In the last few years, lovers of sword & sorcery had the opportunity to meet Gunthar, Steve Dilks savage adventurer, as he started in the footsteps of older and better known barbarians in three action-packed adventures. We saw him meet the Purple Priestess of Asshtarr, and then turn his attention to the Jaguar Queen, before he finally tackled the Devil from Beyond.
A muscular hero that still shows intelligence, cunning, and a sort of grim humor, Gunthar is a classic sword & sorcery hero, and manages to capture the old excitement of the pulps while bringing to the table a few more modern ideas. And right now, fans and newcomers can get their fix of s&s action in the character’s first collection, Gunthar – Warrior of the Lost World, published by Carnelian Press, that brings together Priestess, Queen and Devil, and throws in The Lord of the Black Throne for good measure. Three hundred pages of solid sword & sorcery, in a nicely illustrated volume with a beautiful cover.
While the shadow of a certain Cimmerian adventurer looms obviously large over Gunthar and his world, it is quite possible that a notorious Lemurian barbarian is also keeping an eye out for the young lad – and yet Steve Dilks is his own writer, and he gives us more than a mere pastiche or homage. One feels his many influences, but also appreciates his steady hand. His stories are fun, smart, and travel at a furious pace, filled with blazing swords and dark magic and beautiful, dangerous women, and he manages to bend the rules enough to do something original, while not breaking them. You’ve got to be good to manage that.
I got my copy as a gift from one of my Patrons (thank you!), and it’s been a pleasant diversion in these busy, surreal days. Indeed, it jumped to the top of my to-read pile, and it forced me to find the time to give it my undivided attention. It’s been refreshing, like taking a much-needed vacation.
An excellent addition to any sword & sorcery fan’s shelf.
We want more.