Volume 3: Priest-Kings of Gor

This volume is thicker than the previous two. It starts off right where the last ended.

Where the first volume is a fast moving fun house and the second volume a similar adventure as an excuse to get to the third volume. This third volume is about the truth behind the myths of Gor.

It starts well and moves into deeper description and explanation. Tarl, our protagonist becomes more distant from the hero I could associate with or wish to be. As a child the Tarl shown in the first two books was in many ways everything I wanted to be. In this book his actions make less sense and he seems to start losing himself. It may be the character is passing his good qualities onto others which drains himself of those very qualities.

While much of what is written is fascinating, my problem is that I don't care. I don't care about the Priest Kings. I am caring less and less about Tarl and his mission. It would be preferred for the Priest Kings to be a mystery solved only through subtle clues rather than described in detail.

While the descriptions aren't overly verbose and the explanations are concise, there are just so many of them. The protagonist becomes more or less a lense into which we see the inner workings of Gor.

What keeps the novel from failing is the prose of Norman which is truly beautiful and invigorating. His play with words stimulates my mind and in fact nourishes the thinking and creative parts of me.

Twenty-seven chapters into the book a story emerges and some great fun occurs. The last seven chapters are alone worth the book however they could also easily exist independent of the previous pages. During this time we see many things set right and characters start acting within the verisimilitude of the universe.

For the most part, you could read each of these three books independently of the others. Tarnsman is fully complete. Outlaw starts the path to Priest-Kings but is it's own adventure. Priest-Kings is then really it's own adventure as well. With but a simply one sentence explanation, you could dive in here and enjoy the inner workings of Gor.


Outlaw 4/5
Priest-Kings 3/5

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Comments

The book definitely could've been shorter, there was a lot of what felt like 'wasted space'. I found the conversations between Tarl and the priest kings a bit dull sometimes, as if Tarl had lost his wit. Tarl was at his brightest during his damsel saving moments. Saying that, I didn't like Vika at all, I didn't understand her and I didn't like the bait and switch that kept happening with her character. It was an okay book, you could skip to the last few chapters and not miss anything. The first two books were awesome, this book was a bit slow.