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The Curved

The Official Harold Lamb Site

Standalone Stories

In addition to his interconnected tales of Cossacks and Crusaders, Harold Lamb penned many standalone short stories, novellas, and novels for Adventure magazine, along with some non-fiction.

Click here to view Lamb's Adventure fiction indexed by issue of Adventure

Click here to view Lamb's Adventure fiction indexed by story title

Click here to view Lamb's Adventure fiction indexed by series

Standalone Stories



Cossack Tales

Contemporary Fiction

Crusader Tales


Historical Novels


Historical Short Fiction


Cossack Tales

Lamb wrote only three Cossack stories for Adventure that do not feature his recurring Cossack heroes. "Sangar" is the shortest and features the Cossack Borasun. It would have been nice to see his enjoyable joie de vivre in another story. "Mark of Astrakhan" is a good adventure yarn about a daring American and his friendship with a hero-thief. "The Moon of Shawwul" is my favorite of the three, and one of my favorite Lamb stories. Its central character, Charnovar, is not so different from Lamb's other wily heroes, but the plot had me guessing about its outcome throughout. It is tense, and packed with action and intrigue.

These three stories are reprinted in the Bison collection Swords of the Steppes.


Aug. 20 1922

Mark of Astrakhan

Nov. 20 1925

The Moon of Shawwul

Aug. 15 1928

Crusader Tales

Lamb penned a number of short stories about crusaders, probably inspired by the research he was doing at the time for his two volume history of the crusades. "The Faring Forth" is a good action read about a simple fighting man who vows to reach the holy land. The other three are similar to what Lamb was writing for Collier's at the time, for romance figures in each tale. "The Iron Man Rides" was probably my favorite of them all, with its stirring action, its setting in the court of Kubalai Khan, and its heroine, a daughter of Rusudan, from the Durandal cycle of stories. But "The Long Sword" is a good read as well, featuring some clever tactics and some nice interplay between Sir John and his Kurdish friend, Khalil--I wish these two had appeared together again. Action fans will like "The Tower of the Ravens," which concerns itself with a raid gone wrong, a knight and a Byzantine lady, and a whole lot of bloody sword fighting.

These stories are collected in the Bison book Swords From the West.

The Iron Man Rides

June 1 1929

The Faring Forth

Nov. 15 1929

The Tower of the Ravens

Dec. 15 1929

The Long Sword

Sept. 1 1930

Historical Novels

In addition to the novels involving his continuing characters, Lamb penned the standalones listed here.

The Grand Cham is a real page turner; a story of revenge that begins in the camp of the Turkish lord, Bayezid, but quickly moves on to Venice, the deck of a galley, an overland caravan, and the tent of Tamerlane the Great, amongst many other places. When Micheal Bearn is crippled by Bayezid he vows vengeance and escapes captivity, surviving when his companions fall, which serves only to strengthen his resolve. Barefoot, injured, and peniless in the land of his enemies shortly after the story opens, he lives to see his fortunes turn, and, most importantly, his vow fulfilled. This novel will be reprinted in the Bison collection Swords From the West.

The Three Palladins details the life of young Genghis Khan and his most trusted champions, the three Palladins. Lamb was quite an expert on the Mongolians; his biography of Genghis Khan was reprinted numerous times. It overflows with exotic scenery and numerous interesting details about the Mongolian Empire, ancient China, and Genghis Khan himself. The Three Palladins was reprinted in a nice hardback edition by Donald M. Grant in 1977, and will appear in the Bison collection Swords From the East.

The Snow Driver is the story of Ralph Thorne and his journey with explorers in search of the Northeast passage in the days of Tudor England. Thorne has learned of a Spanish spy in the expedition and seeks to flush him out without revealing his own identity, for Thorne has been labeled outlaw. An interesting tale incorporating a number of little known facts about the period, I found it somewhat more predictable than Lamb usually is, though there were several nice surprises and a very entertaining villain. One article on Lamb suggests that this novel was printed in hardback, but I have no information verifying this.

The Snow Driver will be collected in the Bison book Swords From the Sea.

The Road of the Giants is about a forced migration of a tribe of Tatars, expelled from the Russians from their native land. Naturally there are intrigues, conspiracies, and obstacles along the way. This story will be reprinted in the Bison collection Swords From the East.

The Grand Cham

July 1, 1921

The Road of the Giants

Aug. 30 1922

The Three Palladins, Part I

July 30 1923

The Three Palladins, Part II

Aug. 10 1923

The Three Palladins, Part III

Aug. 20 1923

The Making of the Morning Star

April 10 1924

The Snow Driver

March 20 1925

Historical Short Fiction

These shorts and novellas are all set in widely different places at widely different times. "His Excellency, the Vulture" (Lamb's first published story in Adventure) is concerned with Sir Francis Drake and an encounter onland with the Spaniards, while "The Village of the Ghos"t is set in India during its occupation by Great Britain. "The House of the Strongest," "The Gate in the Sky," and "The Net" are all set in different small communities of central Asia. I found "Vulture" a little more melodramatic than most Lamb stories, while "Strongest," "Gate," and "Net" were entertaining, though not on par with his Cossack tales. That may just be me, though, and my predilection for swashbuckling fiction--I can't really find any fault with them. "Wolf-Chaser" is a rip-roaring action read.

The stories below will be collected in Swords From the East or Swords from the Sea.

His Excellency, the Vulture

Oct. 1 1917

The Village of the Ghost

May 15 1921

The House of the Strongest

Nov. 20 1921

The Gate in the Sky

Feb. 20 1922

The Wolf-Chaser

April 30 1922

The Net

June 10 1922

Contemporary Short Fiction

These four stories are set at the turn of the century--the first two in the south seas. In general I find Lamb's contemporary stories less engaging than his historical fiction. While "Changing Shapes dealt" with a clever hero, the feel of the piece leaned toward melodrama and coincidence. "Dorgan's Devil-Devil" seemed in the same vein--I started it some years ago and have not yet felt compelled to finish it. This may be because both stories were written earlier in his career, or it may simply be that historical fiction most inspired him. "McCarnie's Second Bet" is an interesting little piece set in Tierra Del Fuego and gives the reader a glimpse of what life was like on the tip of South America near the turn of the century.

The Island of Changing Shapes

Dec. 1 1917

Dorgan's Devil-Devil

March 15 1918

The House of Hidden Faces

Dec. 1 1918

McCarnie's Second Bet

Jan. 15 1920


In amongst Lamb's Adventure fiction were a number of non-fiction articles Lamb penned about various topics. The piece on Sun Tsu appeared in the late 20s, long before the ancient Chinese strategist was being quoted by Wall Street and long before most Americans had ever heard of him. All articles in this list from "Saladin's Holy War" onward are excerpts from Lamb's two-volume history of the crusades. "Flame Weapons" may be excerpted from it as well, but I have not yet tracked down a copy of the article to confirm my suspicion.

Medicines, Big and Otherwise

March 30 1922

Flame Weapons

July 15 1927

The Military Strategy of Sun Tsu

Feb. 1 1928

Saladin's Holy War

Dec. 1 1930

The Walls of Acre

Dec. 15 1930

Beauseant Goes Forward

Feb. 15, 1931

The Sword of Saint Louis

March 1 1931

Richard the Lion Heart

Jan. 1 1931

The Lost Crusade

Feb. 1 1931

The Panther

March 15 1931

The Trial of the Templars

April 1 1931




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