cover image Shadow Kingdoms: The Weird Works of Robert E. Howard Volume One

Shadow Kingdoms: The Weird Works of Robert E. Howard Volume One

Robert E. Howard, , read by Brian Holsopple, Bob Souer, Bob Barnes, Charles McKibben. . Audio Realms/Wildside, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8095-6228-2

Known primarily for his iconic character, Conan, Howard’s other writings delivered just as much action and adventure. This anthology of nine tales reveals some of his other earlier and lesser-known characters including Solomon Kane and King Kull, who feature in several pieces each. Originally published in Weird Tales , these stories become a nostalgic revival from the days of pulp magazines in this audio collection. Though Howard’s writing is plagued with melodrama and Eurocentrism, it still proves entertaining and exciting. While some supporting characters are one-dimensional, Kane and Kull gain more depth with each passing story. Utilizing different narrators for each story, Audio Realms brings quality and engaging talent to Howard’s words. Each narrator fits acutely well with the story he reads. Each maintains a strong, determined masculine voice, which embodies the predominantly male point of view throughout Howard’s works. This kind of adventure and fantasy entails harsh and gritty worlds with grim characters, which these narrators capture well with their stern and gravelly voices. A Wildside paperback. (May)