Hawks Of Outremer - Robert E. Howard Hawks of Outremer is a story set in the Holy Land at the time of the Third Crusade led in part by Richard I, King of England, nicknamed "Coeur de Lion" or "Richard the Lionheart." Now, the main character of this tale is not Richard but a freelance sword-for-hire from Ireland named Cormac Fitzgeoffrey, who is labeled as a half-Norman and half-Gaelic knight. Cormac has no king, owes no allegiance to any man and follows his own personal sense of honor - especially toward his friends. Naturally, our hero is a man of strength - both physically and mentally - and one who has a deep belief in personal justice, or vengeance for any slight. He also feels like an outsider to the civilized world, seeing in himself as a superior breed of natural man; one whose inherent superiority is shown by his ability to kill/maim weaker men.

The story itself begins in earnest when one of Cormac’s friends is killed at the border of Muslim controlled territory in the Holy Land. Naturally, our hero decides that such a heinous crime cannot go unpunished and decides to avenge his friend. So as not to incite any renewed hostility between the Christians and Muslim states, Cormac goes alone to exact vengeance. Typically, Howard swashbuckling ensues thereafter until our villain is suitable dispatched.

The book also contains two other short stories involving Cormac, albeit in different yet similar adventures. No need to describe the actual action: it is more of the same. In fact, one of these tales was changed a bit to make it into a Conan adventure by writer, Roy Thomas, back in the day.

Overall, this book is a typical Howard testosterone feast. Nothing deeply philosophical here that I caught, but it is worth a read if you want something to pass the time away. Since I found it online for free, I probably enjoyed it more than I would have otherwise.