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Solomon Kane or Conan?
Banjo Wants to Know Where to Start Reading Robert E. Howard
“Hey James. I hope all is well. I was wondering if I should start with Conan or Solomon Kane in Howard's books? Any advice?”
-Banjo, by Text, September 30 2021
I texted Banjo back immediately: “Kane.”
One reason for the proposed reading order I will give below is to help the modern reader get into some 90-year-old literature. There is a standard set of Howard collections that I will recommend reading in the following order. These are all put out by the same company. I think it is a wandering star imprint that was put out between 2000 and 2009. These are big books that give all of Howard's relevant fragments and stories, sold and unsold, including poetry. I once had all of these books, now gone and will try and remember them as best I can do.
Recommended Reading Order for the Robert E. Howard Curious:
-1. The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane is the easiest to get into as it is set in a historical time essentially between the Age of Piracy
-2. The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian
-3. Tigers of the Sea, 1970s paperback
-4. Almuric, 1970s paperback
-5. Kull of Atlantis
-6. The Conquering Sword of Conan
-7. Bran Mak Morn, the Last King
-8. The Blood-Stained Crown of Conan
-9. Sword Woman and other Medieval Adventures, the best story being Lord of Samarkand
-10. The Horror of Robert E. Howard
-11. Black Vulmea's Vengeance, a 1970s paperback
-12. El Borak and Other Desert Adventures
-13. Boxing Stories, a University of Nebraska Press collection featuring the tales of Steve Costigan
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