The Bloody Crown of Conan ePUB ê The Bloody PDF/EPUB

The Bloody Crown of Conan In his hugely influential and tempestuous career, Robert E Howard created the genre that came to be known as sword and sorcery and brought to life one of fantasy s boldest and most enduring figures Conan the Cimmerian reaver, slayer, barbarian, kingThis lavishly illustrated volume gathers together three of Howard s longest and most famous Conan stories two of them printed for the first time directly from Howard s typescript along with a collection of the author s previously unpublished and rarely seen outlines, notes, and drafts Longtime fans and new readers alike will agree that The Bloody Crown of Conan merits a place of honor on every fantasy lover s bookshelfE PEOPLE OF THE BLACK CIRCLEAmid the towering crags of Vendhya, in the shadowy citadel of the Black Circle, Yasmina of the golden throne seeks vengeance against the Black Seers Her only ally is also her most formidable enemy Conan, the outlaw chiefE HOUR OF THE DRAGONToppled from the throne of Aquilonia by the evil machinations of an undead wizard, Conan must find the fabled jewel known as the Heart of Ahriman to reclaim his crown and save his lifeA WITCH SHALL BE BORNA malevolent witch of evil beauty An enslaved queen A kingdom in the iron grip of ruthless mercenaries And Conan, who plots deadly vengeance against the human wolf who left him in the desert to die


10 thoughts on “The Bloody Crown of Conan

  1. J.G. Keely J.G. Keely says:

    Back when I was a young fencing coach, I had an epiphany about how skill develops that has come to define the way I approach learning I d be working with students who might have been fencing for a few weeks or a few months when a new face would walk in I d put a sword in his hand and set him up against one of the others and, as often as not, the newcomer would get a few points, despite having no foreknowledge of fencing His frustrated opponent would sigh, shake his head, and declare it s not Back when I was a young fencing coach, I had an epiphany about how skill develops that has come to define the way I approach learning I d be working with students who might have been fencing for a few weeks or a few months when a new face would walk in I d put a sword in his hand and set him up against one of the others and, as often as not, the newcomer would get a few points, despite having no foreknowledge of fencing His frustrated opponent would sigh, shake his head, and declare it s not my fault, he was doing weird stuff.When we first begin to practice any activity, we have no preconception for how it s going to feel, for the rhythm or the most effective techniques we just do what comes to mind Then, we are taught all the basic rules, and these rules can be constraining I could beat every one of those regular students because I knew how to deal with circle parries, ripostes, and balestras There was nothing about the direction of attack or the changes in distance that was going to surprise me Learning the rules changes how you think about the game, and it makes you predictable.I ve seen the same pattern in writers often, their first few works are vivid and unusual, difficult to pin down Writing is still a challenge to them, an unfamiliar thing which they must figure out as they go along, and creativity is always the result of trying to overcome difficulty.After a while, they begin to settle in to a mode they have figured out what works for them, they have the methods and shortcuts down But without hardship to drive them, this can lead to predictable, repetitive work.This is the second volume in Del Rey s collection of the Conan stories, and it is the only collection of all Howard s original manuscripts for those stories, untainted by later editors As I mentioned in my review, the earlier stories from the first volume are wilder, and showvariability, depicting Conan at many points in his life, dealing with a number of different situations.This volume ishomogenous they are about an older Conan embroiled in political machinations, which was enjoyable for a student of history, as anyone who has read Tacitus or Sallust cannot fail to recognize Howard s stylistic inspiration.That isn t to say that the stories do not also contain the patented bloody action which Conan is known for, but for the first time I began to feel that Conan didn t need action His stories are always about human desires, about interaction and struggle, and open conflict is only one way to resolve such conflicts Howard shows he is willing and capable of exploring other aspects of his world, and that, unlike other authors who wrote about the character, Howard never forgets that Conan is not merely some emotionless killer, but a man with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth.But the style and tone of these stories becomes predictable We do not get the subversive women or eccentric secondary characters, instead there are mostly cliches and placeholders, dull copies of figures we ve seen in earlier stories It seems like Howard has settled into a groove here, which isn t beneficial for pulp or weird fiction.But there is one thing in this collection that is new for Howard length Many authors have tried to transition from short works to novels, and it s rarely a pretty thing to watch For later master of Sword Sorcery Fritz Leiber, the additional length meant a loss of pace and depth Whereas before, a hundred pages would hold a half dozen stories, each with its own tone and setting, now it was all the continuation of a single tone.But Howard shows that he is able to make the transition without losing his fast pace or his myriad views of the world Though the novel length Hour of the Dragon takes many themes and ideas from previous stories, the way they are woven together with action, intrigue, and a larger, overarching plot is skillful There is no filler there indeed, there are a number of scenes that could have run on longer, withdetail, without hurting the book s pace.The larger plot is reliant on that genre standby the fetch quest for the magical mcguffin but Howard s treatment of it is not as simplistic or convenient as most genre books Conan doesn t port the thing around in his pocket and pull it out to get himself out of jams, the same magic both opens and closes the action of the plot, and the item itself has its own history, distinct from the events of the plot Beyond that, any careful reader familiar with the Mythos connection between Lovecraft and Howard will see numerous clues about how magic in Conan s world has ainsidious, cosmic source.What was disappointing in the story was the fact that, despite depicting an ancient, pre deluge world, the combat was all described in terms of high chivalric cavalry charges, longbows, and heavy armor It would have beeninteresting to see a take on Greek or Roman warfare instead of a rehash of Doyle sWhite Company , especially one so out of place with the tone Howard sets.So it seems that after his early experiments, stories that were sometimes erratic but rarely repetitious, Howard has settled into apredictable style, that plateau we all hit after we have learned and internalized a set of rules But then, why learn them in the first place The secret is that once we have mastered those rules, once they are second nature, we can begin again to experiment, and to become unpredictable.Though many think of a black belt as the sign of a master, in truth it is the sign that a student has learned all of those basic things which must be gotten out of the way before the real learning can start It is only once those basic elements no longer occupy us, we are free to really explore Just like my young fencing students, you begin unfettered, but also unskilled As you learnandof the rules and techniques, you also become predictable It is only when you internalize those rules, when they become second nature, that you can become unfettered again, combining knowledge and unpredictability to produce the great hallmark of the master innovation.It was my hope that in the next volume, Howard would be able to combine the creativity of his early works with the reliability of this middle stretch and produce final stories might live up to their reputation as the strongest of the Conan tales but alas, Howard died too young, and never reached that peak Though the final volume ispolished,personal, andthoughtful, never again does he recapture the youthful vitality of his earliest tales.My suggested Readings in Fantasy


  2. RJ from the LBC RJ from the LBC says:

    This second volume of Robert E Howard s Conan stories contains three of the longest REH Conan stories published as well as some unpublished drafts and notes There are also some illustrations by Gary Gianni The Afterword Hyborean Genesis is an excellent biography of REH during the time these pieces were written, giving plenty of interesting background material about the writing and publishing of the stories The People Of The Black Circle 3 5 much heralded Conan story, but it seemed mere This second volume of Robert E Howard s Conan stories contains three of the longest REH Conan stories published as well as some unpublished drafts and notes There are also some illustrations by Gary Gianni The Afterword Hyborean Genesis is an excellent biography of REH during the time these pieces were written, giving plenty of interesting background material about the writing and publishing of the stories The People Of The Black Circle 3 5 much heralded Conan story, but it seemed merely average, a slightly fleshed out version of many of the earlier Conan short storiesThe Hour of the Dragon 4 5 the only full length Conan novel written by REH is much the better for the expanded scope allowed by the greater page count Although some of the situations in the novel are very similar to early short stories, there is much to be enjoyed including numerous supporting characters with fleshed out motives and often shifting allegiances, a lengthy quest to new locations, and a deeper exploration of Conan s character A Witch Shall Be Born 3 5 another long Conan story that stands in the middle of the pack some of the story is told from the viewpoint of another soldier and the reduced role for Conan doesn t make the story anycompelling


  3. ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans) ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans) says:

    The Adventures of My Barbarian Paramour, Vol II Let s do this and stuff Thrilled to see you re as excited about this as I am, Cimmerian Cutie Pie Mine So there are only three stories in this collection Which is a complete joke compared to The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian and its thirteen delicious Barbarian tales More than a joke, it is quite the rip off, if you ask me Well, I guess it depends on one s perspective and stuff I mean, it s a rip off to me, but probably a blessing to you, my The Adventures of My Barbarian Paramour, Vol II Let s do this and stuff Thrilled to see you re as excited about this as I am, Cimmerian Cutie Pie Mine So there are only three stories in this collection Which is a complete joke compared to The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian and its thirteen delicious Barbarian tales More than a joke, it is quite the rip off, if you ask me Well, I guess it depends on one s perspective and stuff I mean, it s a rip off to me, but probably a blessing to you, my Little Barnacles, since it means you ll only have to be put through three fascinating reviews instead of thirteen So yay for you and stuff.Anyhoo and shrimp, I ve only read the first story in the collection so far, so here are my most captivating thoughts on the subject The People of the Black Circle 3.4536 stars and stuff.I had a bloody shrimping not fun time trying to rate this one I mean, it s entertaining enough my Barbarian Paramour is in it, so DUH and stuff , but it just isn t as lusciously titillating as previous Conan stories I read Yes, Howard s writing is as Slightly Very Fantastic SVF as ever, not to mention Evocative as Fish EaF , but there s something missing here After giving it much painful thought, I realized what it was the story is simply not as wonderfully OTT as earlier Barbarian adventures And that sucks big squid Also, Howard spends the first half of his narrative drowning the reader in Central Asian sounding names, which 1 doesn t add much to the story, 2 is kinda sorta not thrilling at all, and 3 is a little boring as shrimp But The Good Old Conan Basics GOCB are still there, hence the not so crappy rating.First and foremost, we have my Barbarian Paramour of the Ever Jovial Disposition BPotEJDYou are Conan Who else You sent word into the hills that you wished for me to come and parley with you Well, by Crom, I ve come Keep away from that table or I ll gut you I ll split your head like a ripe melonAh, such a sweetie, my boyfriend He s ever the gentleman with the ladies, tooHe spanked her resoundingly, and she, recognizing this as merely another expression of admiration, did not feel particularly outragedSaid ladies, clearly being connoisseurs of all things Barbarian, know to appreciate Conan s loving ministrations And things get smutty faster than it takes to say unleash the crustaceans when he really turns on the charmShe closed her eyes and drank in his fierce, hot, lawless kisses with all the abandon of passionate thirstSuch a hot, irresistible babe, my Cimmerian Cutie Pie Well, okay, he can be befogged and stupidsometimes, but it s usually temporary Usually Then again maybe not.Then we have the Inevitable Babe of the Week IBofW In this case, Yasmina, aka the resident wench Kshatriya, Princess of the Supple Figure I don t like her as much as previous IBofWs, to be honest I think she might be a little too stable and reasonable for my taste She only thinks of silly things like her kingdom and her peasants people and stuff, meaning she s no bloody fun at all Still, she s good enough IBofW material I suppose I mean, she s got the wild sobbing and uncontrollable screaming nailed She even does the throwing oneself bodily upon others quite well And she definitely gets bonus points for beating her breast in anguish ouch Something like that, yes Only the breasts being beat upon are much , um, generous and stuff.Last, but bloody shrimping not least, we ve got all those scrumpalicious little things that give all Conan stories that certain je ne sais quoi, that Super Extra Fluffy Quality SEFQ I ve come to ever so slightly appreciate a little You know, stuff like Black ghastly magic, a bit of blackmail, conches that bellow like oxen in pain don t ask , a touch of friendly kidnapping, infernally queer stuff, wild embraces that turn into strangling fests I told you not to ask ,frenzied crescendos of human ululation,hot babes panting hard and not only from exertion, either , skull splitting and decapitation galore, mockery and malignity, wicked little tingles, shuddersome horror,terrible disembowelling thrusts,bestial grins of agony, showers of blood yay , and villainously villainous villains with super extra handy hypnotic powersI have nouse for you Kill yourself Like a man in a trance the warrior thrust the butt of his spear against the base of the wall, and placed the keen head against his body, just below the ribs Then slowly, stolidly, he leaned against it with all his weight, so that it transfixed his body and came out between his shoulders Sliding down the shaft he lay still, the spear jutting above him its full length, like a horrible stalk growing out of his back. Nice trick, that Note to self take a Mesmerizing 101 class Might come in handy with seditious shrimps and stuff The villain reminds me a lot of myself, actually Like me, the poor guy has to deal with measly, insignificant little humans day in day out, and our lord shrimp knows what pains they can beHow can I explain my mystic reasons to your puny intellectYes This So much THIS Finally, someone who understands me Twinsies and stuff Sorry, what My villainous companion and my little self don t look nefarious at all here Why, that s exactly the point, my Lovely Arthropods We aim to deceive the enemy and all that What beautifully cunning little minds we haveNefarious Last Words NLW as one of the greatest philosophers who ever lived once said,people who plot on roofs should remember to lower their voicesAnd that, my Tiny Decapods, is 1 a scientifically proven fact and 2 the only piece of advice you will ever need Because truer words were never spoken and all that And also because I said so and stuff To be continued and stuff Book 1 The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian Book 3 The Conquering Sword of Conan to be read.


  4. Jean-marcel Jean-marcel says:

    I first read the great majority of the Conan stories a number of years ago I enjoyed them so much and quickly sought out other Robert E Howard writings The man has his weird quirks and sure, his stuff can be a little repetitive at times, but I would argue that in terms of pulp writers he was probably one of thediverse, being able to work in a variety of different genres, in contemporary, historical or constructed settings of course, one of the tricks to his apparent diversity was that I first read the great majority of the Conan stories a number of years ago I enjoyed them so much and quickly sought out other Robert E Howard writings The man has his weird quirks and sure, his stuff can be a little repetitive at times, but I would argue that in terms of pulp writers he was probably one of thediverse, being able to work in a variety of different genres, in contemporary, historical or constructed settings of course, one of the tricks to his apparent diversity was that he told adventure yarns, and was able to transpose stuff easily from one setting to another For example, he could write a western, but if the market wasn t biting to his satisfaction.change the characters, names and places, throw in a bit of magic, and boom, you have a hyborean Age story fit for the pages of Weird Tales So, yes, some of the Conan stories feel like westerns Some have pirates and brigands others kings and decadent civilisations A few have hints of science fiction lurking beneath the surface They re all bold, bloody, thunderous and a huge rush to read.This recent collection is the second of three within their pages are compiled all the tales Howard wrote about Conan of Cimmeria I ll admit that Conan is not really Howard s most nuanced creation Most of the time he did create a kind of hero archetype for each historical period location he wrote in usually a big, strong man, handy with all forms of weaponry and his fists too, and also, in the cases of Conan, Kull or Solomon Kane, prone to fits of brooding melancholy or budding existential angst The Conan tales proved to be extremely popular though, and seem to have been a great boon for Howard in the 1930s, when he was really struggling financially, so he wrote about twenty of them In The Bloody Crown of Conan, we have two of the longer novelas, plus the novel length Hour of the Dragon I m writing this now after having discovered that, somehow, while reading all the other Conan tales way back, I skipped Hour of the dragon , either because I was just waiting to save the longest for the right time, or because I believed it was a kind of fixup of a bunch of other Conan stories sloppily thrown together for novel publication and thus probably not as good as the other stories.It turns out, to my delight, that Hour of the Dragon is one of the best Conan tales, precisely because it s able to take advantage of a longer format I ll be the first to admit that yes, as great as these tales are, there is a certain formulaic quality to them I d recommend them to a good number of people, but always with some caveats Don t read too many of them in a row Savour them, take breaks, don t let the tropes get too stale Steel yourself for the kind of stuff modern writers just shouldn t be able to get away with, like pathetic powerless women and blacks who are often described as ape like and speak in gutteral animalistic tones There s also sometimes a sense that Conan is just this unbeattable, unstoppable force of nature and that nothing can significantly stand against him usually this isn t a problem because, if you re a certain kind of reader, you just learn to roll with it and have fun as Conan takes out six guys at a time or wrestles with some eldritch monstrosity from beyond time and space He s just that good and you want to see him victorious, want to see him crush his enemies, sweep up the lamenting women and tell the treacherous, civilised dogs just what he thinks of them before cleaving their heads from their bodies it s cathartic, basically But it doesn t always create good tension when Conan is the only point of view character and you know he s always going to come out on top there are a few exceptions though, and these tend to stand out in the range Those tales that have a Point of view other than Conan s, where Conan almost seems to arrive like a cold northern breeze, an outsider in someone else s world You know shit is going to get real when this happens and don t always know who will survive I can think of no better example than the excellent Beyond the Black River in the next volume , or the extremely contentious it s the race thing The Vale of Lost Women , which if nothing else provides some really powerful atmosphere and a female perspective for a change In Hour of the Dragon we get something a little different The story is still very episodic, but the scope feels bigger than normal, as Conan does a lot of travelling, is captured, rescued, nearly recaptured, rescued again, struggles to regain his usurped kingdom Usually when Conan rouses people to his side, they re pretty quick to follow, but here he gets stymied by even some of his friends and allies who keep telling him everything is hopeless The frustration is palpable and a bit atypical for a Conan tale Another slight subversion Conan twice gets rescued by women I won t say Howard is really stepping out of bounds here as the first girl throws herself at his feet for the silliest of reasons, and the noble Aquilonian Countess he later saves from the headsman s axe is basically a nonentity, but it s still kind of neat to see the tables turned in this way There s a lot of violence, fiery masculine passion, and an underpinning of dark eldrtich horror as a milennia old evil sorcerer is resurrected to aide Conan s enemies Said sorcerer is not around for the huge chunk in the middle of the story, as he spends so much time in his chamber dreaming the dreams of the black lotus , or manipulating the other antagonists who all really hate each other from the shadows Still though, there s a great sense of menace at almost every turn and one can feel Conan s mounting unease as he no longer can tell who is friend or foe The world feels properly large this time, and not just because Howard drops loads of talk about geography and races the way he normally does, but because Conan has to do a whole lot of travelling Travelling often sows seeds of introspection, especially when one walks the road alone as Conan does, and we even get a whole lot of that here, which should put to rest the notion that Conan and his stories are all bulging muscles and clashing swords Of course, there s loads of that, too there s probably a huge fight every few pages The story is just packed with incident, and we even get a proper trip into the bowels of Stygia, where Howard cranks up the horror and evil iatmosphere to near suffocating levels I found the level of danger and suspense to be higher than normal, and I think this shows that Howard could have been a great adventure novelist had he continued writing into the following decades Yeah, there are some inconsistencies in the text, both in the way Conan is portrayed usually very keen and sharp witted, except when once or twice he inexplicably isn t , and in the passage of time sometimes it seems like just a couple of days have passed since Aquilonia has fallen to the Nemedians, sometimes months , but it s all just such headlong, fast paced, moody, bloodthirsty fun to read that I can t really fault Howard for any of that People of the Black Circle is one of my favourite Conan tales, and it s a great way to open the anthology and possibly as good an introduction to Conan as you can find although I would maybe suggest something shorter first, like the immensely enjoyable Rogues in the House Lots of wizardry in this one, and Howard does a splendid job of capturing the reader s attention from the very first sentence Sure, he tends to fall back on similar sorts of descriptive phrases sometimes, and occasionally repeats himself, but the man had an excellent feel for grabbing you right away with his writing and just increasing the tension until you re just racing along with him and left breathless by all the action and spirited prose He s not immune to poetry and sometimes will surprise you with some truly gorgeous passages You won t find anything as majestically existential as The Mirror of Tuzun Thune among the Conan tales a friend once likened the opening passages of this one to Gormengast , but the grand vastness of the world depicted makes looking outward into great landscapes peopled by brigands, witches, sorcerers and kings, as well as the odd demon, monstrous serpent or ape, a supremely pleasurable experience A Witch shall be Born is certainly the weakest tale here, but it contains a few incredible scenes that are memorable indeed One of them was lifted for the 1982 Conan film, which is really just a likable hodgepodge of elements taken from Howard s universe and watcheslike a tribute to the writer than to Conan himself A Witch shall be Born is really over the top in a selacious pulp sort of way It s very fun to read but sometimes you just have to go along with this crazy shit and let Howard do his thing The female villain in this one is a monstrous bisexual hellion and damn, you can just tell how much REH relished writing these scenes of a terrible beautiful witch from the pits menacing a simpering princess, turning the city into a riotous den of sin and iniquity, and making sacrifices to her toad like Lovecraftian entity in the basement I just can t come down hard on this guy though I guess I can understand a certain lack of tolerance for this sort of thing nowadays and it s certainly true that even sword and sorcery itself has come a long way since Howard s day, but I always prefer to take artists on an individual basis and somewhat detach them from a big picture to come, and so I have no trouble grinning along and taking all of this happily in stride, excesses and all.I don t think everyone will love this, and perhaps the joy of reading Howard is a little hard to articulate, but if I ve been able to communicate even a part of that through these reviews, I count myself as successful The man s work stands like a towering monument whose influence spreads far and wide, yet today it seems so few read his work I don t really know why that is but I suggest it s probably due in part to some of the caveats I mentioned earlier I think it s important to keep in mind that Howard was a young man living in rural Texas in the 20s and 30s who never got to travel, but whose heart was set aflame by tales of history and imagination, and who feverishly worked for a period of a mere ten years or so, churning out dozens and dozens of stories, most of which contain impeccable action writing and occasionally reach depths of melancholic, mysterious intensity He died too young I and I m sure many other readers often wonder what would have happened had he not blew his brains out at age thirty had he had the chance to travel the world and see so many of the cultures he wrote about We ll never know what that would have been like, but in the meantime, we have the stories, and they are marvelous Read, by Crom


  5. Malum Malum says:

    The Hyborian age, where men were men, women were women, and giant snakes were giant snakes This collection contains a short story, a longer story, and the novel length The Hour of the Dragon I grew up on Conan pastiches, particularly the Tor editions It wasn t until I was a bit older that I read the original Howard stories and, let me tell you, nothing compares to these original tales They helped shape sword and sorcery fiction in the same way that The Lord of the Rings influenced epic fanta The Hyborian age, where men were men, women were women, and giant snakes were giant snakes This collection contains a short story, a longer story, and the novel length The Hour of the Dragon I grew up on Conan pastiches, particularly the Tor editions It wasn t until I was a bit older that I read the original Howard stories and, let me tell you, nothing compares to these original tales They helped shape sword and sorcery fiction in the same way that The Lord of the Rings influenced epic fantasy In another 20 years or so these stories will be 100 years old It is a testament to how good these stories are that they are still read and praised to this day


  6. Michael Sorbello Michael Sorbello says:

    The Hour of the Dragon 5 5The Hour of the Dragon is worth five stars alone It combines all of the greatest elements from every other story in the Conan saga while excluding their flaws It s an adrenaline filled slugfest with nearly 200 pages worth of war, epic bloody battles and savage warriors against supernatural abominations The action was incredible and the characterization of Conan ismature and complex than ever before The ending is surprisingly heartwarming as we watch a slave The Hour of the Dragon 5 5The Hour of the Dragon is worth five stars alone It combines all of the greatest elements from every other story in the Conan saga while excluding their flaws It s an adrenaline filled slugfest with nearly 200 pages worth of war, epic bloody battles and savage warriors against supernatural abominations The action was incredible and the characterization of Conan ismature and complex than ever before The ending is surprisingly heartwarming as we watch a slave girl become a queen while Conan reclaims something precious that he once lost A fitting finale for the legendary conqueror A Witch Shall Be Born 4.5 5A Witch Shall Be Born is a story about a queen that 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 The People of the Black Circle 4 5Hill Chieftain Conan heads into the Himalayan Mountains to rescue the Vendhyan queen, as Turanians, Afghulis, and Irakzais are caught in the machinations of demonic sorcerers of the Black Circle It s a visceral, bloody and blindingly fast fantasy adventure that keeps up a consistent pace It s an adrenaline rush from beginning to end


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

    Contains The People of the Black Circle The Hour of the Dragon A Witch Shall Be Born This is the second volume of the original, unedited Howard versions of the Conan writings Like many Conan is one of my first introductions into fantasy and Conan personifies the Sword and Sorcery sub genre of fantasy He was great to read when Howard came up with him and he s still a great read today.


  8. Donna Donna says:

    This is the second of three books in Del Rey s collection of Howard s original Conan stories The first book in this set, The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, would be a better place to start for anyone new to reading Conan, I think the shorter stories areaccessible in terms of getting into the character.In The People of the Black Circle, Conan attempts to use a princess as a bargaining chip for the return of his captured lieutenants, but then he s drawn into her quest for revenge I really This is the second of three books in Del Rey s collection of Howard s original Conan stories The first book in this set, The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, would be a better place to start for anyone new to reading Conan, I think the shorter stories areaccessible in terms of getting into the character.In The People of the Black Circle, Conan attempts to use a princess as a bargaining chip for the return of his captured lieutenants, but then he s drawn into her quest for revenge I really enjoyed the confrontation at the end, though some scenes in the middle seem to lag.The Hour of the Dragon is Howard s only novel length Conan piece, it s about Conan s attempt to reclaim the throne of Aquilona from the minions of an ancient wizard I especially loved Conan s escape from captivity and a bold rescue that happened a bit later It s gritty and entertaining, but Conan has a lot of near misses with his goal that make it read like the serial it was first published as, so the story benefits from giving it a little space every few chapters.A Witch Shall Be Born is about a doppelganger queen who causes havoc in a small country The only flaw in her plan to rule is that her ally left Conan in the desert to die rather than killing him outright Seriously, it s like some villains are just asking to die horribly Conan s role as a bandit chief was fantastic, though I wish that the fight at the end of this one had beendrawn out.The essay about the creation of these stories was really interesting, but I barely skimmed the rest of the book s content Reading an author s unfinished drafts always weirds me out, it seems too much like snooping through his diary or something


  9. Jared Millet Jared Millet says:

    The second of the Conan anthologies presents Howard at the peak of his craft, featuring some of his long form work in a novella, a single short story, and Howard s only completed novel While Howard didn t write the Conan stories in anything like chronological order, the barbarian of these adventures is clearly older, cannier, andwise to the world than the young, thieving slayer of his earlier tales The opening and closing stories of this edition feature Conan as a war chief of various mi The second of the Conan anthologies presents Howard at the peak of his craft, featuring some of his long form work in a novella, a single short story, and Howard s only completed novel While Howard didn t write the Conan stories in anything like chronological order, the barbarian of these adventures is clearly older, cannier, andwise to the world than the young, thieving slayer of his earlier tales The opening and closing stories of this edition feature Conan as a war chief of various mid far east nations blatant analogues of Persia, Afghanistan, and India where the hero is honing is skills not just as a mercenary but as a leader of men.The showpiece, though, is The Hour of the Dragon, the perfect King Conan movie that we re never going to see in which Conan is deposed from the throne of Aquilonia by a resurrected wizard from Acheron and must travel far and wide to gather the allies and magical defenses he will need to reclaim his kingdom Not only is it evident that Howard wascomfortable with his writing and his character, but also with the breadth of mythology he d created Few, if any, of the Conan short stories make reference to any of the others, yet in Hour of the Dragon you can feel Howard dipping into the rich history he d already established for the character as Conan, now in middle age, returns to many of the places he d adventured as a young man to call in old debts make use of his decades of experience He s even tempted to turn his back on politics and monarchy and return to the simple life of a roaming warrior, but Conan the King is not the same man as Conan the Barbarian, and his growth over the series as a whole, if anything, makes Conan unique in the realm of pulp sword and sorcery


  10. Timothy Boyd Timothy Boyd says:

    YES The Conan stories restored to their original texts Read Conan as Howard intended him to be You will find that Conan isthan just a big semi naked barbarian with a sword He speaks and reads many languages and thinks his way through a lot of what he encounters But then when that doesn t work he can swing a sword with the best of them Highly recommended


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *