East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Savage Scrolls: a brief review

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I promised a review of Savage Scrolls, a collection of Hyborian lore by Fred Blosser.
Here we go.

Blosser’s book is a thorough survey of Conan’s Hyborian world, expanding to include many other Robert E. Howard characters and cycles. The basic idea is to take all the details Howard scattered through his stories, and collate them into a curated history book.
Culture, history, politics, natural sciences… the book covers all the bases, in a straightforward, engaging tone.
We meet characters, we visit cities and wild jungles, we learn the history of the Hyborian era. We discover connections, influences, references.
We catch a glimpse of Conan’s wolrd before and after Conan.
And where the original stories don’t go – or where Howard actually offered conflicting takes on certain elements – Blosser interpolates and speculates, filling the blanks with plausible hypotheses, doing a wonderful job.

The book reads in a breeze, it’s quite fun and it will probably send you back to your Conan collection for a re-read of some of the stories referenced.

Savage Scrolls is a good addition to the REH bookshelf, and apparently the first in a series – and we can only hope Volume 2 will be as good and solid as volume 1.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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