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Thongor and the Dragon City So bad it s good Note I recommend reading the book aloud in the most profound voice you can conjure. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Well, this second book is a VAST improvement on its predecessor, but I m not sure that s a good thing The 1st Thongor book is SO badly written its hilarious, this one s just bad.It s a swashbuckling barbarian fantasy adventure in the vein of Edgar Rice Burroughs, but rather than being a homage its farsimply ripping off It s as if Carter has taken the entire cast of the 12 Marian books by Burroughs including villains creatures and thrown them into a single novella The names all so Well, this second book is a VAST improvement on its predecessor, but I m not sure that s a good thing The 1st Thongor book is SO badly written its hilarious, this one s just bad.It s a swashbuckling barbarian fantasy adventure in the vein of Edgar Rice Burroughs, but rather than being a homage its farsimply ripping off It s as if Carter has taken the entire cast of the 12 Marian books by Burroughs including villains creatures and thrown them into a single novella The names all sound like they re from Burroughs but we re never with characters long enough to care who they are other than funny names on a page Not that you have time to sit and reflect on who s who because the pace is so frantic that the character you were thinking about is long gone and another villain has appeared Nothing is explained and creatures are just thrown in randomly.I was also deeply annoyed with the climatic battle we re following 2 sets of characters Thongor who ends up at the mercy of evil vampire Xothun and his powerful magnetic ray in the lost city of Om and princess Sumia trapped in a siege situation of her home city which has been taken over by evil wizard Himog Thoon and his smoke of madness, and evil yellow druid Vaspas Ptol Hajash Tor leads an army to take back the cityThe city, and Sumia are saved by Thongor who gets back his airship and steals Xothun s magnetic ray and rides to the rescue knowing exactly what is going on with his princess Hold on a minute 5 pages ago he was miles away in the lost city of om at the mercy of the zombie commanding vampire lord who d foiled his ring of invisibility We only hear in flashback how he was able to escape and come and aid the princess Swizz That s just rubbish.Thongor of Lemuria is derivative and poorly written pulp trash Its breakneck speed and dashing exploits make it entertaining but it s not great The one redeeming feature are the villains Thalaba the destroyer is really creepy his form of torture to infect victims with his disease Also rather liked the vampire king Found Sumia s proposal to Thongor at the end amusing too This still has the monogamous moral fibre of Burroughs stories which is absent of so many later such works in the genre.If you want a hero driven by the force of his iron thews look no further than Thongor, a bizarre cross between Conan and John Carter but never quite managing to live up to either Carter envisions a prehistoric Lemuria that acts like a sword and planet world that tells a sword and sorcery story The fantastic elements are weird science and mesmerism and the like, but the inhabitants have a low technology mindset It s an intriguing concept but one incidental to the action, as the author drives the story from set piece to set piece.Despite the title, the writer of the back cover of the Berkley edition correctly identified the highlight of the book the vampire king scienti Carter envisions a prehistoric Lemuria that acts like a sword and planet world that tells a sword and sorcery story The fantastic elements are weird science and mesmerism and the like, but the inhabitants have a low technology mindset It s an intriguing concept but one incidental to the action, as the author drives the story from set piece to set piece.Despite the title, the writer of the back cover of the Berkley edition correctly identified the highlight of the book the vampire king scientist Xothun who ruled the lost ruined city of Omm for a thousand years, and now that he has depleted his slave population feed stock, it is time for him to expand his empire To my annoyance, in the book this particular piece has an equal weight with all the rest.And reading the chapter title Attack of the Cannibal Trees stopped me a moment these trees eat other trees How long does that take There were several little details that stuck out in like fashion, from how lightning behaves when it strikes an airplane to the outright statement that digestion is a slow, chemical combustion If you ve ever seen old Hollywood sci fi or fantasy movies, you ll remember a habit of making magic, spirits, and futuristic rays out of simple stuff like a Tesla coil, smoke, spotlights, projection, and matte paintings The idea was to create something completely extraordinary by presenting fairly mundane things with a little panache and showmanship In Thongor of Lemuria , Lin Carter somehow manages to do the exact opposite He turns a universe of fantasy and high adventure into lame and thor If you ve ever seen old Hollywood sci fi or fantasy movies, you ll remember a habit of making magic, spirits, and futuristic rays out of simple stuff like a Tesla coil, smoke, spotlights, projection, and matte paintings The idea was to create something completely extraordinary by presenting fairly mundane things with a little panache and showmanship In Thongor of Lemuria , Lin Carter somehow manages to do the exact opposite He turns a universe of fantasy and high adventure into lame and thoroughly explained parlor tricks This book includes a vampire king or blood drinking mad scientist , who lures Thondor s flying ship in with a mysterious device, which is later used for another purpose What super science has this immortal devil brought to bear What unthinkable magic is at play It s just a magnet, folks Luckily for the reader, Thongor of Lemuria is a full blown pastiche, which means Lin Carter puts a Conan ish character in a series of Barsoom ish and Amtor ish situations If he tapped a well other than Burroughs and Howard I must have missed it The result is bloated passages of description and no shortage of barbaric finery , swords and diet sorcerers, and an overpowered hero whose power is unnecessary since he tends to just escape by coincidence, the actions of others, or simply because the villains aren t all that good Sometimes Carter comes close to the feel of the writing he s trying to emulate, but he can t re create Burroughs dramatic plotting or Howard s fiery mad poetry I actually tried to start this book twice, the first time was about 9 years ago That time I put the book down when the narration decided to give us the sea monster s viewpoint while it s deciding whether to eat the Nemedis I only powered through the drawn out tired escapes at the beginning of the book this time because I have read worse ones since Oh This is a sequel, by the way, to The Wizard of Lemuria , although it s hard to tell at first since Carter has pulled the trick of introducing a character with a ready made history built in, not to mention implying sequels and prequels that he never got around to writing He s got his princess already on his arm and a comrade in tow, so the adventure separates them for new perils Three different kingdoms are thrown into the mix, none of which linger on the page long enough to really distinguish themselves In many ways, this is all standard Lin Carter fare Not quite as good as Jandar of Callisto , not as bad as Tower at the Edge of Time or Time War The same bad habit is at work, where the world is wonderful and twinkling and the hero has a very easy time and is pampered along the way, with peril at a minimum You d think a psychic immortal vampire king, to whom super science is merely a toy , would presentof a challenge to a barbarian hero, but no I ve gotLin Carter on the shelf and I will most likely be reading it, if only to justify the insane amount of book buying I do I have the Tandem edition. Good fantasy novel Nice easy and quick read While not Robert E Howard s Conan, Thongor is an entertaining afternoon escape Recommended Thongor, swordsman and adventurer, faces his greatest challenge in this thrilling action packed novel of the rough hewn civilizations of the Earth s first continent, the Lost Lemuria Amid untracked jungles, the fearsome heritage of the not so long gone Age of Dinosaurs, Thongor faces fierce beasts and savage beast men, confronts hidden cities of magic and mystery, and fights to rescue his princess from a network of evilIt s high adventure in the manner of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Otis Adelbert Kline A lot happens to Thongor in a week First his flying ship is struck by lightning As he fights its descent to the sea with the help of his two companions, the lovely Princess Sumia and Karm Karvis, a hungry sea monster stalks the ship After fighting that off, Thongor and crew land in the jungle where Thongor goes hunting only to be distracted by a hungry saber cat and cold conked by an apeman Meanwhile, his friends worry and try to track him, only to be caught by carnivorous plants, and then A lot happens to Thongor in a week First his flying ship is struck by lightning As he fights its descent to the sea with the help of his two companions, the lovely Princess Sumia and Karm Karvis, a hungry sea monster stalks the ship After fighting that off, Thongor and crew land in the jungle where Thongor goes hunting only to be distracted by a hungry saber cat and cold conked by an apeman Meanwhile, his friends worry and try to track him, only to be caught by carnivorous plants, and then rescued by another party of carnivore apemen And that s all before noon on Monday.Thongor and the Dragon City harkens back to the pulp writers Robert E Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs Eventually Thongor must escape from a forgotten city lorded by a vampire scientist in order to stop a siege between two warring city states The book is filled with narrow escapes, cliffhangers and weird science.Carter may have had difficulty with pacing, opting for break neck , but he has written an entertaining diversion First cynical thought bargain basement Conan.Secondary,generous thoughts Actually, for what it is, it s not bad at all I could wish that I d read this the right way round, as I wound up reading what I assumed was the first of a series when it was actually the second, but still a decent time passing story well told If nothing else, Mr Carter knew how to work a cliffhanger and keep the reader s interest without seeming contrived modern authors take note, and yes, I m looking at you, Mr First cynical thought bargain basement Conan.Secondary,generous thoughts Actually, for what it is, it s not bad at all I could wish that I d read this the right way round, as I wound up reading what I assumed was the first of a series when it was actually the second, but still a decent time passing story well told If nothing else, Mr Carter knew how to work a cliffhanger and keep the reader s interest without seeming contrived modern authors take note, and yes, I m looking at you, Mr BrownI liked the way that Carter s Lemurian age seems to try and bridge the gap between our era of known history and Howard s Hyborean Age.I ll pass on the opportunity to harp on the themes of casual racism and sexism inherent in this kind of story, recognising them as symptoms of the time of writing, and for story s sake, give this a solid 3 stars I guess this one is a little bit less amateurish than the first novel, even if this is the revised and expanded version of Thongor of Lemuria published 4 years before It picks up immediately after the events of book 1 Thongor and the Wizard of Lemuria In fact, both novels take place within the space of one month Thongor again gets captured 4 times it doesn t make him look so mighty, but Carter s intention is probably to create some drama and not to make the character look invincible He I guess this one is a little bit less amateurish than the first novel, even if this is the revised and expanded version of Thongor of Lemuria published 4 years before It picks up immediately after the events of book 1 Thongor and the Wizard of Lemuria In fact, both novels take place within the space of one month Thongor again gets captured 4 times it doesn t make him look so mighty, but Carter s intention is probably to create some drama and not to make the character look invincible He makes new friends, and gets lots of rewards at the ends The ending is kind of satisfactory but feels too easily won I guess it makes me curious enough to read the next book in the series

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 143 pages
  • Thongor and the Dragon City
  • Lin Carter
  • English
  • 03 September 2019
  • 0425035727

About the Author: Lin Carter

Linwood Vrooman Carter was an American author of science fiction and fantasy, as well as an editor and critic He usually wrote as Lin Carter known pseudonyms include H P Lowcraft for an H P Lovecraft parody and Grail Undwin.Carter had a marked tendency toward self promotion in his work, frequently citing his own writings in his nonfiction to illustrate points and almost always including at least one of his own pieces in the anthologies he edited The most extreme instance is his novel Lankar of Callisto, which features Carter himself as the protagonist.As an author, he was a member of the all male literary banqueting club the Trap Door Spiders, which served as the basis of Isaac Asimov s fictional group of mystery solvers the Black Widowers Carter himself was the model for the Mario Gonzalo character He was also a member of the Swordsmen and Sorcerers Guild of America SAGA , a loose knit group of Heroic fantasy authors founded in the 1960s, some of whose work he anthologized in the Flashing Swords series Carter is most closely associated with fellow author L Sprague de Camp, who served as a mentor and collaborator and was a fellow member of both the Trap Door Spiders and SAGA.Carter served in Korea, after which he attended Columbia University He was a copywriter for some years before writing full time Carter resided in East Orange, New Jersey, in his later years, and drank and smoked heavily It may have been his smoking that gave him oral cancer in 1985 Only his status as a Korean War veteran enabled him to receive extensive surgery However, it failed to cure the cancer and left him disfigured.In the last year before his death, he had begun to reappear in print with a new book in his Terra Magica series, a long promised Prince Zarkon pulp hero pastiche, Horror Wears Blue, and a regular column for the magazine Crypt of Cthulhu 5 Despite these successes, Carter increased his alcohol intake, becoming a borderline alcoholic and further weakening his body His cancer resurfaced, spreading to his throat and leading to his death in Montclair, New Jersey, in 1988.