Friday, 9 March 2012

Wolf's Head 1: Oath of Blood by Arthur Frazier (NEL, 1973)

Among the many and varies things I like are dog-eared New English Library paperbacks like 'Wolfs Head 1: Oath of Blood', apparently by Arthur Frazier.

book cover of 

Oath of Blood 

 (Wolfshead, book 1)


Arthur FrazierI say apparently because this first book in a six book series is actually the work of prolific NEL author Kenneth Bulmer, a man second only to Wilfred McNeilly in my personal pantheon of forgotten heroes of pulp. Bulmer is better known for science fiction than this sort of Saxons vs Normans throwaway, but even so it's 108 pages of small text which never flags for a second, even while it sets up the premise for the remaining five books in the series.  This is a book that fills every page with incident and action, like an Alan Moore comic strip or a  big summer blockbuster novel, never stopping for breath or reflection, and making sure that every inch of available canvas is in play.

Attempted rape, mutilation, revenge, death and pitched battle combine with beautiful women, saxon art, good fellowship and self-sacrifice to make a book which is never dull.  That may not seem like the greatest compliment ever paid a book but there are times when incident packed is all you really want...