Burroughs' second novel, originally published as a five part serial in New Story Magazine, concerns the fictitious outlaw Norman of Torn. Set in 13th century England, during the power struggle between King Henry III and Simon de Montfort, the protagonist Norman is the supposed son of the Frenchman de Vac, once the king's fencing master, who has a grudge against his former employer and raises the boy to be a simple, brutal killing machine with a hatred of all things English.
During the years he had served as master of fence at the English Court, the sons of royalty had learned to thrust and parry and cut as only De Vac could teach the art, and he had been as conscientious in the discharge of his duties as he had been in his unswerving hatred and contempt for his pupils.
And now the English King had put upon him such an insult as might only be wiped out by blood.
As the blow fell, the wiry Frenchman clicked his heels together, and throwing down his foil, he stood erect and rigid as a marble statue before his master. White and livid was his tense drawn face, but he spoke no word.
He might have struck the King, but then there would have been left to him no alternative save death by his own hand; for a king may not fight with a lesser mortal, and he who strikes a king may not live -- the king's honor must be satisfied.
Had a French king struck him, De Vac would have struck back, and gloried in the fate which permitted him to die for the honor of France; but an English K
not very good. far below ERBs usual stuff. predictable and unrealistic.
Very predictable characters, you can probably correctly guess what they will do as various situations unfold. Even so, the author has managed to create an interesting story with plenty of action, swordplay, revenge, and chivalry.
Better than Tarzan or John Carter. This was a compelling action tale centered on Burroughs' most likable character. Robin Hood in setting there is more in common with Patty Hurst or Dick Grayson. Loved all the swordplay and intrigue. The ending was what it was foreshadowed but more. A great read.
Classic medieval setting with chivalry and revenge at its best. Enjoyable read if you're looking for action and adventure with the usual Burrough's twists and turns.
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