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The Bloody Crown of Conan (Conan of Cimmeria, Book 2) Paperback – November 23, 2004

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Product Details

  • Series: Conan of Cimmeria (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (November 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345461525
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345461520
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Stories such as “The People of the Black Circle” glow with the fierce and eldritch light of his frenzied intensity.”

“I adore these books. Howard had a gritty, vibrant style–broadsword writing that cut its way to the heart, with heroes who are truly larger than life. I heartily recommend them to anyone who loves fantasy.”
–DAVID GEMMELL, author of Legend and White Wolf

About the Author

Robert E. Howard (1906–1936), an American pulp fiction writer who is best known as the creator of Conan, wrote a huge number of stories in a variety of genres, including fantasy, westerns, horror, and even boxing stories.

Former radio broadcaster Todd McLaren has been heard on more than 5,000 TV and radio commercials; narrations for documentaries on such networks as A&E and the History Channel; and films. His book narrations have earned him a prestigious Audie Award as well as a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've read practically everything that Robert E. Howard has ever written, from Conan, Kull, Kane, and Bran Mak Morn to Kirby O'Donnell, El Borak, Sailor Steve Costigan, Pike Bearfield and most of his other weird menace, horror, boxing, and adventure stories in the middle. But I never tire of reading them again, especially when they are in handsome, lavishly illustrated editions such as the Bloody Crown of Conan. The book contains only three Conan stories but they are among the longest and best.

"A Witch Shall Be Born" written in 1934 contains among the most powerful images in all of Conan Lore as Conan is crucified in the desert and left to the pickings of the vultures. It is among the most vivid testaments to his strength and fortitude to have survived where any other man would perish.

"The Hour of the Dragon" was Howard's longest Conan tale and the only true Conan novel that REH ever wrote. Having just become King of Aquilonia, intrigue from neighboring Nemedia where the exiled Valerius had fled, results in the ressurection of one of Acheron's most powerful wizards Xaltotun, dead for some 3,000 years.

Conan is deposed from the throne and tossed into the dungeons to rot but is saved by a salve named Zenobia, who Conan would later re-pay by making her his wife and Queen. Conan then goes on a quest to find the Heart of Ahriman, the one item that can destroy the wizard. A truly epic Conan story and one where he must admit that his sword cannot win the day without help. Some make undue comparisons to Tolkien but Hour of the Dragon was written LONG before Lord of the Rings and there's no evidence that Howard was even aware of Tolkien.

The last story is another Classic, The People of the Black Circle.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Picardfan007 on November 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was unaware that an editing process took place with the books. I always believed that the stories were always printed in their original form. This wasn't the case. If you are a Conan and Robert E. Howard fan; these are the best editions ever. I only wish there were more beautiful chapter illustrations. They really add a quality to the book that otherwise wouldn't have been there. If you want to see a good movie about the real Robert E. Howard I'd get "The Whole Wide World" has lots of insight as to the type of person he was...
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By amster on February 24, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The second volume of Del Rey's definative collection of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories contains three of the best ones, The People of the Black Circle, The Hour of the Dragon, and A Witch Shall Be Born.

The People of the Black Circle: Its obvious early on that Howard was really starting to hit his stride with the character by the time he wrote this . It was, at the time, the longest Conan story he ever wrote, and contains multiple plotlines which converge. It also contains some great black humor which would be right at home in today's cinema. My favorite line is, "I think I'll have your heart, Kerim Shah!", at which point the evil wizard telekenetically rips the heart out from the victim's chest. This is basically an oriental adventure story. The geographical names are changed just enough so that the reader will immediately identify with its historical counterpart. India is Vendya, etc. Many people consider this the finest Conan story that REH ever wrote. While its not my personal favorite, its definately in the top five.

The Hour of the Dragon: The only full length Conan novel that Howard ever wrote. Yes, while its true that certain plot elements are derivative of earlier Conan stories (particarly "The Scarlet Citadel" and "Black Colossus"), this is nevertheless a remarkable achievement, and one of the best fantasy adventure novels of all time. Chronologically, its the last Conan story in the saga. Here we have a Conan that is less reckless, and more mature and responsible than his younger counterpart. After he loses his kingdom, he's driven to regain it, not for personal wealth and glory, but to bring justice back to the land on behalf of his subjects.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan C. Pike on March 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
In my youth I read the Conan stories of Robert Jordan and his contemporaries, mostly in the late 80's and early 90's. They were pretty good, and I thought one of those guys must've been the creator of Conan. How wrong I was. Howard's original stories blow every other Conan book I ever read out of the water. The man was a true master of sword and sorcery. Hell, he basically invented the genre! Every barbarian hero since Howard's time owes something to Conan. The stories are gripping and intense, and I even enjoyed reading the commentaries and analysis presented by the editors. All around an excellent compilation of some of Howard's best Conan stories. I highly reccommend picking up the other two books in this series, which round out all of Howard's original work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ian Fowler on June 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
"The Bloody Crown of Conan" is the second collection of Robert E. Howard's classic character published by DelRey. It contains three stories, including the only Conan novel "The Hour of the Dragon", as well as the novella "The People of the Black Circle", and the shorter "A Witch Shall be Born." While I'm not sure if any of these rank highly as personal favorites, they are all entertaining, rousing, and even chilling.

Because there are only three stories, it's relatively easy to critique each story, as opposed to the first collection.

Naturally, "Hour of the Dragon" is the centerpiece of this collection: nearly 200 glorious pages of intrigue, fantasy, horror, and war. Conan, king of Aquilonia, finds himself unseated from his thrown when a group of plotters, led by Valerius, a Aquilonian duke, resurrect Xalotun, a long-dead wizard, who uses his powers to defeat Conan. Taken prisoner, Conan escapes, and sets upon a quest for a magic amulet with the power to destroy Xalotun. Through the course of this episodic novel, Conan encounters evil in various forms, especially in the dark land of Stygia, where he meets giant snakes, vampire women, and evil priests. Through this, he comes to understand the importance of his tenure as king to the people of Aquilonia, as they are subject to tyranny by the gang of usurpers. Indeed, "The Hour of the Dragon" represents an interesting level of growth in the character. Even though Howard did not write these stories with any sort of chronology, he have taken into consideration how the character would have changed throughout his life. Stories that take place early in Conan's life reveal a basic callowness. He's a thief and adventurer, essentially thumbing his nose at so-called civilization.
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