Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Annotated bibliography of Harold Lamb’s Cossack stories – part 3




Harold Lamb wrote more than forty stories of the Cossack adventurers. Luckily for us, all his stories are back in print, thanks to the efforts of Howard Andrew Jones.


In this bibliography, I want to give a flavor of the stories, the exotic locales and the different people that Khlit and others meet on their adventures, but still keep enough unknown that you’ll want to read them. Let me know if you like this. This is the third post of a four post series.

Riders of the Steppes: The Complete Cossack Adventures, Volume Three





Story Title
Comments
1.       
The Lion Cub
Ayub the Cossack comes into town for a drink, and stays because he likes the inn-keeper’s daughter. Sayanski, the landowner, covets Ayub’s stallion and awaits the return of his cousin, the army officer, when he can use force to grab the stallion from the Cossack. What will Ayub do?

The Baiting of the Warriors
Ayub the Cossack has been left behind by his comrades to rid himself of his fever and fetch a hundred ponies. The ponies are to be used in the hunt for Gerai Khan, the Tatar, who is raiding the province. He runs into Demid, a Don Cossack. Together, they try to get the horses from the baryshina of Nitek, the lady Yaris Lementof. Yaris rejects the request, and when the Khan attacked, all seems lost…or is it?
2.       
The King Dies
Demid reaches the Zaporogian siech of the Cossacks, expecting to find his friend Ayub there and be welcomed by the Cossacks. He does find Ayub, tied to a spear, awaiting execution for the theft of four hundred gold coins. Ayub, being drunk at the time the theft took place, does not remember if he took the coins or not. How will Demid, friendless in the siech, help Ayub get out of this muddle?
3.       
Men from Below
Rurik, the Koshevoi Ataman, chief of the Zaporogian war siech of the Cossacks, desperately needs gunpowder for his army. The last shipment of gunpowder was stolen from them by the river pirates. The Ataman sends Ayub and Demid on a mission to recover the gunpowder before the Turks learn of the gunpowder shortage and attack.
4.       
The Witch of Aleppo
The Turks have captured Rurik, the Ataman of the Cossack siech, and are demanding a ransom of ten thousand gold coins for his release. Demid sets off to get the money, and encounters Michael Rohan, an Irish adventurer, on the way. They fight and become comrades, and head to Aleppo, the gateway to the Levant to find the ten thousand dollar ransom. To get to Aleppo, they capture a Turkish galley, and find in it a woman of the Sultan’s harem, and a message to the pasha of Aleppo. To Ayub, the woman is a witch and she brings misfortune to the company…can Ayub and Demid win the ransom and free Rurik?
5.       
Bogatyr
Ayub goes on a drunken revel, and finds himself separated from his comrades. He comes to his senses to realize that he is near the border with the Tatars, and finds a Russian prince encamped nearby. Vladimir, the Russian prince has likewise lost his way, and come too close to the border for safety, but will not admit he’s wrong. He seizes Ayub’s stallion and has him thrown out. Kirdy, Khlit’s grandson, becomes Ayub’s friend. Gerai Khan, the Tatar chief, raids the nearby village and takes Galka, the woman Kirdy loves and that Prince Vladimir wants to possess, captive. Three men against the Tatar and the Russian forces…
6.       
White Falcon
Ayub, Khlit and Kirdy go to Moscow to ransom captive Cossacks. They find Demid, the falcon of the Cossacks, and his men who are waiting to be executed by the order of the Tsar, Boris Godunov. Khlit realizes that the Tsar will not spare them, and offers the Tsar to take the Cossacks and return with the loot of the Turkoman city of Urgench, or perish in the attempt. Boris Godunov agrees to the expedition, and the Cossacks leave Moscow. Will they redeem their honor? Will any of the company come back with the treasure? Great battle scenes in this novel.
7.       
The Winged Rider
Ayub, Kirdy and Khlit head for the Zaporogian Siech from Moscow. On the way, they enter the domain of Erlik Khan, the lord of the Dead. Erlik Khan attacks them, and takes them off to his castle. Will the three Cossack brothers escape to reach the Siech? Will Kirdy learn to look into a soul and find treachery there?


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