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People of the Black Circle The Phoenix on the Sword is the first volume of stories about Conan The Barbarian, perhaps Robert E Howard's most famous creation, presenting it as it was originally written and appeared in the pulp magazine Weird Tales meticulously produced to the original magazine texts This volume contains: The Phoenix on the Sword, The Scarlet Citadel, The Tower of the Elephant, Black Colossus and Gods of the NorthAdisc CDAudio edition

  • Paperback
  • 293 pages
  • People of the Black Circle
  • Robert E. Howard
  • 23 February 2017
  • 9780425036099

About the Author: Robert E. Howard

Robert Ervin Howard was an American pulp writer of fantasy, horror, historical adventure, boxing, western, and detective fiction Howard wrote over three hundred stories and seven hundred poems of raw power and unbridled emotion and is especially noted for his memorable depictions of a sombre universe of swashbuckling adventure and darkling horror.He is well known for having created — in the p

10 thoughts on “People of the Black Circle

  1. Michael Sorbello Michael Sorbello says:

    People of the Black Circle - 4/5

    Man, Robert knew how to start a visceral, bloody and blindingly fast fantasy adventure and keep consistent pace. Nothing like a good adrenaline rush from beginning to end. One of the best in the series yet Hour of the Dragon remains my favorite.

    The Devil in Iron - 3/5

    Not even close to the best, but simple Conan fun. It feels like several of the older stories stitched together with a few unrealized new ideas. Not bad, but feels uninspired and doesn’t bring anything new to the expanding universe. Just like Queen of the Black Coast, the villain doesn’t offer much either.

    A Witch Shall Be Born - 4/5

    A queen is dethroned by her evil twin that was once thrown out into the desert and left to die because she was born with the mark of a witch. The outcasted sister builds up her powerful magic and hatred over the years and turns it against the kingdom that left her to die. The sister steals the queen's place on the throne and commits countless atrocities in her name.

    Conan comes along to make the evil sister pay for her crimes and restore the glory of the true queen. A thrilling tale of deception and sisterly betrayal. I ended up feeling a bit sorry for the villain this time around, I can't blame her for hating a world that cursed her to such a tragic fate the moment she was born. Salome is one of the most sympathetic villains in the entire Conan the Barbarian series.

    Jewels of Gwahlur - 3/5

    Conan battles his way through Gwahlur in search of ancient jewels and riches but ends up empty handed. Although his original mission ended in failure, he got to experience the thrill of bloodshed and brought a girl that resembled a real goddess back home with him, so perhaps his journey for treasure wasn't a total waste after all. Not the best of Conan, but still a fun and quick read.

  2. Perry Whitford Perry Whitford says:

    When a young king pleads with his sister to end his ensorcellment and taking his life, she tearfully does the deed. Heeding his dying words and reading the Book of Skelos, she learns of those whose magic destroyed him, swearing her revenge on the enigmatic Black Seers of Mount Yimsha.

    Traveling up into her kingdoms northern border to meet with the leader of the tribes around the mountains,none other than Conan himself, she plans to enlist the barbarian in her struggle, leading to his furthest flung adventure.

    The People of the Black Circle is also the longest of the Conan stories written by Howard up to that point, twice the usual length. He took advantage of the additional room to introduce more plot complications, add some depth to the supporting characters and developing a more pervasive atmosphere of dread.

    There is much to enjoy in the longer form, but unfortunately there is almost as much to regret. Sure, each story usually contains at least one passage of excruciating prose, but the second part of this one was positively drenched in them. There's really no excuse for this sort of thing:

    'She was a quivering atom of sentiency driven through a black, roaring, icy void by a thundering wind that threatened to extinguish her feeble flicker of animate life'.

    Then again, less is more was hardly a mission statement for Weird Tales.

  3. Mike (the Paladin) Mike (the Paladin) says:

    A Howard volume from 1977. I incorrectly referred to these '77 books as novels. They are one volume Narratives. But still good if you can find them.

  4. Jason Jason says:

    You can't go wrong with Conan, especially written by Robert E. Howard himself. Plus it has this great color foldout poster.

  5. Dfordoom Dfordoom says:

    Sword and sorcery with a large dash of horror, very dark. Pulpy, but wonderfully entertaining.

  6. Mike Mike says:

    These Short Stories of Conan are so interesting. The Author wrote so descriptive and made things so fluid. I have read this book numerous times and never get tired of reading it

  7. Brick Hardslab Brick Hardslab says:

    This edition of People of the Black Circle came with a Frank Frazzetta poster on the inside cover. I believe it is still there on my edition I bought back when. My date on reading this is just an estimation. I had read the story before that and after that as well.

    This is probably the finest and most 'pure' Conan story. Plot is fast paced but understandable. The action is believable but still heroic in scope and the dialogue is still compelling after decades. Some of the lines have even made it into other works of adventure. It is a classic. I love the Oriental mysticism, martial arts (yes it's in there) and the fiery action.

    This is not the Conan of the movies. He's fallible and foolish sometimes and not the shirtless superman of later years. This would actually make a great movie. The story is a novella length but if I remember correctly it is in there with another story.

    Well worth the price and if you can find it with the poster it is just a bonus.

  8. Timothy Boyd Timothy Boyd says:

    Robert E. Howard is my all time favorite writer, but for many years much of his work was heavily edited. This is another of the heavily edited collections of Robert E. Howard's stories. I am a purist when it comes to a writers works. I know some of these stories are no longer PC but they should be read as Howard wrote them and understood that he wrote in another time period. Don't read this book unless you just can't find any others of Howard's unedited books to read. Message me if you need a list of what is good from this awesome fantasy and action writer.

  9. Devowasright Devowasright says:

    having only read the L. Sprague de Camp editions as a child, it was quite a surprise to find the books in this series, copied verbatim from the original Weird Tales issues. If you are a genre, or Conan, fan, these are a must read, but be forewarned, they are of their time- racially insensitive, violent, and unapologetic, but no worse than Burrough's original Tarzan stories.

  10. Ray Smith Ray Smith says:

    Extremely silly as always--Conan and his band of bandits against 4 evil wizards. But the story is entertaining, full of weirdo characters, whose crass motivations always revolve around either revenge or money. And Conan himself is hilarious. Like Beowulf, a constant braggart but a charming and intelligent one as well.

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