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Authors: Harold Lamb

Tags: #Historical Fiction, #Action & Adventure, #Short Stories (Single Author), #Fiction, #Fantasy, #Suspense, #Adventure Fiction, #Historical, #Short Stories, #Adventure Stories

Swords From the East

BOOK: Swords From the East
2.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub





The Gate in the Sky

The Wolf-Chaser

The Three Palladins

The House of the Strongest

The Road of the Giants

Azadi's Jest

The Net

The Book of the Tiger: The Warrior

The Book of the Tiger: The Emperor

Sleeping Lion


About the Author

Source Acknowledgments


Harold Lamb wrote that he'd found something "gorgeous and new" when he discovered chronicles of Asian history in the libraries of Columbia University. He remained fascinated with the East thereafter, which is evident from his first stories of western adventurers in Asia to the last book published before his death in 1962, Babur the Tiger. All of his popular fiction is anchored in Asia, whether it be the cycle of Khlit the Cossack, descended from the Tatar hero Kaidu, or Durandal's Sir Hugh of Taranto, who travels into Asia during the conquests of Genghis Khan, or even the adventures of Genghis Khan himself, as related in "The Three Palladins" in this volume.

Lamb tried his hand at contemporary fiction and was published in a number of top-flight magazines; these stories, though, do not hold up very well today. The characters, even when adventuring in Lamb's favorite stomping grounds, come across as wooden and dated.*
In this age, both the 192os and the 1120s are remote to us. It might seem odd that a story set in one time can sound old-fashioned and quaint while one set in the other does not, especially when they were crafted by the same writer, but looking over the whole of Lamb's work, one reaches an inescapable conclusion: it is when Lamb looked backward that his prose sprang to life. His historical characters are far better realized than his modern heroes. Passion for his subject was writ large in every historical story. Lamb loved what he was writing, and it shows, most especially in the tales crafted for Adventure magazine, where editor Arthur Sullivan Hoffman gave him free rein to write what he wished. Even today, some eighty or ninety years after their creation, no matter changed literary trends and conventions, these stories beguile with the siren song of adventure. Lamb's polished and surprisingly modern sense of plotting and pacing is in full evidence in every story in this volume.

Lamb's first real writing success came from sending characters into Asia to adventure, but before too long he tried his hand at writing of adventurers who were Asian. (Khlit, of course, is of Asian descent, but he would have been more "western" and familiar to his first readers than those characters he encounters through his wanderings. Lamb tried his hand at several shorter tales with Mongolian protagonists, including "The Wolf-Chaser," a story of a last stand in Mongolia that proved so inspiring to a young Robert E. Howard that Howard outlined it and took a crack at drafting a version of the story himself.*

BOOK: Swords From the East
2.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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