight using the Finesse Style! Most likely, Kern's DEX is higher than his STR.

And Daol, who's a master hunter for some 8 years or so. Well, some quick math shows me, at 1,000 xp per year, that he's got about 8,000 xp at a minimum (most likely a bit more), which makes him a level 4, 5, or 6 Barbarian class character--which is just about right for this game where most people are 10th level or below. I'd guess he's about 5th level.
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Postby Supplement Four » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:00 am

Only 80 pages left! (Reading five books at the same time, so it takes time..). This book has gone from "good" to a "must read".

Seriously...it's a damn good book.
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Postby VincentDarlage » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:25 pm

Really? I found it unreadable. The author has no idea how to write a complete sentence. Most of the "sentences" are incomplete, even in the narration.

Everyone but Kern was indistinguishable from each other, except by name. No one but Kern really had any character at all.

Also, he can't even get the spelling of Conan's clan correct. He continually calls Conan's clan "Conarch" but John Maddox Roberts established it as "Conach."

His Cimmerians wear ponchos, which seem wildly out of place for the culture, and the author misidentifies the Shemites as a black race. Twice in the trilogy he mentions the ebony skin of Belit - a woman Robert E. Howard described as having ivory skin.

Coleman really messed with the geography of Cimmeria.

John Maddox Roberts names Conan's clan as Canach, but Loren L. Coleman renames the clan Conarch.

John Maddox Roberts establishes Ben Morgh in the north-east of Cimmeria (and the valley of Conall), but Coleman moves it to the north-west.

Prior books establish the Black Mountains as the border between Cimmeria and Pictland (and the source of the Black River), but Coleman treats the range as the border of Cimmeria and Border Kingdom.

Coleman claims the Murrogh Clan have no interest in horses, but the clan's creator, John Maddox Roberts, claims they cared enough about horses to start a feud with Conan's clan over them.

Virtually all the geography is at odds with prior materials because of the misplacement of Ben Morgh and the Black Mountains (for example, the Pass of Blood would go into Asgard, not Vanaheim, and much of the plot revolves around Vanir raiders).

Coleman seems confused about his own geography. On one page, he says the Black Mountains form the border with the Border Kingdom, but later claims the Hoath Plateau and the Field of Chiefs lies EAST of those mountains (placing them in the Border Kingdom).

Mostly, I found this book difficult to read because of all the sentence fragments. At least one out of three sentences are fragmented throughout this novel (and the series). While I understand that the use of a sentence fragment can be effective when used sparingly, this author has written an entire trilogy comprised almost entirely of fragments!

Honestly, it makes the author looked as though he had no command of the English language at all.
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Postby VincentDarlage » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:53 pm

The best review of the book is here:

http://www.conan.com/invboard/index.php?showtopic=1483

It is in post #7 (the other two books follow in posts 8 and 9). He outlines the characterization and plotting problems these books have.
Ring-Haunter wrote:Blood of Wolves is a thundering disappointment, a misfire of Æsir-sized proportions and a poor way to hook new readers into Conan creator Robert E. Howard's classic sword-and-sorcery background. I find it hard to determine exactly whom to blame for the book's failings. Coleman obviously has writing talent, and his prose works far smoother than many of the sloppier Conan pastiches of the 1980s and '90s. However, the novel has a dull and wandering story, and the extensive cast of characters consists almost entirely of names without anything in the way of personality. Blood of Wolves was obviously a collaborative effort between Coleman, CPI, and Ace, but the plot they cobbled together resembles nothing more than an aimless sojourn through ice country with too many confusing battle scenes and gratuitous duels, and too few dramatic consequences.

The story needs a stronger central thrust. The hero Kern leads a party of Cimmerians around the snow of their land during a time of Vanir attacks, but they have no plan onto which the reader can easily latch. The heroes slosh from sacked town to sacked town, picking up more warriors, skirmishing with faceless Vanir, and then splitting up and reforming while hatching another strategy. Anonymous characters like Daol, Raeve, Sláine Longtooth, and Gard Foehammer—no more than names or perhaps a single characteristic—make protagonist Kern's ambiguously plotted quest to "take the war to the Vanir" and discover his parentage even more difficult to find interesting. Even the dark-skinned Shemite Nahud'r, who falls in with the Cimmerians after Kern rescues him from enslavement, does not stand out or achieve anything memorable.

At the heart of the problem lies the new hero, Kern, a Cimmerian whose frost-white hair and yellow eyes make him an outcast from his own Clan Gaud despite his prowess. He takes inspiration from Elric and R. A. Salvatore's dark elf Drizzt, but he has no distinguishing personality of his own. The story should show his gradual development into a great hero and eventual leader of the Cimmerians (the next two novels will follow up on this), but Kern does hardly anything notable or iconic here; even as a warrior he feels second-rate. His unusual coloring and its similarity to the "Ymirish," the frost-men who fight for the Vanir, will hopefully develop in the later novels, since it goes nowhere here except for a few reflective, brooding passages. Kern's only other remarkable feature, an animal kinship to the scavenging dire-wolf Frostpaw, never develops beyond a thematic symbol and an interesting idea. (Frostpaw, however, is one of the better developed of the book's characters. At times I wondered if an animal fantasy based on Cimmerian wolves might have made a more thrilling and original novel.)

Many other intriguing ideas lay scattered throughout Blood of Wolves like corpses on a Nemedian battlefield, but they remain dead and unlooted. A traitor within Kern's ranks changes sides so quickly that he loses all suspense. A romantic possibility between Kern and Maeve, the daughter of Clan Gaud's last chieftain, fizzles quickly. Political tensions between the tribes of Cimmeria receive only lip service and some growls before they smooth over. Perhaps these potential conflicts will emerge stronger in the sequels, but since Blood of Wolves does stand alone as a complete story with a definite conclusion, these loose strands are still disappointing, and they won't make many readers eager to snatch up the next installment.

The book does have a select few interesting and effective passages. It begins promisingly with the death of Clan Gaud's chief and the subsequent free-for-all contest to seize the chieftainship, and then it builds toward the exiling of Kern from the clan. At this point the plot balances on a knife's edge, ready to thrust Kern into a desperate struggle as an outcast. But the novel takes the unfortunate step of sending the hero back to his clan to begin the circular series of wanderings that eventually drain the energy from the narrative. Coleman does sprinkle in a few intriguing action set-pieces, such as the Cimmerians discovering the use of sleds as war weapons, but most of the fight scenes start to blend into each other in the last hundred pages, and none of the battles advance the plot much or have a lasting impact on the characters. For a sword-and-sorcery battle epic, Blood of Wolves has a startlingly low body-count.

Coleman at least creates a better version of Cimmeria than Harry H. Turtledove's suspiciously bucolic rendition in the recent Conan of Venarium. Coleman has done his research into Celts and primitive societies, and the sections involving Cimmerian ritual and custom have the cold steel ring of truth. Still, nothing about the Cimmerians feels as furious and bleak as the hints that Howard made about them in his Conan stories or his essays about the Hyborian Age. You will find bloody combat and gory wounds here, but you will not find the real rage and thunder.

Conan does make an "appearance" of sorts; the Cimmerian warriors mention him often as a living legend, one that collects many other legends to him. In what might be a clever piece of planned retconning, the Cimmerians suggest that many of the tales of Conan actually happened to other heroes, but Conan's larger-than-life persona absorbed them. Could this be a way of explaining away the many Conan pastiches that have followed in Robert E. Howard's wake? Even Howard might have admitted that some of Conan's exploits had undergone 'embellishing' over the years of their telling, either by the minstrels or the aging King Conan himself.

Although Coleman orchestrates numerous battle scenes (too many, actually), he provides only a few droppings of the supernatural and dark horror that are so important to Howard's milieu and his sword-and-sorcery in general. A few extinct beasts, like saber-tooths and mammoths, appear in the climactic combat, and the Vanir make use of some minor magic against their foes, but the aura of the dark fantastic feels sadly absent.
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Postby rabindranath72 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:45 am

And that's why I don't like pastiches. If I wanted to extrapolate on Howard's work, I could as well do it myself.
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Postby VincentDarlage » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:14 pm

The thing is, it not only fails as pastiche, it fails as a well-written novel. It really falls apart in the sequels, making it a failure as a well-written trilogy.

REHs work will be around for a long time, being discussed, having movies made... Tolkien, the same... Dune...

No one is going to remember any of the Age of Conan books beyond the current readers. They'll probably never see a second, third or fourth printing... They are forgettable and badly written. If those books weren't set in the Hyborian age, so few would have read them... and they probably wouldn't have been published. Conan Properties hired writers to write, and published what they wrote, apparently without understanding what makes a good story.

The only thing publishable about them was that they were set in the Hyborian age. It's too bad the people at Conan Properties have no real quality control concerning their investment... but Conan fans bought them (I bought them, so I am just at fault here) and gave them their money, so why not publish badly written crap?
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Postby Supplement Four » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:30 am

VincentDarlage wrote:Really? I found it unreadable.
Wow. I think it's fantastic. So do a couple of my friends who've read it.
The author has no idea how to write a complete sentence. Most of the "sentences" are incomplete, even in the narration.
Hmm...not sure what you mean here. He writes like he's telling you a gripping story. I've never noticed any incomplete sentences (I'm sure they're there if I go back and look), but that's probably due to the man capturing me with his story telling.

Not all authors write in complete sentences. Cormac McCarthy, a widely acknowledged author (The Road, No Country For Old Men, All The Pretty Horses, Blood Meridian) writes in a stream of consciouness fashion. You'd be lucky to find correct punctuation in his work, much less a complete sentence!

People don't talk in complete sentences, and some authors try to capture that immediate feel of listening to them tell you a story across a campfire--which is why that style of writing is somewhat popular.


To each his own, I guess. I think Coleman's book (I've only read the first one, so far) is fantastic. A brilliant read. (But, hey, I really liked Turtledove's Venarium, too!)





EDIT: It's not much of a sample (only 17), but at least others agree with me, giving the book an average score of 4 out of 5 stars.

You can go to THIS LINK and SEARCH INSIDE THE BOOK to check out the writing, if you have doubts.



2nd EDIT: I don't mean this as support for the book, but it looks like Whitaker consulted it in depth when he wrote Mongoose's Cimmeria supplement.
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Postby VincentDarlage » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:02 am

I opened the book to a random page (page 35). "On the door to the hut belonging to Gar and Fionna, a bloody swipe."

That was the first sentence I looked at. Incomplete it is. It starts with a prepositional phrase ("On... Fionna") then... "a bloody swipe." No verb.

Without a verb, it is not a sentence.

The sentence after that is also incomplete. The sentence after that is incomplete ("Another, three huts further along").

The next sentence is complete, but not the one after that ("Their gazes flat and empty.")

It drives me bonkers. This isn't dialogue, it's narrative. "Their gazes flat and empty" is not a sentence. There is no verb. Without a verb, there is no action. There are only five complete sentences on page 35.

Any page you open to yields the same results. "Scrabbling through mud" (page 159) has no subject.

He's not writing a literary novel (unlike the author you mentioned), so to use high-art literary techniques is the wrong thing to do. However, I would also be unlikely to read Mr. McCarthy's works, as stream of consciousness writing bores me.

That, plus the lack of any character development, the inconsistent geography, the obvious padding to make it into a trilogy, the black Shemites (and descriptions of Belit as a black lady) and the other issues Ring-Haunter highlights, just screams "badly written!"

As for Mr. Whitaker's Cimmeria supplement, I gave him all of my notes on Cimmeria while he was doing research for that book, including those I took on the Kern trilogy. I don't know if he read the books or not, but he certainly used my notes, which included having to re-arrange Coleman's messed up geography to mesh with other sources.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:17 am

VincentDarlage wrote:It drives me bonkers. This isn't dialogue, it's narrative.
He's not writing a literary novel (unlike the author you mentioned), so to use high-art literary techniques is the wrong thing to do.
See...I completely disagree with you here. I think his writing flows. Like I said above, it's like he's telling a fantastic story over a camp fire.

I really like the way he writes.

I'm a bit of a writer myself (though not as widely published as you are), and I learned long ago that complete sentences and perfect punctuation is not what is important. Transferring a feeling to the reader through your words is what is important.

An example I can think of is that scene I wrote on the forum some year or two ago about rape. I didn't always use complete sentences in that description, but, if you remember, if affected you so much that you threatened to leave the forum unless I removed the paragraph.

What happened was I transferred the (horrible) feeling to you when you read my words, and it disgusted you.

Sometimes, complete sentences are not the way to go when telling a story. Look around. Many fiction authors write that way. If they do it skillfully, you'll probably not notice because you are so absorbed in the story (as I was not noticing the sentence fragments in Coleman's writing).




That, plus the lack of any character development, the inconsistent geography, the obvious padding to make it into a trilogy, the black Shemites (and descriptions of Belit as a black lady) and the other issues Ring-Haunter highlights, just screams "badly written!"
Well, the non-canon stuff like geography doesn't bother me much. There are different views on stuff like that. But, I do disagree about the lack of character development.

Kern, with the wolf eyes, almost albino skin, is a picture, for sure. He's quiet, learning to be asertive, and a reluctant leader. I thought it was neat that he was so different from Conan. Kern didn't even know how to fight that well at the beginning of the first book. If you watch, you can see that he is given an arming sword and taught to fight using what we would call in the game the finesse fighting style. Kern is a bit embarrassed by it, because Cimmerian women usually fight that way, but it works for him, so he embraces it.

Cul, too--what a great, strong character! He's an ass, but don't underestimate him. He's got some political savy, too.

Maev, the chieftain's daughter, is also a greatly displayed character. And, then there's young Ehmish, yearning to become recognized as an adult by the others.

The scene ending the first chapter is brilliant. Kern has brought some wood before the dying chieftain. Cul arrives and belittles Kern by telling him to drop some wood at Cul's home--as if Cul is already the new chieftain ordering Kern around like a servant.

Coleman ends the scene with Kern leaving...

Then he rose without so much as a nod or glance at Cul, grabbing his carry strap and ducking under the skins to find Maev already moving toward the sound of her father's voice.

He's strong, Kern wanted to tell her. But as usual, in Maev's presence he found himself struck dumb. He stood there, waiting for her to pass by, waiting to see if she'd say anything that recognized he existed. She did.

"It should be you," Maev said. Sharp and direct.

The first person in all of Clan Gaud to say it to his face, wishing him under death's watch rather than her father.

It was what Kern had come to expect. And they were the obvious words to carry with him out the door, and into Cimmeria's long, cold night.


Wow. That's just brilliant stuff. Kern is different. He's not an outcast (not yet), but he's never felt like he completely belongs. What a fantastic choice the author made in displaying that feeling to us--setting up his character in the first chapter. He did it through the woman he looks to care for him--the one that has caught his eye.

He's in that room where the tension is strong with the last breaths of the chieftain, and upon leaving, he looks to Maev for support. And she cuts him like a knife. "It should have been you."

I read those words, felt what Kern must have felt at that moment, and realized that I was in very good hands reading Coleman's words.

It's good stuff.

I've only read the first book, but I'll give that one very high marks. It's a much better book than I would expect being part of the "Age of Conan" series, because those types of books (Battletech, Forgotten Realms, Star Wars, and other like multi-author series) have a good chance of being pure dreck.

No, Coleman's novel is surprisingly very, very good.
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Postby Boneguard » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:18 pm

I guess it becomes a matter of preferences.

Personally a text/book written in that style would irritate me immensely...but that could be the language teacher in me; while for others it's quite enjoyable and gripping.

That been said. I do like the fact that there's a difference of opinion here, it allows other to judge for themselves based on various point of view.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:50 pm

Boneguard wrote:I guess it becomes a matter of preferences.
This is true. For some, sticking with established "canon" is very important. For me, not so much. I like it when books seem to come from the same canon, but I'm most interested in just experiencing a good story.

I'm a huge James Bond fan, and as with Howard, there are the Fleming purists (which are fantastic, of course), and then there are those like me who enjoy Fleming, Gardner, Benson, Amis, Pearson, and Faulk even though there are discreptencies depending on which author is telling the story. Faulk, for example, continued his Bond story after the Fleming and Amis books, set in the late 60's. Pearson writes the "autobiography" of Bond but disagreeing with Fleming in some cases. Gardner's Bond was set in the 80's. The new femal M comes aboard. Bond is promoted to Captain, and Bond stops smoking. Benson sets his Bond most recently, keeps the female M, but Bond remains a Commander and continues to smoke (although changes houses from which he orders his specially made cancer sticks).

My point: I enjoy them all.

I enjoy several Star Trek books although consistency in canon only ever existed in dreamland. There are so many alternate universes and different versions of Trek that it's crazy to try to sort it all out. Still, I enjoy the books.

Same goes for Conan. Yeah Turtledove necearrily had Venarium and Conan's village within a few hours ride from each other for his story--and, yeah, Conan's grandfather didn't even appear in Turtledove's version of Conan's youth. I still liked Turtledove's book a great deal.

Sure Roberts' Conan The Bold has a plot that pisses in the face of canon--it's still a fantastic Conan read.

To be honest, I don't really think even Howard spent a lot of time on continuity. It seems like his fans built up the Conan "canon" as much as he did. Howard, from what I've read about him, seems to set a general set of "truths" down for his universe but is careful not to go overboard on detail and always remains flexible in changing something that never became firmly established in his tales.


Personally a text/book written in that style would irritate me immensely...but that could be the language teacher in me; while for others it's quite enjoyable and gripping.
I really never even noticed it. For example, in the post above, does the part where Coleman writes:

"It should be you," Maev said. Sharp and direct.

Does the "sharp and direct" fragment irritate you? For me, it just drives home the feeling. I write that way when I'm writing fiction. I find it very effective.

And, if you look around, there really are a ton of modern writers who do the same.
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Postby Boneguard » Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:02 pm

Well technically "It should be you." is not a fragment because you have your suject, a verb and a complement.

And in case of short direct sentence like that, I have no problem. It gets to the point and bring in a sense of quick passing.

"On the verge of collapse." this would be a frangment due to the lack of verbe and suject.

Used sparingly and strategically this will make the book enjoyable. Used all the time it would become an irritation for me.

Again here is my personal point of view.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:49 pm

Boneguard wrote:Well technically "It should be you." is not a fragment because you have your suject, a verb and a complement.
Look at the last part where it says: Sharp and direct.

That's the fragment I was speaking of.
Used sparingly and strategically this will make the book enjoyable. Used all the time it would become an irritation for me.
I agree. And, I do think it is use fairly sparingly. Look at the Amazon link above to see the text of the book and judge for yourself. Again--I didn't even notice it until it was brought up.
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Postby VincentDarlage » Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:28 am

Yes, the "sharp and direct" fragment bothers me, on four levels.

1) It is not a sentence. There is no subject and no verb. Merely two adjectives (modifying nothing) joined with a conjunction.

2) It is an unnecessary fragment. Presuming the adjectives are meant to modify the preceding sentence's verb (see point 3 for more on this absurdity), how else would she have said it in that situation? Blunt and indirect? A good author doesn't tell how something is said - a good author shows it. Well-written dialogue carries its own inflection from context. The fragment adds nothing to the dialogue. It's padding.

3) Those are adjectives, not adverbs. Again, presuming the adjectives modify the preceding verb, then the correct form should have been "sharply and directly." Adjectives modify nouns, so they should have been turned into adverbs to modify the verb, "said."

4) Clarity. I suppose the adjectives could be describing the character, that the dialogue is proving that character is sharp and direct, but the fragment is too vague to make this clear. Even still, the dialogue by itself proves the point without the author having to tell us... if that is what he is telling us. The fragment lacks clarity. Are the adjectives describing how it was said, or describing the character saying it? Who knows? It's still unnecessary.

The fragment fails on at least four levels... and proves that Coleman doesn't understand how the English language really works.

It isn't used sparingly at all by Coleman. Open it up to any page, and you'll find examples. Open up a well-paced book from virtually any other author, and you'll be unlikely to find it outside of dialogue.
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Postby Malcadon » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:30 am

I can overlook poor grammar, but the whole wannabe-Drizzt-in-a-forest-of-cardboard-cutout-characters makes me loose all interest. Then to make a trilogy of it! I don't have the time or money to waste on mediocre doorstopers. From that review, it sounds awful - reminds me of the mediocre fantasy novels that satiated the market for years. Whoever green-light these yarns must have been asleep at the helm. I have seen adds for these books in Conan comics, and I was interested, but no longer. I could compare it to common fan-fic, but I have actually read some good stuff (like this - nothing fancy, but engaging no less).

Thanks for the heads-up, Vincent. I trust your judgment when it come to Hyborian Age literature.
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Postby Supplement Four » Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:34 pm

It is interesting how one man's trash is another's gold mine. I see the Kern stuff as surprisingly superior story telling when I was expecting fan fiction wrapped in a pretty cover. Vincent sees the opposite.

There's a scene in the first book that haunts me. Maev is taken by the Vanir, and although it is not graphically portrayed, the reader learns that she was repeatedly raped by the Ymirish leader. Once rescued, she goes to Kern to bed her. She wants others to see. Reason: If she ends up having a half Ymirish kid, she'll be an outcast among her people. But since Kern is a half-breed, she figures she can hide it.

The book amazes me in how it portrays the hardships of a life in Cimmeria. Not just Maev's ordeal too, but the scarcity of food and the overly long winter the clans are enduring. There's a scene where Kern finds a wolf diging out a gopher or some other small animal out of a hole in the ground. The wolf has already taken the thing's head off and is trying to pull the rest of the carcass out of the hard, frozen ground. Kern, starving, scares off the wolf and digs out the dead animal for himself. He rips off the skin--that he throws to the circling wolf--and he eats the thing raw.

These types of scenes drive home what life is like in Cimmeria. We've read, over and over, in the Conan tales how life in Cimmeria is hard, about survival. This is really the first book that I've read that really drives that idea to heart. The whole tone of the book is bleak and dreary...and, really, a perfect representation of living in Cimmeria.

So, yeah, this book is a gold mine for me. I think it's well written and tells a fantastic Cimmerian story. Do I think it's perfect? No. But, I'd definitely give it 4 out of 5 stars.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:50 am

It has begun! The warlord Grimnir has revealed himself, cutting through the conjured snow fog atop a mammoth, taller than any building the Cimmerians have ever seen. He wields a large doubled bladed battleaxe with one hand, directing his troops with the other. He is son of Ymir--a Frost Giant! His army surrounds him. The village of Conarch is burning. Frostpaw fights a sabretoothed cat. And three Aquilonian knights on horseback join Kern's host of Cimmerian defenders.

I've got but two chapters to go. Man, I love this book.

I can't believe some didn't like this thing. I find it totally engrossing. This ending feels so epic to me--and I've still got two more books in the trilogy to go!
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Postby Phobos » Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:13 pm

I agree with Malcadon, Vdarlage, and so on, I can´t read more than 25 pages of THIS.
"What the Terhra woman wants
is the fire of combat;
Is the side of warriors
crushed by the sword.
It´s the blood,
corpses;
under corpses.
Lifeless eyes, severed heads:
these are the words
that please to her.
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Postby Supplement Four » Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:23 pm

Phobos wrote:I agree with Malcadon, Vdarlage, and so on, I can´t read more than 25 pages of THIS.
And, I'll have to stand with the 13 strangers on Amazon who gave the book 4-5 stars, plus my two friends who have already read and loved the book like I have.

I just bought a trilogy set for each of my players as our game is set in Cimmeria.

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