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Thongor Books In Order

Publication Order of Thongor Books

The Wizard of Lemuria aka Thongor and the Wizard of Lemuria (1965) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Thongor of Lemuria aka Thongor and the Dragon City (1966) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Thongor against the Gods (1967) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Thongor at the End of Time (1968) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Thongor in the City of Magicians (1968) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Thongor Fights the Pirates of Tarakus aka Thongor and the Pirates of Tarakus (1970) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Thongor is a series of novels by Linwood Vrooman Carter the fantasy and science fiction author that also doubled up as critic and author. Linwood wrote the series under the pseudonym Lin Carter, even as he also wrote other titles under the names Grail Undwin, and H.P. Lowcraft. Carter. His critic and editing career most definitely influenced his later writings in the Thongor series, as he read the likes of “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien and “Cthulhu Mythos” by H.P. Lovecraft.

As a writer, he joined the Trap Door Spiders, an all male literary club that would later become the basis for the Black Widowers, a fictional group that tried to solve Isaac Asimov’s mysteries. Lin Carter acted out as the Mario Gonzalo character and over the course of his career joined several guilds and author groups. One of the more notable groups he joined included the Sorcerers and Swordsmen Guild of America, a group formed in the 1960s that brought together Heroic fantasy authors with some of their work made into Flashing Swords the anthology. Carter also collaborated with L. Sprague de Camp who was also an influential member of SAGA and the Trap Door Spiders. Lin Carter famously fought in the Korean War after which he came back to the United States to attend Columbia University. After he graduated from Columbia, he worked as a copywriter for a few years before he quit to pursue a career in fiction writing. He got his early start writing short stories for magazines before he had his big break with “The Wizard of Lemuria” in 1965. Carter greatest influence may have been his revival of several fantasy titles back into print as pastiches. He also edited several contemporary and classic fantasy and science fiction series while working at Ballantine. Lin was also a sponsor of awards and in collaboration with SAGA funded what would have been in its day the modern equivalent of the Hugo Award – the Gandalf Award. Carter experienced deteriorating health in the 1980s and died in 1988.

The “Thongor” series of novels is a series set in the sorcery and sword subgenre of fantasy and science fiction. The series and its lead character have parallels to Edgar Rice Burroughs “Barsoom” novels and Robert E. Howards “Conan the Barbarian” series. The series is set in a prehistoric land known as the lost continent of Lemuria, which is situated in Ice Age South Pacific. The continent was one of the very few places where Mesozoic life forms still existed even after they had been annihilated from all other parts of the world. A race descended from the dinosaurs that could best be described as humanoid reptilian intelligent creatures were the dominant life forms, though the continent also had some areas dominated by humans given that the continent had plant life from other continents outside Lemuria. Humanity in Lemuria have over time thrown off the yoke of the older civilization but have not yet managed to be completely free of it. As such, Lemuria is a combination of barbarism and civilization though in comparison with the outside world is quite advanced. They boast advancements such as flying machines and magic based technologies. The “Thongor” novels are about Thongor of Valkarth who is on a quest to unite humanity in Lemuria to create one empire that will overthrow their dragon kings once and for all. With the hegemony of the dragon people threatened, they make moves to take back power and find their way blocked by Thongor and his allies, the powerful Sharajsha a wizard with magical powers. The first novel of the series was adapted into a Marvel Comic novel “Creatures on the Loose” that was first published in 1973.

“Thongor and the Wizard of Lemuria” the first novel of the series opens to the lead in the series Thongor of Valkarth in a fight with his captain concerning an unpaid gambling debt. As expected in these kinds of narratives in which a barbarian battles against a nobleman, the fight does not usually end there. Thongor is arrested and thrown into a dungeon from where he is set to be killed by poisoning through administration of the vampire flowers. Since he comes from the North he does the most northern of things “shrugs his shoulders and wastes no time worrying about what he cannot change”. But out of nowhere comes his old friend and colleague who sets the young barbarian free from his dungeon and what had seemed an inevitable fate. Now that he is out of his prison Thongor steals the revolutionary and brand new flying machine on which he hopes to escape from his enemies. Given his ordeal in the dungeon he feels sleepy and crashes it into the Chush jungles, a vast and trackless forest. It turns out to be quite a turning point as he meets the Wizard of Lemuria, the reclusive Sharajsha. He asserts that he has been looking for an ally to help him fight the Dragon Kings and thinks that Thongor is just the man to help him. The Dragon Kings had been the rulers of the planet until they grew complacent and were deposed by the primates who had better intelligence. They are now hoping to take back their dominions when the stars align for a successful quest.

Thongor and the Dragon City the second novel in the series all happens in a very eventful week. Thongor ship is struck by lightning while flying over one of the most dangerous of seas. A hungry sea monster that spotted the crippled ship is now trailing it leading to a desperate struggle on board to keep it from plunging into the depths. Together with his companions they manage to fight off the scare and land in a dense jungle where they hope to find some food. All that Thongor turns up is an apeman and a hungry saber cat that he successfully fights off. In the meantime, his companions think he is gone too long and trying to find him stumble into a trap of carnivorous plants from which they are luckily rescued from by forest apemen. Thongor eventually finds himself trapped in a long forgotten city ruled by a vampire scientist. He needs to get out and stop the war between two warring factions in a quest filled with weird science, cliffhangers and narrow escapes.

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