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'Valusia Plots Behind Closed Doors'
An Illustration by Justin Sweet for the Kull Story Swords of the Purple Kingdom by Robert E. Howard
Page 182 of Kull: Exile of Atlantis.
"A sinister quiet lay like a shroud over the ancient city of Valusia...
"Kull, king of Valusia, drew aside the filmy curtains and gazed over the golden window sill..."
Of course, next to Kull is his savage soul brother, his human familiar in this gigantically scaled society of softness, sin and betrayal, Brule...
Seemingly only a heartbeat behind Howard in metaphoric craft, Sweet illustrates Valusia as a minaret-crowned version of the great eastern cities of Howards own time, such as New York. Sweet's use of curtains and monumental architecture to present a hero-betraying setting is as brilliant as Howard's own work on the subject of civilization essentially being anti-human and aggressively anti-heroic.
I could not find an online reproduction of the illustration described above. From the same volume but a different story, is one of Sweet's interpretation of Kull and Brule, which this reader takes as Howard's central message, different tribes in the perpetual grips of the emasculating force against which they strive:
Under the God of Things
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ShepOctober 12, 2017 4:56 PM UTC

That is some cool $#!t.