Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Mighty Swordsmen - Hans Stefan Santesson

The second of a pair of Sword and Sorcery anthologies by this editor. Again, Conan, good, but when you have Beyond the Black River, any additional pastiche i snot really necessary, and going to look pale in comparison.

The original Thongor story is quite reasonable, though.

Mighty Swordsmen : 1 Keeper of the Emerald Flame - Lin Carter
Mighty Swordsmen : 2 The Bells of Shoredan - Roger Zelazny
Mighty Swordsmen : 3 Break the Door of Hell - John Brunner
Mighty Swordsmen : 4 The People of the Summit - Bjorn Nyberg
Mighty Swordsmen : 5 The Flame Bringers - Michael Moorcock
Mighty Swordsmen : 6 Beyond the Black River - Robert E. Howard

Thongor is a teenaged brigand chieftain, when he runs into a young woman searching for her lover, in a forest the rest of her tribe is too scared to go into.

3.5 out of 5

One damned Elf bloke, one spectral horde to summon.

3.5 out of 5

The traveler in black points out a case of careful what you wish for, especially when you put the word doom in there.

3 out of 5

Conan and companions are attacked by weird apes with ropes, killing one of them. He fakes being strangled, and is drawn up to the remants of a strange people with no irises. He manages to save the girl, and kill the many legged monster.

2.5 out of 5

Elric has conflict with another sorcerer and horde, and throw in a big cat and some dragons.

3.5 out of 5

Conan is working around a fort on the border of Aquilonia, when many tribes of Picts, united by the wizard Zogar Sag, combine to attack.

Conan takes out a scouting party to see what goes on, but they are ambushed, and most captured and killed, except one man, that he rescues. The wizard summons beasts by virtue of the powers of an old god, whom Conan is familiar with. With the help of an old dog, Slasher, Conan and his companion try and get the settlers to safety, while the fort is overrun.

Zogar Sag makes a mistake when he sends a fleshly avatar to try and destroy Conan. The barbarian kills the avatar, which destroys the wizard, and the Pictish invasion is over.

4.5 out of 5

3.5 out of 5

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