René said:Thanks, Strom! Still, I'm not sure, maybe I wait for opinions for no. 2 & 3.
Strom said:I've read the first book "Ghost of the Wall" and posted a review here:
I just picked up the second book yesterday.
René said:I read no.1 at the weekend and can't agree with the more positives opinions.
I think that the author does not even try to stay true to the image of the Picts as REH saw them. In this book the Pictish hero does not want to kill his enemies (which destroyed his village and butchered all his people) because of morale considerations a la "But my enemies are humans, too, and they have families, too." Compare this to Beyond the Black River!
Next, the Picts fight in the open and despise guerilla tactics. The main character justifies the assassin-like "murders" he commits with something like "I know it's not good and cowardly, but it's the only way in my situation...". Again: look at REH's Pict stories!
There are several more examples of how the author remodels the savage Picts into civilised people with a civilised code of honour, but enough of this.
Other things are totally unrealistic: Picts are here trained horse riders - at least it's the conclusion you have to draw of a Kral who rides for days from dawn to sunset on his fast journey from the Pictlands to Tarantia.
Aquilonian settlers are the masters in wall-building: within a few days a little settlement (less than 500 people IIRC) build a 4 miles long wall - 8 ft. thick, 15 ft. high (not everywhere, it's under construction). It's not only a very admirable deed, because most people have to work their daily routine to keep the settlement running, but also because they have to transport masses of suitable stones which form the base of the wall. So the reader isn't surprised at all that the mastermind behind the wall project realises a few after the start: "Hmm, there should be doors in the wall, else we have a problem ourselves."
OK, I stop with my ranting and spare you commentaries about forced dialogue, flat characters (the brother of the female hero)
But, no bad feelings, at least the book caused me to read REH's Pict stories again :lol:
hi RENE, thanks for all your interesting + 'revealing' points about marauders book 1.René said:I read no.1 at the weekend and can't agree with the more positives opinions.
I think that the author does not even try to stay true to the image of the Picts as REH saw them...
..Aquilonian settlers are the masters in wall-building: within a few days a little settlement (less than 500 people IIRC) build a 4 miles long wall - 8 ft. thick, 15 ft. high...
...yawn.... :wink: ... :lol:Strom said:Kral left for Aquilonia before the wall was completed and left his female friend to continue to kill the soldiers working on the wall...
Hey, at least Kral didn't give a box full of the most powerful drug in the land to a sorcerer!
Strom said:Here is my take on the above questions - Kral does think about the difference between murder and killing in battle. He is not a full grown Pict savage and has experienced a Hyborian - Alanya - who is beautiful, smart and kind - so the fact the he can distinguish the difference between murder and killing in battle does not strike me as inappropriate but humanizes the Picts much like Howard did with Bran Mak Morn. And it should be said that he thinks about it but the thought in no way stops him from coldly killing all who get in his way which is very Howard like, IMO.
As far as the wall goes, there was a entire Aquilonian battalion available to work on the wall with the resources of Aquilonia available to spend on materials and labor. Realistically, it seemed feasible to me. it's not like the men had other jobs to do - they just sat around training all day. With direction from a engineer, I could see the wall go up very fast.
As far as riding a horse - don't you just have to hang on to the reins? It's not rocket science - unless you are wielding a lance in battle or some such.