Treasures of Tartary

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Categories: Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Publisher: Wildside Press/Wildside Press | Date published: 07/08/2004


A collection of Robert E. Howard's best historical fiction, including "Treasures of Tartary," "Son of the White Wolf," "Black Vulmea's Vengeance," "Boot Hill Payoff," and "The Vultures of Whapeton." Also includes a new introduction by James Reasoner. One situation which Howard liked to use was the American hero in the Middle East. In the opening paragraph of "Treasures of Tartary," it is Kirby O'Donnell who finds himself plunging into the middle of a battle in a dark alley in Shahrazar. Though O'Donnell is an American, he dresses like an Arab, is fluent in their languages, and is burned so dark by the sun that he can pass for a native, which he does in this story. None of the other characters are aware of his true identity. Yet Howard frequently refers to O'Donnell as "the American," reminding the reader that O'Donnell is an outsider, someone who despite his appearance will always be a Westerner and not truly a part of the surroundings in which he finds himself. So is Francis Xavier Gordon, known to most of the inhabitants of the Middle East as El Borak. More specifically, Gordon is a Texan, a former gunfighter who had more than his share of adventures in the American West before he ever ventured into the Middle East.