Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Review: The Saga of Solomon Kane

 With Halloween approaching, I thought this was a good time to read The Saga of Solomon Kane, a graphic novel compendium of tales based on Robert E. Howard's Puritan wanderer. 
I must admit, my knowledge of Solomon Kane comes strictly through comic books I read so long ago, I don't remember the actual plots.  I've never read any of the actual Kane short stories by Howard.  Until I do though, I felt I got very acquainted with the dour Puritan and his quest to rid the world of evil. 
This book is chock-full of material ranging from poems and artwork, to publishing history as well as the stories themselves.  These are either based on Howard's original work, or inspired by it.  There's even a "Kane Meets Conan" adventure, along with a couple of "Kane vs Count Dracula" tales. 
Since I had no preconceived notions, I thoroughly enjoyed The Saga of Solomon Kane and give it a 5-star rating.  Out of 8 reviews on Amazon.com, 6 other readers also awarded this book 5-star ratings.  The other two readers gave it a 2 and 3-star rating.  While both of them liked the artwork, which is all black-and-white, the 3-star rater thought the publishers included too many stories, which confused the timeline.  (Authors writing a series often have trouble with continuity).  Meanwhile, the 2-star rater felt the non-Howard-based tales included too many horror/pulp tropes which made for repetitive reading. 
A few years back, Solomon Kane lept from the printed page and on to the big screen.  I heard it got panned in Europe, but the movie still managed to open in the US a couple of weeks ago.  Critics on Rotten Tomatoes are all over the map, which averages to "okay at best."
Since I missed the theater debut, I'll probably watch it on DVD--and post a review here. 
Until then--Godspeed you.

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