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The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian: The Original Adventures of the Greatest Sword and Sorcery Hero of All Time! Paperback – December 2, 2003
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“Howard’s writing seems so highly charged that it nearly gives off sparks.”
“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.”
Author of Legend and White Wolf
“The voice of Robert E. Howard still resonates after decades with readers– equal parts ringing steel, thunderous horse hooves, and spattered blood.
Far from being a stereotype, his creation of Conan is the high heroic adventurer. His raw muscle and sinews, boiling temper, and lusty
laughs are the gauge by which all modern heroes must be measured.”
–ERIC NYLUND, Author of
Halo: The Fall of Reach and Signal to Noise
“That teller of marvelous tales, Robert Howard, did indeed create a giant [Conan] in whose shadow other ‘hero tales’ must stand.”
–JOHN JAKES, New York Times bestselling author
of the North and South trilogy
“For stark, living fear . . . What other writer is even in the running with Robert E. Howard?”
–H. P. LOVECRAFT
From the Inside Flap
""Between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities . . . there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars. . . . Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand . . . to tread
the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet."
Conan is one of the greatest fictional heroes ever created-a swordsman who cuts a swath across the lands of the Hyborian Age, facing powerful sorcerers, deadly creatures, and ruthless armies of thieves and reavers.
In a meteoric career that spanned a mere twelve years before his tragic suicide, Robert E. Howard single-handedly invented the genre that came to be called sword and sorcery. Collected in this volume, profusely illustrated by artist Mark Schultz, are Howard's first thirteen Conan stories, appearing in their original versions-in some cases for the first time in more than seventy years-and in the order Howard wrote them. Along with classics of dark fantasy like "The Tower of the Elephant" and swashbuckling adventure like "Queen of the Black Coast," "The Coming of Conan "the Cimmerian contains a wealth of material never before published in the United States, including the first submitted draft of Conan's debut, "Phoenix on the Sword," Howard's synopses for "The Scarlet Citadel" and "Black Colossus," and a map of Conan's world drawn by the author himself.
Here are timeless tales featuring Conan the raw and dangerous youth, Conan the daring thief, Conan the swashbuckling pirate, and Conan the commander of armies. Here, too, is an unparalleled glimpse into the mind of a genius whose bold storytelling style has beenimitated by many, yet equaled by none.
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Top customer reviews
The first volume of Del Rey’s three-volume collection of Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories is my introduction to Howard and almost my introduction to Conan. The Del Rey editions collect the stories in the order that Howard wrote them rather than by publication date or plot chronology. The first book includes a foreword by Mark Schultz and an introduction by Patrice Louinet. Both are excellent, neither denigrating the source material. Louinet is the editor, and Schultz contributed extensive illustrations (I understand these are missing from the Kindle version). He is no Frazetta—no one is—but I like Schutlz’s artwork a lot, and I find it supplanting Frazetta and the Ah-nold movies in how I picture Conan and his world. They do tend to be a little spoilery. The first volume also includes drafts, synopsizes, and, most notably, Robert E. Howard’s fictional history of the Hyborian Age.
The stories in this volume are shorter than the stories in the other two volumes. I’m not going to review each. They are excellent, but Conan benefits from the longer stories in the other two volumes, and the stories in the second half of this volume are some of Howard’s weakest Conan stories.
The dichotomy Howard draws between barbarianism and civilization is oft remarked on by commentators, not the least because Howard himself quite plainly lays it out. But there is more to it than a cursory, simplistic interpretation might imply. My impression of Conan was sealed by two of the first four stories—The God in the Bowl and The Tower of the Elephant.
In each, Conan is a young thief. He doesn’t wear his role as a barbarian in civilized lands as comfortably as he does as an older man. This is a Conan who reacts to his discomfort with civilized society with anger and violence. In The God in the Bowl, Conan is loath to admit he came to the Temple to steal, but he reacts viciously when the watch thinks to seize him.
“‘Back, if you value your dog lives!’ he snarled, his blue eyes blazing. ‘Because you dare to torture shop-keepers and strip and beat harlots to make them talk, don’t think you can lay your fat paws on a Hillman! I’ll take some of you to h___ with me! Fumble with your bow, watchman – I’ll burst your guts with my heel before this night’s work is over!’”
In The Tower of the Elephant, Conan naively asks about the tower, brazenly declares he could burglarize it, and then kills the man for laughing at him.
It is not the loincloth that makes the barbarian.
Most recent customer reviews
My first introduction to "Conan" were the Lancer paperbacks I starting buying in 1966.Read more