Read Bran Mak Morn - L'intégrale by Robert E. Howard Online

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Presque sous les pieds de Bran, une silhouette disloquée se tordait et gémissait. Le roi se pencha au-dessus du légionnaire romain, qui gisait dans la mare poisseuse de son propre sang. Les murs se sont effondrés, marmonna le moribond. Cela a commencé hier, avant l'aube. Un léger grattement, le bruit sourd de griffes, loin sous la terre. Nous autres sentinelles les avons ePresque sous les pieds de Bran, une silhouette disloquée se tordait et gémissait. Le roi se pencha au-dessus du légionnaire romain, qui gisait dans la mare poisseuse de son propre sang. Les murs se sont effondrés, marmonna le moribond. Cela a commencé hier, avant l'aube. Un léger grattement, le bruit sourd de griffes, loin sous la terre. Nous autres sentinelles les avons entendus... comme si des rats ou des vers, creusaient des galeries... Titus nous a ri au nez, mais les bruits ont persisté toute la journée. Puis à minuit, la Tour a frémi et a paru vouloir s'affaisser, comme si les fondations avaient été sapées... Un frisson d'horreur parcourut Bran Mak Morn. Les vers de la terre ! Des vermines par milliers, creusant telles des taupes loin sous la forteresse, rongeant les fondations... Dieux, la région devait être criblée de tunnels et de cavernes... Ces créatures étaient encore moins humaines qu'il lavait imaginé... Quelles formes hideuses issues des ténèbres avait-il donc appelées à son aide ?...

Title : Bran Mak Morn - L'intégrale
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9782352943426
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 491 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Bran Mak Morn - L'intégrale Reviews

  • Jack
    2018-10-20 07:47

    Robert E. Howard’s tales about Bran Mak Morn and the Picts are typical of REH’s wonderful writing but with a strong emphasis on his themes of nationalism, tribalism, and “racialism.” This observation is not a criticism of REH. He wrote these stories in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and, the concept of racial traits and supposed advantages and superiorities of certain races were more acceptable in that era than now. Editor Rusty Burke summarizes these issues in the included “Notes on Miscellanea.” I recommend the reader skip to this short essay first, to understand the context of the Bran Mak Morn and Pict stories. The stories also include numerous references to racial purity and how the “retrogression” of a race by intermarriage, eventually causes the people become soft and weak, then to fall to the next warrior-like (and more “pure”) set of conquerors. This concept feeds into another interesting concept that REH uses several times in the stories in this collection: racial or tribal “memory.” Characters summon, or, in one case are caused to summon by a blow to the head, the furious traits of their long-ago ancestors to overcome a battle against an enemy race or tribe. Somehow, the glory and vengeance of the protagonist’s ancient Pict/Saxon/Celt forebears are genetically carried down but become more and more hidden. This concept reminds me a bit of the storyline in the Assassin’s Creed video game series, in which a modern-day organization uses technology to draw out of the protagonist his the memories of his Assassin ancestors.Again, this is not a criticism of REH or a comment that his work is “racist” and to be avoided. These themes are present in many of his works and the works of many of his contemporaries. However, they are more at the forefront in the Bran Mak Morn and Pict stories. In my opinion, it is because BMM is depicted as the last ruler of a dying race, and as a “pure-blood” he feels a innate duty to keep his race from further decline, both in power and in quality. We find these themes in other works of fantasy, yet they seem less startling and more acceptable in the concept of races that do not exist, such as elves, gnomes, dwarves, etc.I recommend fans of REH’s Conan and Kull stories to read the BMM stories in this or any other collection of the stories.

  • Benjamin Thomas
    2018-09-24 16:08

    Before Conan, before Solomon Kane, and even before Kull of Atlantis, there was Bran Mak Morn, King of the Picts. In fact, Bran was the second main character ever developed by Robert E. Howard, second only to Francis X. Gordon (El Borak). This book contains several stories about Bran as well as numerous fragments, untitled/unsold stories, essays, letters (most notably to and from Weird Tales magazine and Howard’s buddy, H.P. Lovecraft), etc. that help to define REH’s life-long interest in the Picts.The more pulp fiction that I read, the more I have come to appreciate Howard’s work. His historical research and in-depth understanding of history, its peoples and cultures, all led to stories that have a genuine ring of actual historical texture to them, even for those stories that are part of his imaginary history. The Picts are a perfect example, described in this book in an authentic manner while also appearing in Conan’s Hyborian age stories. Often, they are the enemy race and easily maligned so for Howard to create a character such as Bran Mak Morn that will lead such a people, was perhaps risky but also admirable. These stories were written early in Howard’s career and as such there is inconsistency among them. I wish Howard had developed Bran more thoroughly through additional stories but alas, Conan came along and that market drove Howard’s output for several years and put an end to Bran. A couple of the stories in this volume have very small roles for Bran himself and tend to concentrate on co-characters or take a wide-angle lens approach to the history of the era. It seems as if Howard’s penchant for research was translating itself directly into the story, rather than developing a typical plot structure that we might expect. This book includes those stories for the sake of completeness, even though the pulp magazines didn’t buy them. As such, while I heartily recommend this book to Howard readers (indeed, necessary reading), for others who are simply looking for another Conan-style character, I would still encourage diving into these stories simply on their own merits…just expect a different experience.

  • s-b-t
    2018-10-05 10:08

    Though these stories were first seen in pulp fiction magazines in the late 1920's and early 1930's, to dismiss them as "easy reading" is a mistake. Howard and his contemporaries wrote impressive works of literature that drew heavily on history, and referenced recurring fictional themes such as dark fantasy, eldritch magics, the horrors of the night and the undiscovered country, lost empires and cities such as Atlantis, and of course massive battles between iron-clad warriors with sword and shield. These stories of Bran Mak Morn, last king of the Picts of England, are no exception. Highly recommended for fans of fantasy, historical fiction, and Robert E. Howard.

  • Jake
    2018-09-27 16:09

    While the rest of the world was obsessively reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this weekend, I was taking the time to finish off my latest venture into my growing REH collection. Nothing against Harry, mind you, but I had already started on Bran Mak Morn, and wanted to finish it off before I moved on to other things. Besides, the idea of over-caffeinating myself just to obsessively force myself through the end of the book sounds dreadfully unpleasant to my ears, and reading is supposed to be a pleasurable activity, last I checked.Anyway. Bran Mak Morn.This particular collection of REH stories contains a number of stories about Bran Mak Morn, the last king of the Picts; in REH’s mythos (for lack of a better term), the Picts are an ancient, ancient race, which was once powerful and prominent in Europe, but has slowly degenerated into a race of savages. Bran Mak Morn is a descendent of their royal line, making one last attempt to unite them and raise them out of darkness. Standing against him are the vast forces of civilization, most notably the Romans, who are slowly conquering Gaul and Britain.Only a few of the stories in this volume feature Bran directly: the first, "Men of the Shadows", is a first-person account of a solider that meets Bran, and eventually joins him in his battle. In “Kings of the Night” and “Worms of the Earth”, Bran takes the center stage. Both stories are excellent, though very different in flavor/tone. “Kings of the Night” is a story of battle and magic, where Bran’s wizard summons King Kull out of the past to help Bran in a great battle against the Roman legions. “Worms of the Earth”, by contrast, is a moody, incredibly creepy piece, where Bran seeks out the aid of a foul race straight out of Lovecraftian horror (not surprising, since Howard and Lovecraft were frequent correspondents, and Howard loved Lovercraft’s work). It is easily one of the creepier stories that I’ve read from Howard, and brings an interesting element of horror into the king’s story.The final stories in the volume don’t feature Bran at all, at least not directly. Instead, they are stories of Celtic warriors discovering Bran, or his descendents, and interacting with them in strange ways. Both are good pieces, but I was disappointed to not get more Bran himself. He’s a very interesting and conflicted character, desperately trying to salvage his people, and willing (as “Worms of the Earth” shows) to go to any length to succeed. I wish Howard had written more about him.The miscellanea in this book contains a whole lot of interesting things, including some fragmentary stories (some of which are really excellent), a few poems, some correspondence between Howard and various others (including a few of his letters to Lovecraft), and some of Howard’s notes on his views of history. The history is…well, it’s very thirties, and by modern standards, horrifically inaccurate, but it’s interesting, and it’s cool to see the thought processes that lead Howard to create Bran and similar characters.As much as I enjoyed it, this is probably the weakest REH collection Del Ray has put out that I’ve read so far. There just isn’t enough material on Bran himself to really fill a book, and while the miscellanea is interesting, a lot of it feels like padding thrown in to justify a full-length book. Anyone who enjoys REH should pick it up, but the casual reader would be better of starting with the Coming of Conan the Cimmerian or the Savage Tales of Solomon Kane. Both books are a bit more complete, and offer greater exploration of the characters.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2018-09-26 12:03

    Also a pretty good read, anoter "for-runner" of Conan. Bran Mak Morn is the "last" King of the Picts. Howrd romanticized the Picts and used his fictionalized version of them in both the King Kull stories and some of his Conan adventures.This is his foray into using "them" as the main character focus.Again, Howard's gift for adventure comes to the fore and the only concern may be not getting blood splashed on your clothes from the page.

  • Tom Barnett
    2018-10-02 14:03

    Robert E. Howard was a great writer of heroic fiction of the pulp era. This is an a very enjoyable collection of stories.

  • Krzysztof
    2018-10-19 15:55

    A must read for Howard fans, but not so sure if other people need to pick this up.The stories are reasonably good, but none of them I felt had the vitality of the Conan, Solomon Kane or even the Kull stories. These ones have a tendency of going off on a tangent and re-telling pretty much the same story of the Picts as a race in the middle of something else happening. The action is only sometimes on par with Conan, but the "historical" setting is a nice change from Kull and the Cimmerian.At any rate, I enjoyed it, but I felt this was more interesting because of being a phase, a chapter in Howard's life where he was fascinated by a topic and from that fascination built a certain kind of story, than interesting because of the stories themselves - and that is probably this collection's biggest fault.

  • William King
    2018-10-15 10:56

    Don't let the fact that Pictish King Bran is one of Howard's minor heroes fool you. This book contains some of his best sword and sorcery. Howard's predilection for themes of illusion and reality is evident in the Kull crossover story Kings of the Night, and the Worms of the Earth is simply one of his strongest stories ever. Here, more than almost anywhere else, the power of Howard's prose and the depressive grandeur of his vision is evident. Bran is fighting a losing war against an invincible enemy (Imperial Rome) and the price he pays is evident in every story. Classic sword and sorcery from the creator of the genre.

  • Dan Schwent
    2018-10-06 11:04

    Bran Mak Morn is the last king of the Picts and will do whatever it takes to help his people. That's all you need to know going in.I liked this omnibus about as much as the Kull one I read at the beginning of the year but not as much as Solomon Kane and definitely not as much as Conan. My favorite story in it is Worms of the Earth, where Bran makes a deal with some Lovecraftian beasties.I enjoyed it and I'm glad I read it but I wouldn't consider Bran an essential read for Howard fans.

  • jack
    2018-10-20 09:44

    short stories. some historic fantasy, some weird. i think i liked this better than some of the conan stuff by him that i grew up on.

  • Colin
    2018-10-06 12:04

    Howard was a true master of his craft - his Bran Mak Morn is the last of the ancient royal line of the Picts, facing the oppression of the Celts and the Romans as well as other, darker powers . . .

  • Steven
    2018-10-19 08:58

    I enjoyed this one, though it wasn't what I expected. Bran wasn't in enough of the stories.

  • Viel Nast
    2018-10-09 16:01

    Bran mak morn is a book about picts, or whatever was considered as picts by Howard. In his pseudo-history, he merges pieces of history, untestified material and his own theories that ended in a blur of stories where even the author himself doesn’t know what picts are! The hero bran mak morn has a couple of stories is referred in another few but basically, the book is about antique creatures that occupied ancient and medieval Britain. The stories are not good, not good at least by Howard’s standards. He wants to speak of a race of pre-cataclysmic era merging Atlantis Valusia Lemuria and historic Britain but ends up in stories of savages primitive even compared to Cimmerians! And that is the good first half of the book. Because the stories about picts were too few to form a sizeable book they put in the end letters of Howard’s half written drafts of stories related to picts and whatever the editor could find to fill the necessary margin. Very disappointing to say the least.

  • Mathieu
    2018-09-24 13:02

    There are three very good stories in this book. One of these is already in the Del Rey Kull book. It seems to me it wasn't enough material for a whole book. Still, I enjoyed reading those three. The rest are small minor stories and not among Howard's best.

  • Paulo
    2018-09-25 13:44

    hese book needs no introduction. Bran Mak Morn was one of the famous characters created by the mythic Robert E Howard, the creator of Conan, Kull or Solomon Kane. It's quite amazing that some of these stories he had only 13 years old. And they are beautiful. I must say that the painter Gary Gianni was the right one to do the job. I've search some books with pictures of Bran Mak Morn and even Conan ones and this one was the better one. Trully beautiful. The history on this book as some not fidegin since they were romanticized by Howard but that doesn't drove people away. He made the picts a noble savage people alike the indians. To be precise he put the picts from a group of islands near Valusia and when Atlantis, Lemuria and Valusia sank the picts society began to decline. The forgot their trades including metal working. The migrated to Caledon (noawadays scotland). After the invasion of the Celts they fled northward and interbred with a red-haired barbarians (and so they were shorter than other tribes) and following the invasion of the romans and later breton and saxon the picts sought refuge underground just like the natives they had displaced before. There are two types of Picts. The first is from the Bran timeline where he tries to restore the picts honourable place in the world and the later ones who were litte more than savages produced by many years of hatred. The picts, some of them at least, could also turn into werewolves or wolves. What is great on this book and at the same time sad its the image that Howard gives to Bran Mak Morn that is depicted as a leader of a dying and degenerate people and deeply aware of their inevitable path to extinction (and coincidenly with all other characters he chooses to fight rather than succumb). Their natural enemies are the Romans. In the Kings of the Night story we know the tale of Bran as he was the descent of Brule the Spear-Slayer (compantion of Kull). We even get to see him summon Kull to fight the romans. It's one of the best waring story I had the pleasure of reading. In The Dark Man we get a dark version of the picts centuries after Bran. This is their decline. A sad story. In Worms of the Earth Bran makes a unholy alliance with beings that his own ancestors have banished. This is quite a tale. The ending meaning... some weapons are too foul to use, even against the bitter romans. There are other small stories some without Bran. There are also some plays, fragmants and poems.Would I advice these book? Go get it. Now. 10/10

  • Daniele
    2018-10-08 11:53

    http://www.lastambergadeilettori.com/...Bran Mak Morn è uno dei personaggi più famosi usciti dalla penna di Howard e in questo libro vi sono raccolte le storie, uscite a suo tempo sulla rivista "Weird Tales", in cui viene almeno citato. Essendo Bran Mak Morn, nell'immaginario dello scrittore texano caposcuola di un certo modo di concepire il fantasy ritenuto agli antipodi di Tolkien, l'ultimo re dei pitti, i barbari per eccellenza fin dalla nascita dell'umanità, questi ultimi sono i veri protagonisti dei racconti, siano essi il valente e coraggioso popolo che tenta di contrastare i romani nei pressi del vallo di Adriano, siano essi il popolo perduto, o anche piccolo popolo, che diventa leggendario per la propria malvagità e deformità.La forza descrittiva ed evocativa è il marchio di fabbrica di Howard. L'autore riesce in poche pagine a rappresentare mondi lontani nel tempo (mi vien da dire eoni ed eoni fa, visto l'argomento), uomini senza paura forgiati nell'acciaio, potenti stregoni dal mistico magnetismo e battaglie violente in cui coraggio, onore, corpi fatti a pezzi e fiumi di sangue la fanno da padrone. I racconti migliori, a mio avviso, sono "Regni della notte", il lovecraftiano "Vermi della terra" e "L'uomo nero", con protagonista Turlogh Dubh.La qualità dei racconti è alta, anche se molto altalenante. Alcuni racconti sono noiosi, appesantiti dal modo di scrivere antiquato (non in senso strettamente negativo) di Howard, e ogni tanto si nota qualche passaggio a vuoto. In più Bran Mak Morn, come personaggio, sembra avere delle ottime potenzialità, che sono state però poco sfruttate, e non ha nè il carisma di Conan, a cui vennero dedicati interi cicli, nè lo straordinario ed immaginifico mondo in cui si muove Kull il Valusiano, gli altri due personaggi che resero famoso lo scrittore morto suicida a trenta anni. Nel finale il racconto di Giuseppe Lippi, il curatore del libro, è gradevole ma nulla più.In definitiva "Bran Mak Morn" può essere un ottimo inizio per chi volesse cominciare a leggere i libri di Howard e può considerarsi un leggero antipasto in preparazione alla ben più pesante lettura dei cicli dedicati a Conan. Nota bene: sparse qua e là ci sono citazioni all'universo di H.P. Lovecraft (un vecchio gioco tra Howard e l'autore dei cicli su Chtulhu) e a Gilbert K. Chesterton ("L'osteria volante"). Questi sono perlomeno quelli che ho riconosciuto io. Al lettore più attento la sfida di trovare altre citazioni nascoste.

  • Rubén Lorenzo
    2018-09-20 14:55

    Este recopilación, que acaba de ser publicada en castellano por los libros de Barsoom con el título "El último rey de los pictos", es una obra maestra que cumple con las tres Bes: ¿Bueno? De lo mejor en fantasía heroica, tres de los cuentos que contiene son auténticos clásicos, desde la turbadora "Los gusanos de la tierra", la trepidante "El reino de las sombras" y la dramática, poética y por momentos reflexiva "El hombre oscuro".¿Bonito? El libro viene ilustrado por Gary Gianni, tanto con dibujos a tinta como con láminas a todo color. El autor hace un trabajo precioso y fiel al texto.¿Barato? Esta edición tan fantástica vale unos 18 euros, ¡una auténtica ganga!Recomendado para cualquier aficionado al género y a la buena literatura.

  • Jeremy
    2018-10-19 09:51

    The richness invoked by Robert E. Howard's words was engrossing to me. All of the stories held well together by themselves; however, reading them as a whole didn't diminish the experience for me. A few favorites did emerge, imho, and those were: The Dark Man, Kings of the Night, and Worms of the Earth. The first containing a story well into the future, where despite Bran Mak Morn's earnest efforts the age of his people have come and gone. Black Turlogh, an Irish warrior who's the main character of this story, witnesses picts defending a totem of Bran Mak Morn on his way to find one of his peoples' beautiful maidens, but the picts are no match for the vikings. It turns out that the totem is destined to the same place the vikings have stowed away his fellow villager. Battle ensues and it's a real thrill to see it play out in its entirety. A must read. Another favorite was Kings of the Night, which has Bran Mak Morn, his allies, and Kull facing a Roman legion. This is definitely a gem within the book, and one of the strongest stories, which takes place during the time Bran Mak Morn is trying to unite his people. The most important story, imo, was Worms of the Earth, which Bran Mak Morn is willing to do anything to win the war against the Romans, and to save his people at any cost. This includes tapping into an ancient evil long since forgotten by the race of man. These are just a few things to whet your appetite along with the abundant content, and great price. You can't go wrong with choosing Robert E. Howard if you're interested in beginning to read S&S. What better place to start than the man who began the genre. Last, but not least, is the work by Gary Gianni. Masters at their craft and well worth the time, and effort to read.

  • Fernando Rocha
    2018-10-16 09:49

    amazing. Howard is the Master.

  • Joel Griswell
    2018-09-26 08:59

    Ah, REH, how I love thee! This book collects all of his stories about Mak Morn (and a few others merely concerning the Picts), including short stories, poems, and a number of unfinished works. It's interesting reading about REH's obsession with the Picts since early childhood, they were the one culture that stayed present throughout his whole writing career. Although obsessed with history and the real-life Pict's at-times very mysterious development, in his stories, REH also creates his own sort of continuity, connecting the Picts in his own Hyberian timeline between the Atlanteans and the Cimmerians (all the articles analyzing his fascination with the Picts are very extensive, but illuminating). These tales in particular play out differently that his Solomon Kane tales. Mak Morn's stories are much deeper, and grounded in a sense of reality. They are much more grounded in a gritty pseudo-history (involving Romans, Celts, Vikings, etc), although still mixed with his standard mythological horror/fantasy elements. Overall, while SK was a more stock adventure hero, BMM is a much more somber and poetic figure, the lone defender of times come before and the guardian of his race, fighting the inevitable decay of his people. Ultimately much more dense writing, but still very rewarding, especially for those with a love of ancient history. Last but certainly not least: Gary Gianni! He does the most incredible job illustrating both this and the SK collection. His style is very powerful, with the old-fashioned black and white sketch look that are so incredibly dynamic and really makes the stories come alive.

  • La Stamberga dei Lettori
    2018-10-13 15:44

    Bran Mak Morn è uno dei personaggi più famosi usciti dalla penna di Howard e in questo libro vi sono raccolte le storie, uscite a suo tempo sulla rivista "Weird Tales", in cui viene almeno citato. Essendo Bran Mak Morn, nell'immaginario dello scrittore texano caposcuola di un certo modo di concepire il fantasy ritenuto agli antipodi di Tolkien, l'ultimo re dei pitti, i barbari per eccellenza fin dalla nascita dell'umanità, questi ultimi sono i veri protagonisti dei racconti, siano essi il valente e coraggioso popolo che tenta di contrastare i romani nei pressi del vallo di Adriano, siano essi il popolo perduto, o anche piccolo popolo, che diventa leggendario per la propria malvagità e deformità. La forza descrittiva ed evocativa è il marchio di fabbrica di Howard. L'autore riesce in poche pagine a rappresentare mondi lontani nel tempo (mi vien da dire eoni ed eoni fa, visto l'argomento), uomini senza paura forgiati nell'acciaio, potenti stregoni dal mistico magnetismo e battaglie violente in cui coraggio, onore, corpi fatti a pezzi e fiumi di sangue la fanno da padrone. I racconti migliori, a mio avviso, sono "Regni della notte", il lovecraftiano "Vermi della terra" e "L'uomo nero", con protagonista Turlogh Dubh. Continua su http://ghettodeilettori.blogspot.com/...

  • Zare
    2018-10-11 12:10

    Having never read Conan stories I decided to take a look at the works of a man considered to be a master storyteller and a writer that has triggered entire heroic-epic-fantasy concept (exaggeration perhaps but after reading this book I can say that he is very very good storyteller and writer). I took this book because everyone said that Howard was obsessed with Picts and that his stories about them were the best.[return][return]This one is a story of an ancient race, one that has ruled entire Europe during the stone age but after being driven away by more advanced (and aggressive) races is now left in state of complete savagery - they have even degraded both mentally and physically. Bran is the last king of these people, man whose ancestors have kept their bloodline pure [as author would say] (meaning they haven't mixed with other races) - he is truly the last of his/their kind. He tries to civilize his people and unite them again - but at the end when he falls in battle they return to their savage ways.[return][return]Sad story about the man giving his best to save his nation although he knows he will not succeed in that endeavor.[return][return]Great book, read it. I am aiming now to read other Howard's books :)

  • Zare
    2018-09-29 15:12

    Having never read Conan stories I decided to take a look at the works of a man considered to be a master storyteller and a writer that has triggered entire heroic-epic-fantasy concept (exaggeration perhaps but after reading this book I can say that he is very very good storyteller and writer). I took this book because everyone said that Howard was obsessed with Picts and that his stories about them were the best.This one is a story of an ancient race, one that has ruled entire Europe during the stone age but after being driven away by more advanced (and aggressive) races is now left in state of complete savagery - they have even degraded both mentally and physically. Bran is the last king of these people, man whose ancestors have kept their bloodline pure [as author would say] (meaning they haven't mixed with other races) - he is truly the last of his/their kind. He tries to civilize his people and unite them again - but at the end when he falls in battle they return to their savage ways.Sad story about the man giving his best to save his nation although he knows he will not succeed in that endeavor.Great book, read it. I am aiming now to read other Howard's books :)

  • Ted Cross
    2018-10-13 15:46

    I found this collection of Bran Mak Morn stories to be somewhat disappointing. I remember reading and loving the individual books I had read about Mak Morn when I was a teen, so I expected to really love this. Instead it felt as if it were missing a lot. And almost none of the stories actually featured Bran Mak Morn! So I went to my bookshelves and pulled out the old individual novels that I had once read, and I discovered that I had been tricked by them long ago. Only one of those book was actually written by Robert E Howard, and those stories are the ones that appear here, while the other novel looked by design just like the other one, but wasn't actually written by Howard. Apparently it was an homage, written by Karl Edward Wagner, and glancing through the pages I could see why I had loved that book so much. That sounds terrible given how much I love Robert E Howard's Conan books, but it is what it is. I can only think that Howard didn't put a ton of effort into the Bran Mak Morn tales (though the prose is gorgeous), compared to what he did with Conan.

  • Ed Messina
    2018-10-18 09:56

    Not one of Howard's best collections. There's one pretty good story (Worms of the Earth) and some others of less quality. In none of them does Bran Mak Morn ever comes across as a well-defined character. He wants to bring back his people, the Picts, from savagery, but his people are described as dwarfish savages, and not one of them seems to have a name. Bran alone has a personality and a description. We never really learn much about them, their customs, their culture. It's hard to root for them or even care when they're just an undifferentiated mass of "savages." For that matter, we never really learn why Bran is different from them.I recall only one female character, and she's not a Pict-she's a kidnap victim for a hero to rescue.These are early works by a young author, and they are very much of their time (the 1920s). If you enjoy Conan or his other works, you might enjoy this too.

  • Tra-Kay
    2018-09-27 08:51

    Longtime fans of Howard may find something to enjoy in his every work, but as a newcomer "Bran Mak Morn" seemed lacking. Rather than a novel, it's a collection of short pieces that center around the Picts, whom Howard usually depicts as reptilian, bestial, or otherwise devolved. They aren't stories so much as snapshots: historically-informed scenes of men and their tribes and empires, and the bloody battles in which they rage.I will say of Howard that he creates mood very well. The dark and spat-upon Picts begin to take an overarching shape in the reader's mind as they progress through varying tales: brooding, resentful, bloodthirsty, and pitiable. He also captures racial pride, the instinctual thrill of combat, devotion to honor, and other such quintessentially barbaric traits well. But such things do not a story make.

  • Ira Livingston
    2018-10-04 14:14

    Most of these stories were published in the 1920's early 1930's, but unlike the familiar style that most Howard fans are familiar with, these stories read more like historical footnotes. Adventure and Magic still prevail through out his stories of the Celts ands Picts. However, what amazed me was Howard's approach to theorizing the pre-history of real history. I would compare it to the volumes of Tolkien's Middle-Earth histories and lost tales all published after his death. This volume in my opinion is the toughest collection to read, but elevates R.E. Howard to one of the truly great fantasy writer's of the genre.Another aspect I loved in the appendix were the letters between him and H.P. Lovecraft. Both seem to have great respect for each other's works.

  • David
    2018-10-11 08:10

    Howard's persona of Bran Mak Morn is different from his others in that the last Pictish king is one of a constrained, brooding countenance that is not out for freedom or the greater good, but of saving a dying kingdom from the forces of Rome. Mak Morn's stories carry an angst that reveals Howard's passion for the Pictish legends. His trademark battle descriptions and knack for draping the supernatural over any event are just as evident in these works as they are in his tales of other, more well-known characters, however. Fans of High Fantasy and epic battle need take a look, especially those who are fans of the Roman/Pre-Roman times of Britain.

  • S.W. Wilcox
    2018-10-06 09:59

    But where are the "lavish illustrations" of R.E.H.'s purple & crimson heroes? Amazon's Look Inside shows only one pencil sketch while artist Gary Gianni's site only shows four pics. I have to dock this ed. one of its stars for the letdown.

  • John
    2018-10-03 11:07

    All of REH's Bran Mak Morn stories along with a few fragments and essays. The essay on the history of Hyboria is exhausting but a fantastic reference on the fake history of REH's worlds. I've come to the conclusion that aside from The Worms of Earth and Kings of the Night, most of the Bran Mak Morn stories are crap. The Dark Man is also good but that's really a Turlogh O'Brian story and probably only made into the book because it includes yet another incarnation of the Picts. Most of the other stories are an excuse to spout out the history of the Picts which results in stories with no emotional impact, just a bland recitation of fake history.