Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Reading Kane

Over the last three weeks, I've read about 800 pages, including both a number of  short stories and a novel, featuring Karl Edward Wagner's swords & sorcery hero, Kane. I'm reading the stories in more-or-less the inferred chronological order in which the stories occurred in the life of Kane. I started with the first Kane novel, the Bloodstone, and then progressed to the short story collection, Night Winds. Sunday night, I began the second Kane novel, Dark Crusade. I think it's entirely possible that I may read all three novels and the two short story collections of the recent Centipede Press edition by the middle of January. Maybe even by year's end.

Last summer (2016) I re-read the original Elric saga, and Kane is in the spirit of Elric in the sense that he is a not entirely sympathetic protagonist. He's violent and selfish. Pragmatic in the extreme. There is a psychological depth to his character and to the Kane stories that you don't frequently see in swords and sorcery.

Like Elric, Kane is both a puissant fighter and a skilled sorcerer. There's a legend about him, and many intelligent people try to stay out of his path. Others are attracted to his intellect, or to his potential for wreaking destruction on others. I'll be posting more about these stories in the near future as I continue to progress with the reading.

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