Saturday, April 18, 2009


By Karl Edward Wagner

Kane is the most unlikely of fantasy heroes, or indeed of any kind of hero. He is an educated gentleman with the appearance of a hulking, homicidal maniac. In fact, he IS a homicidal maniac, the first and greatest. What makes him so appealing is not that Kane is less of a SOB than the others he interacts with but that he is such a superb survivor, always staying a half-step ahead of the grisly end that invariably lurks.

Darkness Weaves was Kane's first outing. Avoid the first edition at all costs as it was very badly edited. In fact it was mauled. Subsequent editions show KEW's brilliance to full effect. Kane is recruited by a mad sorceress to overthrow an island empire. Kane, the sorceress, and a sub-aquatic horde of super-science using aliens form a trio of bad pennies , returning to wreak havoc.

Wagner was a master of pace, plotting, characterization and mood. The reader hangs on the edge of his seat, awaiting the next twist, the next betrayal in this slam-bang Sword & Sorcery novel. The macho-stylistics of revenge and ambition suffuse Darkness Weaves. One might say that KEW was the Quentin Tarantino of Sword & Sorcery. Or perhaps, Tarantino is the Karl Edward Wagner of crime movies.

-Dave Hardy

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Yep! This is a great book.