I’ve been meaning to read Almuric by Robert E. Howard for some years and I figured with the imminent release of John Carson (Edgar Rice Burrough’s Barsoom) in theaters in a few weeks, now was a good time to give it a read.
Almuric follows the exploits of the Earthman Esau Cairn, transported to a distant Earth-like world by mysterious scientific means, populated by many strange beings and creatures. One of the humanoid races he refers to as Man, like himself, due to their similar physics. But they are different in many ways, and moderately barbarian in nature. But their women are very much like Earth women, so he feels like he fits in.
Esau Cairn is a big, muscular man who is quite capable of surviving and thriving in the hostile wilderness. He encounters many strange creatures, some similar to various Earthly animals, some quite alien. Living in the wild physically toughens him further, enabling him to conquer the wilderness on his own terms.
Living in the wilds for months at first, and learning to survive on the world of Almuric (his name for the planet), Esau Cairn finally succumbs to a human need for companionship and approaches a city in peace. He is made a prisoner but earns the respect of the inhabitants of the city and becomes one of them.
He learns of other races of people, including the exceedingly evil winged beings, Yagas, that live to the south and raid the other peoples of the world that Cairn finds himself on. The Yagas eat human flesh, making them the main enemy in the story.
Overall, I found it to be an entertaining work by one of my all-time favorite writers. It is also unique in being one of Howard’s few novels, and his only foray into the genre of Planetary Romance. It is also considered to be a bit of a tribute to Burrough’s Barsoom series. It’s a must for all serious REH fans.