“Spears of Clontarf” by Robert E. Howard
May 28, 2019
Posted by on
This is a great story, a fascinating piece.
In the first place, it shows us up close the sort of peoples, Christian and pagan, that produced the bedrock of the myth and legends that would define our base concepts of fantasy and heroism. But it also presents the notion that we are descended from people that were every bit as heroic as Conan and Solomon Kane. And being written by Robert E. Howard, you can’t help but end up being persuaded!
So many good lines here:
My lords, it may be God’s will I fall in the first onset– but the scars of slavery burn deep in my back this night, and may the dogs eat my bones if I am backward when the spears are splintering.
The issue was greater than to decide whether Dane or Gael should rule Ireland; it was Christian against heathen; Jehovah against Odin; it was the last combined onslaught of the Norse races against the world they had looted for three hundred years. It was more; it was the titanic death-throes of a passing epoch– the twilight of a fading age.
It’s awe inspiring. With not one iota of snark, contempt, or subversion.
This is what fiction is like when it’s written by someone that doesn’t hate his audience. Check it out!