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The Conan Chronicles Hardcover – June 15, 1995

3.4 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Three of Robert Jordan's best Conan novels have been collected in this omnibus volume, rich with the splendor and adventure of bygone ages. In Conan the Invincible, the young Conan and Karela, a sexy outlaw, outwit the necromancer Amanar and confront the Eater of Souls. In Conan the Defender, the mighty warrior challenges the magic-spawned Simulacrum of Albanus. And in Conan the Unconquered, Conan saves a beautiful young woman from the sorcerous Cult of Doom.

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“Nobody alive writes Conan better than Robert Jordan.” ―L. Sprague de Camp

“There is no one today writing barbarian fantasy novels that can compare with Jordan.” ―Science Fiction Chronicle

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (June 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312859295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312859299
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book as a fan of Jordan's Wheel of Time, and the Schwarzenegger Conan movies. I figure put the two together and we're in business. Well... The three stories in this book have pretty much nothing to do with one another other than being vaguely chronological, and sharing one or two supporting characters. They were entertaining, but involved no development for our hero at all. It was like Jordan merely borrowed Conan and then put him back the way he found him. Unchanged- for better or worse. Much like a Bond movie. Not exactly my taste, but if that is fine with you- give it a shot!
In CONAN the INVINCIBLE, the barbarian/thief is hired by a nasty ol' wizard to steal five precious gems from a King's throne room only to find that someone has beaten him to it. Conan is apparently never fazed by anything, and of course pursues the rival thieves. He will stop at nothing to get his reward. This brings him face to face with several perils including an army of the King's men, the mysterious Red Hawk and her band of caravan-raiding bandits, as well as another evil wizard and his army of Lizard men. I give it a 3.
In CONAN the DEFENDER, our hero arrives in the city of Belverus to, again, find work to fill his gold purse. His plan is to raise his own company of warriors, but Civil war threatens the Kingdom- and he must choose sides between his friends and the King. But first he must find out who has been trying to kill him and why. I give this a 3 also.
In CONAN the UNCONQUERED, the barbarian once again arrives in a new city looking for a way to fill his pockets with gold and manages to end up knee deep in trouble. As usual, he does some bar crawling, sleeps with some gorgeous women, and of course- stops the evil wizard.
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Format: Hardcover
Know, o price, that between the years when the pulps ruled the newsstands, and the death of Karl Edward Wagner, there was an age undreamed of, when Conan the Barbarian finally became a household name. Hither came Robert Jordan...

I remember reading these books 20 years ago, when I would literally read anything as long as it had Conan on the cover. I quickly realized though, THAT THEY'RE ALL THE SAME. Even the L. Sprague De Camp pastiches managed to deviate from the stock formula from time to time. In every book in this collection, Conan is up against another diabolical wizard bent on destroying the world.

Its really simple, folks, if you want to read Sherlock Holmes, you read Arthur Conan Doyle. If you want to read Tarzan, you read Edgar Rice Burroughs, and if you want to read Conan, you read Robert E. Howard. None of these Robert Jordan books ever approach the tragic romance of "Queen of the Black Coast", or the bleak nihlism of "Beyond the Black River". None of Jordan's villians even come close to The Black Seers of Yimshah, or Khosatral Khel. None of Jordan's love interests can hold a candle to Valeria of the Red Brotherhood, or Belit.

If you've read all of the Howard stories (finally re-released in a 3 series from ACE, btw), and you simply must have more, then I would suggest "The Road of Kings" by Karl Edward Wagner, who also wrote the magnificent "Kane" series.

As for Robert Jordan, his Conan stories are the literary equivalent to the movie "Conan the Destroyer (which he novelized, btw)", or the old marvel comics. You might find them enjoyable if you're 15 or younger, but as you get older (like me) you'll start to appreciate the originals more, and you'll dismiss these for what they are, literary fast food.
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Format: Hardcover
The previous reviews I have seen of this trilogy seem to suggest that these were written post-Wheel of Time. This is definitely not the case. I have been a Conan Fan since the mid-seventies and, over the years, have read the books of many authors who used my favorite hero unkindly. Jordan, however, treated Conan with such skill that REH himself would have been proud. It was his ability to tell the Conan tales with such grace that made me willing to give his Wheel of Time a try when it came out. His skill at using the Hyborian world of Howard was eclipsed in his creation of his own world. I do believe his skill in the Wheel of Time series surpasses his skills in the Conan tales, but the skills were developed in the Conan tales. Jordan, like any great writer, hones his skills with time and use. This surpassing himself in his later works in no way takes away from the fact that his early works were excellent. As far as the Conan tales go, his are the best outside of Howard, L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, and this is saying alot.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A couple weeks ago, I agreed with one reviewer that these Robert Jordan books are fine, if you're 15. That's because I hadn't read them since I was 15, so I just didn't remember why I liked them so much back then, so I decided to order the two chronicles & re-acquaint myself with my adolescent fantasies.

I very quickly changed my mind: IMO, calling these "fine, if you're 15" is unfair. I just got done reading all of Howard's original Conan stories, & they were wonderful & I enjoyed the nostalgia rush ... but the simple fact is that Howard's writing was every bit the adolescent male fantasy. It's unsophisticated writing, which is fine, because it's telling simple tales of a relatively simple man -- we don't need sophisticated literature, here. Beyond that, I'm convinced that if Robert Howard had been writing Conan in the 1980s or 1990s, instead of the '20s & '30s, he would have written much like Jordan did.

Beyond that, IMO Howard's writing style, tho appropriate for the time, was too sparse; I think Jordan's Conan is more lush, more vibrant, & feels "more real" than did Howard's. The characters are more finely drawn, as well, especially the more deeply humanized evil wizards -- I especially like Amanar, in "Conan the Invincible" -- & I think the female characters are somewhat more complex & interesting as well; certainly Karela the Red Hawk is more interesting, to me, than Belit.

So, I'm not going to say I think Jordan was "better" than Howard. I am going to say that Robert Jordan's Conan compares very well to Howard's, & I'm not at all ashamed to say that this 47-year old enjoyed Jordan every bit as much now, as he did 32 years ago.
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