John Norman's epic Gorean Saga is one of the longest-running and most successful series in the history of fantasy. It is also one of the most controversial. Over the course of more than thirty books produced over a span of six decades, the series has sold millions of copies and built legions of fans unrivaled in their devotion
In MARINERS OF GOR, Book 30 of the Gorean Saga, many on Gor do not believe that the great ship, the ship of Tersites, the lame, scorned, half-blind, half-mad shipwright, originally of Port Kar exists. Surely it is a matter of no more than legend. In the previous audiobook, however, SWORDSMEN OF GOR, we learn that the great ship, commissioned by unusual warriors for a mysterious mission, was secretly built in the northern forests, and brought down the Alexandra to Thassa, the sea, beginning her voyage to the "World's End," hazarding waters beyond the "farther islands," from which no previous ship had returned.
©2011 John Norman (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Gor books tend to bi-polar. They alternate between sequences of excellent adventure and sequences of Slave, Sleen! Slave, Master. Generally in the hardcopy form you can skip the repetitive and annoying Slave, Sleen! Slave, Master chunks and get to the excellent adventures (or I suppose you could do the reverse). You can't do that easily with an audio novel.
Also the book's narration is confused. The narrator goes over large chunks of obsessive details about Gorean slavery but the book sets it up that the narrator is telling his story to other Goreans. That worked when it was Carl Tabot telling us the story but not so well in this context. Also the narration switches between 'the stranger' and the scribe at different times but both speak in the first person and have the same 'voice' as Carl Tabot. Even worse its the tangle created when the narrator related bits they were told by a woman which is also told in the first person and leaves the impression of the dangerous "stranger" relating this tale and acting out the girl parts. Kind of odd.
Still the action adventure bits were good. He drops you into the action in a way no other writers of swords and sorcery do and I think he could have been one of the greats if he skipped the Slave, Sleen! Slave, Master bits or isolated them to their own book series.
Our Narrator is not Tarl Cabot here, but Tarl is very much present in this story. This is a return to what I expect of a Gor Novel, thorns and all. I loved it, I loved the different narrator, and understand why it was necessary. Comments on the story would all be spoilers,but Tarl Cabot ends going on a grand adventure to the Ends of the World. Enjoy.
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