cover image Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures

Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures

Robert E. Howard, Del Rey, $18 trade paper (576p) ISBN 978-0-345-50546-0

Primarily of interest to completists and fans, this substantial volume, the 11th in Del Rey's series of Howard collections, focuses on his historical stories and related pieces. Howard's uniquely stylized prose may be an acquired taste, but there's no denying his ability to craft epic tales with memorable characters in well-researched, colorful surroundings, including some of history's most volatile periods. Eighteen stories and poems, including the only two full stories to star Dark Agnes, the titular Sword Woman, are joined by a number of fragments, untitled vignettes, and synopses. Standouts such as "Hawks Over Egypt," "The Sowers of the Thunder," and "Blades for France" showcase the appeal and influence of his work. A lengthy introduction by Scott Oden and an excellent essay by Howard Andrew Jones help put these stories and Howard's career in perspective. (Feb.)