Night Winds

Night Winds

by Karl Edward Wagner

Now, down the trail of past battles, Kane travels again.

To the half-burnt tavern where a woman Kane wronged long ago holds his child in keeping for the Devil.

To the house of death itself where Kane retrieves a woman in love.The past, the future, the present - all these are one for Kane as he travels through the centuries.Cover illustration: Chris Achilleos

  • Series: Kane
  • Language: English
  • Category: Fantasy
  • Rating: 4.28
  • Pages: 286
  • Publish Date: 1979 by Coronet Books
  • Isbn10: 0340234725
  • Isbn13: 9780340234723

What People Think about "Night Winds"

How long the ship had lain there, no man could say. For the ship was there when man first came to the shore. For the span of a thousand feet it was the shore---a curving black cliff that rose from the sand, ten times the height of a tall man. This man may fail at his task, but quests like this plant seeds in other people. A boy, maybe one in a thousand, might hear the story of this mans attempt and be the next one to try and find a way to make a mountain float. In this collection of stories, he is at different points a powerful, feared sorcerer, a bandit on the run, a seeker of poetry, a man in search of treasure, but the one constant is that, regardless of how many people are around him, he is absolutely alone. Kane is immortal and weary with the task of deciding what to do with his life. Kane thought for an instant it was a two-headed hunchback. When they are about to be invaded, these half-men ask Kane to help. - You didn't win a thing, Kane. Kane lives mostly in his own head. In one story, Kane has this hold on a beautiful woman named Dessylyn. While he broods, she has chances to escape, and each time she tries to find a man who can defeat Kane, but of course this is impossible. It made me wonder if Kane, too, found Dessylyn more desirable standing over the corpses of her lovers. It feels like there are whole lives missing between each story. Fortunately, I have four more Kane books to read. The brooding darkness in these books was not that of Kane, but that of Karl Edward Wagner.

It's a gorgeous hardback edition, part of the first set (5 books) to contain ALL the Kane stories that I bought a couple of years ago. I'm reading them in chronological order which means putting this book down after the first 3 stories to read Bloodstone before continuing. Below I'll list the complete Kane chronology &, if I remember, other books that contain the stories. I've read all the Kane stories several times before, but never in chronological order. KEW published them out of order, never collected them, & his books are often difficult & expensive to come by. Before this, the most complete collection was in 2 books Midnight Sun: The Complete Stories of Kane & Gods in Darkness: The Complete Novels of Kane. Conan & Kane were published with covers by Frank Frazetta which may have been what first drew me to his work as it did REH's.There are a lot of other similarities between the characters & the authors. Some of the Kane stories also have a strong SF element in them - aliens from the stars, spaceships, & such. Unfortunately, he didn't live to finish the Kane stories. Previously published in Midnight Sun: The Complete Stories of Kane, he's not in this fragment, the prologue to what was supposed to be a 150K word novel about the voyage of the Yhosal-Monyr, a vessel which is referred to in Bloodstone. --------------- 4_Bloodstone (1975): - This is a separate book that should be read here if reading the stories in chronological order. --------------- Back to "Night Winds" 5_The Dark Muse (1973): - an eccentric poet wants to write the perfect poem & gains some help from Kane through both blood & sorcery. The end of this story has always been my favorite part since it sums Kane up so perfectly.

he's drawing me back into his world, one full of peril and darkness, of larger than life heroes and powerful magics, ancient curses and lost civilizations, drunken brawls and fatally atractive women. I'll quote later the poem that give the title to this volume, one that reminded me strongly of Charles Baudelaire and his fleurs du mal , of the 'cold and sinister' beauty that is to be found on the fringes of the civilized world. Kane is the most feared alchemist in the city and the story follows the attempts of his woman - fiery Dessylin - to escape his thrall. Two Suns Setting opens with a wonderful descriptive passage of Sun and Moon over the desert of Herratlonai, where Kane comes across the last member of an elder race: the giant Dwasslir. Kane recognizes Klinure, the muse of dreams and warns the poet about the dangers of journeying into her realm: What if instead of some long-dead artist's never-finished vision of unearthy beauty, you found yourself trapped in an unhallowed nightmare from which some fever-poisoned madman awoke shrieking? The pure awareness of beauty is as overwhelming an emotion as blind fear; to feel inexpressible love is as soul-wrenching a sensation as to know relentless terror. Beyond the immediate conflict between bandits and soldiers, there is the supernatural struggle of man against fate, mortal against deity, pitting Kane against Sathonys and his bloodhound on the night known as Demonlord's Moon : the one time of the year when the lord of darkness hunts freely for souls to take to his demonic realm. As a sidenote, the action sequences here reminded me of Bruce Willis and his Die Hard movies, not only due to the quote above, but for the one man's struggle against impossible odds and the high gore quotient. In the aftermath of the bloody battle, bands of scavengers return to the fields of death in search of fabulous loot and Kane gets involved in trying to save the girl who may or may not have the key to the treasure chamber. Kane is cast here more as a witness, observer, until the moment for action comes explosively, Kurosawa style, in one of the best fights I've read in a fantasy book yet (I've quoted it in full on another site).

Kane, to date, is the best post Conan type I've run across. The stories in this collection (the first Kane stories I've read), are apparently the last in the series. This straightforward story was one of my favorites in the collection. This one also struck me as a bit choppy, but it's also revealing in that it shows Kane as anything but a thug. Kane saves a woman fleeing across an old battlefield that sounds like Verdun! Meh. Kane is barely present, and compared to the other stories in the collection, this one comes across as slight.

Karl Edward Wagner's KANE is to (Grimdark) Fantasy what Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground is to Indie Music. In other words, Wagner's the Grandaddy of Grimdark. If you're a fantasy fan, you must read Wagner.

The city ruins exist for a reason, and are abandoned for a reason, and are being investigated for reasons.

Kane is very tough, mean & intelligent, so keeps living.

To preface this, I was reading the Centipede Press edition, which includes not only the contents of the original Warner paperback of Night Winds, but the story "Misericorde" (originally included in The Book of Kane, a lovely illustrated hardcover from Donald M.

Karl Edward Wagner's KANE is to (Grimdark) Fantasy what Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground is to Indie Music. In other words, Wagner's the Grandaddy of Grimdark. If you're a fantasy fan, you must read Wagner.