Yes, friends, Oron! The greatest of all the great progeny of Conan the Barbarian! Oron the Nevgan, whose mighty sword (and, on this cover, axe) heaved a bloody swath through the purple prose of yesteryear! Oron, whose cover stared at me from a $2 book rack, promising things unknown, promising stories unheard, promising… Oron! Yes, Oron, he of the name that cannot grace a paragraph enough, he whose book my girlfriend bought me for those two dollars, almost the same price that he was upon his first appearance in 1978!
So, if you’re wondering why I would dedicate an entire blog (or at least, a few posts before I get bored) to an obscure David C. Smith character (Smith is best known for more specific Howard pastiches), you need only gaze upon the first paragraph of the backmatter to Oron, the first book in the Oron series:
Oron the Nevgan walked among his fallen comrades, mercifully slashing throats and breaking open brains. He was a young man, this Oron, a young warrior, but his mien was that of a slayer of men. His young man’s face was scarred and hardened with lines; his full beard was matted and coarse. The knotted hands that held so well the rough steel were stained and calloused; his eyes under the somber brows were shadowed with a hundred crimson conflicts..
What really got me, however, was the number of times that Oron’s name comes up within a page, paragraph, or sentence, as a wonderful example:
But memories came to Oron, old thoughts of a time in the Nevgan hills when he fought not for wealth or women, but because he was Oron, a warrior.
And so forth. So, upon reading just the first 30 or 40 pages of Oron I decided that it was too wonderful to keep to myself, too great a thing to be relegated to only its original printings–a book that treads its line so perfectly that I don’t even know if I’m making fun of it or just enjoying it, because who cares? It’s Oron. Oron!
I will be writing down my impressions as I make my way through Oron (the title that should have had an exclamation point), and possibly the rest of the four book series. (That’s right, four books, don’t trust Wikipedia or the book covers themselves, as I learned right here.)
So enjoy… enjoy Oron!