➶ [Read] ➲ Bran Mak Morn: The Last King By Robert E. Howard ➾ – Saudionline.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Bran Mak Morn: The Last King

  1. says:

    A fantastic collection of stories, but in a different way than Howard s Conan Where reading Conan gives you the feeling of a man besting all of the odds and laughing in the face of danger, the Bran Mak Morn stories are haunting and in a way sad Bran is the king of a dying, deformed people that are quickly fading from the world Where Conan attempts to tame the wild and laughs in the face of civilization, Bran desperately fights to keep the wild places free in the face of unstoppable progress This is than just the tales of Morn, however Here, we find the tales of the Picts as a people To really understand what the Picts meant to Howard is to understand Howard himself More than Conan or Kane, Howard s Picts were the soul of his work in a lot of ways They represented, for him, the savage, wild, free and thus true man From boxers and cowboys to barbarians and knights, every untamed man that Howard wrote about were shadows and whispers of this wild race.


  2. says:

    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 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 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 and 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 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 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.


  3. says:

    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 pulp fiction that I read, the 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 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.


  4. says:

    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.


  5. says:

    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 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 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 complete, and offer greater exploration of the characters.


  6. says:

    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.


  7. says:

    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.


  8. says:

    Bran Mak Morn is one of my favorite Howard characters Great pieces here, including some of Howard s strongest.


  9. says:

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


  10. says:

    Everybody who knows Robert E Howard knows Conan Some go on to read his Kull stories which were written earlier But those characters are nearly the same, the difference in the works due to Howard s maturing as a writer and giving Conan a bit depth of character.I like them all, but the Bran Mak Morn stories have a different feel This character wasn t set up to be invincible like Conan and Kull He was conceived from the beginning as a king who fought for his people s place in the world but Howard tells us from early on Bran ultimately loses this fight That sense of loss underlying every heroic act, in my opinion, tells us a lot about what the author was feeling This is no super human who will succeed no matter what he does, he s much human than that.I only wish Howard had written of the stories of Bran Mak Morn before he died The Conan stories are probably better for pure high adventure, but despite being an early character for Howard, I think the Bran stories might be my favorites.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bran Mak Morn: The Last King download Bran Mak Morn: The Last King, read online Bran Mak Morn: The Last King, kindle ebook Bran Mak Morn: The Last King, Bran Mak Morn: The Last King 568352c21172 From Robert E Howard S Fertile Imagination Sprang Some Of Fiction S Greatest Heroes, Including Conan The Cimmerian, King Kull, And Solomon Kane But Of All Howard S Characters, None Embodied His Creator S Brooding Temperament Than Bran Mak Morn, The Last King Of A Doomed RaceIn Ages Past, The Picts Ruled All Of Europe But The Descendants Of Those Proud Conquerors Have Sunk Into Barbarism All Save One, Bran Mak Morn, Whose Bloodline Remains Unbroken Threatened By The Celts And The Romans, The Pictish Tribes Rally Under His Banner To Fight For Their Very Survival, While Bran Fights To Restore The Glory Of His Race Lavishly Illustrated By Award Winning Artist Gary Gianni, This Collection Gathers Together All Of Howard S Published Stories And Poems Featuring Bran Mak Morn Including The Eerie Masterpiece Worms Of The Earth And Kings Of The Night, In Which Sorcery Summons Kull The Conqueror From Out Of The Depths Of Time To Stand With Bran Against The Roman Invaders Also Included Are Previously Unpublished Stories And Fragments, Reproductions Of Manuscripts Bearing Howard S Handwritten Revisions, And Much, Much Special Bonus A Newly Discovered Adventure By Howard, Presented Here For The Very First Time