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Sword and Planet by the creator of Conan
on 28 November 2010
Robert E Howard wrote a lot of things besides Conan. There were other fantastic heroes such as Kull and Bran Mak Morn, and "historical" stories of Soloman Kane, puritan killer. He also wrote modern horror, such as the short story Pigeons from Hell, westerns, sea tales...whatever took his fancy, and would pay the bills. Most of this writing was short stories, but then there was the odd novel, such as Almuric.
Almuric is a sword and planet tale, in the tradition of Burrough's Mars. Esau Cairn is an impressive physical specimen - the most perfect man on earth, perhaps - when he kills a corrupt politician and escapes to the lost planet Almuric with the help of a random scientist. That's pretty much page 1 of the book, so I am not spoiling anything there. After that, Cairn has a pile of adventures, matching strength and wits with the locals - ape-like men and beautiful-like women (they have bred themselves that way. Really).
Cairn must find a home, and a mate, and fight off other barbarian clans and the dreaded winged men of the south, and their even more dreaded winged queen.
The novel starts out running, and never slows down or lets up. There are few moments of quiet contemplation, but the non-stop action always has a point to it and advances the plot. This is not Howard's finest work, but it is a good romp.
This Paizo version has an introduction by Joe R Lansdale pointing out a few things that you as the reader can think about or not, as it pleases you.