Read Part 1 here.
Once again, I will reveal part of the plot of these stories, so consider this sentence to be a “Spoiler Alert”.
Why do I think Solomon Kane is a better character than Conan?
Mostly, it is his moral code. Conan is a bit of a wild card, one around whom, I would not feel safe. Conan seems the type to kill a man for a perceived slight, whereas Solomon Kane would make sure that the man had actually done something evil before sending that man to meet his Maker. I am reminded of a description of Aslan in the The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, “‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.” Solomon is a good man; harsh, but good.
RATTLE OF BONES
Solomon finds himself at an inn called the “Cleft Skull Tavern”. On a scale of 1 to Invading-Russia-In-The-Winter, going to an inn with that name is a solid 8.5. While on the road to this inn, he gains a companion named Gaston, who is, of course, French. The innkeeper is a creepy man and Solomon soon realizes that there are only three people in the whole inn! Himself, Gaston, and the innkeeper.
While deciding which room to stay in, the two travelers discover a room with a secret room that contains a chained-up skeleton, At this exact moment, Gaston chooses to pull a gun on Solomon.
“Gaston the Butcher!” said the Englishman somberly. “Fool that I was to trust a Frenchman!”
“I had little thought that I should fear a man with whom I had broken bread”…
At that moment, the innkeeper bursts in and kills Gaston.
Then the innkeeper attacks Solomon, who is saved by a vow made by Gaston. Apparently, vows have power in the world of Solomon Kane, because the innkeeper ends up dying through some magic inherent in that vow.
This story was ok, but relied too much on other things happening outside of Solomon’s power or control. It seems like that is when these stories are the weakest; when Solomon is not really required to do anything.
THE CASTLE OF THE DEVIL (fragment)
This is not a complete story, just a fragment.
Solomon is traveling the earth, as he does, looking for wrongs to right, much like an opposite of the biblical Cain. He rescues a boy from being hanged by the local baron, due to the fact that the boy seemed innocent. It is pointed out to Solomon that this may cause the baron to come after him, with all of his men-at-arms. To this, Solomon says,
“The right is on my side,” said Kane somberly. “And right is mightier than a thousand men-at-arms.”
If only we all had that confidence.
DEATH’S BLACK RIDERS (fragment)
This is also not a complete story, just a fragment.
Solomon encounters an incorporeal horseman. That’s it.