The Complete Chronicles of Conan PDF/EPUB Ä


The Complete Chronicles of Conan Conan the Barbarian born on a battlefield in Cimmeria, his life was spent wandering the world of the legendary Hyborian Age From boy thief to pirate, mercenary and outlaw, ultimately becoming King of Aquilonia, Conan carved a red swathe through lost cities and unexplored jungles, facing hideous horrors or supernatural menaces with nothing than a sharp sword in his hand and a beautiful woman at his side Collected together here in the chronological order they were first published are Robert E Howard s definitive stories of Conan, exactly as he wrote them, as fresh, atmospheric and vibrant today as they were when they originally appeared in the pulp magazines of than seventy years ago

  • Hardcover
  • 927 pages
  • The Complete Chronicles of Conan
  • Robert E. Howard
  • English
  • 13 August 2019
  • 0575077662

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 pages of the legendary Depression era pulp magazine Weird Tales the character Conan the Cimmerian, a.k.a Conan the Barbarian, a literary icon whose pop culture imprint can only be compared to such icons as Tarzan of the Apes, Count Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, and James Bond Wikipedia Librarian Note There isthan one author in the Goodreads database with this name.



10 thoughts on “The Complete Chronicles of Conan

  1. Evgeny Evgeny says:

    Review updated on February 20, 2019Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black haired, sullen eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet The original Conan the Cimmerian whatneeds to be said The barbarian outgrew the original stories and became a household name along with Tarzan and Sherlock Holmes Robert E Howard is the grandfather of sword and sorcery genre and fa Review updated on February 20, 2019Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black haired, sullen eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet The original Conan the Cimmerian whatneeds to be said The barbarian outgrew the original stories and became a household name along with Tarzan and Sherlock Holmes Robert E Howard is the grandfather of sword and sorcery genre and fantasy in general Conan is the grandfather of all barbarians the most recent example that comes to mind Karsa Orlong from Malazan epic is an exact copy of Conan and mighty sword and axe fighters too numerous to name A barbarian character class in any fantasy PRG This is the guy responsible for it The stories are written almost 100 years ago, they are still very entertaining and impossible to put down their age did nothing to diminish their fun value.The plot of most of the stories can be roughly summarized in the following way A problem comes to Conan, usually started by an evil sorcerer Conan solves the problem using his sword, axe, or even just bare fists taking care of the original troublemaker along the way He often gets to rescue a damsel in distress Or two There is a lesson to be learned here most of the problems can be solved by brute force method, and sometimes this is the best method to deal with a given problem Lots of writers tried to continue Conan story, or copy them with various degree of success None approached Howard s level of mastery Speaking about mastery, Howard rarely gets credit for something he excelled at world building His skill at this is easily equal to J.R.R Tolkien and Robert Jordan read The Hyborian Age if you do not believe me While reading the book I was transported to mysterious Stygia, noble Aquilonia, untamed Cimmeria, and other places All felt alive Somehow everybody and their brother missed one important character trait of the original barbarian he was not stupid Every single barbarian coming after him definitely had a mental deficiency Conan spoke several languages, liked art, and was quite a philosopherCivilized men arediscourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing Ah, don t we all miss simpler times A couple of words about this edition Gollancz hardcover It includes every single scrap related to Conan written by Howard, including drafts, fragments, and synopses In other words, a must for every serious Conan fan The quality of paper is excellent and so is the quality of hardcover The illustrations however spoil the whole very positive impression A crudely drawn asymmetric helmet on the front and something resembling a monkey with a sword sorry, Conan failed to impress Final rating 5 stars of cause Conan stories promptly reside in my top 5 fantasy series list

  2. Graeme Rodaughan Graeme Rodaughan says:

    Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black haired, sullen eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet And so it wasThe best of the collection are The Tower of the Elephant The Pool of the Black Ones Queen of the Black Coast The Devil in Iron The People of the Black Circle A Witch shall be Born Beyond the Black River, and The Hour of the Dragon Reviewed from last to first Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black haired, sullen eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet And so it wasThe best of the collection are The Tower of the Elephant The Pool of the Black Ones Queen of the Black Coast The Devil in Iron The People of the Black Circle A Witch shall be Born Beyond the Black River, and The Hour of the Dragon Reviewed from last to first 15 May 20 26, 27, 28 Afterword There is an extensive afterword about the career of Robert E Howard Well worth a read.15 May 20 26, 27, 28 The Snout in the Dark Draft , Hall of the Dead Synopsis , The Hand of Nergal Fragment Are very much just that, half written drafts, notes, etc not rated.04 May 20 25 Wolves Beyond the Border Draft More of technical interest than to be enjoyed as a story, as the final act was in a summary outline form Also, the big guy was completely off stage At best, 3 Howard s Prep Techniques on Show, stars.30 Apr 20 24 The Vale of Lost Women Lost Ophirian princess Livia flees a tribe of savages while Conan takes a few heads Wandering aimlessly in the night, she falls into the hands of a tribe of soulless women and a Devil from the Outer Dark Fortunately, Conan followed her tracks and sends the foul horror back to the cosmic realm from whence it came Kinda ho hum 3 Let the Cosmic Horror Win Next Time, stars.24 Apr 20 23 Drums of Tombalku Draft Kinda a replay of 7 The Slithering Shadow where a lost city is filled with a degenerating people and a fell cosmic, horror Conan is off scene and his boon companion, Amalric the Aquilonian is front and center stage Ended in a hurry with a sense thatneeded to be said 3 Still a Draft, stars.22 Apr 20 22 The Frost Giant s Daughter So, this faery king has a beautiful, but cruel daughter Conan, weary, spent, the sole survivor of a furious battle encounters the daughter of a God, who asks Am I not beautiful, oh man Like Dawn running naked on the snows, he muttered, his eyes burning like those of a wolf Filled with a divinely inspired raging desire, Conan gives chase, but to little avail as hot mortal lust will not be quenched by a cosmic maiden of ice 3 Beware Uncanny Maidens Stalking Blood Drenched Fields, stars.21 Apr 20 21 The Black Stranger Frack For half this tale, the mighty Cimmerian is off scene, and even worse the key dimensions of conflict swirl around him Once Conan arrives, it s with his blood soaked cutless swinging, but he can t save this tale from its lack of focus 3 Where s the Beef stars.24 Mar 20 20 The God in the Bowl The keystone cops Nemedian police catch Conan in the middle of pilfering a rich man s horde Murder has been done, and baseless accusations fly, until they all realize they are far from alone 4 Cosmic Horror, stars.18 Feb 20 19 The Hour of the Dragon The horseshoes hit the road in a massive pursuit story Ancient wizards are resurrected, kingdoms are lost and won, battles are fought, slaves freed, rival priests conduct magic war over a terrifying artifact, fell tyranny is practiced by ambitious princes, there are ghouls, vampires, giant serpents, fell cults, wise women, and over all, majestic themes of revenge, justice, loyalty, perseverance, courage and love 5 epic fantasy stars Best of book so far.26 Jan 20 18 Red Nails A divided house will fall, and so it does for the ill fated inhabitants of the lost city castle of Xuchotl Supposedly one of R.E Howard sfamous stories I was underwhelmed There s a massive Deus Ex Machina in the last three pages that rescues Conan and Valeria from certain death at the hands of a life sucking vampiress 3 assisted by undead ghouls stars.Deus Ex Machinas and Villainous Gloat speeches are personal pet hates of mine On reflection, this reminds me of the T Rex vs Velociraptors scene in Jurassic Park You Know the one The humans are surrounded, no weapons, and about to become snacks, when T Rex wanders on stage from a closet just off screen, slaughters the velociraptors, and roars mightily while the amazingly lucky humans scamper away to safety.14 Jan 20 17 Shadows in Zamboula Not Howard s best work A little bit by the numbers tale, where Conan outwits and out fights the locals in Zamboula Add in a dark priest s brew of potions, illusions, stranglers, greedy inn keepers, a deceitful dancer, and a posse of lumbering cannibals and we have a story worthy of 3 chin scratching stars.07 Jan 20 16 Beyond the Black River A moving tale of courage against insurmountable odds Long prosper the shades of Balthus and Slasher I wasn t sure what sort of story I had here until the end It kept me guessing all along, and like the war weary woodsman who remarks to Conan at the end of the story I also find civilization to be a thin and fragile veneer 5 courageous against all odds stars.22 Dec 19 15 Jewels of Gwahlur A baffling tale of scheming mercenaries, hidden temples, lost humanoids of terrifying violence, a fabled, mystical treasure, religious fanatics, cryptic clues, secret doorways, an actress, and a goddess although the goddess might be optional, she kept appearing and disappearing like the pea in a shell game Not R.E s best work It kept losing me because I had to think too much 3 baffling stars Baffled wrath confused the brain of Conan the Cimmerian Yes, Conan you and me both.18 Dec 19 14 A Witch Shall be Born Ahh yes The iconic Conan on the cross scene biting a vulture s head off finally raises its bloodied head This story is rich in themes of revenge and justice with multiple interesting character arcs 5 vengeful stars.14 Dec 19 13 The People of the Black Circle More rightly, the Shapeshifting Wizards of the Black Circle In the longest tale I ve read so far, Conan is beset by multiple adversaries in a wonderfully layered novella I believe we have an early instance of horcruxes on display was J.K.Rowling a Conan fan 5 Wizarding Stars.08 Dec 19 12 The Devil in Iron Brilliantly written The images leap off the page like Conan himself A cosmic horror haunts a lost island in an inland sea Only a magic dagger made of sky iron can harm it Conan wins the girl and sends the fell creature back to the dark dimension from whence it came 5 iron giant stars.28 Nov 19 11 Queen of the Black Coast Conan and his squeeze, Belit, Queen of the Black Coast, reave across a dozen kingdoms until they embark upon a quest for a nameless lost city along a poisoned river Conan prevails against a foe fallen from greatness into degeneracy in one of those scenarios where nuke em from orbit, was the better option Ends on a rare elegiac note of pale fire over a burnished sea 5 love lost stars.23 Nov 19 10 Shadows in the Moonlight Conan rescues a lost princess Olivia and rows across a sea, encounters an island harboring the revenge of a god, an anthropomorphic horror, and reckless, ruthless pirates Mayhem ensues Loved how this connected together and progressed smoothly through the whole story, plus there is some remarkable poetic imagery in this story 5 lost island of horror stars The sun sank like a dull glowing copper ball into a lake of fire The blue of the sea merged with the blue of the sky, and both turned to soft dark velvet, clustered with stars, and the mirrors of stars 09 Nov 19 9 Rogues in the House Conan teams up with a nobleman, and a priest to escape a deadly trap In the end, there is no honor amongst thieves Not Howard s best work 4 beast ape man stars.01 Jul 19 8 The Pool of the Black One He watched with the calm alertness of a wolf, and when he struck it was with the devastating suddeness of a thunderbolt With echoes of Sun Tzu, The Odyssey, and Sinbad the Sailor, this story hits a new high, evoking a genuine sense of mysterious horror that threatens not just the body but the soul itself 5 mysteriously evocative stars of dark horror.27 Jun 19 7 The Slithering Shadow Conan and his current squeeze Natala stumble upon a fabulous high tech radium illumination, vivifying liqueurs, advanced narcotics lost city peopled by drug addicts and a nameless shadowy horror The dark humor and gritty battles left a smile on my face 5 stars of mirth laced bloody mayhem.24 Jun 19 6 Black Colossus A demonic cosmic horror, a lich like ancient sorcerer, a tremendous battle of armies that made me think of Erikson s Malazan A beautiful princess in need of rescuing this ticked all the boxes, however I m pinging a star for the villain s gloat speech, at the end I hate those with a passion 4 dungeons and dragons inspiring stars.08 Apr 19 5 The Tower of the Elephant 5 Cosmic Horror Tragic stars This is a ripper of a story OMG Spiders I hate spiders especially giant ones Simple thievery becomes a rescue mission and the original thrust of the story is turned on its head in a third act climax worthy of the name Brilliant in both brevity and completeness of technique This story is a showcase of story telling ability that could be used as a text book example of how to do it 07 Mar 19 4 The Scarlet Citadel Captured, imprisoned in a fell dungeon, surrounded by cosmic horrors, escape, a massive pitched battle, wizards by Crom What a story 5 blood drenched stars.03 Mar 19 3 The Phoenix on the Sword A good start, but later in Conan s life when he is King of Aquilonia He thwarts an assassination attempt complicated by cosmic horrors 4 spectral stars torn from an abysmal realm of blasphemous horrors and made such flesh that only a talisman bound sword could kill.01 Mar 19 2 Cimmeria verse Poetry is not really my thing 3 huh, poetry stars.01 Mar 19 1 The Hyborian Age Simply genius world building in action This fictional historical essay sets the stage for what comes next 5 genius stars 01 Mar 19 0 This book just arrived on my doorstep Leather bound, beautiful paper, a work of art in its own right Joy Sadly postponed for a week as the eBook seller Dymocks may you rot in bankruptcy eReader is a crashy bit of spam software that should be consigned to bit hell I then went to the angels Angus Robertson and paid for the hardcover version The Complete Chronicles Of Conan 9780575077669 Hardback Robert E Howard should arrive by the end of February.Strongly Recommended 5 sets the bar high heroic fantasy, stars

  3. Olivier Delaye Olivier Delaye says:

    I m glad I finally got around to reading the Conan stories, even if I did take my sweet time to do it The reason for my delay is twofold firstly, I thought these stories hadn t aged well considering that they had been published for the most part in 1934, which is three years before The Hobbit itself was published so to those out there who think that Tolkien created modern Fantasy, well, sorry guys, but even if his contribution is hugely seminal, Howard was there first Don t get me wrong, I a I m glad I finally got around to reading the Conan stories, even if I did take my sweet time to do it The reason for my delay is twofold firstly, I thought these stories hadn t aged well considering that they had been published for the most part in 1934, which is three years before The Hobbit itself was published so to those out there who think that Tolkien created modern Fantasy, well, sorry guys, but even if his contribution is hugely seminal, Howard was there first Don t get me wrong, I absolutely love Tolkien s work, but I think we should be fair and give credit where credit is due That said, The Lord of the Rings is and will remain the most perfect piece of Fantasy literature the world has ever seen, and that s my truth secondly, I wasn t and still isn t particularly attracted to Conan as a character, who, or so I thought, had about as much charisma as, say, a fruit fly, or even a yumushi and for those out there who don t know what yumushis are well, let s just say that you don t know how lucky you are.Anyway, I m pleased to admit that I was wrong on both accounts The Conan stories haven t aged much, or rather not as badly as I feared and Conan isn t as dumb and transparent a character as I erroneously thought All in all I was agreeably surprised by Howard s talent and found myself completely drawn into his world, leaving my apprehensions well behind after just a few pages into the first story And speaking of stories, I won t go through each of them as there are simply too many in this book but will instead share with you three of my favorite ones.A WITCH SHALL BE BORN is IMHO the best of the bunch The story is about a bitch uh, sorry, a witch who manages to take her twin sister s place as queen of Khauran, a powerful city state, and turns into a blood thirsty tyrant, allowing all kinds of atrocities to be carried out against her people and enemies Thank the Gods, Conan is here to save the day, and it is with unfeigned relish that us readers get to see the evil witch get her comeuppance The writing is misleadingly simple and straightforward, peppered at times with a touch of archaism which falls right into place with the literature genre we re dealing with here A total winner.In RED NAILS we follow Conan and his pirate lover Valeria as the couple travels through a deadly jungle to a mysterious jade city which at first seems deserted Ancient history somewhat reminiscent of that of the pre Columbian Americas, adventure, sorcery, treachery, human sacrifices, last minute rescue, everything here mingles and commingles in one hell of a good story which is considered by many to be Howard s best effort I can hardly disagree.JEWELS OF GWAHLUR follows Conan as our pea headed barbarian is searching for the titular jewels in the lost city of Alkmeenon I particularly like this one because of where it s set a sort of Fantasy Africa , because of its plot twists, and because toward the end we get to see that Conan also has a heart which I find salutary , and not only three hundred pounds of muscle and a big sword A good story through and through.OLIVIER DELAYEAuthor of the SEBASTEN OF ATLANTIS series

  4. Carl Carl says:

    Sexist Racist Culturally imperialist But, you know whatI had a dang fun time reading them What It s pulp fiction about a barbarian who doesn t understand civilization and has a personal code of ethics and the swordarm to enforce it among the civilized people of the mythical Hyborean age Were you expecting Shakespeare

  5. Jayaprakash Satyamurthy Jayaprakash Satyamurthy says:

    8 05 2011Right So I m re reading and in a number of instances reading for the first time the original Conan canon courtesy of this handsome volume albeit my copy is a bit cat scratched in a manner that actually makes itbefitting of its battle scarred subject I ll be updating this review with my comments on the stories as I read them The Phoenix On The Sword It begins near the end Near the end of Conan s career as a wandering thief, mercenary and pirate, when he has finally settled 8 05 2011Right So I m re reading and in a number of instances reading for the first time the original Conan canon courtesy of this handsome volume albeit my copy is a bit cat scratched in a manner that actually makes itbefitting of its battle scarred subject I ll be updating this review with my comments on the stories as I read them The Phoenix On The Sword It begins near the end Near the end of Conan s career as a wandering thief, mercenary and pirate, when he has finally settled down as king of Aquilonia, one of the lands in what roughly corresponds to modern day Europe in Howard s map of the Hyperborean age Conan in maturity is a formidable man, invested with all the experience and authority of a man who has clawed his way to the top in a savage, perilous world and he still hasthan a touch of the worlds defying, against all odds bravado of the barbarian He needs it, because a cabal of conspirators is scheming to overthrow him There s some weird sorcery, some stirring battle scenes and interesting asides on the power of the poet, a figure even Conan respects for his ability to move people s hearts in a way he cannot Suffers a little from a deux ex machina ending The Scarlet Citadel Is set in the same era as its predecessor and roughly the same plot a conspiracy against King Conan, but everything is taken up a notch or two the enemies are , anddeadly, the wizardry isweird and powerful and Conan battles against everinsurmountable odds Again, sorcerous intervention saves Conan at the end, but this time it is honestly won when Conan rescues a trapped sorcerer Once again, Howard shows that he is equally adept at conjuring scenes of high weirdness, such as the scenes in Tsotha s dungeons, and stirring action, including a truly magnificent large scale battle Much as I liked The Phoenix In The Sword I think this story takes everything it did well and does it even better The Tower Of The Elephant Takes us back to Conan s years as a wandering rogue This is where the quintessential Conan stories really begin, even though I like the early tales of Conan Begins with a vintage display of Howard s scene painting abilities, in a vivid snapshot of a seedy tavern in the thieves quarter of a Zamoran city This is the story where Howard s theme of the difference between civilized man and a barbarian, and the superiority of the latter, really begins to be developed Conan is brash, impulsive, deadly when crossed, but also clever, resourceful and ultimately capable of acting according to a moral code that has its own rigour even if it has little respect for worldly laws Less action than the last two stories, even though Conan does slay a lion, and a plot that hinges on elements of cosmic weirdness that are next door to science fiction at times Also has a tinge of the genuinely tragic I felt that Howard s prose was evolving and has shed the occasional clunkiness of the last two stories for a leaner,sinewy style that effortlessly keeps pace with its irrepressible protagonist It s also where Howard really starts giving us a sense of the larger world surrounding Conan 12 05 2011Black ColossusThe last story took us back into the long backstory to Conan s eventual kingship, changing the focus of the series to Conan s wandering rogue years, thereby establishing the milieu that this character is most associated with This story brings back the martial setting of the first two stories, and adds oneelement that was to become a hallmark of the series the wench In this case, a princess, no less, who is being taunted in a manner fraught with erotic tension by a mysterious sorcerous stalker An appeal to the god Mitra suggests she go out on the streets and entrust the fate of her fraught kingdom to the first man she meets the man of course turns out to be Conan A touch of humour in the depiction of Conan s rough and ready table manners, an undercurrent of erotic suggestion, memorable opening in a lost city, a knock out epic battle, an evil sorcerer and a sexy pay off this story has it all Equally important, even though Conan s involvement in the story is somewhat the product of chance or Destiny , his victory is mainly his own, the product of superior tactics on the battlefield The Slithering Shadow Howard ups the erotic tension in this one with suggestions of depraved orgies and a girl on girl whipping scene He also furthers his theories re civilization and barbarism by contrasting the effete ineffectualness of a highly sophisticated but decadent civilization with Conan s rough and ready dynamism This time, Conan runs up against a truly weird enemy, described in terms that HP Lovecraft would have approved of and surely did A creepy, almost claustrophobic interlude that doesn t outstay its welcome The Pool Of The Black One While this tale introduced Conan the pirate, it does very little else for me Conan is depicted as an amoral opportunist to an extent that does not go well with the essential gallantry that is alluded in tales such as the last two, the weird menace is a little too generic to really stand out, and very little is really achieved except that Conan outpaces a monster, gains control of a pirate ship and wins another interchangeable wench Not a highlight

  6. Mark Mark says:

    Robert Ervin Howard January 22, 1906 June 11, 1936 lived a short live but created some brilliant characters, for example Solomon Kane the puritan swashbuckler Kull Most famous is his creation of Conan the Barbarian About whom he wrote between 1932 1934, lots of short stories and one whole novel The hour of the Dragon and while that book did borrow somewhat from his earlier stories it did have the excitement and tension of the shorter Conan stories.This book contains most short storie Robert Ervin Howard January 22, 1906 June 11, 1936 lived a short live but created some brilliant characters, for example Solomon Kane the puritan swashbuckler Kull Most famous is his creation of Conan the Barbarian About whom he wrote between 1932 1934, lots of short stories and one whole novel The hour of the Dragon and while that book did borrow somewhat from his earlier stories it did have the excitement and tension of the shorter Conan stories.This book contains most short stories as well the afore mentioned novel as written by Robert E Howard And is well worth your time and money.I had my first encounter with Conan in the b w comics of the Savage Sword of Conan comics I then proceeded to findabout this character and found that there had been a few other writers who had worked with the character but none was as good as the original writer When I got my first Conan paperback in English I found that it was sometimes poetry and adventure at the same time.Over the years I did return to Conan on a regular basis and with this book it made reading the variety of tales about the Cimmerian Barbarian a pleasure He has been a companion in my bookcase for most of my life this book is a welcome addition to my selection of novels If you have not read any Conan this is a great start as well as a complete collection and then find the b w Savage Sword of Conan comics, they are really great

  7. Lee Conley Lee Conley says:

    Possibly one of my favorite authors characters books of all time Conan By Crom, Conan kicks ass One of the original and still one of the best fantasy characters out there This book collects all of Robert E Howards original Conan stories together into one mighty tome Each story is a standalone but by the end they tell the tale of several parts of Conans life, from his adventurous beginnings to his rise to the crown of Aquilonia.If you have never read any of Howards original Conan stories, Possibly one of my favorite authors characters books of all time Conan By Crom, Conan kicks ass One of the original and still one of the best fantasy characters out there This book collects all of Robert E Howards original Conan stories together into one mighty tome Each story is a standalone but by the end they tell the tale of several parts of Conans life, from his adventurous beginnings to his rise to the crown of Aquilonia.If you have never read any of Howards original Conan stories, stop whatever you are doing right now and read some You will not regret it.This is one of my all time favorite books and have re read cover to cover it 4 maybe 5 times now and it just doesn t get old.I look forward to reading it again soon, it is a massive inspiration to me I cant say enough good things about it, so go discover Conan s adventures for yourself.Thanks for reading Lee

  8. Sotiris Karaiskos Sotiris Karaiskos says:

    Although I have seen most of the films about the adventures of Conan the Barbarian so far I had not read the first stories by Robert E Howard as I believed were some stories of not very high literary value so I did not think reading them was something urgent Reading the first of the stories in this collection, I was thinking that the impressions I had before were fully in line with reality, giving me the impression that they were too short, written in haste, exaggerated, repetitive, and genera Although I have seen most of the films about the adventures of Conan the Barbarian so far I had not read the first stories by Robert E Howard as I believed were some stories of not very high literary value so I did not think reading them was something urgent Reading the first of the stories in this collection, I was thinking that the impressions I had before were fully in line with reality, giving me the impression that they were too short, written in haste, exaggerated, repetitive, and generally characterised by immaturity and thus I could not call them anythingthan teenage fantasies But as I moved from one to the other, progressing in time, I found that there was a continuous improvement, with stories becomingandambitious,andcomplex,mature, ending on some that I really could call them objectively very good and so my final impression from this collection is positive Of course there are also weaknesses in them, but that does not change the fact that anyone who likes such readings will have a very good time by reading these fascinating adventures that always end up in heroic, bloody, breathtaking fights.As for Conan, along with the upgrading of the quality of the short stories, there is an upgrading of their hero, which starts from something very simple, from a combination of all these characteristics of the ideal warrior but also of the perfect male, at least as they perceived at that time to end up to somethingcomplete, to a man who has thought behind all his actions and a complete perception of the world around him Interesting is also his so called barbarism which at first is just an element that emphasises his frivolity, but ends in a complete system of values that gives the writer the opportunity to use it to make a critique of civilized society As for the world were our hero moves, the author takes elements and names from many cultures to create a bygone era, where war was a permanent state and many powerful warriors and magicians competed for power Conan tries to get what this world offers him, without necessarily understanding it, with his barbaric nature preventing him from settling somewhere and stop his wanderings In other words, the author created a modern hero who draws his origins from classical mythology and has all the features that were capable of making him a reference point for the genre of epic fantasy and that I think is of the greatest importance in these short stories Robert E Howard, , ,, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,, ,

  9. Scott Gray Scott Gray says:

    It s hard to make adequate comment on a writer whose work created an entire genre and the larger creative industry that genre spawned Conan the Barbarian means different things to different people, because the character exists in so many different versions the original Robert E Howard stories the de Camp and Carter pastiches that expanded on Howard s vision and popularity the new generation of books that the original pastiches inspired the Marvel comics that pushed sword and sorcery into It s hard to make adequate comment on a writer whose work created an entire genre and the larger creative industry that genre spawned Conan the Barbarian means different things to different people, because the character exists in so many different versions the original Robert E Howard stories the de Camp and Carter pastiches that expanded on Howard s vision and popularity the new generation of books that the original pastiches inspired the Marvel comics that pushed sword and sorcery into the pop culture mainstream the Dark Horse comics that revitalized and revisualized the character the 1982 film that first set Arnold Schwarzenegger on the path to pretending to be an actor As a result, it s entirely possible to know Conan without really knowing the original stories in their original forms a problem that this weighty collection addresses nicely.The Complete Chronicles pulls together all of the original Howard stories in their original forms including those edited as a part of the Howard de Camp Carter paperback collections that cemented the character s popularity Unlike previous multi part Conan collections, this book anthologizes the stories in the order Howard wrote them, rather than in chronological order according to the character s history This means a lot of jumping around through the different ages of the character the first two Conan stories Howard published are actually two of the last Conan stories, both taking place when Conan is king of Aquilonia the familiar thief, barbarian, slayer, et al came later However, i prefer this arrangement because it shows off how Howard s own understanding of the character changed and grew over time, the narrative and the character becomingandcomplex.Some of the Howard stories are better than others some areproperly about the world than the character A surprise to a lot of people who read the Howard pieces for the first time is how often Conan appears only after other secondary characters have set the story up Many of the stories show their 30s pulp origins a little too strongly most commonly with lines like By the gods Conan ejaculated But taken all in all, the Howard canon creates a haunting and memorable mythology that stands the test of time, and which can t help but make one wonder to what greater heights Robert E Howard might have taken the character and the world of the Hyborian age if he d hadtime

  10. Michael Sorbello Michael Sorbello says:

    The Phoenix on the Sword 3 5Conan is a hardcore badass that loves danger, adventure and beautiful maidens as much as he enjoys bashing in some heads with heavy weapons man and monster alike He might not be the deepest in terms of character, but you have to admire the sheer amount of adrenaline, excitement and gory intensity he delivers with nearly every scene he s involved in Although this is the first tale in the Conan series, it takes place near the very end of his journey in terms of chr The Phoenix on the Sword 3 5Conan is a hardcore badass that loves danger, adventure and beautiful maidens as much as he enjoys bashing in some heads with heavy weapons man and monster alike He might not be the deepest in terms of character, but you have to admire the sheer amount of adrenaline, excitement and gory intensity he delivers with nearly every scene he s involved in Although this is the first tale in the Conan series, it takes place near the very end of his journey in terms of chronology The prose in this tale is incredibly vivid but it s also a bit messy and hard to follow at times, Robert s writing improved immensely as the series progressed Hour of the Dragon for example is one of my all time favorite sword sorcery books Even though it s not quite up to par with the later Conan tales, it s still an entertaining introduction to the legendary barbarian himself The Frost Giant s Daughter 3 5A battle between Conan s companions and a war party of Vanir ends with Conan, the sole survivor of his band, facing the final surviving Vanir, Heimdul Conan is victorious but so weakened he collapses onto the battlefield In a dreamlike state, Conan encounters Atali, the daughter of the god Ymir, in the frozen wastes of the north and chases after her as she lures him with demeaning taunts and laughter.Conan exerts himself from chasing her until he passes out, waking up to discover that quite a few of his companions actually survived and came to his rescue while he was unconscious Upon being reunited with his companions, Conan tells them the story of his strange encounter with the Frost Giant s Daughter This tale steers away from action and adventure in favor of a bit of slapstick humor featuring our barbarian Conan The God in the Bowl 3 5Conan plies his trade as a thief in the city of Numalia He is caught while attempting to steal a valuable object from a museum and becomes the suspect in the death of the museum s owner.It s a taste of bloody Conan action with a detective fiction twist The story primarily takes place over a long interrogation scene that s surprisingly well crafted for an early fantasy tale The twist at the end was certainly neat, but it was very rushed and could ve hadbuild up It was nice to see the unshakable barbarian get a taste of fear The Tower of the Elephant 4 5This story really serves to flesh out the lore and history of Conan s world, adding a ton of context and emotional value to all of the previous stories as well as all that came after it Conan teams up with the master thief Taurus to climb the Tower of the Elephant in order to obtain a rare jewel that awaits them at the very top On their way up the tower, they encounter a massive spider and things turn nasty After dealing with the spider, Conan makes it to the top of the tower and encounters something otherworldly Conan s meeting with the Lovecraftian entity is reminiscent to the wonderfully eldritch encounter in Lovecraft s Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath We learn a lot about the lore, the setting and the history of Conan s age which adds a much needed layer of world building to make the stories feelrealistic The Scarlet Citadel 3 5Conan teams up with the mysterious sorcerer Pelias who happens to share Conan s desire for revenge against the man threatening his kingdom After being captured through treachery and thrown into an eldritch dungeon, Conan escapes with Pelias s help and the two unleash chaos against their imprisoners It s a massive battle sequence, an orgiastic clash of blades and magic The story was on the weaker side but I enjoyed seeing the sadistic, shapeshifting sorcerer Pelias in action alongside Conan s usual chaotic antics Queen of the Black Coast 4 5Conan joins the pirate crew of B lit, Queen of the Black Coast, until the exploration of an ancient city and an encounter with the primordial creature that dwells within wreak havoc on the crew Fun, exciting and the prose is candy for the eyes It s everything I look for in a Conan story and it s a nice follow up to Iron Shadows in the Moon which ended abruptly My only complaint this time around is that the villain monster felt underwhelming and had no time to develop compared to many other villains in the series The final battle was flashy and cool, but it lacked emotional substance because of the lack of characterization Other than that, still Conan at its finest with lots of bloody, sexy action Black Colossus 4 5Princess Yasmela, the city of Khoraja s remaining sovereign, has been haunted by the terrifying apparitions of the evil wizard Natohk When Natohk threatens to bring his demonic hordes to Khoraja, Yasmela prays to the god Mitra for help Mitra responds and tells her to place the fate of her entire kingdom into the hands of the first man she meets out in the city streets, and that man just so happens to be a drunk and feisty Conan.Not quite as adventurous or horrific as the best works in the series, but a clean and fun ride with a creepy villain nonetheless It was also nice seeing Conan show off his skills in front of a bunch of prudish nobles that looked down on him as a savage unworthy of their attention or respect Iron Shadows in the Moon 3 5Escaping a massacre that claimed his army, Conan and an abandoned princess make their way to a haunted and occupied island at the same time as a band of pirates A fairly fun voyage, but no exciting conclusion happens as the story cuts off very abruptly and sets itself up for the next volume I feel like both volumes should ve just been included in the same story since this is literally just one half of something with no conclusion Other than that big gripe, the writing and pacing is still superb and I hope the next volume does this one justice for all it has set up Conan becomes the leader of a pirate crew which could prove to be a fun little escapade Xuthal of the Dusk 4 5Driven by the intense heat of the desert, Conan and his lovely companion seek water and food in a nearby city Conan and his companion Natala discover the nearly abandoned city of Xuthal in the desert, occupied only by a Stygian witch and a shadowy demon The city of Xuthal is full of haunting imagery, as all of its inhabitants are frozen in a state of constant dreaming Anyone that dares to wake them will be shown no mercy It s a chilling premise with a strong Lovecraftian horror vibe Despite how nightmarish the story is, the ending is surprisingly humorous and it left me with a smile on my face after finishing the tale The Pool of the Black One 3 5Conan makes himself the captain of a pirate vessel and travels to a remote island with a mysterious pool that has powers of transmutation The violence, action and excitement were all on point as usual, but the elements of racism in this particular tale were unnecessary to the point of being uncomfortable to read I prefer watching Conan wage epic battles against horrifying demons and armies of mad soldiers, not engage in racist drivel Rogues in the House 4 5Conan is drawn into a feud between a priest and a nobleman in Corinthia which leads him to be trapped in a decrepit house that contains a terrifying beast within it Very simplistic in comparison to many other tales in the series, which is not a bad thing by any means Instead of focusing on expanding the lore and the development of Conan, we have a straightforward plot about taking down a brutal baddie to settle a deadly dispute Lots of horrific imagery and badass action scenes No , no less Pure and simple fun The Devil in Iron 3 5While pursuing an enslaved princess, Conan is led into a trap on a seemingly abandoned island On this island, Conan discovers a slumbered, resurrected city which is watched over by an ancient evil It reads like several of the older stories stitched together with a few unrealized new ideas Not bad, but it feels a bit uninspired at times and doesn t bring anything new to the expanding universe Just like Queen of the Black Coast, the villain doesn t offer much either and the ending after Conan saves the girl feels awkward because he forces herself on her a bit too hard She takes a liking to Conan, but it still feels a bit cringy The Vale of Lost Women 1 5I think this is the absolute worst of the Conan stories I ve enjoyed many of them and even gave Hour of the Dragon a 5 Star review, but this one is just scathing with racism, sexism and a lousy plot that can t save it in any way A shame 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 Red Nails 4 5Wandering across the scorching desert in search of adventure, Conan stumbles upon the beautiful and fearsome pirate Valeria After narrowly escaping from a dragon by making clever use of a poison fruit, Conan and Valeria take refuge in an entirely walled and enclosed city named Xuchotl where generations of inhabitants have waged war against each other for hundreds of years Conan and Valeria get swept up into some nasty affairs between the two warring clans, a storm of swords and demonic sorcerey rages throughout the city until the warriors put an end to the insane clans war once and for all It s a haunting and visceral story with lots of bloody action on par with Hour of the Dragon Jewels of Gwahlur 3 5Conan 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 Beyond the Black River 3.5 5Conan teams up with a warrior named Balthus in an attempt to thwart the conquests of the Pictish sorcerer Zogar Sag Just like People of the Black Circle, it s a nonstop adrenaline fest with lots of blood and guts The Black Stranger 3 5The story begins with Conan fleeing for the hills after being pursued by a flock of angered tribesman While fleeing, the tribesman give up their chase upon reaching a peculiar hill that stands out from all the others The hill turns out to hold a treasure cave along with the preserved bodies of a pirate captain, Tranicos Conan s attempt to remove the treasure proves futile, as a demon of mist appears and attempts to strangle him He barely escapes with his life, leaving the treasure undisturbed.After getting away, Conan forms a thieves pact with several groups of feuding pirates to steal the forbidden treasure Little do they know however, each person involved in the pact are manipulating each other and have a plan to dispose of each of the opposing groups once they ve gotten their hands on the treasure Debauchery, betrayal and cunning pirate trickery ensue until the last man gets away with what they came for Shadows in Zamboula 3 5Conan helps a dancer named Zabibi save her insane lover from a flock of cannibals and evil priests that are terrorizing her desert town Conan fights his way through the cannibal horde does what he does best The action was good and the setting was interesting, but the story was often ruined by a lot of unnecessary racist undertones

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