I’ve known Angeline Hawkes and her husband Christopher Fulbright for several years. They’re both fans of Robert E. Howard as well as writers, but I’d never read any of their work until now. Hawkes’ new collection OUT OF THE GARDEN brings together a number of the heroic fantasy stories she’s written about Kabar of El Hazzar, a blacksmith, thief, and barbarian warrior who lives in a world modeled somewhat after the Middle East during Old Testament times. Kabar is a fine, compelling character, and the stories feature plenty of action as he is drawn into tales of sorcery, political intrigue, mystical weapons, monsters, and plenty of beautiful women, maidenly and otherwise. By turns eerie, lyrical, adventurous, and philosophical, all the stories in this book are good, but the title novella is a real highlight, a stunning blend of action, fantasy, and theology. If you’re a fan of heroic fantasy, this one is highly recommended, and you can order it here.
Rod McKuen, R. I. P.
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