In the Fourth Century A.D., during the legendary reign of King Arthur, when fierce barbarian tribes from the North are battling each other and harrying the coasts of Europe, the Gaelic warrior-pirate Cormac Mac Art leads a fierce band of Vikings under the chieftainship of his bloodthirsty friend Wulfhere Skull-Splitter. Cormac is a hero who’s bloodline reaches back to fabled Atlantis and the mighty King Kull, and, like his majestic ancestor, he is a force to be reckoned with…..
This is an excellent collection of four stories by the author of Conan, Robert E. Howard, about one of his great heroes, Cormac Mac Art. Well, technically three are actually written by Howard ( “Tigers of the Sea,””The Night of the Wolf,” and “The Temple of Abomination.”) and the other (“Swords of the Northern Sea”) is written by Glenn Lord, writer and head of the Howard Estate.
In “Tigers of the Sea,” Cormac and his Viking band are tasked by the Briton ruler King Gerinth with rescuing his sister, Princess Helen, who has been captured by the barbarous Picts to provide for a virgin sacrifice to please the dark god Golka.
In “Swords of the Northern Sea,” Cormac again must save a British damsel known as Tarala, who is held by the wicked and brutish Viking chieftain Rognor the Red.
In “The Night of the Wolf,” Cormac and his men must fight for their lives as the wild and darksome Picts descend in a full-scale assault to wipe out the Viking tribes on the Shetland Islands.
And in “The Temple of Abomination” (my personal favorite of these four) Cormac and his band must confront a supernatural ancient evil that haunts a the foreboding ruins of a mysterious lost temple.
All four stories are action-packed and contain high adventure throughout. This proves yet again why Robert E. Howard is one of my favorite sword and sorcery fantasy writers. Howard’s writing shines with brilliance and leaps off the page as it has always done. Cormac and Wulfhere are memorable and solid heroes, and proudly take their place alongside Howard’s other creations of Kull, Conan, Bran Mak Morn, Solomon Kane, and others.
I give “Tigers of the Sea” by Robert E. Howard a 5 out of 5.