In my continuing quest to find great “vintage” sci-fi and fantasy, I now turn to Lin Carter’s Thongor books. The six volume series takes place in the mythical lost continent of Lemuria. Thongor of Valkarth, the near-barbarian exile, finds himself on one near-death adventure after another across Lemuria. Not surprisingly, he rescues himself a princess and becomes a ruler and warrior of note. Often compared to Conan (which Carter also contributed to), but the stories ring closer to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ tales of peril. Perhaps that’s why I was drawn into this series more than Conan. The first outing is rather brief and straight-forward, but the storytelling in book 2 reaches that Burroughs-level of constant, page turning escapades. I think this kind of quick and fun adventure will, if it hasn’t already, find success with modern audiences. Sometimes authors try a little too hard in their world-building and narrative. Unfortunately, this series is a short one.
Sometimes – if not quite often – readers want to be swept away into another world full of larger-than-life, sword-swinging heroes facing unimaginable peril and rescuing their beautiful women. Thongor is all of this.
Politically incorrect? Perhaps to some. Fun and entertaining? Most certainly.